5 simple solutions to the biggest payroll challenges

Published · 3 min read

Is your payroll process complicated? Does one task seem to take hours, even a whole workday? Do you find yourself putting off other important business needs to focus your attention on your payroll details?

If this sounds familiar, it’s not surprising. Our research shows 15% of small businesses across the globe are prioritizing efficiency in payroll tasks over the next 12 months. Streamlining payroll process saves time for other business functions and improves your bottom line as you are able to spend less time processing data and more time analyzing it.

How much does the payroll process cost your business? It could be more than you realize, especially if you are using outdated tools to manage your payroll function.

Here are some quick and easy ways to make payroll less painful, allowing you to focus on more productive areas of the business.

Digital paycheck stubs

Migrate from printed paycheck stubs to an online digital alternative. This will consolidate your employee data in one secure place where you can control access to sensitive documents. Your paycheck stubs will have a more professional feel, and it’s a step closer to satisfying a portion of the new GDPR security requirements.

Consolidate timesheet data

If you use paper timesheets to track employee hours, you’ll save time and increase accuracy by upgrading to a software management system. This way, employees can easily access, track, and reference their time worked and approved data controllers can easily filter through specific data points so it remains up-to-date and relevant per GDPR guidelines.

It’s also a step towards better managing how you organize correspondence like sick notes, emails, and text messages requesting holiday leave. A cloud-based payroll management system will allow employees to submit holiday time requests for their line managers can approve remotely. Those requests are automatically updated to reflect on employee pay stubs.

Digitize spreadsheets

New research from the American Payroll Association and Javelin Strategy & Research showed that 88% of payroll spreadsheets contain errors and manual errors account for 1-8% of payroll costs. Organizations that aren’t taking advantage of the latest automation tools are prone to inconsistencies in key areas of the function. This could ultimately put the organization at risk for non-compliance and could negatively impact the business’ reputation and financial bottom line.

HR staff can waste as much as six hours a week maintaining spreadsheets, which will act as a significant drain on resources. Data input errors, keeping version control and the misuse of built-in functionality are all common issues that can act as a drag on resources and prevent businesses focusing on more important issues. By automating routine processes, it will not only boost the efficiency of staff but also remove the need for manual processing, form filling and completing and manipulating spreadsheets.

Prep for tax season year-round

One-in-three small businesses report spending more than 80 hours – that’s two work weeks – prepping for tax season. Today’s tools use smart learning to automatically record and track the necessary data for your organization’s tax scheme, which makes end-of-year reporting easier to manage.

Switch to direct deposit

The National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) 2017 Small Business Taxation Survey showed that 82% of small businesses cut costs by using direct deposit and online pay stubs. Digitizing processes like this can accomplish two important goals: speed up payments to vendors and employees, and free up cash to use in other parts of the business.

If small businesses want to be successful in the long term, they must be free to concentrate on drawing up future strategies across their enterprise. By automating a series of processes within the HR and payroll function, this is exactly what they can do. This will also have a domino effect on talent management and staff retention, leading to a happier and better performing workforce

What have you done to make your payroll process easier? Share them in the comments below.

All of these helpful steps to streamline your process can be accomplished when you allow Sage Payroll Services to process your payroll for your organization. The time you save by outsourcing your payroll can then be spent on your business and with your employees.

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