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Why Hiring a Payroll Clerk May Be the More Expensive Option

Posted by Stacey Duggan

|

Oct 21, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Why Hiring a Payroll Clerk May Be the More Expensive OptionAs a company grows, it becomes necessary to find a permanent solution to payroll processing. With the many details, regulations, procedures, and filings involved with payroll processing, delegating payroll responsibilities to an existing employee, or trying to take care of it yourself, becomes an unsatisfactory option. Some business owners or managers try to solve the payroll puzzle by hiring an in-house payroll clerk. This solution is probably better than trying to manage payroll yourself, but it has some serious drawbacks.

HR Overhead Costs

When you hire a payroll clerk, you take on numerous new overhead costs. First off, there's the cost of hiring, which includes advertising the job, reading through resumes, interviewing, and getting your new employee integrated in your payroll system. There's training to consider, which could involve off-site training, courses, and conferences to get your new employee up-to-speed with current payroll regulations. Your new payroll clerk needs a place to work, equipment, and software. Additionally, you'll need to consider the costs you incur with a new employee: benefits, insurance premiums, your portion of CPP contributions and EI premiums, and paid vacation and sick days.

Vacation/Sick Days

Payroll never sleeps. Your employees need to get paid, and your government remittances must be submitted continually, whether or not your payroll clerk gets sick, takes a vacation, or needs personal time away from the office. Remittances must be sent in on time if your company is going to avoid fines levied by the CRA, and a single payroll clerk managing payroll processing for a whole company may have a hard time meeting every single deadline. Outsourced payroll processing, on the other hand, can manage payroll no matter what. They can guarantee that everything will be done in a timely fashion, and they don't require vacation days or sick leave.

Turnover

A good payroll clerk may get a firm grasp on everything it takes to manage your payroll effectively. Getting to this point takes time and consistent effort because payroll is complicated, and the regulations change from year to year. What will you do when your expensive, painstakingly trained payroll clerk gives notice and leaves your firm? You'll be back at square one, looking for a new employee who doesn't understand the ins and outs of your company and may require substantial training before you can feel comfortable with the state of your payroll again.

These problems can be avoided by turning your payroll processing over to an outsourced payroll processing company rather than hiring your own clerk. With outsourced payroll processing, you don't have to worry about adding to your HR overhead costs. Payroll won't require any square footage of your office space, it won't require that you buy any new equipment or specialized software, and you won't have to pay additional employee benefits. You also won't have to worry about the state of your payroll when someone wants to take a vacation. You'll just know that it always gets done faithfully, no matter who is in (or out) of the office. Finally, there are no turnover worries when it comes to outsourced payroll processing. Although your contact at the outsourced payroll processing company could change from time to time, your payroll will always be handled professionally and in a timely manner. Compared with outsourced payroll processing, hiring your own in-house payroll clerk may be the more expensive option.

7 Signs It's Time to Outsource Payroll

Topics: Payroll Service Provider, Outsourced Payroll Service, hire payroll service, Best Payroll Calculator, CRA, payroll solution, Dependable Payroll Service, Employee Training and Development, Great Payroll Service Provider, Hiring a Payroll Clerk, Payroll Expertise

What is Time Theft, and How to Avoid It

Posted by Stacey Duggan

|

Oct 7, 2013 10:54:00 AM

What is Time Theft and How to Avoid ItIn tough financial times, businesses try to streamline their operations to run as inexpensively as possible. They may reduce business hours, lease less property, or make changes to products and services. One lesser known strategy for reducing expenses is to tackle the problem of time theft.

What is time theft?

Time theft is a worker getting paid for work they did not actually do, and it costs Canadian businesses as much as $5 billion per year. As you can imagine, time theft has a big impact on the financial success of businesses, and it could be hurting yours.

Let's take a look at some of the ways time theft could be eroding your company’s profits.

1. A faulty "punch card" system.

Employers have different ways of clocking their employees' hours, and sometimes employees figure out how to manipulate the system so it looks like they're working more than they actually are. This happens when employees "punch in" for each other or find a way to clock in remotely. If you feel that there are inefficiencies or "holes" in the way you track employee hours, take a close look at your system. Your bottom line could be severely affected by this form of time theft.

2. Personal time on the phone.

Everyone has to make personal phone calls from time to time, and sometimes it's necessary to handle personal matters during business hours. Every employer understands this. But when employees make a habit of spending time on personal phone calls while they're supposed to be working, they are committing time theft. In essence, you are paying them to handle their personal lives instead of paying them to complete the work they agreed to. Review your company's policies about personal phone time, and inform employees that they must abide by these policies.

3. Tardiness, long breaks, and leaving early.

This form of time theft is not as common for hourly employees, but it's not uncommon with salaried workers. When employees stretch a 30-minute break to 45 minutes, and when they come in late or leave early, they are stealing from your company. If this is a chronic problem in your company, re-evaluate your procedures for managing your employees' time on the job. Does a supervisor need to pay more attention to break times? Do you need to schedule early morning meetings to hold employees accountable for arriving on time?

4. Non-work computer usage.

The Internet is a minefield of distractions, and it's all too easy for employees to let their attention stray away from their work while they're on the computer. There are many things you can do to help your employees avoid this time theft temptation. Turn computer screens toward a public area so anyone walking by can see what's on the screen. Instruct your system administrator to block social media sites and YouTube. During your training and instructional meetings, remind employees that their work computers are for just that: work. And help them to develop good work habits and standards for themselves that will help them to be more productive employees.

By paying attention to time theft and how it affects your company's productivity, you can save money and improve your employees' work. For more information about time theft, or to discuss other human resource and payroll issues, contact us at The Payroll Edge. Our payroll experts can help you to find solutions to your problems.

What Are You Leaving to Chance by Handling Payroll on Your Own

Topics: Payroll Service Provider, Canadian Payroll, Canadian Payroll Service, hire payroll service, Best Payroll Calculator, human resources, Employee Policies, Temporary Staff Agency, Temporary Workers, Time Theft, Human Resources Issues

5 Reasons Businesses Dread Processing Payroll

Posted by Stacey Duggan

|

Aug 27, 2013 10:00:00 AM

Reasons Businesses Dread Processing PayrollIt's no surprise that processing payroll is toward the bottom of the list of tasks that business owners like to do. In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that most business owners dread processing payroll. On the surface, processing payroll seems like a fairly simple and straightforward business responsibility, but anyone with payroll experience knows that there are reasons to dread it. Here are five.

1. Paperwork.

There might be a few people out there who enjoy paperwork, but if you feel that there are never enough hours in the day, paperwork can be a real thorn in your side. And with payroll processing, the paperwork is endless.

From the moment you hire an employee, you have to start keeping track of paperwork for that person. Not only do you have to stay on top of deductions, taxes, and contributions for each employee every pay period, but you also need to keep accurate enough records to complete end-of-year reports for the CRA. It takes an organized person with solid systems to keep all of this paperwork straight.

2. Deductions.

It's the employer's responsibility to deduct Employment Insurance premiums, Canada Pension Plan contributions, and income taxes from the employees' paycheques. Each of these deductions has its own formula and its own rules, and the employer is responsible for correctly figuring out each amount.

The CRA has an online calculator to help employers with these calculations, but pay close attention to the disclaimers: "You assume the risk associated with using this calculator," and "The reliability of the calculations produced depends on the accuracy of the information you provide." Therefore, you can't use the online calculator as an excuse if you end up with mistakes in your deductions.

3. Remitting.

Once you've finally figured out how much to deduct from each of your employees' paycheques, it's time to face the next dreaded task: remitting the deductions to the CRA. Monthly payroll deductions are due the 15th of each month, and your remittance needs to arrive on time. If it's just a day late, you'll face a fine, which we'll talk about next.

4. Fines.

If the CRA finds that your business is not properly remitting CPP contributions, EI premiums, and income tax, your business will be fined. If this happens more than once in a calendar year, the CRA will levy an additional fine. These fines can be a huge hit to your company's bottom line as well as to your morale as an employer.

5. Changing laws and regulations.

Many small business owners find that over time they can get the hang of payroll processing. It can become part of their daily, weekly, and monthly routines. But then, as new laws are passed, the rules change, and they find themselves back at square one. Laws related to payroll processing change frequently, and it can be quite difficult for harried business owners to keep on top of all the changes.

One solution to handling these dreaded payroll processing tasks is to turn your payroll tasks over to a third-party payroll service provider like The Payroll Edge. These services are experts in the details. They know the laws and rules, and they have systems in place to keep your business running smoothly.

7 Signs It's Time to Outsource Payroll

Topics: Payroll, Employee Payroll Deductions, hire payroll service, Payroll Calculator, CRA, Payroll Deductions, Great Payroll Service Provider, CPP, EI, Employee Payroll Tax, Small Business Payroll

What Makes a Great Payroll Service Provider

Posted by Ray Gonder

|

Jun 6, 2013 2:23:00 PM

what makes a great payroll service providerMany employers consider hiring a payroll service provider when they realize that their time and energy is better spent handling their areas of expertise. Small business owners wear many hats, but if you can delegate payroll to a service provider, you'll be able to focus on areas of your business where you can make a bigger difference.

When searching for a payroll service provider to take over these responsibilities, look for a provider that exhibits the following four characteristics.

1. Dependability.

The Payroll Edge is known for dependability. We process over 5,000 pay cheques every single week for Canadian firms. We've been doing this for over 25 years, so we know all about federal and provincial regulations and how to get your payroll done on time. In fact, we're so confident in our dependability that we guarantee that your payroll will be accurate and on time.

2. A Variety of Services.

Not only do we guarantee your payroll to be on time and accurate, but we also offer a slew of other services. We are more than just a payroll calculator. We know that different companies require different services, so we offer several different packages. If you're looking for more than the basics, try our Premium Human Resource Solutions package. This package takes care of workplace injury claims, Ministry of Labour claims, and consultations for employee review, conduct, termination, and lay off. If you want to pick and choose your services, you can develop your own payroll package from our a-la-carte services.

3. Easy-to-use Reports.

A great payroll service provider makes life easy for you. With The Payroll Edge, we send our clients a simple report outlining the exact pay and deductions for each person on your payroll. All you have to do is review and approve the report. If you find any details that need revisions, you let us know and then get back to work. We handle all the details, such as direct deposits, tax deductions, remittances, and pay stubs. All you have to do is approve one report and pay one invoice.

4. Expertise with Government Agencies.

Our years of experience have given us the ability to work with various government authorities. Many government officials view The Payroll Edge as a recognized authority from our past interactions with them. Therefore, we can handle any problems that arise quickly and smoothly. Our experience and knowledge of Canadian tax laws, combined with our relationships with others in the industry and in the government, are great assets to our clients. We take care of any inquiries or issues that arise, so you don't have to interface with the government agencies involved.

By selecting a dependable payroll service that offers a variety of services, you won't have to spend time and energy taking care of payroll yourself. A payroll service provider that generates easy-to-use reports and handles interaction with government agencies will make your life easier. To find out how The Payroll Edge can help your company, contact us to speak with a representative.

7 Signs It's Time to Outsource Payroll

Topics: Payroll Service Provider, Payroll Service, Payroll, hire payroll service, Best Payroll Calculator, Payroll Calculator, Payroll Deductions, Dependable Payroll Service, Great Payroll Service Provider, Payroll Expertise

Why Using a Payroll Service Provider Can Save You Time

Posted by Ray Gonder

|

Apr 18, 2013 9:26:00 AM

a payroll service provider can save you timeNeed more time? What business owner or office administrator doesn't? Outsourcing to a payroll service can not only buy yourself time, but it also ensures that your payroll will be done right, on time, and without any mistakes. Using a payroll service provider allows you to spend your time taking care of the many other aspects of your business that only you can handle.

Let's take a look at some of the many ways a payroll service provider can save you time.

Dealing with the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency)

By law, businesses in Canada are required to set up payroll accounts with the CRA, collect tax information from employees, file paperwork, make deductions from paycheques, remit deductions, and send out year-end forms to both employees and the CRA. Each of these tasks is time-consuming and requires strict attention to detail. Failure to comply with CRA guidelines can result in hefty fines, which hurts your bottom line and causes you to do even more time-consuming work.

Payroll service providers are well-trained in handling CRA paperwork. They know the ins and outs of payroll deductions, TD1 forms, and taxable benefits. They also have personal contacts at the CRA, making communication with them much easier than it would be for you.

Managing Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is a fantastic way for employees to get paid quicker and not have to deal with making an extra trip to the bank, but managing direct deposit does require some time and effort on the employers' part.

Let a payroll service provider take care of the details involved with employee direct deposit. Your payroll service can handle the paperwork and communicate with employees' banks if anything goes wrong.

Cutting and Distributing Paycheques

Don't spend time preparing one more batch of paycheques to take to the postal office. Cutting and distributing paycheques sounds like a quick and simple task, but it's one more thing for you to do when you still have all of your other work to manage.

A payroll service will handle the cutting and distribution of paycheques. You won't have to fill out the cheques and handle distribution; you can just focus on doing what you do best.

Handling Employee Payroll Inquiries

Inevitably, employees have questions about their paycheques from time to time. Often, these inquiries involve questions about withholding and employment taxes. Because a payroll service is well-versed in the details of CRA guidelines and current laws, it can readily answer such questions and put your employees' minds at rest.

When you try to handle these inquiries yourself, you often end up having to do research to find out which new law changed, affecting your employees' withholding. This research is time-consuming and tedious if you're not an expert in Canadian payroll accounting. And let's face it: you're a business leader because you're an expert in something else.

As you can see, using a payroll service provider can save you time in many ways. From dealing with the CRA and its ever-changing guidelines to cutting and distributing paycheques, using a payroll service will eliminate the time you spend doing paycheck-related paperwork.

That means more time for doing the things that will grow your business and help you to become an industry leader.

What Are You Leaving to Chance by Handling Payroll on Your Own

Topics: Payroll Service Provider, Payroll Service, Payroll, hire payroll service, payroll solution, payroll provider

What to Look For in a Payroll Service

Posted by Ray Gonder

|

Apr 5, 2013 3:09:00 PM

what to look for in a payroll serviceThe paperwork and legal hurdles involved in payroll management can quickly turn the dream of running a business into a nightmare. There are nearly 200 federal and provincial laws that directly impact payroll and HR administration. These laws are constantly changing and can be applied differently, depending on location and situation. Failure to abide by any of these regulations could subject a business and/or its owners to fines, imprisonment, and possibly the loss of their business. Trying to manage everything in-house can quickly consume too much time, and still doesn't guarantee that a critical detail won't be missed. Using a professional payroll service is a safer option, as long as the owners or HR managers know what to look for beforehand.

A-la-Carte vs. Cookie-Cutter Plans

Every business is different – even businesses that provide the same products and services. Each business is going to have its own specific needs, assets, and liabilities. A payroll service that only offers one-size-fits all packages won't be able to address the necessary particulars. They may provide their clients with generic legislative and policy updates, leaving their clients to sift through it all to uncover the details (if any) pertaining to them. If the client has questions, there may not be anyone knowledgeable enough to help them with their specific issues.

A-la-carte packages provide a customizable management solution. Clients can build a service package that is targeted to their specific issues. Whether it is workplace safety issues, legislative compliance, or onboarding assistance, they'll be able to get help that is specific to their industry and situation. Payroll services offering a-la-carte packages can provide assistance and advice that is tailored to the client's business, eliminating the trouble of sorting through generic updates and memos.

More than Just Payroll Services

Many payroll services do nothing more than just issue cheques. They take the data provided by the client, add up the totals, and mail out the paycheques. As any business owner knows, the data isn't always accurate. A small error in accounting can turn into a huge headache as employees are issued incorrect cheques, and the government receives incorrect remittances. 

A good provider includes error checking and quality assurance as part of every package. The data is checked for obvious errors, and all data is reconciled before cheques and remittances are sent. This helps the client avoid the expense and hassle of correcting paperwork that should have been fixed before it became a problem.

Reputation and Legislative Involvement

Like any business, the reputation of a payroll service is everything. Unlike many other businesses, these providers typically work closely with multiple government agencies. This makes it easier to evaluate their professional reputation. Government agencies like to work with providers that get the job done, and get it done correctly. It means less paperwork, and fewer headaches, for everyone involved. The most reputable providers are well known to these agencies, as they frequently contribute to legislative and policy discussions. Any legal or policy changes will directly impact their business, and any reputable payroll service provider will want to be involved in those changes.

Making Sure It's Done Right

Payroll management is a complex endeavour, fraught with legal pitfalls. From calculating CPP and employment insurance premiums, to determining which benefits count as income and which don't, there are thousands of ways to make mistakes. Any one of these mistakes can lead to trouble with the CRA, causing business owners unnecessary hassles and legal troubles. With a reputable provider like The Payroll Edge, business owners get fully customized services that ensure compliance, and protect the business from liability.

What Are You Leaving to Chance by Handling Payroll on Your Own

Topics: Payroll Service Provider, Payroll Service, Payroll, hire payroll service, payroll solution, payroll provider

Top 5 Things to Look For When Choosing a Payroll Service

Posted by Ray Gonder

|

Mar 22, 2013 8:30:00 AM

choosing a payroll serviceOne of the most important responsibilities of any company is to properly pay its employees. While this may sound like a basic concept, ever-changing government regulations make this a very specialized and somewhat difficult task often best left to a professional payroll service. Choosing a provider that is right for you and meets the needs of your business is vital. There are many options in the marketplace, but not all of them provide the best level of service and expertise. If you are looking for a partner to help your business navigate the world of payroll, here are some of the most important things to take into consideration.

1. Quality Control

Payroll processors typically accept the data provided to them by their clients and simply route it into their software to produce cheques. However, choosing a provider that takes the time to carefully review all payroll data for errors prior to processing can save everyone involved a lot of headaches. When shopping for a provider, ask what types of quality control processes they have in place to avoid sending through payment for errors like an 80-hour work week.

2. Fee Structure

While it's natural to shop around for the best, i.e.; lowest, price, beware of hidden costs. In order to gain more business, payroll services may offer an attractive "base" price, but when you add in all the additional fees for routine services your company will need to use, you could be looking at a hefty price tag. Ask potential providers for their total fee, which would include everything you would need from beginning to end. It may make more sense, and be less expensive, to go with a payroll service that states its complete fee upfront.

3. Compliance Expertise

At last count, nearly 200 unique regulatory legislative requirements were in force that impact small-to-midsize business payroll and HR administration. This is a huge undertaking for any payroll department, even for a large well-established organization. Especially when the penalties are real and big, it's crucial that your business is up-to-date and compliant with all regulations. Payroll service providers need to be experts about these regulations and have specialized knowledge to navigate all requirements. Make sure the providers you speak with have firm processes in place to collect and stay current with all regulations so your company's payroll is always 100% complete, compliant, and accurate.

4. Audit Support

No one looks forward to being subject of a government audit, especially when there are more payroll regulations than most people can keep track of. By ensuring your payroll partner is seasoned in the area of audit support, you can avoid potentially expensive and painful headaches.

5. Above and Beyond Services Provided

While many payroll providers offer the same types of services, you may want to use this opportunity to ask what additional services they make available to their clients. Some of the best providers will also be able to help your business with things like employee contract management and workplace standards counseling.

In terms of business relationships, none will be quite as important as the one you share with your payroll service. By taking into account some of the above issues, you will be sure you're finding a partner that will take the burden of payroll off your company's shoulders to leave you with peace of mind.

What Are You Leaving to Chance by Handling Payroll on Your Own

Topics: Payroll Service Provider, Payroll Service, Payroll, hire payroll service, payroll solution, payroll provider

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