Payroll efficiency is one of the most important things a company can focus on, but naturally, it can often be forgotten about in the wake of more core activities. We forget that despite payroll's designation as a relatively peripheral function, it makes an incredible impact on our day-to-day business, our budget, and the morale and well being of our employees. That's why, when looking for ways to improve payroll, many companies find themselves at a loss.
Sometimes it's not as simple as trying to cut down time spent, or shave budgets. For smaller businesses, the budget they have can often be precious and cutting it can only do more harm than good—that's why a solid strategy is needed to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Luckily, we've collected some brilliant ways to improve payroll efficiency and most of them only require a change in perspective.
1. Go Digital
There's no doubt about it—we live in the digital age. While many companies are already ahead on this one, there are still thousands of businesses who haven't yet migrated to digital services. This might mean they're still writing paper cheques, or digging out old receipts locked away in boxes in a storeroom somewhere. While traditionally this might have worked for many, nowadays it only slows down the process and creates a lot of unneeded difficulty.
When you digitize these processes (things like payroll and human resources), cross-referencing becomes a breeze. You can pull up old referential pay stubs, historical expense reports, and employee files without any trouble at all. Consider offering direct deposit if you don't already—it not only improves accuracy and saves paper, but many employees find it more comforting since they no longer have to worry about not being able to pick up their cheques on time (or, worst case, physical loss of the cheque). If you or your employees prefer traditional paper cheques, consider offering digital checks. Manually writing dozens of cheques is not only time consuming, but more prone to error.
2. Focus on Communication
Digitizing is one of the best ways to improve payroll, and it also leads to our next point—communication and transparency. Now, more than ever, people expect transparency in their workplace, in their home life, from their politicians—everywhere. This creates a better peace of mind, fosters trust and respect and can actually help payroll efficiency as well. By maintaining and sharing a clear pay schedule that can be easily accessed by employees, you can help make sure all expenses, invoices, and receipts are submitted on time. Allowing your employees access to the calendar so they can tell you when they need to book off time makes things dramatically easier to manage from the HR perspective as well. Consider how much time is taken up by minor requests, clarifications, and questions with easy answers. Now think of how much of that could be saved with simple communication.
3. Access a Payroll Service Provider
Some companies, especially smaller ones, are always looking for ways to improve payroll but simply don't have the time. There's always new technology, innovations around every turn and it can be difficult to keep up. That's why so many have made a more drastic change—partnering with a payroll service provider. In effect, outsourcing your payroll and HR can dramatically improve every aspect—risk minimization, legal compliance, the best software, and consistently up-to-date specialists all in one. By outsourcing your non-core operations, you can focus on the things that matter most and know that everything's being taken care of.