Payroll can be a daunting and tiring task for even the most seasoned payroll professionals. Dealing with endless payroll data while ensure its accuracy and timely disbursement to employees, it is no wonder that some find it a stressful monthly affair.
Payroll stress should be minimised where possible. After all, the side effects of stress can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health.
Here are some tips in which one can reduce stress during the dreaded payroll period.
Find a payroll specialist. Given that payroll is a complex affair that involves massive amount of employees’ salary information and calculation, it might take some time for someone who is new to learn the ropes. Instead of spending unnecessary amount of time trying to figure out the processes and getting payroll calculations correct, payroll outsourcing can help to reduce time wastage and minimise errors. Concurrently, a payroll expert is likely to be aware of the ongoing changes in legislations and deadlines, ensuring that payroll calculations are kept up-to-date with any changes.
Proper payroll documentation
Payroll involves a mountain of paperwork. It is best to stay on top of everything from the start rather than scrambling to gather the necessary paperwork during payroll period or year-end tax filing. Start off by ensuring that employees have completed proper paperwork when they begin employment. Once the necessary documents are collected from employees, ensure that employee and tax forms are properly filed so as to ensure quick retrieval of data when necessary. It is also imperative to retain employees’ records and payroll documents for audit purposes. Based on the Ministry of Manpower’s requirements, all employers must maintain detailed employment records of employees covered by the Employment Act. For existing employees, organisations must retain their latest two years’ record while for ex-employees, organisations will need to retain their last two years’ records, to be kept for a year after the employee leaves employment.
Keep a calendar of important dates
If this means circling several dates in your calendar in red, so be it. Alternatively, setting alerts in the payroll software is one great way to keep track of all the important dates such as salary disbursement date or tax filing date. Payroll deadlines must be strictly adhered too – after all, no employee wants to receive their wages late. Late disbursement of wages can affect employees’ morale and productivity levels. Concurrently, late tax filing can result in hefty fines imposed on the organisation. Being aware of important dates such as pay day or tax filing deadlines can help to ensure that sufficient time is set aside to prepare for the busy payroll period or to gather the necessary documents and forms required for tax filing.
Automating certain HR processes can help to speed up the payroll process, eliminating some of the stress associated with payroll calculations. For instance, having an integrated payroll system which allows employees or new hires to update their personal particulars which is automatically adjusted within the payroll system can help to reduce manual data entry errors and time. Similarly, switching from cash or cheque salary disbursement to direct bank deposit of salaries can help to free up some time for other payroll matters.
Invest in employee training
Employee turnover and unproductive employees can eat into valuable time and affect payroll processes. A LinkedIn pulse survey found that the true cost of replacing an employee can be twice their base salaries depending on their wage, role and experience. Regardless of how experienced a new employee may be, they still need time to understand the organisation’s payroll processes. Instead of simply replacing employees, invest in existing staff’s strengths and capabilities by ensuring that payroll staff receive adequate training in order for them to excel in their roles. It can be as simple as sending them to seminars to understand the ongoing changes in legislations or providing them with the option to sign up for e-learning courses to boost their knowledge in payroll. Either way, investing in employees’ training can allow them to further develop and pick up new skills, increasing productivity levels and employee morale as the same time. After all, an engaged team translates to a highly productive team.