Payroll management is often one the most dreaded task for any HR employee. It is a time-consuming, complex, and monotonous task. Most HR professionals agree that payroll management is an essential business function and hence, they turn to technology to ease this important workflow.
A proper payroll management system is key to ensure that employees get paid accurately and on time. It also helps the HR team to avoid potential legal and internal issues that may snowball to major problems in the future.
Here are some of the common pain points that organisations may face and how to effectively tackle these payroll-related issues.
I have to run payroll for multiple business units across several countries
Large corporations have the luxury to outsource payroll to payroll experts that specialize in managing payroll for multiple business units in each location. On the other hand, SMEs and smaller businesses do not have the budget to accommodate such specialists on their team. Most of them end up performing their payroll tasks in-house and manually.
This can be extremely overwhelming and taxing if the business can only afford to hire a small team of payroll specialists.
Apart from having to ensure compliance with the respective countries’ labour laws, multiple local payroll management is not sustainable and scalable. It simply adds complexity to the business’ payroll management system, creating multiple processes within each country that may not be aligned regionally. Concurrently, it is difficult to integrate new business applications into the software. Having multiple payroll management system also incurs more cost to the business as each payroll management system is regarded as a standalone software.
Centralizing payroll for multiple business units or locations to a central payroll solutions provider can help to streamline payroll management. Not only does this help to reduce payroll software costs, a centralized payroll management system allows one to easily access and run payroll for multiple business units seamlessly, eliminating the need to hire a payroll specialist per location.
My payroll data is outdated and all over the place
Preparing for payroll processing will definitely be a dreadful monthly affair if the payroll data is fragmented, incomplete or worse, outdated. Not only does this increases the risk of incorrect salary calculations, it increases the time spend on running payroll, leaving less time to focus on other strategic HR initiatives.
Avoid running into inaccurate salary disbursements by ensuring that payroll records are stored on a centralized payroll platform. At the same time, it would be good to ensure that the payroll management software is linked to any other related salary items such as employees’ claims, allowances, or overtime hours. This helps to facilitate accurate calculation of employees’ wages, while ensuring that key salary items are not missed out when processing payroll.
It would also be a good idea to ensure that employees provide up-to-date details and complete records when they are onboarded into the organisation. Remind employees to notify HR immediately should there be any changes in their personal details, be it bank account number, marital status or even address. Updated employee records goes beyond merely ensuring accurate salary disbursement – it can help to minimize employer-employee disputes and save time while performing administrative duties.
There is a business emergency and I cannot access my payroll records remotely
Lack of a payroll contingency plan can result in payroll staff scrambling to meet payroll obligations in times of crises. Besides having a robust payroll contingency plan in place, businesses also need to ensure that they have the necessary technology to support their contingency plan.
One good example would be the recent COVID-19 pandemic, whereby businesses were forced to work remotely and avoid public contact as much as possible. Work still needs to be done and employees need to be paid. In such situations, the lack of a payroll contingency plan may mean inability to access payroll records remotely or delayed salary disbursements to employees. This may then add on to the growing anxiety of employees, affecting company morale.
Having a payroll contingency plan in place ensures that payroll processing can continue to function despite unforeseen emergencies. At the same time, ensure that payroll records are regularly backed up to avoid payroll data loss during a crisis.
One suggestion is to ensure that payroll records are backed up on a cloud-based software. This allows for remote access and the ability to store large payroll data as well.
There is no denying that payroll processing can be a mundane monthly affair. Take the bore out of payroll processing by ensuring updated and accurate payroll and employee records, while streamlining payroll processing to a centralized payroll management software. Not only does this help to avoid costly payroll mistakes, it makes payroll processing more efficient, freeing up time to focus on other HR matters.