Overhaul Your Payroll Processes
Human resources is one of the most critical yet overlooked departments in many companies. While it is tasked with many important projects related to hiring, reviews and even termination, it also has the ongoing responsibility of processing payroll. This includes making payments to employees in a timely, regular manner as well as processing benefits, taxes and more. Your human resources department may be spinning its wheels unnecessarily hard to complete its various tasks, and overhauling your payroll process may eliminate redundancy, improve accuracy, reduce headaches and save your company money in various ways. You can begin the overhauling process by focusing your attention on these points.
Complete a Thorough Audit of the HR Department
Some payroll processes are unfortunately hindered by slow work processes and various inefficiencies. These can make the payroll process much more time-consuming than it needs to be. In some cases, it may lead to the opportunity for an employee to take advantage of oversight by funneling money away. In other cases, it may lead to errors that can result in a liability issue for the company. Speak with each member of your HR team about the payroll process. Ask for their feedback about bottlenecks in the process and issues they would like to resolve. You can also inquire about specific suggestions they have for improving the process. In many cases, those who are most impacted by changes to the process often have already thought about beneficial improvements.
Hire the Right HR Team
Attention to detail and apt math skills are critical for processing payroll. This includes even when the process is mostly or entirely automated. It is important to assess the individuals who are currently working on payroll in your department to determine if they have the right skill set. If not, there is a good chance that the payroll process is taking much longer to complete each pay period than it needs to. In addition, errors in payroll processing can cost your company money and may open the door for liability risks. It is inherent that you have the right team working in your HR department, so complete a thorough review of your HR staff today as a first step in overhauling the payroll process.
Streamline Data Entry and Management Processes
After you have ensured that you have the right team working on your payroll processing tasks, you can then turn your attention to the actual work processes related to payroll processing. In many organizations, employees must turn in their time sheets, and these must be manually processed. In addition, paid time off and sick time must also be manually tracked. You can dramatically streamline this process by allowing employees and managers to input their information directly into the company’s records. While the records may need to be verified for accuracy, the elimination of the data entry process saves time and effort. It also minimizes the risk associated with transcription errors by your HR team. Furthermore, the best system may also keep ongoing records that the HR team can refer to as needed and that require minimal maintenance on their part.
Automate the Payroll Process
In addition to streamlining the data entry and management processes, you can also completely automate the payroll process. You can implement the use of a payroll processing program that allows your team to draw from the data entered by staff and managers and that automatically creates paychecks. The need for your team to physically input each employee’s hours for the week as well as paycheck adjustments is eliminated because the entire process flows in a synchronized manner. Some programs will even allow you to fully automate this process so that all data that is inputted by a certain time and date is used to automatically generate payroll. This means that your staff may not have to physically sit down to process payroll on their own.
Use Direct Deposit
To further alleviate the time and effort required to process payroll, your team can look into the possibility of using direct deposit. Direct deposit eliminates the need for checks to be handwritten or for checks to be printed out individually. Both can take a considerable amount of time and effort, and they also require additional supplies that add to your overhead expense. As a side note, many employees prefer that their paychecks are directly deposited into their bank account, and you can increase employee job satisfaction by adding this feature to your payroll process. Your bank can assist you with setting up a direct deposit function in your organization.
Update Your Work Schedule
As a final step, it is important to fully update your work schedule. It should reflect all important tax dates, such as when to make quarterly IRS filings. It should also reflect important payroll processing dates, retirement account processing dates, health insurance dates and more. Many aspects of payroll processing and related activities are time-sensitive, and it can be stressful trying to remember all of the important dates on your own. By updating your work schedule now with all important dates for the next few months, you can eliminate the possibility of being caught by surprise by an overlooked deadline.
The payroll process is one of the most burdensome tasks that HR departments are faced with, and it often impacts other areas of HR efforts. This includes tax reporting, benefits and more. By improving payroll processing, you may indirectly improve other processes as well. Many companies benefit significantly by investing in the right payroll software program, and you can begin exploring the options today. While this is one option available, other companies will decide to outsource their payroll processing tasks to a third party so that HR staff can focus their attention on other tasks.