As far back as biblical times, it was proposed that “the worker deserves his wages” (Timothy 5:18). By the 14th century, Chaucer immortalized this notion through the term we still use today – “the labourer is worthy of his hire”. And for every labourer in the workforce today, there is a need for a fast and efficient payroll process that makes sure he or she is paid on time.
The way payroll is managed frequently depends on the development stage of the business. Payroll for a start-up, for example, is often manual, with payroll software not considered until the number of employees grows.
But whatever the size of the company, there are certain core principles that can be applied to help you streamline how you manage your payroll, minimising the use of valuable management time and maximising employee satisfaction.
In many companies, the payroll process consists of varying pay schedules. The management may be paid monthly, while the rest of staff are paid hourly or weekly. This can often lead to errors, with payroll staff having to handle multiple schedules – and possibly even different schedules for different departments with different pay rates.
If this is the case in your business, make sure you opt for payroll software that has the capacity to handle it – regardless of how many schedules there may be.
When you have a small business, a manual payroll system with a daily paper trail may seem more favorable. However, it is quite tedious – and quite error-prone. Hard records are difficult to manage, not to mention costly and time-consuming. Even if you are a small business or a start-up, there are a number of affordable payroll software options available. Payroll software allows you to easily keep track of data.
It also secures this sensitive private data, and allows you to manage who has access to it. And don’t forget that research indicates a majority of employees are in favour of receiving their payroll information electronically, so it’s very much a Win-Win situation. The electronic route also allows you to email documents such as payslips or p60s – and even import or upload to ROS.
Payroll management is not a static profession. It must constantly evolve to meet the changing needs of Revenue, the organization itself, and dynamic new technology coming on the market. Because of this, you need to keep the payroll professionals in your company fully up-to-speed. Plan for their training and development sessions, and introduce them regularly to new tools and services available. And to cover holidays or unforeseen illness, make sure that you train back-up as well.
Employees can often become confused about how the payroll system works. Many of their complaints can be resolved by making them more aware of the process. They should have a good understanding of what is written in their contracts, and you should also be clear and transparent about what payments are made from their salaries. An effective payroll process can up employee satisfaction levels, reducing costly staff churn.
Payroll for small business can be a bit overwhelming at times. There can often be a significant lack of resources during the developmental stage of a company, and any capital knocking round is often used for growing the business.
To manage the company’s time and money more effectively, a small business should consider outsourcing the function to a third-party company, drawing on the services of established professionals in payroll management.
Keeping up with changing tax regulations and other governmental legislation is a must for all businesses. If you fail to comply or meet the deadlines set by Revenue, you may be the cause of an unwanted and undue financial burden. An effective payroll system will help you to stay updated on changing payroll regulations.
Before choosing your payroll software solution, you should consult with the people who will actually be using the software on a regular basis. This can be done after preliminary research has been conducted and a shortlist of potential solutions has been compiled.
Don’t just buy a payroll software solution for today – make sure that it has the capacity to meet your growing needs in the future. For example, there may be a need in the future to link your payroll system to a time and attendance system. Or perhaps to integrate things like pension schemes or other deductions. Also consider whether your software can handle issues like holidays, bonus payments, special weekend rates etc.