Payroll automation is one of those things that, once fully implemented, makes both your life and the lives of your employees substantially less complicated; however, making the transition from traditional payroll to an automated system is anything but simple, and even largely automated businesses could stand to make a few adjustments.
Whether you’ve fully switched over to electronic payroll or you’re in the process of doing so, here are five ways you can improve your business’ payroll automation.
1. Remove Paper (Completely)
Switching over to an entirely digital system is a messy initial step, so it’s no surprise that some businesses elect to merge their existing paper documents and processes with a digital interface. Not only is this a recipe for cluttered desks, it also means you’re not getting your money’s worth vis-à-vis your automated payroll system. The first few weeks of switching over to an automated system may be painful, but going entirely paperless is worth it once you make the leap.
Clutter and inefficiency aren’t the only things that going paperless eliminates. If you fully commit to your automated payroll system, you’ll also be able to avoid the following:
- Security flaws
- Missing information
- Productivity loss
This will prevent anything from frustrating disorganization to full-blown audit trouble, so it’s in your best interests to keep your records off of your desk and in your computer.
2. Use Electronic Records for Employees
There’s no doubt that using electronic methods to process things like hiring paperwork, your employees’ financial information, and so on is a much more secure solution than using paper, but it’s also significantly easier for you to keep and maintain those employee records if they’re all in the system. Most payroll automation services will even allow employees to update their own files as needed, thus relieving you of the burden of re-entering information for every tax season.
In particular, ensuring that your employees’ tax documents are consistently up-to-date is much easier when using an automated payroll system. Allowing employees to change their addresses, filing status, and more with a few clicks means that both you and your employees have less work on your plates.
3. Make Employee Access Easy
Employee access is incredibly important, and nothing is more infuriating than having to dig through a mountain of files just to find one piece of information for an inquisitive worker. Most payroll services have an employee portal for employees to view the following:
- Filing status
- Tax documents
- Pay stubs
- Time off (e.g., sick leave, vacation, etc.)
This is usually something employees can do from home as well, and remote access to these records is a luxury come tax season.
4. Switch Early in the Year
Most employers make the bulk of the year’s changes to their payroll systems early in the year (e.g., in January). While you’re at it, why not switch any outstanding documents and information over to an automated payroll system and get the work out of the way as soon as possible? It’s likely that any partner companies or employees will be in the process of updating their information at this time as well, making the beginning of the year the obvious choice for productivity.
There is one significant downside to moving everything over at the beginning of the year: If you’re going from full paper to automation, your first or second choice for payroll services may get tied up with other commitments. This shouldn’t be enough to dissuade you from switching, but make sure to have a few different solutions in mind.
5. Commit to Automation
If you want your payroll automation to go smoothly, buy-in from both you and your employees is the bottom line. Allowing or encouraging anything other than automated payroll is counterproductive and will ultimately serve only to over-encumber you and your staff; however, establishing guidelines requiring employees and management to stick to digital record-keeping will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Encouraging your employees to use any available automated payroll benefits will help incentivize them to move away from more traditional, paper-based backgrounds, but you may need to post signs or walk-through documents around the communal areas to help make your transition stick.
Transitioning to a new system is stressful for everyone involved, and applying the rigors of a new payroll service will more than double that stress for you. For more information about how you can improve—or get started on—your payroll automation, call Abacus Payroll at (856) 667-6225 today!