The Case for Paperless Payroll
In an age where nearly everything has an online alternative, paper paychecks are still a common aspect of most workplaces. Naturally, it can be difficult to phase out a system that works well for you in favor of an unfamiliar one.
If you’re on the fence about implementing a paperless payroll system in your business, consider these benefits of ditching your paper checks and W-2s in favor of online ones.
Paperless Payroll: What is it?
Paperless payroll entails two main aspects: direct deposit and tax filing. While both these aspects will make your and your employees’ lives easier in the long run, you’re more likely to benefit from the payroll processing side of things while your employees enjoy the perks of direct deposit.
Even though it sounds like an easy pitch, implementing a paperless payroll policy can be tricky, especially if your employee base contains a majority of older workers—if this is the case, your employees likely won’t care to risk breaking tradition in favor of convenience (indeed, “convenience” and “tradition” may be synonymous to them). Similarly, you’ll have to pitch a total system makeover to both the company’s owner and the employees themselves, meaning you’ll have some compromising to do.
The easiest way to make sure you meet everyone’s individual needs is to retain the option for paper checks while switching over to an all-online tax filing system. This will save you loads of time and the accompanying headache come tax season while ensuring your employees can receive their money and view their stubs all without having to leave their homes if they choose.
It’s prudent to note that your state’s legislature may prevent you from requiring your employees to accept a paperless solution, in which case you would need to provide paper forms to anyone requesting them as a matter of law rather than policy. This is something you’ll need to check on before proceeding.
Going Paperless: The Employer Side
Paperless payroll carries a significant number of benefits for you and your company. Arguably the most important benefit is the financial one. Companies that go paperless save money on printing costs, check processing fees, and the staggeringly high cost of replacing lost or misplaced checks. If your employees’ money is never on a physical piece of paper, it’s hard to lose.
Paperless payroll will also save you an equally precious commodity: time. Another huge plus of using paperless payroll is that your selected service will process and retain all data involved, meaning you won’t have to spend countless hours going through heaps of employee earnings and benefits plans. Instead, your payroll service will cross-reference its collected data with existing employee records and fill in the appropriate tax forms, allowing you to review them from any location.
Finally, a paperless payroll system will cut out the middleman (e.g., transportation) in many circumstances, thereby furthering your savings. This will free up a large portion of your budget for things like better employee accommodations, which may help seal the deal with some of your more reluctant employees.
Speaking of your employees…
Going Paperless: The Employee Side
The employee side of the paperless argument is more singular than the employer’s in that its value lies predominately in convenience. However, many employees won’t feel like they have much incentive to choose a paperless check if their record-keeping depends on printed stubs. This is the biggest reason that employers should give their employees a paper check or stub choice when establishing a paperless payroll system.
When it comes to electronic payments, however, employees do have a lot to look forward to. Some of the biggest perks of paperless checks and paystubs include the following:
- Convenience – Your employees won’t need to pick up a physical check, take it to a bank, and deposit it.
- Decreased risk – There’s significantly less potential for lost or stolen checks if your employees’ money simply appears in their accounts on pay day.
- Online record-keeping – Rather than needing to keep their own records, employees will be able to view their payment history with a few clicks.
If you’re trying to instate a paperless policy, be sure to emphasize the above benefits of direct deposit and online pay stubs. While some of your older employees may not want to change their ways, you’ll probably pique the interest of the millennials in your workplace.
The Environmental Aspect
The benefits of using a paperless payroll system aren’t all financial, of course. Businesses that go paperless tend to reduce their respective paper consumption—and therefore, their carbon footprints—by a notable degree. This is both something that may appeal to your employees’ personal interests and something that will serve to increase positive public perception of your company.
Even if environmentalism isn’t your thing, your business will reap a couple of benefits from declaring a paperless environment:
- You can say that your business is “eco-friendly”
- You and your employees can claim to be a part of a “green initiative”
While subtle, these aspects of going paperless certainly won’t hurt your company or its public image, regardless of the nature of your dealings.
Abacus Payroll cares about ensuring the easiest possible payroll solution for both you and your employees. For more information on how your company can go paperless, call (856) 667-6225 today!