Payroll plays a huge part in the operations of any business. We wanted to look at how it impacts human resources and the employee experience, so we sat down with Brandon Brown to discuss payroll, and the process of optimizing technology in Payroll.
What is the role of Payroll within an organization?
A casual observer might think Payroll is making sure cheques go out every payment period, but in truth it involves much more than that. From the moment you onboard a new employee, Payroll becomes an important function of both your Bookkeeping and HR practices. Employment agreements, benefit enrollment, provincial and federal tax forms, and direct deposit information are just some of the many documents placed in front of new hires, all containing information that HR and Payroll must be confident coordinate on for accuracy and compliance.
Within the organization, the role of Payroll continues, through time tracking, vacation policies and personal leave. Seamless communication between Payroll, Human Resources, and the employee is important to ensure no financial documents are misplaced, expectations are clear, and to ensure the employee can access their benefits when they need them, sometimes at a moment’s notice.
What are business owner’s biggest issues with Payroll and how it operates?
Considering the scale of a Payroll department, having a well-operated system is a huge asset to businesses. Managers will often voice similar concerns regarding their Payroll when working with us, about the time commitment several processes require, and about the complexity for all parties involved. Some of the issues we’ve come across are:
- Benefits are unclear to employees, who avoid accessing them because of the complicated processes
- Miscommunications between Payroll, HR, and staff can lead to legal issues between staff and managers
- Volume of functions under Payroll are extremely time consuming for those in charge of processes, a simple transposition error can take days to find and correct
- Complex processes can lead to animosity between departments and delay an employee’s ability to start work.
How can cloud-based systems address common inefficiencies in workflows to help reduce time spent working on Payroll processes?
Before you begin to assess and adopt technologies for these processes, it is important to include your Human Resources team in the process. They’re often in contact with Payroll with issues regarding employees and finance, thus seamless communication is paramount.
Let’s look at onboarding a new employee again. Using technology to centralize all employee forms and benefit enrollments can reduce the time it takes to onboard a new employee, as well as making the experience easier for them. With more employees working remotely, having all forms provided in an electronic format can make onboarding easier for both parties. Additionally, these software’s can store most files permanently, so now your new employee knows where they can review any important documents.
When it comes to employee benefits, technology can help employees instantly sign up for their benefits plan and can locate select benefits easier than they would be able to having to flip through booklets of information. More importantly, accessing benefits becomes easier when staff can get make claims directly to providers, rather than going through Payroll.
Spotting Inefficiencies on Your Own
With all the moving parts in Payroll, having technology and experts to manage it effectively can bring peace of mind to your Bookkeeping or Human Resources team. Want to find more inefficiencies? Here’s a few questions to ask:
Are your staff members in constant contact with bookkeeping?
Everyone likes to go on vacation or have easy access to their benefits. If your staff are asking bookkeeping for this information often, its likely a process that can be digitized in a way that they can access it on their own.
Is your Payroll integrated with time tracking?
When Payroll technology is paired with a workforce management software, logging hours and paying employees is automated, no more human error or time spent organizing.
Are there tasks being done manually?
Manual tasks, like recording benefit deductions, take up time, and increase the odds of human error. There are many software’s available that can do deductions, and most accounting entries, for you.
How long does onboarding take?
With lots of information and documents changing hands, onboarding can be a time-consuming process. If you’re still using paper, there are tools available to digitize the entire process, making it easier for all parties involved.
There is significant potential for technology in Payroll. No matter what process, there is likely a tool for it. Finding the right combination of software’s can be a process of trial and error, but the payoff is worth the investment. If you want help finding the right path for your business, we’re happy to help.