Payroll is necessary to run a business to ensure your employees get paid accurately and on time. Unfortunately, payroll can be confusing, especially for small business owners who don’t have a dedicated department to handle these responsibilities. Payroll is then left entirely on the business owner’s shoulders, which can be daunting and overwhelming.
When it comes to running a business, there are a lot of moving parts. And one of the most important – and often overlooked – pieces is payroll. Just think about the different elements that go into processing payroll: employee hours, wage rates, tax withholdings, benefit deductions…the list goes on—cue an automated payroll system.
It’s no wonder that so many businesses choose to automate their payroll process. Payroll automation can save companies time and money – not to mention headaches.
But what exactly is payroll automation? And how can businesses make sure they’re doing it effectively? Here’s a quick rundown:
What is payroll automation?
Payroll automation is the use of technology to streamline calculating and paying employee wages. This can include using software to track employee hours, calculate taxes and deductions, and generate paychecks or direct deposit payments.
What functions can be performed by an automated payroll system?
An automated payroll system can perform various business functions. The goal of payroll automation is to streamline the responsibilities that the in-house payroll manager usually handles.
These are just some of the functions that an automated payroll system can perform:
- Track and update payroll data
- Run payroll
- Time tracking
- File taxes
- Calculate overtime, double-time, bonuses, raises, etc.
- Tax reduction calculation
- Improved recordkeeping
- Financial planning for both the employer and employee
- Make changes to important documents
Automated payroll software can do this for you in just a few minutes. As you can imagine, this can save you significant time during the month.
Why automate payroll?
There are a few key reasons why businesses choose to automate their payroll:
To save time: Automating payroll can save businesses a lot of time. No more manually calculating hours worked or figuring out tax withholdings – the software can do all of that for you.
To reduce errors: When done manually, payroll calculation and payment are susceptible to human error. But when you automate, you can ensure that the math is being done correctly and that employees are being paid the right amount (on time). This can help to avoid costly mistakes – like overpaying or underpaying employees.
To improve efficiency: Automating payroll can help make the entire process more efficient. For example, if you use software to track employee hours, that information can be automatically sent to payroll when it’s time to run calculations. This can help eliminate the need for manual data entry, saving a lot of time.
How to automate payroll effectively
If you’re thinking about automating your payroll process, there are a few things you’ll need to do to make sure it’s done effectively:
Choose the right software: Not all payroll software is created equal. When choosing a software solution for your business, be sure to consider your specific needs. There are various features and adoptions available, so you’ll want to make sure you select a solution that’s right for you.
Get employee buy-in: Automating payroll will likely require some changes for your employees. For example, they may need to clock in and out using new software or submit their hours worked in a different format. Be sure to get employee buy-in before making any changes.
This will help ensure a smooth transition and minimise disruptions to your business.
Train your team: Once you’ve selected a software solution and gotten employee buy-in, training your team on how to use it is essential. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows how to use the system properly.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your payroll automation process is done effectively.
When is the right time to switch over to automated payroll?
Automated payroll is beneficial for businesses of all different sizes. Regardless of your number of employees, managing payroll is time-consuming if you don’t have the right tools on your side. But switching over to automated payroll can ease the burden and free up resources for your business.
You might be holding off due to budgetary concerns; after all, many small businesses find themselves strained in the first few years. However, while manual payroll may work if you have a few employees, keeping up with it will become increasingly difficult as your business grows. That’s why it’s beneficial to set up automated payroll before you get to a point where you’re overwhelmed, and things start slipping through the cracks.
The Bottom Line
Automating the payroll process can go a long way in helping you streamline workflows, ensure all procedures are consistent and reduce errors.
But even the most sophisticated systems require human intervention at various levels. So, prepare your employees for the move to automation and keep abreast of the changing rules and regulations to ensure compliance with your country’s payroll laws.
The sooner you switch, the sooner you can take advantage of freed-up time and resources. Doing so will help ensure a smooth transition and minimise disruptions to your business.