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5 practical payroll hacks for small business owners

3 Mins read
payroll hacks

Payroll is an essential function of any business. A well-functioning payroll system can help you manage your human resources, minimize errors, and protect yourself against legal risks. However, many small business owners struggle with creating a system that is both practical and easy to maintain.

If you’re considering switching to a new payroll provider or taking on some of the responsibilities of payroll management yourself, there are some things you should know about how to make it work for you.

Here are some tips for running an efficient payroll process without all the stress!

Get rid of paperwork and errors with your payroll system

The first thing you need to get out of the way is getting rid of paper and errors. If you have manual payroll paperwork and not a company-supplied, cloud-based payroll system, then you need to dump it and migrate your payroll data to a more advanced system.

How much time is spent on calculating overtime pay and tax withholdings for your employees, when that could be done automatically with the right tools? You’ll significantly reduce errors, which is definitely beneficial – nobody wants to chance the possibility of a payroll audit.

Even if you aren’t ready for an entire payroll SaaS, you can still accomplish a lot with individual tools, such as templates and automatic checkstub maker. These tools will make managing your payroll significantly easier for you.

Create a clear system for the entire team

Your payroll will usually be done by one person or a few people. However, that doesn’t mean that you should make that person the only one who can interact with your payroll system. You need to create a system that allows the entire team to easily view information about their paychecks and payroll status.

To be successful, your payroll system must be easy to access for any staff member who might need to make any adjustments. You should also allow access for other team members who are likely to make a payroll change request.

Providing an easy-to-use, automated tool will allow your entire staff to access the correct information at any time. As mentioned, each member of your team may have different needs and use the system in different ways.

Setting up a web portal for your employees is a good start, and you can also implement a mobile app that will let your employees access the payroll and allow them to update their information through their phones.

Make sure you have an emergency plan

An effective, automated payroll system will be crucial in case of any unforeseen emergencies. Let’s say, for example, that you have a dedicated payroll manager on staff who has been diagnosed with a health condition or has a family emergency, and they’ll be unable to come in for work.

If this is a possibility, you want to have back-up plans to ensure that the HR team can continue to receive and process payroll. Make sure your business has contingency plans for these sorts of emergency situations, and that payroll processing does not get delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Automating your payroll helps to ensure that your company is ready for any unplanned situations, whether they are catastrophic or not. You can put your backup plan in place and roll it out to the entire team if need be.

Set up a routine to check for errors

Checking your payroll for errors is something that you should be doing every month, and it should be treated as a routine. Most payroll software offers you a payroll schedule option that will let you see exactly how many employees you have, and how many hours they are paid each week.

You should also be keeping tabs on any changes in payroll – so if someone has left the company, or if someone makes a very significant salary increase, you want to see the exact amount being paid in and the payroll schedule that they’re working on.

You can set up alerts in your payroll software to ensure that this information is received and that any changes are processed as soon as possible.

Take care of the finances on time

On-time payments are an essential part of every business, and it’s one of the most important aspects of maintaining a good reputation. By taking care of the accounting aspect of your payroll, you’re making sure that your staff doesn’t end up waiting too long to see their paychecks.

There are many tools you can use to help you to streamline and simplify the accounting processes in your business, and once you have a good accounting system in place, it becomes that much easier to stay on top of your payroll.

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