Payroll, like the proverbial show, must go on. Payroll deadlines must be met, regulatory compliance is required, and proper payroll oversight ensures positive results. A good timekeeping and payroll process, dedicated and conscientious payroll processors and clear payroll policies are the hallmarks of payroll professionalism.
Sometimes, employees can make payroll difficult. Late or last minute timesheet submissions, errors on recording time, and arguments about policies make it unpleasant and stressful to process payroll. A good HRIS can help you audit your payroll process, review your payroll policies, make time reporting easy for your employees, and separate payroll duties and responsibilities.
Audit Your Payroll Process
If you find that employees are frequently interfering with payroll processing or complaining constantly about it, consider auditing your payroll process to determine where the problems originate.
- Use work flow analysis, writing down each step in the process and reviewing it from beginning to end.
- Talk to everyone involved with payroll, including supervisors and managers, payroll department staff, and senior staff, getting input and insight on what is working and what is causing problems.
- An alternative to performing an internal audit is to have an outside accountant audit your payroll and recommend improvements.
- Additionally, an HRIS solution can reduce time and cost in your payroll process by improving administrative tasks and increasing strategic activity.
Review Your Payroll Policies
If you find both current and new employees complain about or have difficulties complying with payroll policies, maybe it’s time to review them for accuracy and clarity. Good communication about how your company processes payroll and exactly what you need from employees is vital to their understanding and compliance with things like timesheet submission or proper timecard use. Take your policy to individual employees and ask them what their understanding of it is. Bring your payroll policy to employee or management meetings and ask for input on what could be improved. Revise or rewrite the policy if necessary, and make sure it is communicated and understood by everyone involved for a smoother and more successful process going forward.
Make It Easy for Employees
Make sure your employee payroll and time reporting process is easy for employees. If you have many employees with a problem meeting timesheet deadlines, find out why and what will make it easier for them to turn in their payroll documentation on time. Will signage or email reminders help? How about training on time and attendance policies? Try to remove as many obstacles to employees turning in their time as possible.
Separate Payroll Duties and Responsibilities
If one or two payroll processors are having problems keeping up with timely payroll processing, it’s time to separate payroll duties. Payroll responsibilities that should be performed by different people versus one payroll processor include:
• Verifying and processing changes to payroll and personnel data
• Approving online payroll entries and changes
• Reviewing and approving monthly payroll reports
• Distributing paychecks
These separations should be documented and supported by written payroll policies that are clearly communicated and reviewed regularly. Separating payroll tasks will not only take the stress off of individual payroll staff, but should help with meeting deadlines, handling volume, increasing accuracy and preventing fraud.
Payroll is a vital function of employee engagement and satisfaction. Payroll processes that are difficult, stressful, or annoying for employees or processors interfere with the engagement that is so important to business operations and growth. Consider an HRIS that integrates payroll with benefits and human resources and can contribute to successful and stress-free payroll processing that improves and enhances employee engagement.
Interested in more on this topic? Check out our Payroll Toolkit!