Business Report: Make The Payroll Process Work

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Payroll should be that process that just flows. As a business owner you know first-hand that your employees need to be paid on time, correctly, every time.

Unfortunately, for many companies, it’s anything but smooth. Staying on top of payroll can be a time-consuming and stressful process, especially when relying on outdated payroll methods to get the job done. With the multiple of IRS and state penalties looming over every business, and great employees anxiously waiting for payday, it’s best to adopt the most efficient payroll tools and resources at an organization.

To avoid unnecessary payroll-induced headaches, for employers and employees alike, here are a few suggestions to help improve efficiencies in your payroll process.

1. Managing payroll.

Issue: Undertaking various job duties and titles is often a necessity skill for business owners. Unfortunately, the more tasks there are to juggle, from marketing to human resources to accounting, the greater likelihood of dropping the ball on one of the many fine details related to payroll and payroll taxes.

Solution: Rather than managing payroll, among a heap of other things, consider freeing up more time and resources by using a payroll service provider. Administrative and back-office activities, such as payroll, are perfect to leave to experts because they’re typically considered non-core, non-revenue generating function of the business.

Payroll services are typically an inexpensive alternative to the ever increasing fines and penalties that can be assessed by the IRS and state agencies for missing or filing an incorrect payroll tax payment. Note: If the payroll service makes the error, they pay the fine.

With an efficient payroll provider, you take the stress out of paydays and can focus more on core business, cutting costs, minimizing risks and making money.

2. Tracking time.

Issue: Sifting through a seemingly endless amount of records and documents to determine payroll hours for your employees is anything but efficient. While filling in time sheets can be helpful when it comes to determining profitability, billing clients and tracking big projects, it is a universally dreaded process (when it doesn’t have to be).

Solution: The easiest way to take this payroll process to the next level is evaluate your current time keeping method and invest in electronic time keeping applications.

Electronic time keeping solutions are in abundance on the internet and from payroll service providers. These solutions provide a streamlined, inexpensive solution that can be customized to a business owners particular needs. Implementing time-tracking applications can help employees better manage their schedules, as well as ensure that time sheets are accurate and up to date.

3. Calculating benefit time accruals.

Issue: Keeping up with each employee’s vacation and sick days can make payroll a nightmare. Calculating vacation accrual and tracking absences is a necessary part of determining payroll, but it doesn’t have to eat up so much time or administrative costs.

Solution: Determine if your company is best suited by offering vacation, sick and personal time or if a combined bank of time, such as PTO or paid time off, would provide an added benefit to the ever-changing needs of your staff. Investigate having the payroll provider calculate the company policy with each payroll.

Employees time earned and used can generally be programmed to calculate and display the current available balance on employees’ pay stubs, leaving calculating the accruals to the experts. There are pros and cons to everything. No polices are perfect. Benefit time policy is not different. An employer can create a policy that works best for their company and its employees. There is value to a policy that is easy to understand, administer and enforce.

4. Filing taxes.

Issue: No one enjoys filing taxes. It’s a tedious process that eats up valuable time and resources and, when done incorrectly or late, can result in hefty penalties that no one wants.

Solution: Using a payroll service to offer automated tax filing. Relieve your headache from tracking the various due dates for the different types of payroll taxes. Stay in compliance with the electronic filing requirements. Most federal and state agencies require that payroll tax deposits be made electronically and, in many cases, originated one day prior to the due date to ensure the taxing agencies receive their money when it is due.

In the end, the key to staying in compliance in the payroll world is to stay up to date with ever-changing regulations. The IRS typically releases new payroll information for the coming year in early December. Knowing these changes and deadlines is the first step to creating a better payroll process.