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12 Tips for Better In-House Payroll Management

by Olufisayo
Tips for Better In-House Payroll Management

Many companies choose to handle their payroll duties in-house instead of outsourcing the task to a third-party agency or payroll management provider.

This can be a wise decision because it keeps you from having to spend money on payroll services while also giving you more control over your paying processes and procedures. However, with that additional power comes more responsibility and more steps you’ll have to take to ensure consistency, accuracy, and efficiency in your payroll practices.

That being said, here are 12 tips you can use to develop a turn-key payroll system that works perfectly for your company’s needs.

Tips for Better In-House Payroll Management

1.      Invest in Software Training

Every modern business uses payroll software to keep track of how much their employees are owed, taxes, and all the other records and calculations related to issuing work payments. During the past few years, Microsoft Access has become a popular software for payroll management, even though it can be utilized for other business purposes as well. As a result, many companies have invested in Access training to ensure their managerial employees are able to competently take care of payroll duties. If this seems like a route you’d be interested in taking, you can find Access training on findcourses.com.

2.      Change Your Payroll Software Altogether

If you’re just now hearing about Microsoft Access or payroll software in general and you’ve been using a makeshift system or spreadsheet, you should probably start by comparing payroll software first. Try downloading and using the trial version of several different programs. Watch trailers and demonstration videos on sites like YouTube. After taking these steps, you should be in a good position to make an informed decision when choosing a payroll software.

3.      Upgrade Your Time Tracking System

For maximum payroll accuracy, you should be using an efficient time tracking system that allows your employees to punch in and out at the beginning and end of their shifts. Using such a system is preferable over manual time tracking because you don’t wind up paying for extra hours. In addition, your employees are paid the exact amount they’re owed and you’re able to track when specific employees are about to enter overtime territory.

4.      Schedule Shifts More Efficiently

Aside from the software and hardware involved in tracking payroll, you may want to consider the scheduling stage as the cause of certain inefficiencies. Try utilizing different employees during different shifts to find creative ways to reduce payroll expenditure while still getting the job done. A good example of this problem would be when a small business is running a 15-person shift even though they could actually achieve comparable productivity with only seven of the most efficient workers. Monitoring employee progress and rewarding your best workers with the most hours is another way to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your payroll expenditure.

5.      Consider a Pay Period Change

One way to reduce the burden of payroll duties is to change payday dates and frequency. For example, you could change your pay period from a weekly to a bi-monthly basis. Simply by switching from once every week to once every two weeks can cut your administrative payroll duties in half, leaving more time for managers to focus on other mission-critical aspects of the business.

6.      Simplify and Streamline Processes

All business tasks can be broken down into segments and optimized for improved efficiency, so it’s not surprising that the “you can always do better” rule applies to most payroll management scenarios. Since every process will vary depending on the steps you’ve become accustomed to, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for automating every single payroll-related task. Thus, the best approach is to break your own processes down and experiment with alternative methods until you find a combination that consistently performs better than your current formula.

7.      Improve Office Organization

Issuing checks and completing other steps in the payroll process can be challenging when you’re constantly sifting through a mound of folders and papers on your desk. Designate a small section of the office to payroll management and set the area up specifically for that purpose. Storing and utilizing data and documents in an organized manner also ensures that you’re less likely to commit errors or oversights during the process. Ideally, you want to keep everything digital using payment methods like direct deposit/ACH transfer to send funds directly to your employees’ bank accounts. Unfortunately, many employees would prefer to pick up their check or have it mailed to their home, so there will be some check printing and handling involved, which is another reason why organization is important – you don’t want to be dealing with the hassle of lost checks.

8.      Educate Employees on the Payroll Process

Another way to minimize mistakes and make things easier for managerial staff is to educate all employees about how the payroll process works and what they’re supposed to do to ensure accuracy within the system. This would include discussing the importance of accurate time punching and disclosing payday policies. With all your employees on the same page, you’ll also have fewer uncertainties and inquiries that can clog up workflow and distract managers from addressing other issues.

9.      Be Open to Change

While this is a more general tip that might seem vague, the point is that if you’re resistant to change, you won’t be able to really implement the majority of the suggestions on this list. It may take some experimentation, but with time you should know for certain what the best payroll method is for your company. If you’re willing to put forth the effort in trying different approaches, you’ll be rewarded with a highly refined payroll process that saves you both time and money in the long run.

10.  Pick the Right Payroll Managers

If you’ve been having trouble with the accuracy or timeliness of your payroll performance lately, you might want to try allocating the duty of payroll management to another employee. If no other employee fits the bill, you may have to bring in a new hire to specialize in your company’s payroll and accounting departments. Ultimately, this is a job that you’ll want to delegate to an experienced and knowledgeable individual, so it’s definitely worth creating a whole new job position for.

11.  Monitor Employee Time

Although you should expect a certain level of honesty and accountability from your employees, the only way to be truly sure that you’re not overpaying for phantom hours is to have management monitoring employee clock in and clock out times. On the flip side, this will also ensure that none of your employees accidentally short themselves out of hours by forgetting to clock in at the beginning of their shift.

12.  Be Detail-Oriented

Finally, perhaps the most important attribute a payroll manager can have is being highly detail-oriented. When you’re processing the payroll numbers of hundreds, or even thousands of employees, things can get confusing, which is why it’s good to assign the task to someone who won’t overlook even a single missed comma.

Creating a Payroll System that Is Simple and Reliable

In the end, the goal of every company should be to simplify payroll processes as much as possible while also increasing accuracy on every level.  By heeding the 12 tips above, any company should be able to optimize their in-house payroll management methods in a matter of weeks.

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