The 2022/23 financial year commences this week and what better time to review your payroll processes to ensure your payroll function in good shape for the new financial year.
Payroll and HR is one of the most essential elements of running a business, and one of the largest. In theory, payroll is essentially the process of paying your employees, but running a busy payroll department means so much more and includes managing employee holidays, personal data, calculating employee taxes, running to a payroll schedule to name but a few.
To ensure your business is protected, and your employees are paid on time, we have compiled a list of tips to help your payroll department succeed and stay compliant at the same time.
Understand your responsibilities and keep things simple
Payroll departments need clarity, and for businesses with large numbers of employees on varying shift patterns and rates of pay it can become complicated, especially when you add in other payments such as sick pay, bonuses, and maternity pay.
Therefore, it’s useful to keep your payroll policies simple, and stick to one policy instead of varying policies by employee levels.
Keep accurate records
It can seem a lot of work to keep on top of employee records, but it is important to make sure they are accurate as changes can occur often and they might affect your payroll.
A Payroll Self Service system can help to relieve some of this burden as it allows employees to personally update their information as and when required.
Keep an audit log
Audit logs are a good way to proactively protect your business in the event of an investigation as they allow you to link transactions to relevant paperwork such as purchase orders and invoices. This ensures there is proof against any unusual payments and can give you a better insight into your payroll performance. Good news, Opera 3 Payroll & HR has an audit log feature.
Train employees in compliance
It is vital that your employees are correctly trained to submit timesheets, overtime, and expenses to make sure it is done correctly and by the book. You should produce a set of policies to be used as a guide and make time to regularly review employee behaviour to ensure compliance.
Pensions can be a complicated area to navigate but as of 2012 employers have a duty under the pensions law to enrol employees into a pension scheme and contribute towards it, a process known as auto enrolment. You should ensure you are correctly meeting your pension duties and contact your software or pension provider for more information if needed.
Stay on top of legislation
Payroll legislation is regularly changing and it’s vital that you stay on top of the changes along with industry news and trends by attending seminars, training events run by your software provider, conferences and reading online payroll news and journals.
When it comes to payroll, the introduction of electronic payslip technology has become a game changer! Electronic payslips make the production and distribution of payslips quicker, cheaper and more accurate. Plus, they’re greener and can help boost your green credentials. You can distribute payslips to your entire workforce electronically at the click of a button.
Be honest and transparent
A good payroll department is transparent with employees about pay dates, deadlines for timesheets and holiday pay. If an employee is due a bonus or pay increase, then you should be clear as to when they’ll receive it (i.e. after their performance review) and set expectations accordingly.
Speak to employees
Ultimately the best way to analyse whether your payroll processes are working well is to ask the ones who it affects the most, your employees. Consider running a staff survey or meeting dedicated to payroll to determine what policies are working for them, and which could be improved.
It can be complex and confusing keeping on top of payroll processes, especially organisations with large numbers of employees, however it is vital to regularly review your payroll function to ensure it’s running smoothly. The tips outlined above are some of the ways you can gain payroll success, but don’t be afraid to seek advice and guidance if needed.
For more information about Opera 3 Payroll & HR contact us today.