Payroll and benefits management can be a time-consuming boondoggle for small business owners just trying to keep up. One of the best ways to get things under control is to outsource with an online payroll company or a full-service provider. In the absence of outsourcing, however, payroll still does not have to be as big a problem as it is. There are simple steps that small business owners can take to substantially reduce the amount of time and effort they put into this one area.
Below are three simple things that can improve payroll and benefits management substantially. These are effective whether small business handles payroll through the HR department or a dedicated payroll staff.
1. Moving On boarding Online
The task of on boarding new employees – that is, the task of getting them on board with all their initial paperwork and orientations – is a tremendously time-consuming affair that does not need to be so. It is not necessary for new employees to spend the first half of the first day filling out paperwork and watching video presentations when all of that can be done online in the days before starting work.
Moving the on boarding process online has an added benefit above and beyond streamlining: it makes it possible for employers to engage with their new workers from the very moment they begin work. New employees can get right to the training or, where no training is required, directly to the tasks they have been hired to complete.
2. Integrating Time Sheets and Payroll
When our parents first started working 20 and 30 years ago, it was common practice to fill out paper time sheets and turn them into the HR department at the end of the week for processing. HR workers then transcribed the information, made the calculations, and cut the paychecks. It was an effective but terribly slow procedure.
Believe it or not, there are companies still managing their payroll this way. But why? Any small business can install a digital time clock that is fully integrated with payroll software in a single-entry model. All employees need to do is clock in and out, and the system does everything else. When it is time to submit payroll for the week, system software has already recorded everyone’s time and made the appropriate calculations.
3. Giving Employees Online Access
Few things take more time away from HR staff than having to deal with payroll problems. Every time a worker goes to HR with a discrepancy over hours or pay, for example, somebody from the HR team must take time out to investigate the problem and find a solution, if necessary. Much of this can be alleviated by giving employees online access to their own payroll records.
Online access allows every worker to login and check payroll data before going to HR with a problem. Just giving them access to information enables them to solve their own problems most of the time. As an added benefit, companies that like to keep track of things such as birthdays and anniversaries can include this data in employee profiles. Employees can keep that information up-to-date so that the HR department does not have to worry about it.
In a perfect world, outsourcing payroll to an online service provider would be the most effective solution for every small business. But given this isn’t a perfect world, some companies choose to keep a payroll in-house. That’s great. Those who do, though, should take the steps necessary to reduce the amount of time and effort put into payroll so that it doesn’t become an all-consuming proposition.