Getting payroll right is essential to keeping employees happy and productive. It’s also a major expense with no room for error. Complicating matters, payroll teams have a tremendous scope of responsibilities — cutting paychecks barely scratches the surface.
Given the many considerations required to manage payroll, any business can benefit from tightening up its process. The following 15 payroll tips and tricks can help companies of all sizes manage payroll more effectively, from carefully following wage laws to streamlining processes with the right payroll software.
The term “payroll” has a few meanings, but it typically refers to the entire process of paying employees. Payroll includes a multitude of moving parts that extend far beyond making sure workers are paid correctly and on time. For example, payroll requires keeping up with continually evolving tax and wage laws, paying payroll taxes, maintaining required records, handling benefits, ensuring there’s enough cash on hand to cover payroll expenses and even keeping employees satisfied.
Before we decide on the must-have features, let’s first discuss the benefits of using payroll software. Some of the benefits are as below:
With each step of the payroll generation and TDS calculation, automated, the probability of human error, is decreased substantially here. Also, since the calculations and other process are machine-driven, it reduces the time spent on these activities.
Instead of relying on a third-party consultant for the calculations of the taxes and compliance with other regulatory norms, and exposing the crucial company information, the software allows the companies to manage all the information in-house and hence provides the data confidentiality & security.
A good payroll solutions system shouldn’t only automate the transactions and process, it should also be employee-centric. Some of the recommended features that you should look for in the best payroll software for small business or large corporate entities alike are:
There are two kinds of software available in the market: desktop based and cloud-based. A desktop system is downloaded on your desktop monitor and stores the data on your hard-drive. You cannot access the data remotely.
A cloud-based payroll solutions system gives you a lot more flexibility with respect to the accessibility, as it stores the data on universally accessible cloud storage.
As mentioned earlier, the best payroll software for small business today, have a built-in tax calculation and assessment module for the employee payrolls, so that you don’t need to hire an external consultant to do the math for you.
A further advancement here is that today, certain software also sift through the plethora of rules and clauses in the Income-tax Act, and accordingly calculate the required taxes, simultaneously generating a TDS report for your reference.
Certain advance payroll software also files the income tax returns for you.
The payroll solutions system takes into account the number of hours worked by the concerned employee. Hence, it becomes essential for the software to have a leaves management module integrated into the system that helps the company track leaves and working days per employee, effectively.
Other than payroll management, which is the main objective of payroll software, good software now enables the company to track various loans, advances, and reimbursements extended to the employee.
The software also helps to track and analyze all the benefits, perks, allowances, and other bonus & incentives extended to each employee over the entire tenure of employment.
This feature in any HR software allows the company to generate reports for leave summary, salary statements, and regulatory payroll & IT forms.
One thing to be noted here is that the software is not only a tool for the company but also for the employees to track and manage their pay-slip information. And hence a good payslip software or payroll software will allow both the company and employees to print and analyze various reports like the employee pay-slip itself.
Invariably, good software will allow the company to customize all the aspects of the payroll generation, according to the convenience and policies of the company.
Good software will allow you with the flexibility to choose from a host of payment options that include, printed paychecks, direct bank transfer, electronic transfer, and an electronic payment card, among a host of other options.
Needless to say, the payroll information for any company is crucial and needs to be protected. This makes the security an essential feature for any software. The best software for small business or even the mammoth business establishments, come with various security features integrated.
This software relies on password protection and even employ advanced technologies like a facial scan in some cases. As the software is the sole information repository of the company, some payroll software also includes other essential features like experience letters, organizational charts, employee profiles, and occupational safety & tax norms, among others.
Payroll is much bigger than simply paying employees on time. While that is a vital component, success requires focusing on other factors, including protecting employees and the business, complying with payroll tax requirements and labor laws, managing cash flow and focusing on how to optimize business performance by appropriately scheduling employees.