Ask Annie: How Can I Speed Up Payroll?

speed up time payroll upland ca

How long does it take you to process payroll?

I work for a mid-size non-profit and split my time between HR and payroll… Currently, processing payroll takes me about 12 hours from start to finish. It’s exhaustive and exhausting. For those of you who facilitate payroll, how much time are you spending on actual payroll? – Reddit user Non-Profiteering

Does payroll drive you crazy?

Let’s be honest, payroll gets a bad rap. After years of clunky software and clumsy processes, it’s no wonder payroll and HR managers of all industries are frustrated.

The thing is, times have changed. So if your business hasn’t upgraded your payroll software in the past decade, it may be time to take a look at the potential ROI and present your boss with some numbers.

For starters, integrating payroll and employee timekeeping makes payroll a whole lot easier. Slightly less self-centered, it also makes life easier for your employees, managers, and HR team.

What’s the problem with separate systems?

If your systems are separate, you’re duplicating work. Period. And if someone is doing manual data entry, mistakes are sneaking through. In Non-Profiteering’s Reddit thread, he shares:

Every 2 weeks, I run payroll for 200 employees. 39 of them are salaried, and about 50 of the hourly employees work in 24-hour programs. I copy each employee’s regular and OT hours from the software into an Excel spreadsheet. Without breaks or interruptions, this process would take about six hours. I’ve never done it in less than eight. It’s exhaustive and exhausting.

Why is manual entry a problem?

In the previous example, the payroll manager spends several hours entering employee time. The hours must match up with the correct employee. He could inadvertently enter an extra digit, omit a digit, or transpose two digits.

Honestly, it’s unlikely that this process is always 100% accurate. A conservative estimate of the error rate would be 2%. For 200 employees, that means four employees could get an incorrect paycheck. If you cut checks twice a month, this amounts to 96 incorrect paychecks annually.

When there’s a mistake, the problem moves through the system…

If you pay your team by the hour, your payroll is based on the hours entered. Either you short that employee or pay too much.

If employee hours are wrong, the paycheck total is incorrect. If the paycheck has an incorrect amount, the FICA withholdings are wrong. This could be due to inaccurate clock-ins or corruption during the manual import.

Paper timesheets add more risk of inaccuracy. An employee can enter an incorrect shift start time. The worker could do a math error when totaling hours. The manager who approves it could misread the handwriting.

If the hours are off, accruals follow suit. Employees might not earn vacation time or sick days that they are rightfully due. Moreover, if the deductions are wrong, then the employer portion of the taxes is wrong.

Now: “What is a better way?”

You need automated time tracking that syncs to payroll. In addition to shaving off payroll processing time, this simple change will also reduce errors and help you stay compliant. A biometric time clock synced to an advanced employee time and attendance system is the best way to go.

Here’s how it works:

It all starts with tracking worker time. Tracking time accurately is the first step to smooth and accurate payroll processing. A biometric time clock is the best way to ensure that punch times are correct.

After all, it’s virtually impossible to fake a biological identifier to buddy punch for another employee. (Unless your employees are prone to cutting off each others’ fingers and carrying them around in their pocket…?)

“What if not all of my employees are onsite?”

If you have mobile staff members, they’ll need a different clock-in method. TimeWorks Mobile with GPS tracks the geographic location when an employee clocks in on the web portal. Though it’s not as fraud-proof as a biometric clock, it does beat taking their word for it.

It’s not just time theft that can mess up payroll…

A biometric clock in addition to automated employee time tracking lets you enforce schedules and set overtime alerts. Some biometric clocks have tools that present employees with logical prompts so they don’t make common punch mistakes.

Let’s Talk

If you’re looking to speed up payroll and cut down on errors, we can help. Let’s talk to find the solution that’s best for your business. And don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn for even more tips and tricks to make sure you never miss a beat!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

, , , , , ,

Related Posts