Happy New Year! If you’re anything like us, chances are you’ve been thinking about how you want to improve in 2019. Maybe you’ve made a list of resolutions or read through some (or many) LinkedIn articles on how to increase productivity and be happier. And after all that you’re probably wondering how you, too, can work smarter–not harder–this year.
One opportunity to free up time and boost your work-life balance is in processing payroll. There’s absolutely no reason for you to stay late correcting payroll errors or incorrect hours. There’s also no reason to hate payroll! Processing should be quick and simple. That’s why we’ve put together all of our “must-do’s” to ensure you have a perfect payroll every time, starting today!
Set Yourself Up For Success
Before you even get to inputting hours, make sure your foundation is solid. As it’s the beginning of the new year, there are a few items you must attend to before your first payroll.
- Review any changes in state minimum wage and unemployment insurance rates. Be sure to update these rates in payroll as we will not automatically change them on your behalf. (We don’t exactly have the power to give your employees all raises–even if it is state-mandated 😉)
- Update any employee deductions that have changed.
- Inform employees of your insurance open enrollment period.
Lastly, have your employees review and update their demographic information. This includes addresses, phone numbers, full names, and social security numbers. Even though those last two don’t change too frequently, we often find SSNs are incorrect (or missing altogether!) and names change when employees get married but are never updated in payroll.
Top Tip: We recommend verifying employee information every quarter. Not only will you save time and money on adjustments and potential fines, but you’re also helping employees by making sure they’re racking up that social security money!
As you may have noticed, Southland Data Processing has issued you a company ID (usually a letter followed by 3-5 numbers) and call-in password. As we take data security extremely seriously, we will always ask you to verify these items before making any changes to your account. That includes processing payroll, running a one-time bonus check, or even adding a new employee. To make the verification process go as quickly as possible, make sure you’re very familiar with these two numbers and that your company’s list of authorized contacts is up-to-date.
If you fax in your payroll each period, be sure to fill in your input worksheet completely and legibly before sending it over. Also, if you call or fax in payroll, or are on any of our older payroll platforms, consider upgrading to SDP Connect. The transition is quick, free, and will allow you to process payroll in mere minutes! Not only that, it will allow you to save time on other tasks as well, like onboarding or changing direct deposit information.
Automate Like a Boss
If you’re serious about saving time and making your processes more efficient, it may be time to consider automating timekeeping. Manual timekeeping takes forever to input, and chances are those numbers aren’t exactly 100% accurate. Advanced time clocks with biometric technology, built-in alerts, and daily reports provide a surprisingly high ROI, and quickly pay for themselves while providing additional ongoing savings.
Not only that, but directly importing hours from your time clock into payroll virtually eliminates payroll errors from data entry. It also takes a fraction of the time to key in all those numbers to just click “Import”.
Does purchasing a new timeclock seem a little out of reach right now? We’re happy to work with you to find a solution that makes sense for your business. Whether it’s buying, leasing, or even opting for a refurbished model, we have clocks and software available for a wide range of budgets.
Meet Those Deadlines
The last thing you want after working so hard to have perfect payroll is to miss your submission deadline. Although we strive to process payrolls as quickly and efficiently as possible, we are still at the mercy of some banking restrictions. In order to provide timely delivery of your payroll checks, reports, and direct deposits, all payrolls must be submitted by 2 PM PST two business days prior to your check date. Though we do our best to notify you as early as possible of any changes to your payroll schedule (i.e. holidays!) if you ever have any questions about your processing deadline, our team is always just a phone call away at (866) 946-2032 to confirm.
What do you think?
Are you ready for perfect payroll in 2019? We hope these tips and reminders are helpful for a faster, more accurate payroll processing experience. If you’re interested in learning more about SDP Connect, our timekeeping and workforce management solutions, or processing deadlines, let us know in the comments below! Want more ways to keep your business compliant? Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to make sure you never miss a beat!