Payroll is a cornerstone operation of every business. Yet, most businesses could be handling their payroll – and its expense – more effectively. In fact, in Australia it’s more common than not for employers who process their own payroll to make mistakes. According to the APA’s 2017 Payroll Benchmarking Report, Australia’s top employers make more than $4.4 million in payroll errors annually. Even when errors are avoided, it still costs thousands more per employee to work out compliant remuneration, leave, and superannuation. The valuable time spent calculating all of this can better be spent furthering your company goals.
That’s why, globally, companies are realising that they could be saving money by out-sourcing their payroll – recent reports note large growth in the number of companies outsourcing their payroll. With the right outsourced payroll service, payroll can be a breeze – you save money, time and resources. In fact, outsourced payroll services can be up to 70% cheaper for Australian businesses than internal payroll. So, how you chose the right outsourced payroll system for your company? Obviously, you want a payroll solution with a quick turnaround, but there are much finer details than that to consider as well. Below we detail how to perform a payroll systems comparison, highlighting the features you should be looking out for in a payroll system or service.
Experience managing payroll
As we are well aware, experience, Industrial Relations and technical knowledge and proficiency when it comes to all facets of the payroll process is critical. When examining each possible payroll service, search their website for detail on how long they’ve been handling payroll. The longer, the better as this means they’ve had to adapt their processes across technology changes, as well as changes to pay rates and award structures. If you’re unsure, give the company a call to enquire about their payroll experience.
Industry knowledge and tailored industry payroll solutions
Each industry requires specific knowledge in order to process payroll most efficiently and accurately. For example, hospitality and retail require detailed knowledge of how to manage the payroll of a shift-based environment. Thus, it will be beneficial for your business to employ a payroll service that specialises in payroll solutions for your industry. Look out for customer testimonials of the payroll service in order to see how other companies have benefited. Plus, the company should offer tailored payroll solutions in order to best cater for the needs of your industry. POS integration, for instance, should come as part of a payroll solution for the retail industry.
Paperless, cloud-based technology with employee self service
A payroll solution should simplify your workload – not add to it. There is no longer any need for your business to be using paper-based forms for leave, or spreadsheets and letters for pay notices. Cloud-based payroll solutions are easily the best for today’s workforces. They provide several benefits for you, your employees, and the company. Firstly, you’ll never need to waste time updating programs. You don’t need to worry about the safety and security of your sensitive payroll data. You can access your payroll records anywhere, anytime. And, when your payroll system is cloud-based, your employees can be given logins in order to self-manage their pay details, submit leave requests, claim expenses, and check timesheets. The best cloud-based payroll solutions will be accessible via mobile app, so that employers and employees have optimal accessibility to the system. You’ll be amazed at how much time and money your business can save with a cloud-based payroll solution.
On-shore payroll team with a contact
Nothing is more frustrating than having a question about this week’s payroll, and then having no one to talk to about it. Or, being redirected to a call centre in some distant country, talking to someone you don’t know about private pay details. The best payroll services will have an on-shore payroll team processing your pays. Not only does an on-shore payroll team have better knowledge of the specifics of Australian payroll, but it means that are much easier to contact. Furthermore, the best payroll solution will assign you a personal contact who will be able to answer any queries. That way, you’ll have a familiar person with whom you feel comfortable discussing sensitive payroll details. Plus, once a dedicated onshore payroll officer is familiar with your pay structure, they might even be able to suggest ways in which you can restructure to save money.
The payroll service you chose should allow you full access to the records of each pay run. This way, you can keep the payroll service accountable, and keep track of your employee wages at anytime without having to wait on a report. Plus, you can have peace of mind that everything is running smoothly. You should also be able to access flexible reporting options including reports on payroll, employees, ATO compliance, tax, and leave. These reports are critical resources for making informed decisions on employee wage costings, so it’s best if your payroll solution can provide them.
Modern award compliance is a must
Australia’s regulatory environment is complex, and constantly in flux. There are over 100 modern awards across varying industries, and it’s possible that the employees within your business each fall under a different award. As a result, it is crucial that you chose a payroll service that is completely up-to-date with all the changes to the modern awards structures across each state and territory. Small noncompliance can result in massive fines from Fair Work Australia, costly backpay to employees, and unflattering media attention of your business. So, make sure that the payroll solution you chose lists modern award compliance as a strength before going forward.
Third party software integration
If you operate point-of-sale, or accounting software, a payroll system that features third party software integration will make your life a lot easier. Running several systems individually can end up being inefficient in terms of cost. Furthermore, errors are much more likely when data needs to be manually entered from one system to another. Selecting a payroll solution that is compatible with your current (and necessary) systems will streamline your administrative processes.
All-in-one HR software is superior
A payroll software that ticks all the above boxes is one thing, however it could be better. To really save your business valuable time and money, an all-in-one HR solution is the way to go. All-in-one HR solutions are the simplest way to streamline the entire HR workload. Depending on what system you select, you will have access to a variety of features. The best all-in-one HR solutions will service the entire employee life cycle – they will provide cloud-based tools for recruitment, onboarding, rostering and time and attendance in addition to the payroll service. The top of the line all-in-one HR solutions will even provide tools to track business analytics such as employee performance. Employing a payroll solution that is part of an all-in-one system has a flurry of benefits. Cutting back all HR systems into one will save money. You’ll have access to key business data all in one easily accessible place. Data will transfer seamlessly throughout the system – time and attendance data imports instantly into the payroll system, and pay is transferred seamlessly into the bank account nominated by the employee in the onboarding system. You’ll never have to update any HR system again. Employing an all-in-one HR software solution is a very smart business decision that will drive efficiency and profitability in your business.
The right payroll solution will save your business mammoth amounts of time, money and resources. However, ensuring you chose the right company who can correctly cater to your needs is essential. Industry knowledge and experience, cloud-based technology, dedicated on-shore contacts, visibility, compliance, and all-in-one capability are things to look out for in your payroll systems comparison. Find out more about the payroll system solutions here.