BY JEANNINE DUBIAC, FPC
Payroll should be that process that just flows.
As a business owner you know first-hand that
your employees need to be paid on time, correctly,
Unfortunately, for many companies, it’s anything
but smooth. Staying on top of payroll can
be a time-consuming and stressful process, especially
when relying on outdated payroll methods
to get the job done. With the multiple of IRS and
state penalties looming over every business, and
great employees anxiously waiting for payday, it’s
best to adopt the most efficient payroll tools and
resources at an organization.
To avoid unnecessary payroll-induced headaches,
for employers and employees alike, here
are a few suggestions to help improve efficiencies
in your payroll process.
1. Managing payroll.
Issue: Undertaking various job duties and
titles is often a necessity skill for business owners.
Unfortunately, the more tasks there are to juggle,
from marketing to human resources to accounting,
the greater likelihood of dropping the ball
on one of the many fine details related to payroll
and payroll taxes.
Solution: Rather than managing payroll,
among a heap of other things, consider freeing
up more time and resources by using a payroll
service provider. Administrative and back-office
activities, such as payroll, are perfect to leave
to experts because they’re typically considered
non-core, non-revenue generating function of
Payroll services are typically an inexpensive
alternative to the ever increasing fines and penalties
that can be assessed by the IRS and state
agencies for missing or filing an incorrect payroll
tax payment. Note: If the payroll service makes the
error, they pay the fine.
With an efficient payroll provider, you take
the stress out of paydays and can focus more on
core business, cutting costs, minimizing risks and
2. Tracking time.
Issue: Sifting through a seemingly endless
amount of records and documents to determine
payroll hours for your employees is anything but
efficient. While filling in time sheets can be helpful
when it comes to determining profitability, billing
clients and tracking big projects, it is a universally
dreaded process (when it doesn’t have to be).
Solution: The easiest way to take this payroll
process to the next level is evaluate your current
time keeping method and invest in electronic time
Electronic time keeping solutions are in abundance
on the internet and from payroll service
providers. These solutions provide a streamlined,
inexpensive solution that can be customized to a
business owners particular needs. Implementing
time-tracking applications can help employees
better manage their schedules, as well as ensure
that time sheets are accurate and up to date.
3. Calculating benefit time accruals.
Issue: Keeping up with each employee’s vacation
and sick days can make payroll a nightmare.
Calculating vacation accrual and tracking absences
is a necessary part of determining payroll,
but it doesn’t have to eat up so much time or
Solution: Determine if your company is best
suited by offering vacation, sick and personal time
or if a combined bank of time, such as PTO or
paid time off, would provide an added benefit to
the ever-changing needs of your staff. Investigate
having the payroll provider calculate the company
policy with each payroll.
Employees time earned and used can generally
be programmed to calculate and display the current
available balance on employees’ pay stubs, leaving
calculating the accruals to the experts. There
are pros and cons to everything. No polices are
perfect. Benefit time policy is not different. An
employer can create a policy that works best for
their company and its employees. There is value
to a policy that is easy to understand, administer
4. Filing taxes.
Issue: No one enjoys filing taxes. It’s a tedious
process that eats up valuable time and resources
and, when done incorrectly or late, can result in
hefty penalties that no one wants.
Solution: Using a payroll service to offer automated
tax filing. Relieve your headache from
tracking the various due dates for the different
types of payroll taxes. Stay in compliance with the
electronic filing requirements. Most federal and
state agencies require that payroll tax deposits be
made electronically and, in many cases, originated
one day prior to the due date to ensure the taxing
agencies receive their money when it is due.
In the end, the key to staying in compliance
in the payroll world is to stay up to date with
ever-changing regulations. The IRS typically
releases new payroll information for the coming
year in early December. Knowing these changes
and deadlines is the first step to creating a better
Dubiac is the owner of Priority One Payroll LLC,
a privately owned local payroll service provider