At month end, you and your employees may be experiencing contrasting emotions. For the employees, payday is a great day. For the employer though, if the process of completing payroll isn't streamlined, it's not an easy time. Running payroll manually can mean sleepless nights and repeated verification routines up to the last minute.
Can payroll software help? It can, but many business owners aren't sure when they need to start using it. It may not be a priority during their growth phase, or they may be so used to outdated processes that they think the process is already functioning at maximum efficiency. In this blog, we'll highlight some important signs that tell you that it's time for your business to use payroll software.
You've hired your first employee
It's true. The ideal time to start using payroll software is when you hire your very first employee. It can help you organize your payroll process from the beginning, and help you meet your compliance requirements automatically as your organisation grows in scale. Above all, you could eliminate all the migration or data transition difficulties that most businesses go through when they wait to adopt software until later.
You want to avoid manual errors
Manual mistakes are inevitable in any form of work, but they can be especially costly in payroll. Consider the story of Queensland Health's payroll system replacement causing AU$1.25 billion in mistakes, or the eye-opening statistic from the Workforce Institute that says more than half the population of the USA has experienced payroll errors. Payroll software can do the heavy lifting of calculating and double-checking, helping you to eliminate the mistakes that are creeping into your payroll month by month.
You want to automate the process
Small Business Trends reports that computing payroll taxes alone takes up 5 hours of work every payday. For business owners, time is the most valuable resource, so you want to automate as many of your repetitive tasks as possible. Payroll software can help you achieve this goal by calculating payroll, computing tax deductions, and distributing payslips automatically. When you automate these repetitive, numbers-based tasks, you free up your time for the parts of the payroll process that need the human touch.
You want to delegate administrative payroll tasks
If you are still relying on paper to collect reimbursements, investment proofs, or tax-saving IT declarations, it's time to digitize. Employee self-service portals are a great way to digitize these tasks and reduce the paperwork they involve, and they're a popular feature of payroll software. They also allow you to make payroll-related documents available for employees to access whenever they want, reducing the burden of employee requests on your payroll staff.
You want expert assistance
When you feel that you have done everything you can from your end to prevent mistakes, but you're not yet satisfied with the results, it's time to get additional help. Many small business owners turn to their accountants for help, but your accountant is still only human, and payroll might not even be their primary specialization. Turn your focus towards payroll software instead. Software vendors provide specialized customer support teams so that when something needs attention, you know that you've got expert help from the people who understand how the system works. They're just an email or phone call away.
You want better visibility on payroll expenditures
Payroll software doesn't just automate your payroll and tax calculations. It can also generate real-time reports, giving you complete visibility into your payroll costs and tax liabilities. When you sit down with your accountant for the year-end reconciliation, having accurate, up-to-date reports all in one place makes the entire process smooth sailing.
You want to establish frictionless communication between teams
The complete payroll cycle can involve a lot of people: HR, finance, the employees themselves, and even external accountants. Payroll software gets all of these teams working together in a single secure interface, eliminating the need to send data back and forth between multiple systems. You can future-proof your payroll operations even more by choosing cloud-based payroll software, which keeps the process going smoothly no matter where your teams are.
Introducing technology very early in your payroll process could help your business get used to the best and most productive habits right from the beginning. But starting out isn't the only time to think about automating your payroll process. We've highlighted a few of the other ways you can recognize that it might be time to adopt payroll software for your business. If those signs are telling, we've also compiled a payroll software purchasing guide to help you get the most benefit by picking the right payroll software for your business.