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Crunching down the numbers for payroll is no easy feat. The whole process means dealing with timesheets, attendance reports, taxes, compensation and more. Such tasks can be daunting, not to mention time consuming and liable to conflicting results.
Fortunately, there are now software solutions designed specifically to assist you in managing payrolls. In fact, a Deloitte survey says that 89% of global businesses use online payroll services to help them. This type of software can help you manage your payroll and encourage transparency between you and your employees and many more.
With so many products and services to choose from, you may find yourself at a loss with which one would best suit your business. So, before you dive right into it, there are a few things you must take into consideration first to find the right payroll system for your company.
1. Determine your business needs
First thing’s first, defining what your company has is essential. This will serve as your guide when searching for the software that will best suit your business. No solution is a one-size fits all, so you need to determine if a specific software will be able to cater to your needs.
Some payroll services can cater to large enterprises, while others can only accommodate small businesses. If you have mixed types of employees, such as part-timers, full-time workers, freelancers, etc., it is important that your software can differentiate the methods, frequencies and ways you pay them. This is also true when it comes to having different shifts and schedules within the company. You should also keep in mind the people who administer payroll and the software’s ability to conform with your company’s policies such as tax computation, compensations, overtime pays, employee benefits and others.
2. Read reviews from other companies
To narrow down your options, you can research reviews on the top payroll software online. Doing so will let you have an idea what to expect with the software and how it has (or hasn’t) helped other businesses.
Feedbacks from first-hand experiences are the best way to determine if a software is right for you. Most of the time, these are honest impressions from other business owners such as yourself. However, take care to avoid reading reviews from the software’s website itself to get unbiased opinions of its effectiveness. You can also check out lists of the best payroll software to help you with your search and decide from there.
3. Evaluate tools and features
Each payroll software has their own unique set of features and tools to cater their clients’ needs. While more tools may seem better at first glance, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be using all of them.
There are software programs that merely organize the workflow for payroll management. Others that can do all the necessary work without manual assistance from qualified people. Some that can easily be integrated on top of other business software. Others don’t just provide services for payroll management but can streamline it with HR and accounting processes. There are those that let employees access their payroll via a local server, while others use their own mobile phones, tablets or laptops to see their salary computations.
With the diversity of functions among payroll software, it is important that their features and tools align with your company’s needs and goals.
4. Consider ease of use
The whole point of searching for payroll software is to make the whole process of managing and computing salaries and wages quicker and easier for your company. It defeats its purpose if such software requires too much resources and training just for you and your employees to figure out how to use it.
By making it navigable for beginners, anyone can jump right into the task without needing prior knowledge of the software. This can also save you from the extra cost of hiring experts for the job. Likewise, an easy to use software can lessen chances of encountering hitches along the way and thus preventing delays and waste of resources.
5. Gauge pricing
Payroll services pricing varies depending on the features, functions, and capabilities a software has. With the wide range of options to choose from, price is one of the most crucial parts in your decision-making. After all, everyone wants to have the most cost-effective product for their company.
Weigh out the features and services the software offers in comparison to its prices. Some may be on the pricey side, but it offers an extensive array of services that may go beyond simple payroll management. Others may be cheaper but only provide the basic tools.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to spend more to get the best results. Again, it is best that you look into the internal processes of your business to determine if a basic software is enough to suit your needs or if you will need a more complex one to help you run your business.
Pay and roll
Payroll management means dealing with a bulk load of data that needs a suitable amount of time and effort to handle. You can choose to out-source this task to a third-party service provider, or you can do it internally with the help of an online payroll software.
Using one does not only benefit you but can also be advantageous to your employees. It improves internal processes of the company while also keeping your employees satisfied and engaged. It fosters transparency and trust between both sides while also lessening chances of discrepancies and errors.
By choosing the right payroll software for your company, you can reap such benefits and enjoy the rewards.
We are sometimes asked “is emailing payslips OK?” and we politely explain that with regard to GDPR, email of payslips is a really bad idea!
Pay documents such as payslips, P60s and P45s contain personal data. This means that the employer has a responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect this data under GDPR. So, what does the GDPR say:
GDPR email payslips
” Taking into account the state of the art, the costs of implementation and the nature, scope, context and purposes of processing as well as the risk of varying likelihood and severity for the rights and freedoms of natural persons, the controller and the processor shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures…”GDPR Article 32
The key phrases here are: Technical measures and State of the art. State of the art is a fancy term which means the most modern and recent development. Since GDPR does not specify exactly what can or cannot be used, let’s review what technical measures are available:
- Plain email is used by most of us everyday. Emails are transmitted across the web in unencrypted form and that means it’s the easiest to intercept and read. Copies exist on multiple email servers including the senders and the recipients. Throw in a few backups and it means that multiple copies of a single payslip exist across the internet. The oldest technology and the worst idea for GDPR email payslips.
- Secure email is better but isn’t generally available and difficult for employees to access.
- Password protected email attachments improve the situation, but the issue of how to securely transmit passwords, and a password reset cause issues – particularly if they are sent by plain email.
- Secure online access with https is a method for secure communication on the web. You see it every time there is a padlock 🔒 in the browser address. This represents the state of the art.
If your bank were payroll, would it email payslips?
Here is a simpler way of thinking about the issue. Consider the financial personal data you receive today, for example bank statements, building society statements, credit card statements etc. Every financial institution faces the same GDPR issue and all of them have all arrived at one conclusion: No financial instruction would ever send a statement by email. They will send you a notification email about a new statement, but the only way to access the document is via secure online https.
No financial instruction would ever email a statement
In summary, secure online access 🔒
- means there is only ever one copy of the payslip, P60 or P45
- is secure
- is accessed by an employee using a web browser
- is the state of the art
It’s pretty clear for any employer who wants to adhere to the legislation and be in no doubt of compliance – that the state of the art technical measure is secure online access with HTTPS displaying the padlock symbol 🔒.
That’ s why you should never email payslips, P60s or P45s.
Use secure online access 🔒 to view a live payslip before pay day:
Use secure online access 🔒 to view and download a P60, P45 or payslip PDF from any device/ browser:
We have put together a list of must have payroll features for post C19 world.
Click the image, then pinch to zoom.
|Cloud||Run from anywhere,|
No more upgrades
|Never need to backup|
|Multiple administrators||In case I’m not available|
|Employee self-serve||Payslips, P60s, P45||Never generate or distribute a document again|
|Zero manual input from payroll||Employees responsibility to enter/ ensure manager approval.||No approval = no pay|
|New starter forms||No form = default tax code|
|Timesheets||No timesheet = no pay|
|Automated data collection||Employee/Manager|
|HMRC tax codes|
|Migration||Must have vendor service|
|Pricing||No multi-year commitment|
|Flex up/down with headcount|
|Live payroll||Ready/ visible from 1st day of month|
|Integrated Excel reporting||Pivot table and charts|
|Create my own reports|
|Employee well-being||See payslip before payday|
|View own pay queries|
|Engaged with pay and benefits|
This is a copy of an article that appeared in November 13, 2019 HRD Tech Founders Q&A series
In this instalment of our HRD Tech Founders Q&A series, Mark Paraskeva, Founder & CEO, paiyroll®, reveals why today’s workers expect to be treated like consumers in the workplace. This means giving them full control over their pay and benefits. Allowing workers to access pay-on-demand, not only reduces payroll costs, but means that workers are twice as likely to apply for a job and half as likely to leave.
What is paiyroll®?
paiyroll® is a cloud HR, pay and benefits technology solution, which transforms the way businesses attract, retain and engage talent.
By automating traditional manual processes, employers can reduce internal effort by 75% / external costs by 50%.
The great online experience workers have as consumers, can now be replicated in the workplace.
Workers can access their earned pay on-demand, anytime 24×7 without waiting for a fixed payday.
Engaging workers with visibility of their pay from day one, allows you to catch errors early, achieve 100% accuracy and de-stress the entire process.
Why was it necessary to create paiyroll®?
Three mega-trends have profoundly changed every aspect of our lives:
- Cloud (Mobile/SaaS/Online). Every industry has re-invented itself in terms of a cloud platform app.
- On-demand economy. We live in an on-demand world, where consumers can get what they want, when they want and how they want it.
- Robotic Process Automation. Automation is everywhere.
Before advising private equity on the HR, pay and benefits market, I was CEO HR/Payroll division of the largest privately held software company in the UK. I realised then that almost every payroll still ran on desktop, or even mainframe computers. I was struck how pay and benefits, for the most part, had been entirely missed by these mega-trends, and was firmly stuck as a manual process in the last millennium.
The idea was quite literally to reimagine payroll in terms of the three megatrends of cloud, on-demand and Robotic Payroll Automation (RPA):
- Why not take payroll out of the back-office and onto the workers mobile?
- Why not give workers pay on-demand?
- Why not automate a manual industry with Robotic Payroll Automation (RPA)?
I realised that automation could reduce costs by 50-75%. Ground-breaking features, like pay on-demand, would allow employees to access their pay when they wanted.
Why is HR technology crucial to the success of a business?
People are the most important asset in a business. Attracting, retaining and engaging talent is therefore critical to the success and creation of shareholder value.
Today’s workers expect to be treated as consumers – they expect the same experience in every HR work related touchpoint, as in their personal life. For example, workers using a live payslip on their mobile can check their pay, with the same ease as checking their next delivery. Holiday buy/ sell can be as simple as an on-line purchase. Workers will expect visibility and control of every aspect of their pay and benefits.
There is no other way to deliver this level of experience other than through HR technology. HR technology needs to give them what they want, when they want it and how they want it. In other words, the three megatrends are the norm.
How can an organization most effectively implement new HR technology?
It’s completely understandable why HR struggle to implement new technology: Current teams are usually sized to run existing systems and processes, often meaning there is no bandwidth to manage new projects.
Step 1 is to identify a partner who can truly assist in addressing this issue. A partner that not only provides the new HR technology but has software and expertise that can lead the transformation of old data and old processes for you. It’s not only the shiny new tech, but its software that can migrate from the old to the new that is just as important.
Step 2 involves a phased roll-out. Often, there is no need to switch everyone over on day one. This allows the organisation to establish best practices prior to full successful deployment.
Step 3 is to select a mobile-first cloud technology approach which can also provide real-time analytics. This will ease adoption with workers and key stakeholders like management and finance.
What do you think is the biggest challenge affecting organisations today?
The balance of power is shifting from the organisation to the worker. Attracting talent, engaging and retaining workers is now harder than ever. It costs on average £30k to replace a worker and replacing staff costs British businesses a staggering £4bn each year.
Which emerging technologies do you think will transform HR in the future?
HR now has the opportunity to take the most important benefit, pay, and use technology to transform its ability to attract and retain talent with on-demand pay. Workers who are treated like consumers at work are more engaged with their pay and benefits.
The end of the monthly pay cycle: The worker of tomorrow will work for multiple organizations in multiple roles, potentially concurrently. Future jobs might be a day a week, or several months in duration and workers will expect control over when they are paid.
Today’s workers demand a different experience, and smart employers are responding. By deploying cloud, on-demand and RPA technology, employers can lower their cost base, attract talent, improve retention while delivering on the expectations of their workers.
The government recently announced increases to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) in April 2020 with further legislation changes expected. Implementing and verifying adherence to this legislation is complex, difficult to understand and often involves manual setup and checking. It generally relies on payroll teams and their finance directors to ensure their companies adhere to the legislation and do not fall foul of government penalties, putting a lot of stress on these teams as deadlines approach.
The complexities of NMW should not be underestimated. Companies that have workers on a mix of salary, hourly or even piece work have to check their individual as well as consolidated rates. Workers age, holidays, benefits such as accommodation, or even travel time may need to be factored in. Also don’t forget that rates change each year, so just because your company met the rates last year, doesn’t mean all is well for the coming year. NMW adherence should be monitored on an ongoing basis, linked to payroll periods and not just once year when the government announces increases or new legislation.
Fortunately, advances in RPA (Robotic Payroll Automation) could help to reduce the effort, stress and cost associated with this. An RPA platform can load your payroll data, automate the checking of this data against current legislation, flag any violations of current rates and give you a sensitivity analysis of how close you are to current rates. It can do this on an ongoing basis and will track changes in legislation.
Wouldn’t it be great to know that you are not risking any penalties, know how close you are to the limits and not be faced with panic and unbudgeted pay rises or penalties in April. Not forgetting the reduced stress on your payroll team?