As a service oriented company, BenefitMall strives to meet customer needs by providing a full range of payroll and benefits administration services. We offer basic packages to small businesses that still want to handle some of their own payroll operations in-house alongside full-service solutions that handle everything from time and tracking to reporting to administering employee benefits.
One principal we try to keep in mind irrespective of the level of service provided to an individual client is the simple fact that payroll can always be improved. Regardless of whether a client utilizes a full-service solution or opts for one of our self-service packages, there are things that can be done at the employer level to streamline operations and minimize errors.
To better illustrate the concept, here is a list of five tips any company can use for making payroll better, apart from a BenefitMall solution:
1. Develop and Maintain Policies and Procedures
One of the worst mistakes a small business can make during its first months of operation is to start processing payroll without policies and procedures firmly in place. Payroll is one of those things that cannot be left to chance. Therefore, it is critical for business owners and HR departments to come up with written policies and procedures they will follow at every return. It is equally important to update those policies and procedures as the company evolves. Growth brings change, and change has to be reflected in how payroll is processed.
2. Complete Onboarding Quickly
An onboarding procedure designed to be as efficient and fast as possible facilitates better payroll by getting new workers into the system right away. This should be a priority of every employer regardless of size. Onboarding is not something that should take weeks, or even days. It is something that should be completed before the new worker's first day is over.
3. Be Clear on Work Classification
Correctly classifying workers as either salaried employees or independent contractors is necessary to avoid IRS penalties. In some industries, like retail for example, worker classification is no big deal. Other industries do not find it so easy. Construction and hospitality are two examples. Both industries make extensive use of contractors. Therefore, it is imperative for companies in these two sectors to be very clear on how workers are classified. They need to get it right every time.
4. Maintain Meticulous Records
Federal law requires employers to keep records related to payroll and taxation. We cannot stress enough the need for meticulous record-keeping even when a company uses one of our cloud-based payroll solutions. Records are the key to staying out of trouble with the IRS. Any company not keeping meticulous records is just one audit away from big problems.
5. Automate Time and Attendance
Among all the errors payroll systems have to deal with, the vast majority are caused by human errors relating to time and attendance. From our perspective, that means one of the best things employers can do to improve payroll is to automate this function. By using electronic time clocks in conjunction with employee ID cards or other means of access, time tracking and hours calculations are taken from the human realm and transferred to automation.
Payroll processing and benefits administration are already complicated enough on their own. Employers do not need to make things worse by failing to implement a few common-sense initiatives that would make payroll more efficient. The five tips listed here can be the starting point for improving your company's payroll. Follow up by contacting us to learn more about our industry-leading solutions.
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