IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
Essential Payroll Checks: Boosting Excellence for HR, Finance
Thu, 15th Jun 2023

Payroll teams are responsible for ensuring wages are accurate and paid on time. However, relying on outdated and inefficient processes can lead to significant shortcomings. Time-consuming, manual processes are not only repetitive and mundane, but they also lead to costly mistakes.

With changing regulations and tax laws in Australia and New Zealand, payroll teams are struggling to keep pace, leading to issues of non-compliance. In recent years, an increasing number of businesses in Australia have faced the consequences of improper employee payment practices, as well as failing to comply with requirements related to payslips and record-keeping.

Managing payroll manually can be a time-consuming and error-prone process. The good news is that there are several indicators that signal that it’s time to automate your payroll processes. These include errors in payroll calculations, struggling to keep up with changing legislation, time-consuming manual processes, high labour costs, and a lack of visibility and transparency.

An internal payroll audit can also help to assess the effectiveness, accuracy, and compliance of the payroll function within an organisation and help human resources (HR) and finance leaders determine whether their current payroll processes meet their needs or fall short. To guarantee a comprehensive evaluation during the audit, the following key areas should be addressed:

  1. Compare current pay rates and time-and-attendance records to identify discrepancies or inconsistencies.
  2. Ensure that employees are classified correctly, adhering to proper job classifications and relevant employment laws.
  3. Review payroll tax and superannuation obligations to verify compliance with tax regulations and employee benefit requirements.
  4. Thoroughly review and organise all payroll records, ensuring they are complete, accurate, and easily accessible.
  5. Determine the extent of manual processing involved in payroll operations to identify opportunities for automation and increased efficiency.
  6. Reconcile payroll to verify that all payments and deductions align with the appropriate records and are accurately reflected.
  7. Analyse payroll data for compliance problem areas, such as missed filings, incorrect calculations, or other inconsistencies.
  8. Assess current in-house payroll capability to determine if it adequately meets business needs or if outsourcing may be a better option.

When it comes to managing payroll, having a solid grasp of payroll processes is key to avoiding potential headaches down the road. Completing an internal audit of in-house payroll processes is a crucial step in ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of a business. By conducting a thorough assessment, finance and HR leaders can identify process issues, skills gaps, and areas of non-compliance before they escalate into major problems.

If outdated practices and inefficient manual processes are hindering your payroll team’s productivity and exposing your business to unnecessary risk, it may be time to adopt an automated payroll system. Automating payroll can deliver a host of benefits, including streamlining functions like salary payments, record-keeping, and tax filing while reducing the need for paper-based processes and manual data entry.

Though implementing an automated payroll system can bring significant benefits, there’s no denying the importance of having expert guidance throughout the process. Payroll providers who offer supported or fully managed services can often automate many labour-intensive aspects of payroll through innovative technology while also providing access to payroll specialists who understand the unique legislative challenges and requirements, giving businesses the sound advice and support they need to achieve compliance.

Engaging a dedicated team of payroll specialists eliminates risk, enhances efficiency, and lifts the burden of payroll management. With their expertise, businesses gain peace of mind, knowing that their payroll processes are resilient and well-equipped for future challenges.