The future of work is rapidly evolving, with advancements in technology and changing workplace environments transforming how we do business. In this new landscape, payroll must become more agile, highly automated, and most importantly, it must be done right. But there’s a problem: payroll is complex, and it’s especially tricky for in-house teams with limited staff who are under constant pressure to do more with less. And, with more Australians and New Zealanders living pay day to pay day, it pays to get payroll right — the first time. There are five essential factors that finance and human resources (HR) leaders should be aware of in order to effectively manage payroll operations.
1. Stay up to date with legislative changes
Ensuring compliance with legislation is a daunting task for payroll teams, made all the more difficult thanks to frequent amendments to legislation. However, they must remain informed about regulations that impact payroll, including onboarding and offboarding, leave entitlements, overtime, superannuation, and bonuses. While most organisations don’t choose to be non-compliant, it does happen, and it often comes with severe consequences such as back payments, penalties, and even legal ramifications. By leveraging external accredited payroll and compliance experts, businesses can avoid serious repercussions and focus on activities with a higher return on investment.
2. Bridge the skills gap
Entrusting complex payroll functions to unaccredited employees is unlikely to end well. Finance and HR leaders should conduct a skills-gap analysis to identify shortfalls within their payroll teams and develop strategies to address them. These could include investing in training courses or outsourcing all or some payroll operations to a dedicated team of specialists. By bridging the skills gap through the expertise of accredited payroll specialists and leveraging supported or fully managed payroll services, organisations can enhance employee engagement, improve quality assurance, adapt to evolving regulations, and ensure that employee classifications are correct.
3. Automate record-keeping
Manual record-keeping is not only time-consuming and tedious, but it can also pose risks during audits and investigations. Adopting best-practice record-keeping lets businesses hold and keep track of accurate employee details, detect payroll errors faster, avoid non-compliance, and facilitate streamlined operations. All of this can be achieved through automation, which also offers increased security through features like data encryption and multi-factor authentication.
4. Properly classify employees
Properly classifying employees in accordance with applicable awards and contracts is essential to tax and superannuation compliance. A common form of employment misclassification is when full-time employees are classified as independent contractors and miss out on the benefits of being an employee. As contracts intensify and work patterns such as split shifts and job sharing become the norm, accurate employee classification becomes even more challenging. By streamlining payroll operations through outsourcing, businesses can proactively detect when employees are incorrectly classified.
5. Evaluate and improve current payroll practices
Relying on manual payroll processing results in inefficiencies overburdens payroll and HR teams, and significantly raises the probability of costly errors. Employees who spend five days a week completing repetitive and mundane internal payroll tasks are more likely to become disengaged — further increasing the risk of human error. Finance and HR leaders should consider adopting automated payroll solutions to minimise errors in calculations, make payroll records more accessible, enhance security, and save time by eliminating as many manual processes as possible.
Streamlining payroll management for optimal efficiency
With the digital transformation revolution well underway, now is the time for payroll to get a much-needed upgrade. Outsourcing payroll services offers organisations the opportunity to leverage automated payroll solutions, providing a more efficient payroll experience. By partnering with external experts, businesses can enjoy streamlined processes and automated features that simplify payroll calculations, ensure timely payments, automate tax deductions, and generate comprehensive reports.
By choosing a supported or fully managed payroll service, organisations can stay compliant with regulations while freeing up valuable time and resources to focus on core operations. With experienced professionals equipped with advanced technology handling payroll management, businesses can experience a seamless and hassle-free payroll process that adds value and provides peace of mind.