Payroll—it needs to be right every time. Inaccurate or late payroll upsets employees and might be noncompliant with the law, creating costly problems. And many small businesses, especially small businesses exiting their infancy, struggle with their systems for payroll.
If not the cut-rate, cheapest off-the-shelf solutions, a good number of these are homegrown. Created from scratch, a small businesses payroll solution may be no more than a spreadsheet. Workflow is confusing, and responsibility for it is vague. A high failure rate only grows as the company does. Small businesses that emulate big companies with their payroll, however, spare themselves the headaches. They provide employees with security and a reason to stay.
Here are three things a small business can do to manage payroll like a big-size business.
ONE: Designate Someone Whose Primary Responsibility Will Be Payroll
Who was the person who handled your business’ payroll when your company was just starting out? Maybe it was you. Even if it was someone else, the point is that this person may not be the one to head payroll at your company today. Now is the time to delegate the responsibility to one department, which can comprise just one person or a team. Designate the roles and hire for them. This brings order to the function, which desperately needs it. The goal is to centralize ownership of payroll—the most intuitive step your business can take to manage payroll like a large company does.
TWO: Go to the Cloud
Chances are the technology you started out with is now impeding payroll. Short of outsourcing payroll, find and vet a technology for payroll. Preferably, it will be cloud-based. This means the technology resides on the provider’s server. A subscription model streams the extent of functionality you want via broadband Internet. Ideally, the solution should include time and attendance, as well as benefits administration, all running on a single application. This streamlines employee scheduling and helps you to comply with employment law. Everything that influences payroll acts as one unit. As a business grows, this feature becomes indispensable—enabling payroll, for example, to know in real-time whether a scheduling manager is about to assign an employee overtime hours.
THREE: Think About Outsourcing Payroll
It’s called payroll process outsourcing. Big companies do this, and so can small businesses. You have growth to think about, after all, and need to dedicate the maximum amount of resources to that possible. Meanwhile, payroll can be dizzyingly complex.
Today’s technology greatly improves to your ability to meet payroll on your own, yes, but you may want to leave payroll to someone else anyway.
Do-It-Yourself Payroll Will Bring Headaches
Do-it-yourself payroll demands innovation, resourcefulness and myriad other qualities we admire in entrepreneurship, and a DIY attitude got your business from its infancy to where it is today. But your company is no longer in its formative stages, and a DIY approach no longer has a place in your payroll. Big-size companies don’t have DIY payroll, and neither should a small-size one.