Get your payroll up and running with this starter payroll guide

payroll guide

payroll guide – One of the aims of any workplace is creating an environment that is challenging, stimulating, and enjoyable, which results in employees being happy to spend a third of their day there. In many scenarios, these goals are accomplished, and staff members are happy with the jobs that they have. Of course, if payment is delayed, full of errors, or not showing up at all, that employee satisfaction quickly plummets.

Payroll is one of the most important tasks an employer needs to organize. Not only does it ensure your employees are well-cared for and able to meet their financial needs at home, resulting in less stress while they’re at work (and therefore better performance), it also needs to meet very specific legal criteria, especially when it comes to taxes. The following will explore some of the things you need to know if you’re setting up payroll for your company.

Get clear on wages

Before you start paying people, you need everyone to be on the same page when it comes to wages. This means there needs to be some agreement on what everyone is going to be paid and when they are going to be paid. Paying people less frequently (say, every month) saves your payroll department time and energy as there’s less work for them to do every month. This being said, more frequent payments have been shown to drastically increase employee satisfaction. Think about it. In a primitive state, humans often did work (hunting, foraging, building a home) where the reward of their work was immediately received (there’s a home where there wasn’t one before or food in a basket that can be eaten). Because of this, humans developed to respond positively to work that produces tangible outcomes at the end of the day. While paying people at the end of every day might be too much for you to handle (interestingly, paying a day wage is growing in popularity as it tends to encourage workplace satisfaction and honest time reporting), paying weekly or biweekly might be. 

It’s worth noting that you can always change things up later on if you decide the frequency of payment you chose doesn’t work for you, your payroll staff, or your employees. What you probably can’t get away with is lowering someone’s wage after it was set. Occasionally a discussion can bring about an agreement on a lower wage (let’s say if someone was switching to part-time work or giving some of their duties away to a new staff member), but not often.

Explore your payment options

While direct deposit is a pretty common option to present your staff with (it requires no additional effort on behalf of staff once it’s set up and pays far more quickly than the traditional cheque method), there are other payroll trends you might want to consider. Pay cards are becoming increasingly common and are expected to continue to rise in popularity. These cards act as debit cards to which an employee’s wage is transferred on payday to work with people who are underbanked or unbanked. No longer is it an incredibly strange thing not to have a bank account for direct deposit. A whopping 25% of American households are unbanked or underbanked and among younger populations like millennials and generation z kids, it is becoming more and more popular.

Payroll guide
payroll guide

Find a software that works with your choices

Payroll software is software that is designed to streamline payroll and reduce the risk of errors. The payroll process can simply involve tallying up hours and taxes and sending a direct deposit transfer; often, it is more complicated than this. Staff might have garnishments on their wages or tips to report. You might have varying schedules with different pay rates for different staff members. What about contractors? There are also all the compliance issues that need to be kept on top of and things like 401(k)s. It is incredibly helpful both in the day-to-day running of your business but also during tax season to have everything kept in one place. Moreover, payroll often involves the participation of different teams within a company like HR, payroll, benefits, and time and scheduling. If everyone has access to the same software, they can enter their contributions quickly and easily.

The above steps should help you get payroll set up within your business. Again, you are able to switch things up if they aren’t working for you or your staff. It’s a good idea to regularly revisit your payroll situation and look for areas where you can improve, as well as spend some time researching newer developments and trends in payroll to see if there’s anything you want to adopt.

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