4 Tips for Streamlining Your Payroll Processes

Payroll is an essential business process that causes a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs grief. It can be an arduous and tedious process that takes up valuable business resources. 

Fortunately, there are steps small business owners can take to streamline the process. Here are four tips for optimizing your payroll processes to make your business more efficient and profitable. 

Get the Right Tools in Place

The foundation of a streamlined payroll process is having the right tools in place. Having centralized payroll software that helps you get through the process quickly and accurately will save you time and money when running your business.

Look for payroll software that offers:

  • Unlimited employees
  • Updated taxation information
  • Unlimited payroll processing
  • High-quality customer support
  • Cloud backup and data security.

In addition to having payroll software, it’s worth investing in an automated scheduling system to manage your employee schedules. Rather than sitting down and putting a schedule on paper, smart scheduling systems forecast your needs based on historical scheduling. 

These systems can even send reminders to your employees when they have an upcoming shift. Using an automated or smart scheduling system can also print out a report, so you don’t have to add time cards for payroll manually.

Consult with the Experts

As a business owner, it’s not your job to have all the answers about payroll. Reaching out to an accounting or payroll consultant can help you clarify which paperwork and forms you need for your employees. This is especially helpful when exceptional circumstances arise, such as maternity leave or disability.

A payroll expert can also take a high-level look at the processes you have in place and advise you on how to streamline them. Many commercial banks also offer basic information to help small business owners navigate their payroll processes. When in doubt, consider the opportunity cost of trying to work things out by yourself. You’ll find that it’s always more cost-efficient to reach out for help.

Pay Attention to Taxes

When processing payroll for your small business, it’s normal to feel as though taxes are the bane of your existence. Tax laws are arduous and complex, changing with each passing year. Additionally, the types of tax submissions and forms required to keep your business in compliance will vary based on your revenue, business model, and types of employees— there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

Deadlines are one of the most critical considerations when processing taxes for your employees. Failure to submit on time can result in significant penalties, and ignorance is not an acceptable excuse. Take time to do a deep dive into what your business needs to submit and by when to ensure you’re making the right deductions during the payroll process. The more comfortable and prepared you are, the more streamlined your payroll will be.

Set a Clear Schedule

As a small business owner, your payment schedule should be set in stone. Set a clear timeline and manage employee expectations by having it outlined very clearly for them to review. Be sure to account for holidays and potential disruptions while setting your schedule.

Many modern businesses have different types of employees working from them. Your company might have a combination of salaried, hourly, seasonal, and contract employees to consider. Streamline your payroll processes by combining them whenever possible. For example, set a clear expectation for contracted workers that their payment will be processed with the bi-weekly salaried employees. 

Don’t hesitate to change your current payroll schedule to streamline processes. Just be sure that you clearly communicate the upcoming change with employees and give them ample time to prepare.

These four tips and tricks can help you modernize and streamline your payroll processes, making your business more productive and profitable. 

Brad Richman