A Strategic Focus on Payroll
Let’s be honest, the expectation of payroll is that it can be nothing but perfect; every.single.time. Every person expects payroll to be on time and accurate. Often, the perception of the impact of payroll stops there, and we believe that is a missed opportunity.
Payroll can influence and impact a company at every level. For a payee something as simple as speed of pay can impact their entire experience within a company and their families. Implementing methods to give employees more control over that speed, like pay on demand, can have a huge impact on their personal lives. On the other hand, a CEO should consider the cost of getting payroll out the door, as well as how it helps retain and recruit top talent. Leveraging technology, optimization and new strategies can help elevate payroll professionals to the point where they become agents of change, dedicated to their team’s experience and completely aligned with their organization’s strategy and health.
Watch the video recording of our webinar on this topic below:
As simple as paying people on time and accurately sounds, payroll is actually quite complex. People depend on their pay and one negative experience with an employee’s paycheck is difficult to recover from. An error can carry a perception that the organization is disorganized and doesn’t care.
With all this in mind, it is surprising that many organizations still perceive payroll as a back-office or “overhead team” who needs to simply get people paid on time and accurately.
Payroll in and of itself is more than just hours times rate of pay or a per pay period amount. Employers are tax collectors for the state, federal and local governments. Every time one of these agencies (and there are hundreds) makes a change there is a downstream impact on an organization’s team. Many employees don’t even realize that moving, even one street over, can have an effect on their paychecks. Let’s factor in benefits and deductions to pay such as garnishments, philanthropic contributions and commuting expenses! Is it before tax after tax and where do all these deduction monies go? Who is sending them and when? Payroll has so many moving pieces that extend well beyond gross to net calculations.
These activities are all heavily scrutinized and require a body of talent focused on accuracy, compliance, risk and most importantly delivering a perfect employee experience by simply… processing pay PERFECTLY EVERY TIME.
Attention and significant importance must be put on payroll within every organization. Payroll is not a set it and forget it function, it must evolve just as any other business activity to ensure your organization remains risk adverse and supports the organization’s overall business strategies. While processing payroll perfectly and timely is key; having a payroll strategy is a differentiator, ensuring you are optimizing your payroll procedure and systems, retaining your talent and influencing organizational success.
How can I start implementing a payroll strategy?
Start by asking simple questions. Look for ways to reduce complexity and increase efficiency. Pay groups and pay frequencies are often areas that once they are established are overlooked; and these can have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line and drivers to greater efficiency. As you think about things like pay groups and pay frequencies consider other things that are unique to your organization. Are there any old processes that need to be revisited?
You can also consider and leverage technology and services that are available to optimize your payroll. In UKG Pro, for example, you could consider:
- Activating employee self-service and workflows: They are a great way to improve accuracy, efficiency and streamline your environment. Some examples include enabling, adding or changing direct deposits or tax changes.
- Manager self-service: Is a great way to speed up job changes and pay changes, reducing the need for calculating retroactive payments.
- Job aids: Depending on what automation you already have established, now might be a good time to create job aids to help new employees that come on board get familiar with your environment.
- UKG Pro Mobile: Can be another way of giving employees immediate access to their information right from their smartphone virtually anywhere!
- Automation: Are your payroll deductions being automatically sent to the appropriate vendors or agencies? For example: Retirement plans and garnishments. With Automation, not only do you reduce the risk of timely deposits, you also remove any human omissions, errors and manual effort.
- GL file optimization: Is your GL File automated? Does it require a lot of manual manipulation? We’ve published a full blog on GL File Optimization that could help you get started.
- Consider instant pay: Pay on demand, or instant pay, is when an employee can access part of their earned salary on demand. This emerging service, which in many cases has no cost to the organization, is helping companies improve their employee experience. Contact us to learn more.
- Custom BI Reporting: Mosaic offers custom reports including the Mosaic Payroll Dashboard. This dashboard it allows the strategic payroll team to serve up information to management and executive teams that showcase things like: exceptions to pay, a dynamic earnings trend chart, pay period activity with detailed drill down capabilities, PTO balances, pre-check statistics and payroll process progress monitoring, just to name a few. This type of information is often discussed at the leadership level, but not often served up proactively by payroll. This information can really make a difference and allows for more informed decision making.
Feel free to contact us today with any questions about our services.
Note: UKG Pro was formerly Ultipro.