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Better payroll management: A how to guide | Updated: 3:06:33 PM, Wednesday May 23, 2012 Better payroll management: A how to guide

Get your accounts in check with our guide to managing your payroll. Doing it right can avoid some expensive mistakes.
Image: © robynmac – Fotolia.com

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Although taking care of your own payroll might cut costs in the short-term, you may pay a bigger price from expensive mistakes. Get your accounts in check with our guide to managing your payroll.

Get some help

Superannuation, tax, varying pay scales, processing staff pay can be a giant headache and pose some heavy legal implications. That’s why investing in an experienced payroll professional can be a smart move.

When working out whether to hire full-time or part-time, think about the size of your business and its capacity for growth. If you’re just starting out, a part-time recruit should be sufficient. However, if you’re growing steadily, think seriously about employing someone full-time.

As with all new hires, make sure to check out their references. Payroll staff are exposed to critical and sensitive information, so it’s vital that you trust them.

Outsourcing

If your business is growing in leaps and bounds, it might be wise to outsource your payroll function. Outsourcing can save you wages as well as expensive investments in software and IT infrastructure. Your vendor is also likely to have scalable systems in place, in case you quickly increase your headcount.

Pick your payroll provider wisely, some businesses report patchy or inconsistent service and a gap between expectations and results, especially if choosing an offshore option. There’s also the danger of not having access to employee records, an issue that could escalate HR crises down the line.

Choosing the right software

If you do decide to process your payroll in-house, think carefully about your software options. Seek out a user-friendly program that makes it easy to process pay through direct deposits and make sure that it can automatically update tax information. It’s also important that your chosen software integrates with your other programs and that it can handle the size of your business.

Again, choose a vendor that offers high levels of customer support. Best practice providers are usually on-hand to troubleshoot and help rectify mistakes.

Better payroll management will not only save you time and headaches, it will stop you from making any potential mistakes. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that a professional (or state-of-the-art payroll software) is taking care of an important part of your business.

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