Why It's Time to Redefine the Payroll Process

For accountants, bookkeepers and QuickBooks ProAdvisors®, showing companies how to streamline the payroll process offers the ultimate payoff. A necessity for any business, payroll systems too often remain stuck in the past, making the entire process time-consuming, complicated and fraught with errors. Learn how to take advantage of the latest technology to win the payday for every client.

The polls prove it. The way businesses perform, payroll now is a losing game. In terms of productivity and overall payoff, payroll is a real problem. The reason is systematic because payroll systems are outdated. Still stuck in paper timesheets and painstaking data processing, payroll seems to have missed out on the tech revolution completely. That’s the real issue.

Poll data by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) shows that 64 percent of small businesses perform payroll in-house. The rest use an outside accountant, payroll service or other solution. Of the respondents, 62 percent use a spreadsheet to process payroll and 66 percent do not tie payroll to an accounting system.

Bottom line: what does this mean? Not good news. It’s costing businesses more than they think.

It’s not just employee and bookkeeper time on the line, anymore. Payroll records need to be more accurate and detailed to meet the demands of employee regulations and deductions, audits, labor disputes, tax liabilities, and more.

So why – in a world where new tech rules every other business sphere – is payroll still being dominated by heavy-handed paper and spreadsheets?

According to the NFIB, poll respondents performed payroll this painstaking way to “save money” (37 percent) and to “maintain greater control and oversight” (32 percent).

In fact, though, the opposite is true. The American Payroll Association estimates that companies save an average of 2% of each employee’s total salary by using automated systems that reduce payroll errors and speed up the overall process.

In order to run payroll manually, up to 35 actions might be necessary to perform on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. From tracking down scrawled-paper timesheets to tracking essential details such as job numbers or paid time off, doing payroll this way takes time and misses out on accuracy. When you multiply that productivity loss across every industry and company, it becomes a big waste.

This complicated, multi-step payroll process can be broken down and made seamless using the latest cloud-based technology. Imagine, for example, taking the payroll process down to just a few clicks of a mouse. You retain all the functions, records and time entries required to keep the integrity of your payroll, but get added accuracy, protection and money savings.

By using an automated time tracking solution that works in the different ways people do – including in the office or on mobile sites, by app, text messaging, calling in, and even by Twitter – employees can record overtime, paid time off, project-based pay and notes associated with time cards.

The critical piece of tracking employee time is often overlooked, largely because of a lack of awareness of an easy-to-use QuickBooks®-integrated time tracking system. Through this method, payroll can be run in one action, simply by syncing recorded time data into QuickBooks and then running the numbers. Bookkeepers, accountants and managers can also generate reports that fit a number of situations and formats, especially when working with QuickBooks.

In examining the payroll breakdown, the end results are clear. Old methods waste businesses time, money and effort across the board, while also obscuring critical details about the way the company runs. New technology is dictating a faster, more accurate path to powerful payroll—and making a real difference in the way businesses take off.

Get payroll up to speed by adding technology to the accountancy team – and see how easy it can be to save the payday, every time!