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Did you know that all business processes have a big impact on company culture — even the most mundane ones? Something like payroll is an essential business process, and it has a pretty direct impact on staff morale and motivation. If your company’s payroll is not running smoothly, it can cause a lot of anxiety and stress.

Free yourself from payroll woes with these tips for a smoother and more secure payroll system and bring your payroll into 2020.

Integrate payroll with all your business processes

It’s staggering how many companies have inefficient business processes due to poor or patchy integrations. Particularly older companies will acquire a chequered suite of software, with no consideration of how data travels (or should travel) from one system to the other.

For a great payroll experience across your business, you need to have a payroll system that simultaneously talks to your finance, marketing, HR and business systems. is a good example of a modern business system that integrates with just about anything thanks to Zapier — this is the level of integration you should be aiming for. You want project and payroll management to be seamlessly hooked up.

Lack of integration can lead to data issues (lost or incorrect tax codes/employee records etc), and it can also lead to unhelpful silos in the business that individuals will find frustrating and hard to overcome.

Use automation where you can

Automation is easier than ever, so try to move away from too much manual intervention and input in your day-to-day payroll management.

Automating payroll tasks is a smart way to not only save time and man-hours, but also increase security.

Manual interventions leave the door wide open for mistakes and anomalies in payroll data — not something you want.

Streamlined systems that make the most of automation will make you payroll a lean mean paying machine.

Consider payroll experience

How easy a system is to use has a major impact on its adoption and success in your business. When assessing payroll software or processes, think about the experience staff and managers are going to have.

Are there going to be frustrating roadblocks? Is there enough technical support on-hand? Things going wrong during payroll can be extremely stressful, and a bad UX or unclear process can make things so much worse.

The increasing popularity of cloud-based payroll suites like Wave comes down to the fact that a lot of thought and effort has gone into software interface design and testing. When you take into account the fact that “52% of leaders think a lack of familiarity with new technology is a barrier to digital transformation” (reported by Get Bambu), the importance of good payroll software design becomes even clearer.

A system that’s clunky and hard to use won’t be welcomed by staff (and it won’t stand the test of time either). Do your payroll homework and read reviews before committing to a system.

Cloud tools make for safer data

Storing data in a secure cloud-based system is often safer than storing old-fashioned paper records (not to mention better for the environment).

Cloud-based records allow for handy shortcuts like prefilled tax records, data mining and visualization tools for fast analysis, and remote (non-disruptive) software backups.

Adopt the cloud payroll mentality for compliant and secure payroll records you won’t have to stress over.

Share processes and expectations with staff

A big part of payroll success is communication. You need to communicate with staff about payroll in clear terms so that they know what to expect, and when.

A lot of anxiety and misinformation can build around payroll if it’s not handled right, so make sure that you keep everyone informed of payroll processes. Empower team members to get involved with payroll and HR themselves where suitable.

Having more people involved in payroll processes also makes them more secure. Make sure standards like confidentiality are understood throughout the business.

Be compliant

American Express has some good advice on staying compliant with payroll. Basically, the laws around payroll are strict and you don’t want to break them. Make sure you’re clued up things like payment schedules, holiday allowances, employee exit procedure etc.

Speak to business and financial advisors for some solid advice on any brewing payroll issues. A mistake here could be costly, so ensure 100% compliance at all times. Seek a second opinion if you’re not sure.

Regular training and updates on the latest legislative and industry changes are needed to ensure maximum security and compliance.

Annual planning for smoother processes

You want your payroll to not just function well month-to-month, but for it to be a part of your annual financial calendar.

Having an annual payroll plan and review will make for more efficient tax planning, and also create a sense of confidence and stability in the business and its future.

Make payroll a priority and ensure that you have a smooth and safe payroll process by following these tips.

Author Bio:

Kayleigh is a senior writer at Micro Startups, your online destination for everything startup. We’re dedicated to spreading the word about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted