Richard Branson famously said: “Success in business is about people, people, people”. Despite this mantra, too often financial growth is made at the expense of operational efficiency. A skilled and motivated employee is a form of capital, and the best tool to manage employees is your payroll system.
With the government’s announcement of the Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting – which will be mandatory for businesses with 20 or more employees from 1 July 2018 – there’s an increasing need for owners and managers to prepare their workplace for this transition.
Adapting to new technology and new processes can be challenging. However, this change represents a unique opportunity to unlock the hidden potential in your staff and operational practices. The transition to an STP-compliant payroll solution shouldn’t be intimidating if you have a proactive technology partner, who has a plan in place to ensure a seamless experience for you and your employees.
So, don’t pass the chance to invest in your workforce – change your goal from ensuring STP compliance to achieving greater payroll efficiency.
Get smart about compliance
You’re likely already familiar with the STP mandate that says: whenever you pay your employees, you also need to send the ATO information on salaries, PAYG withholding and superannuation.
Compliance with these guidelines is crucial. However, it should also be your business’ first step instead of the end goal. To maximise efficiency, you’ll need a payroll software that not only integrates seamlessly with your current systems, but also provides ongoing support for all your operational responsibilities.
To this end, you should look for STP-compliant solutions that minimise administrative legwork and integrate with broader HR systems. Work together with your HR team to identify the time and resource burdens of payroll, and investigate the functionality of the software available. Computers are much better than humans at ticking boxes – so let your software do the heavy lifting.
Also read: Plan your Single Touch Payroll compliance game plan: 6 tips for choosing your payroll solution
Maximise your payroll efficiency
The best part of newer STP-enabled technologies: they can address many of the most common payroll concerns before they become problems. Several potential friction points characterise outdated payroll systems. Late salary payments, annual leave taken or cancelled with little notice, and other staffing issues to name a few.
A cloud-based solution provides 24/7 access to staff and management alike, reducing the need to second-guess what’s happening within your workforce. With this kind of access, employees reduce administrative burdens as they increase their ability to have their needs heard.
This functionality may not be required for your workplace, but it also shouldn’t be disregarded. Any system with transparency can grow to scale.
Smart payroll insights = Better decisions
Can your business leverage detailed analytics of its payroll system? As soon as 2020, present-day HR and payroll as we know it will be unrecognisable, thanks to emerging technologies. Artificial intelligence has the power to automate tasks that previously called for laborious hours undertaken by multiple staff members. In addition, implementing automated reports on your business’ operations will save time and lead to smarter decisions – no more pouring over pages of figures till your eyes pop.
Your evolving role will soon encompass influencing key decisions; after all, you’ll have the crucial payroll and employee insights to bring to the table. The Internet of Things promises to grant you access to all-new kinds of employee data, which could, for example, help you make better growth decisions, boost employee engagement and, of course, save time and improve the bottom line.
Empower your employees
Your payroll team is well trained, engaged, and efficient. Is outdated software letting them down? Investing in your staff and software is the only way forward. An advanced payroll platform can free your team from mundane tasks so they can be strategic and add meaningful value to your company. If they’re already up to speed, make efforts to ensure they continue to grow as the technology does.
Improving payroll services and operations can begin by connecting with employees in a manner that makes sense and is easy for them. Consider the ease of automation by setting up a chatbot that is equipped to answer common and straightforward questions. You can also build and expand the FAQs section on your website. This saves your payroll officer from having to stay across multiple email chains that ask the same questions.
SMS integration is another way to achieve instant communication of important alerts. In the case of emergencies or a special occasion, smarter systems can automate a text message to your employees. This will ensure they feel in the loop of what’s happening and are empowered to engage within the organisation.
Don’t just survive – thrive!
Team and technology are your two biggest investments. How will you instil best payroll practices, boost efficiency, and grow your business in 2018?
For growth-minded payroll officers, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to “Unleash Your Payroll Potential: Evolving Your Role From Transactional to Strategic”.