As an HR professional,
you usually don’t have to deal with payroll tasks beyond the basics when
onboarding a new employee.

But making sure workers
get paid is essential to your job, since you’ll be the one dealing with any

And you want a system that
streamlines payment processes and keeps your business compliant with IRS regulations and

Most HR software
solutions have a payroll module that comes preloaded, but if yours doesn’t
consider talking with your software vendor to see if it can be added on.

There are many benefits to
having payroll software
integrated with your HR system. You can customize the system as needed to cut
down on menial tasks, smooth out your onboarding process and ensure payments
are quick and accurate. Plus, compliance with confusing tax laws is easier with
a system that updates regularly.

First, here are the
essential features and functions of any payroll software solution.

Key features

Your payroll software
solution should include the following features, all of which can improve your company’s
processing and systems:

  • Payroll processing: The ultimate
    function of any payroll software is the ability to process the various facets
    of payroll, including timekeeping and overtime pay rates.
  • Direct
    Employees don’t want to wait for paper checks, but luckily most
    payroll software can connect with banks to disburse payments directly to
    workers’ bank accounts immediately. This also cuts down on the potential for
    mistakes or lost payments.
  • Tax
    filing help:
    The best payroll solutions have automated calculations for when
    tax time comes around that can pre-fill employees’ tax info with the data
    already in the system and avoid any human input errors. Another plus? Your taxes
    will always be filed on time.
  • Compliance
    To keep workers’ data safe, payroll solutions should have robust
    compliance measures. And since state, local and federal tax laws are ever
    changing, an automated system ensures your company is always on the right side
    of the law.
  • Self-service: Let
    employees do some of the work for you with self-service portals that let
    workers log on and see their payroll information. They can fix any mistakes
    with their data and input their own time attendance, leaving the important work
    to the payroll professionals.
  • Accounting
    Certain accounting functions can be integrated into a payroll
    solution as well, streamlining the entire Finance process and opening your
    teams up for more collaboration.

These features can all
provide benefits to your organization, like removing tedious tasks from your Finance
employees’ workloads and ironing out onboarding and other HR-essential processes.

Automate tedious tasks

To an HR professional,
maybe all payroll tasks seem tedious. But for payroll employees, the simple
stuff is where help’s needed. Inputting data, handling leave requests and
sorting through overtime submissions all take time away from the important job
of managing wages for every employee.

Any payroll processing system
worth its salt can help with those tasks. If the payroll processing is
integrated with other HR systems, it can pull time clock information to accurately
determine how much hourly employees get paid.

Payroll employees also
won’t be required to calculate taxes and deductions manually, since the payroll
system does it automatically. Your system can also send automated emails
reminding managers to approve employees’ time so your Finance staffers don’t
have to chase people down.

In addition, automating
time off requests and other data entry means Payroll employees can spend their
energy on hurdles that crop up or other, more complicated duties.

Reduce paycheck questions

Any payroll professional
will tell you: Right after employees get their paychecks, the questions come
rolling in. People want to know why numbers changed and where their money is
going if it’s not going straight to them.

Most payroll solutions
have self-service options, which are key for decreasing those simple questions
your Finance department receives. Employees should be able to easily access
their payment information, including stubs and W-2 forms.

Another benefit? If any
information is incorrect, workers can see it and contact Payroll or HR to get it

Streamline onboarding

An automated payroll
system can go a long way towards improving the experience for new hires – which
directly impacts HR.

New employees can use the
self-service options to upload the necessary forms directly to the system,
without needing HR to handle the processing or store multiple copies.

Instead, the forms are
already in the system, allowing them to be edited if needed and immediately
used for payroll.

This also saves your HR
team time and energy to focus on the most important parts
of onboarding, such as training.

Get people paid accurately

No matter how much your
employees love working for your company, they also want to get paid correctly
and on time.

Direct deposit functions
in most payroll solutions can help, since people can get their checks
immediately and not have to make a trip to the bank to deposit a check.

And self-service portals
mean workers can get up-to-the-minute info on when their money will be available.

Note: When payroll
information is accessible to employees, you’ll want to remind them to check it
regularly, especially if they move or other major life changes occur. You don’t
want to deal with missed checks due to incorrect or outdated info.

Automated payroll processing
also reduces common errors that can happen when humans are the ones inputting
information. A mistyped keystroke can mean the difference between $100 and
$1,000, and you don’t want to over- or under-pay your employees.

Boost compliance

Keeping track of every
local, state and federal tax law that governs how you withhold money from
employees’ paychecks is a tall order. You need to stay compliant, but quickly-changing
laws can make it seem almost impossible at times.

Newer payroll software monitors
those laws and other regs so you’re never playing catch-up with compliance and
can ensure all your deductions are accurate and lawful.

This also eases the
burden on your Payroll employees, who won’t have to be monitoring compliance
requirements as closely, although they should still review updates regularly to
keep everything running smoothly.

Major challenges

Despite all the benefits
integrating your payroll and HR software can bring, there are some significant
challenges to consider before making the switch.

Change management

HR knows this better than
anyone: Change management is often complex. Letting everyone know about serious
changes to the way they work can lead to pushback, especially from older employees
who are used to the way things are done.

Be sure to lay out the benefits
that come with adding a new solution and thoroughly explain why you’re switching
things up. Emphasize how much easier payroll tasks will be now and tell workers
about their new options for accessing information.

Finance staffers in
particular should receive ample warning before anything changes and take their
critiques into account.

Vendor communication

Once you’ve decided to
make the change, you’ll need to figure out whether an entirely new solution
would be best or if your current HR software has a payroll module you can customize.

HR, IT and Finance will
need to work together to find the right solution for your company, so make sure
communication between departments is consistent.

In addition, dealing with
third-party vendors is often a hassle and it can be even worse to add a new vendor
to the mix. Clearly communicate what you’re looking for and what you want to
get out of the solution. Remember to review agreements in-depth before
partnering with any vendor.

You’ll also want to check
with the vendor to see what support is available once the solution has been
implemented. Many vendors offer 24-hour helplines or onsite assistance as
needed, which is useful if any issues crop up.

Training employees

Arguably the most important
piece of the puzzle is training
employees on how to use the new system. There will be questions and
concerns about the impact of new software on paychecks, so let workers know how
much smoother the entire payroll process will be.

Talk with your vendor to figure
out how training should work and what major questions they’ve been asked – that
way you can address them before they’re asked.

Payroll and Finance
employees will obviously have more extensive training than other workers, but every
staffer should receive at least a basic tutorial.

You’ve likely trained
workers on new systems before, so let those previous experiences guide you.
Review any documentation you have from those previous training sessions to see
what worked and what didn’t.

Work with IT to see how software
will be implemented on people’s computers and if additional equipment or
further training will be necessary.

Despite the challenges
when implementing a new payroll system, the time and money saved makes integrated
payroll and HR software well worth it.

Your Payroll staffers
will have more time and energy to spend on complicated tasks and will receive
fewer questions about the process, and workers will continue to get paid
quickly and accurately. Plus, onboarding and compliance duties will also be
streamlined, so you’ll be ready for anything that gets thrown at you.

The post 5 benefits Payroll software can deliver to HR appeared first on HRMorning.

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