Getting your payroll correct is a hugely important thing for you and your team. Having to correct payroll mistakes undermines the relationship you have with your team, takes up a lot of your time and looks unprofessional.

You want to take as many precautions as possible to ensure you have a reliable and consistent payroll process in place. With that in mind, here's a quick guide to help eliminate payroll mistakes and save you time and money.

It All Starts With The Induction

It can be tempting to go through a minimal 'once over' with new employees, showing them the basics of their new job and getting them to work right away. However, as many successful businesses will tell you, the onboarding process is a hugely important time. As well as making them feel part of the team and being ready to perform, you can use this time to explain the payroll process clearly.

Once a team member knows how to report their hours and provide their payroll details, then you have a solid base to work with. Make sure that you get this right from the very outset. Neglecting this step may lead to small errors which compound over time, eventually leading to serious headaches for you or your managers.

Understand The Specific Tax Requirements For Each Employee

Paying the correct taxes for each employee is absolutely one of the most critical aspects of management. Not doing so can lead to huge problems for your employees. Unfortunately for you, taxes are very rarely 'one size fits all'.

For this reason, you should sit down with your employee on day one and establish which tax codes and deductions apply to them, as these can be different for every one of your employees. You should explain to them clearly why the specific codes and deductions apply, so that they understand the importance of this and have a basic sense of how the process works.

Make It Secure

It seems every day that we hear about a new cyber-attack in the media. It can get to a point that you just start ignoring this news because it can seem overwhelming. However, the reality is that cyber security can't be ignored.

Just as you have a responsibility to your employees to consider workplace safety, you also need to be very mindful of any personally identifiable information that you are storing in order to process their payroll.

As well as being conscious of security and the risk of a breach at any point, you should implement the following at a minimum:

• Ensure strong passwords are enforced for any software that deals with your employees' information

• Avoid storing any critical personally identifiable information directly. Instead use software services that have strong security policies

• Regularly update the operating systems and software of any computers or devices that you use to deal with payroll processes

Communicate With Your Team

Effective communication can help stop a range of problems escalating over time. Give your employees as much information as possible about how much they are getting paid and why. On top of this, make it clear to them that they are able to ask you questions about their payroll at any time. This will establish a culture of transparency and trust.

Making the payroll process a 'black box' can lead to distrust and festering dissatisfaction amongst your team. Remember that perception is reality, so if your employees think they are being underpaid, even if they aren't, this will lead to ongoing problems.

If a member of the team is confused about an aspect of their payroll, then at least if they know you are approachable they should be able to talk to you about it. You can then stop these turning into major issues with a quick chat and decisive action.

Take The Potential For Human Error Out Of The Equation

Any time you have a manual and repetitive process such as timekeeping, the potential for human error is always present. Having a system where you rely on someone to remember and report their hours, or someone else to process them, can lead to costly and time consuming payroll errors.

Fortunately, computers are great at doing repetitive tasks! In this day and age, it really doesn't make sense to be relying on pen and paper methods when there is such great technology available to help save you time and ensure accuracy.

Apps such as SINC automatically record where your team are, and the hours they work. This means that you get all the reports you need to run an effective payroll, without the need for human intervention. All you need to do is run a quick check and then use this data to process your payroll, free from errors.

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