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By Anna Marie Lee

Topics: Payroll


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For the uninitiated, payroll seems like one of the simpler activities on the human resources docket. After all, you merely need to keep track of your employees’ hours, then multiply that by their hourly wage, and finally deduct any taxes before sending it out.

It sounds easy enough, but if you’ve ever been involved in payroll, you know it’s not so! The HR payroll process can become quite complex if you let it.

How Complex Can It Be?

If you’re using a payroll service, chances are you have multiple employees, even if you’re a small business. Most small businesses, with fewer than 25 employees, don’t even consider having someone else manage payroll. Instead, they handle it themselves.

Whether you’re an HR professional in a large firm or a business owner who cuts the checks each week, you’re under no illusions: Payroll can get complicated. For each employee, you need to accurately track hours they’ve worked, in addition to overtime, holiday pay, vacation time, and sick days.

Once you’re done sorting out those factors, you’ll also need to look at taxes and withholdings. Different classes of employees have different tax requirements, and even employees in the same class will have different calculations based on their salaries.

As a final complexity, you also have to consider where your employee is located. Employees working at an office in Birmingham, Alabama, are subject to different state laws than those working in New York City.

Keeping It All Straight

There are multiple layers to HR payroll, and you need to keep track of it all. Different companies have different ways of doing things. The very smallest businesses may keep handwritten records or they may employ a bookkeeper using basic accounting software. Large companies may be using payroll solution software or outsourcing to a large service provider.

The idea behind any of these solutions is trying to keep everything straight! Since there’s so much you need to keep track of, payroll software can make your life much easier. These programs are designed to help you manage payroll more effectively. HR payroll software is designed to help you with some of the more obscure tasks of payroll. Generic accounting software might miss some of the nuances.

These solutions can help you determine which taxes you need to withhold, how much you need to withhold, and even keep an eye on changes in the tax framework.

Payroll Solutions Aren’t Enough

Even though it makes sense an HR payroll solution can help you simplify the payroll process, sometimes even these programs aren’t enough.

You might wonder what else you could possibly need. The answer is a more holistic solution to address more of your HR needs. Why settle for just doing payroll more efficiently?

Many HR functions are coupled to payroll, such as time management. Effective time management practices and policies go hand-in-hand with efficient payroll solutions. Better tracking of employee time can help you limit the amount of overtime you need to pay.

How do you manage your benefits administration? If you’re using separate software from payroll, you should consider how much more effective and efficient you could be if you had both benefits administration and HR payroll housed in the same application. Since benefits also play into your payroll, streamlining your HR payroll this way makes perfect sense.

Save Time and Money

By switching to a holistic HR software solution, you can streamline not just HR payroll functions, but virtually everything else your HR team does too. Simplifying your HR processes this way will save you both time and money.

It can also get you access to the expert knowledge of a team of helpful HR support staff. If you have questions, they have the answers.

Start managing your HR payroll more effectively today.


Anna Marie Lee

Anna Marie, Director of Payroll Operations at Paymedia, has over 20 years of experience in public accounting and payroll. She is a Certified Public Accountant who works closely with small business owners. She has spent the last six and a half years evolving in the payroll service industry and now heads the Paymedia operations team. Anna Marie is proud to be from New Jersey, where she lives with her four beautiful kids, her husband, a dog and a cat. To Anna Marie, nirvana is sitting at the beach, doing absolutely nothing.

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