Looking for the ideal payroll solution?

Payroll is a vital part of a business, and if you are looking for the ideal payroll solution you want to ensure you choose one that is going to save you time, make your life easier and keep you compliant.

But what else should you look for when in the market for a payroll solution?

Firstly, why do you need a payroll solution?

Why do you need a payroll solution?

Before you say you don’t need one since you use Excel to do your company’s payroll, read this blog post: Are you really thinking of using Excel as your payroll?

Salaries make up the largest share of a company’s expense, and payroll isn’t easy.  Calculating gross payments is a complex process; you need take into account the number of hours each employee has worked, taxes that must be deducted as well as the benefits that might need to be subtracted from the pay.

This requires accuracy and skill and a good payroll software system.

You need a system that will streamline and automate all of the parts involved in payroll.  This will remove errors that occur in manual processing, as well as reduce the time it takes in processing the payroll.

Benefits of a payroll software solution

There are many benefits in having a payroll solution, some of which include:

  • Two of the benefits have already been mentioned – avoiding errors and saving time. Unlike a manual payroll process where an incorrectly placed decimal point will be missed, a payroll system will identify and automatically correct these kinds of errors.
  • Taxes are paid correctly. An ideal payroll solution will have built-in tax calculations and reporting.  This payroll solution will make it easy to calculate the taxes owed and paid by each employee.  Templates will also assist in ensuring speedy tax submissions.
  • Employee data is more secure with payroll software. Sensitive data is accessible to authorised staff only, and information like salaries and other information are kept safe.
  • Payroll software keeps calculations accurate, ensuring employees are paid correctly and consistently. A payroll system will automatically calculate benefits, expenses, allowances and deductions when processing salaries.
  • Employment data is centralised. Timesheets, contracts, leave and performance records are stored centrally, allowing authorised staff to quickly access the data they require.

Factors to consider when looking for payroll software

There are a number of important factors to consider before you choose your payroll solution.

A cloud payroll or on-premise system

You have a choice between having your payroll system based in the cloud, or having the system based in your offices.  They both have benefits and disadvantages.

Read this blog for more insight: 10 reasons to run payroll in the cloud.

Cost

Costs like license fees, monthly subscriptions, setup fees and other fees are involved when purchasing new software.  Ensure you read the fine print and know exactly what costs are involved.  Be sure not to pay for any features that you don’t need.

Compliance

A good payroll solution will support tax laws and assist with setting adjustments and generating the required tax reports.  It should also automatically add in tax changes to ensure you are always compliant.

Scalability

You want a payroll solution that will grow with your business.  Take a moment to see your business in five years and consider the features you might need then.  You might have more staff, more branches or even operate overseas, and you need your payroll solution to cater for this.

Integration

The payroll solution should be able to integrate to other applications such as timesheets and reporting tools, even into larger HR or accounting systems if necessary.  Before you choose, make sure the system works with the apps you are currently using.

File export-import should work with standard formats like PDF, JPEG, DOC, CSV and TXT.  Integration with cloud storage is also a big plus for backing up records.

Features you want in your payroll software solution

Another important factor to consider is the features that come with the payroll software solution.

Make sure the features meet your specific payroll requirements.

Some of the features include:

  • Payroll management

Salaries are automatically calculated based on your preset schedule.  The solution will consolidate salary related items such as attendance, benefits, and reimbursements to calculate the pay.

  • Leave management

The software calculates the leave accrued, and employees can submit leave claims and monitor their leave balance using this feature.  Managers are able to review these requests and approve or decline them.

  • Income tax and deductions

This feature processes pre- and post-tax deductions.  It helps you keep compliant with tax requirements.  The system automatically does the calculations based on latest regulations.

  • Expense management

The software allows you to enter, track and calculate expenses, deductions, loans, advances and other employee costs.  Some payroll systems feature a loan ledger to account for all approved employee loans.

  • Record keeping

Payroll solution also acts as a repository for employee records and other documents such as employee profiles, organizational charts and applicable legislation for labour, tax and occupational safety.

Xpedia payroll solution

nuQ payroll software is an intelligent payroll that thinks for you.  It is easy to use and requires no extensive training.  It can automate your most complex calculations, accurately handle back pay, communicate with staff in their own language, and easily handle multiple countries’ payrolls.

nuQ’s standard features:

  • Multiple currencies, multiple tax authorities, and multiple languages
  • Unlimited flexibility to add your own payroll elements and calculations
  • Hundreds of standard reports
  • Complete audit trail
  • Powerful import/export features
  • Accurate date control
  • Employee self-service
  • Electronic payslips (without having to purchase any third party add-ons)

nuQ brings massive improvements to payroll operations.  Built on web technology, nuQ is available as a cloud-based service or can be installed on site according to your preference.

A payroll solution is a must have in your business

Handling payroll is complicated, and prone to human error.  Calculating an employee’s gross pay is already complex with the numerous factors to consider, including the number of hours worked, payroll income taxes to be deducted, and benefits to be taken out.  This must be accomplished accurately to avoid paying tax fines or having your staff lose confidence in your business.

Payroll software lends to your business automation, data centralization, templates, integration and customization that, together, deliver many benefits mentioned earlier.

An ideal payroll solution is something you simply must have to help you streamline and automate your payroll process.

 

Sources:

  • https://financesonline.com/

4 reasons to fill out the EMP201

What does the EMP201 mean to you, do you really need 4 good reasons to fill it out?  Probably not, but if you read on, you can find out everything you need to know about the EMP201, and how to ensure a timely and accurate submission.

What is EMP201?

4 reasons to fill out EMP201The EMP201 is an employer payment declaration that requires employers to indicate the total payment made to employees.  It includes Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Skills Development Levy (SDL) and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) payment allocations, as well as the Employment Tax Incentive amounts if applicable for the period.

In terms of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, employers are required to:

  • Deduct the correct amount from employees
  • Pay those amounts to SARS monthly
  • Declare such amounts paid to SARS on a Monthly Employer Declaration (EMP201).

You need to pay SARS the amounts deducted or withheld on a monthly basis.  More specifically, you need to submit your EMP201 and the payment, if applicable, within 7 days after the end of each month.

Reasons why you need to fill out the EMP201 form

The 4 crucial reasons why you need to complete an EMP201 form are as follows:

 

  1. For your employees.

    Having employees means ensuring you deduct tax from their salaries, and pay it over to SARS every month.  In addition to deducting tax from their salaries, you need to take off UIF and SDL fees.  By doing this, you are helping your employees pay their taxes, and be covered by the UIF if they ever need it.

  2. To avoid penalties.

    You might need to pay interest and a penalty on late payments or outstanding amounts.

    • Interest is payable at the prescribed rate if any amount of Employees‘ Tax, SDL or UIF contributions is not paid in full within the prescribed period for payment of such amount.
    • A penalty equal to 10% in addition to the interest will be imposed on late payments or outstanding amounts
    • If you fail to pay the relevant amount with intent to evade your obligation, you may be liable to pay a penalty not exceeding an amount equal to twice the amount of employees‘ tax, SDL or UIF contributions which you failed to pay.
  3. Because it is the law.

    You are legally obliged to deduct the correct amount of tax from employees, and declare and pay those amounts using the prescribed EMP201 form by the 7th of each month.

    If you are found guilty of an offence, you can be fined or sentenced to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months.  The following are just a few of the offences:

    • fail to deduct employees‘ tax from remuneration or to pay the tax to the Commissioner within the prescribed period
    • uses or applies employees‘ tax deducted or withheld, for purposes other than the payment of such amount to the Commissioner
    • permits a false IRP5/IT3(a) to be issued or knowingly is in possession of or uses a false IRP5/IT3(a)
    • furnishes false information or misleads his/her employer regarding the amount of employees‘ tax to be deducted in his/her case
    • fails to deliver IRP5/IT3(a) to employees or former employees within the prescribed periods
    • fails to maintain a record of remuneration paid and tax deducted.
  4. nuQ makes it easier for you.

    nuQ duplicates the EMP201 form exactly.  All you need to do is to copy the figures from each box on the return into boxes with the same numbers on the official return.

    You may notice that the SDL and UIF contributions are exactly equal to the earnings multiplied by the appropriate rate (1% and 2% respectively). This is unusual, as payrolls calculate the amounts due per employee. Rounding differences will occur on each employee’s calculation, to make the amount due for the employee an exact number of cents.

    How then do the totals on the return exactly equal the earnings multiplied by the appropriate rate, as the rounding differences per employee will almost certainly not be the same as the rounding difference when the amount due is calculated as a percentage of the total earnings?  This is because nuQ adjusts the reported earnings of each employee to exactly equal the amounts due divided by the appropriate percentages.

    In other words, the rounding differences are transferred to the earnings, instead of the amounts due. This is done to avoid silly queries from SARS that might arise (and have arisen in the past) because multiplying the total reported earnings by the percentages of those earnings which are payable might not give the exact amount reported as payable. This is a small example of the thought that Xpedia developers have put into their reports to help you.

    The Employer Reconciliation process

    The Employer Reconciliation process requires employers to submit EMP501 declarations that reconcile the EMP201 forms for the respective period.

    After diligently submitting your Monthly Employer Declaration (EMP201) by the seventh of each month, you need to submit an interim Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) in September-October for the six months from 1 March to 31 August.  Your final annual EMP501 submission is done during April and May for the tax year 1 March to 28/29 February.

    This process assists you by:

    • Enabling an easier and more accurate annual reconciliation submission
    • Maintaining an up-to-date employee database
    • Registering employees for Income Tax purposes, as required.

Get your EMP201 right

It is important to get your SARS red tape right from the start.  This will ensure you avoid problems and penalties with the tax authorities later down the line.

Compiling the data and submitting the EMP201 can be easy if you use the right tools, and keep track of new SARS requirements and legislative changes.

Sources

  • sars.gov.za

 

 

Are you really thinking of using Excel as your payroll?

Are you really thinking of using Excel as your payroll?  Excel spreadsheets are superb tools for charts, to store and retrieve numerical data and do complex calculations, but they aren’t the greatest for employers needing to process salaries.  Excel might be able to do complex calculations, but do you trust it enough to handle your payroll?

You probably already have Excel installed on your system, have found numerous templates online and are a genius at using VLOOKUP.

But have you thought about what will happen when your company grows; you might only have three staff members currently so using Excel as your payroll is working perfectly, but Excel won’t be able to keep up with the growth of your business.

If you want to use Excel as your payroll, do you want to risk the following?

  • Time wasted struggling with formulasPeople tend to struggle with adding formulae and rules to rows and rows of a spreadsheet.  Just one misplaced click and everything goes awry, resulting in hours of work wasted and incorrect figures.
  • Inaccurate figures and regular errorsA lot of spreadsheets contain errors on account of, among other things, human contact.  Data, formula and format errors are the common ones.  Copy-paste is another one.  Errors in spreadsheets and wrong calculations can end up costing an organization money.  Keeping accurate records is non-negotiable in a business, especially with payroll figures.
  • Not finding an Excel expert (someone who knows and understands VLOOKUPs like you do). Processing payroll in Excel does need someone skilled – all those formulae and VLOOKUPs require someone knowledgeable and highly trained about the functionalities and shortcomings of spreadsheets.
  • Not having a seamless payslip processAs an organization grows, so too do the number of employees, and the number of payslips required.  This can get very complex and time-consuming to generate and distribute payslips from multiple files.  Payslips are important to employees, as they provide employees with proof of income and are documentation for their own records.

The list can continue, but rather look at what a payroll system will do for you that an Excel spreadsheet won’t.

It’s not what you can do for your payroll but what your payroll can do for you

As a business owner, you need to manage and process your employees’ pay, their taxes, leave days and any other pay related details.

Doing this manually requires a lot of time and concentration, and extra effort to avoid the human error that is probably going to occur.

Using a payroll system has some benefits over a manual spreadsheet.

Efficient

Not only will a payroll software system, particularly an automated system, reduce time spent on processing salaries, taxes and other employee information, but you can integrate a payroll system into other systems used in a company.  Systems like time-keeping, performance reporting and other HR reporting and tracking systems can be integrated, thus ensuring efficient information processing.

Using Excel would not allow for this kind of integration or efficiency.

Easy tax compliance

Using a payroll software system will allow you to easily export employee and company tax information through to the tax authorities.

Without a software payroll system, submitting tax information would not be as quick and easy as hitting an export and submit file button – in fact the process would probably make life very inconvenient for the person in charge of this task.

Security

Keeping employee records safe is of utmost importance.  Most (if not all) payroll software systems back up their information, either off-site or in the cloud, depending on the software agreement.

The business and employee personal, financial, payroll and tax information needs to be safeguarded – something to consider if using Excel as your payroll system.

Employers with a manually run payroll system would be hard-pressed to come up with a better reason for not going the automated payroll system route, than for the safekeeping of their personnel records. Imagine losing your business and employee financial, payroll, and tax information?

Securing sensitive information and not allowing unauthorised persons access to data including ID numbers and banking details should be emphasised. Payroll software solutions offer a password protected environment where personal and financial data related to employees can be stored at low risk of being accessed by the wrong people.  Obviously you also need to ensure the computers on which the data is stored has been secured against hacking attempts and virus attacks, and things like firewalls and antivirus software are always current.

The safe storage, backup and protection of data are non-negotiable.  If using Excel spreadsheets for your payroll how are these backed up and secured?  Hopefully you aren’t only relying on unencrypted email or basic password protected content.

Convenience

Keeping up with the jones, or at least the digital world and the increasingly automated processes and systems out there is important.

Not adopting automation in your payroll process will ensure you get left behind and be very inefficient.

No guru required

Using payroll software does not require an Excel expert proficient in formulas and spreadsheet related business.  Sure, you still need and want smart people to manage your business, but using payroll software, an automated payroll, will save you time and money.

Other reasons why you shouldn’t use Excel for your payroll

Increased risk of fraud and human error

Non payroll solutions – aka spreadsheets – need an incredible amount of manual input. More data to input means there are more chances for errors to occur.

Incorrectly entered details, figures and tax codes, means additional workload in finding and rectifying errors.

Using spreadsheets also places a business at more risk to fraud.  There are unscrupulous employees out there, and using spreadsheets increases the chances of those kinds committing fraud.

Software payroll has built in processes that prevent duplications and other funny business from occurring.

Bottlenecks, manual processes and wasted time

Manual data capture and repetitive tasks involved with capturing data in spreadsheets often means employees wait right up until the deadline before submitting.  This can also lead to missed deadlines, and missed payments.

Waiting until the last moment can create bottlenecks in the payroll workflow.  This is not such a big deal for a small business, but as a business grows, it means more data to capture.

Poor reporting

Excel doesn’t provide reports as a payroll software would.  It takes effort to design the reports with the information you need – no automated reporting for Excel.

The same goes for dashboards that give you real-time information of your company.  Also, it is rather difficult to project and manage cash flow accurately in Excel.

What nuQ payroll software can offer you

Xpedia offers you nuQ payroll software.

nuQ payroll software is an intelligent payroll that thinks for you. It is easy to use and requires no extensive training.  nuQ also boasts superior payslip and reporting structures – something that Excel cannot.

nuQ allows payroll to be run in the cloud.  This payroll database is held on a server which is accessed via the internet.

nuQ is based on Microsoft .NET and MS SQL and was one of the earlier adopters of this technology – a decision which has stood the product in good stead.  This is illustrated by the advanced easy to use program structure under which nuQ runs.  This has also made it possible for nuQ to easily incorporate new developments brought out by Microsoft.

Benefits

  • Access your nuQ payroll from anywhere
  • Faster support response time

Security

  • Scheduled daily backups
  • Access limited through the use of a secure socket layer and digitally signed certificate.

A few of the other features offered by nuQ Payroll include:

  • A tax query reportSince most queries received from employees in connection with their pay relate to the amount of tax deducted, this report displays everything that can affect a tax calculation.
  • A payslip that can be issued in various file formats.

Check out the rest of the features (there are lots).

Why waste time?

Why would you want to do something in a manual, time consuming and inefficient way, when there is an easier, faster, more efficient way.

Some statistics say that it takes seven or more days to process payroll if using Excel.

If you will still continue to use Excel for your payroll, ensure you follow these best practices:

  • Ensure your spreadsheet is from a reliable source
  • Check for accuracy and statutory compliance
  • Keep your spreadsheets up-to-date
  • Backup your data regularly

Know that using payroll software will save time, give you peace of mind knowing your records are accurate and secure, and offer you flexibility as your business grows.  This will give you the time to focus on more important things in your business, and less time on laborious admin.

 

Sources

 

Who doesn’t love filling out a leave form?

What you need to know about leave management

Using a spreadsheet to manage your company’s leave is not the best or most efficient way to do it – find out what you need to know about leave management to move away from the manual spreadsheet grind and more, including the benefits of a leave management software and tips for leave management.  And if you are an employee read up on how best to manage your leave.

What is leave management?

Leave management is the process where employees request time away from work, and managers approve or deny this leave request based on its impact to the organization. Complex, manually administered leave programs are costly to manage, and often result in errors.

One of the tasks that take up most of an HR team’s time is leave management. Their responsibilities include ensuring compliance with leave policies, making sure enough staff are in the office (and not all on leave at the same time), and keeping the staff happy.

A reliable leave management system in your business is crucial.  Poor leave management practices can affect employee performance – and not in a good way.  Negative staff morale will impact on the work that is delivered.

That is what concerns employers, but leave management for employers is different to leave management for employees.  What concerns employees is taking their leave, and having more leave.

More leave

According to research conducted by Singapore based recruitment firm Robert Half; most employees want more days off. The survey of 500 employees in Singapore found 36 % put more annual leave at the top of their wish list, followed by more flexible hours (32 %) and professional development opportunities (20 %).

Each business will have their conditions of leave, or rules that employees need to follow with regard to how much leave they are entitled to, and when they can take that leave.

Different countries also have different laws regarding the leave that can be taken, for example according to Wikipedia, in Denmark employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave per year while in Japan the initial annual leave entitlement is 10 days.

What is your leave policy?

Staff have a right to know how many days leave they are entitled to, as well as what conditions they need to meet to qualify for any additional leave.

This needs to be according to the law of the country you are operating in.

You should also set out a clear leave notice period in your company’s policy. This needs to cover how long in advance employees need to apply for leave and highlight any days that are out of bounds.

The same rules should apply to everyone, regardless of position – this will avoid any employee dissatisfaction.

Ensure that the leave policy is unambiguous and is communicated clearly to staff members.

Why a leave management system?

Why would you want to fill in a form, hand it in to the responsible HR person (hoping they are at their desk when you are as you have to travel up 5 floors to get there), and then wait for it while it goes through for approval.  It is Friday afternoon; hold thumbs it will happen soon.

This frustration can be alleviated with an electronic leave management system in place.

In modern business practice there are many kinds of leave available to employees; sick, annual, unpaid and compassionate. Tied together with the different leave structures of companies and the requirements to request and grant leave often too much time and resources are used up in managing it. Minimal time should be spent on managing leave and this is where a leave management system comes into play.

A leave management system is a platform that enables a company to easily and correctly allocate, track and grant leave.  This system also allows employees to request and track their own leave.

Leave management systems are often web based applications due to its easy accessibility and ability to run on almost any device and operating system that has a web browser.  Leave management systems make it easy for an employee to request leave from their own desk or even from home if sick. The employee can also attach a doctor’s certificate to the requested leave application if required.

An electronic leave management system removes the physical movements mentioned earlier, and enables HR to have an overall view of the leave situation in the company.

Benefits of an automated leave management system

Having an automated system to manage your leave can conquer a number of your tasks.  These include:

Conquer overloaded paperwork

For those organizations that are still managing their employees on spreadsheets, or other paper systems, tracking and recording employee leave accurately is not easy.  Automating will definitely streamline the leave process in this instance.  All employee leave information is managed in a central repository, with the leave application process done online, leaving the reliance on paperwork behind.

Conquer legal compliance

Managing your employees and keeping within the law is key, particularly with regards to retirement benefits, persistent short term absences from work, health and safety issues or long term illness.  Automation will help you keep compliant by keeping strict records and other important details required.  A good software system will also help you stay on track with reminders and notifications.

Conquer policies

In addition to legal compliance, you can maintain compliance with your company’s leave policy.  It will leave no space for errors or discrepancies, and therefore no disputes when leave requests are rejected.  The leave management system will be fully compliant with your company’s leave policy, ensuring an unbiased and fair leave system.

Conquer leave patterns

It is vital that you are able to monitor the amount of leave an employee takes, or has taken.  Trying to do this manually is bound to be filled with errors.  Analytics to map an employee’s performance can also be extremely useful to your business processes.

Conquer leave

Automating the leave management process can help facilitate a hassle free and more positive employee-employer work relationship, while also ensuring business productivity is not compromised.  Setting up an effective leave automation system allows employees and employers to connect in a way that is more productive and engaging for all parties.

Using an automated system will ensure leave requests are handled seamlessly, and all data such as leave balances and absence trends are available

Leave Management Tips for employers

Here are some tips for HR Managers when it comes to managing the leave system and process in your company.

Identify trends

It is important that you track trends like frequent unplanned leave of employees.  This needs to be managed in case it becomes a performance issue.

Be considerate

Ensure that you know how to respond to requests for extended leave.  Know when to be compassionate. Always remember that the approval for a leave in case of any legitimate reasons such as medical or family urgency rests largely on the manager. A negative response from the manager can result in a disconnect between employees and management.

Schedule correctly

It is important for HR managers to set realistic return-to-work leave schedules for their employees. For example, if an employee applies for a week long leave request for a medical purpose, then setting up a strict return-to-work schedule is simply a turn-off.

Plan ahead

It is important for HR managers to know up front about who is going on leave, when and for how many days.  This is why HR managers should be proactive and thoughtful when dealing with vacation requests from employees. It would help them to prepare in advance to ensure that productivity remains firm during peak vacation times.

Respond promptly

HR managers should always respond to leave requests in a prompt manner.  Some mobile payroll apps allow managers to receive and approve leave requests on the go, so employees don’t have to wait long for approval for their leave.

Leave Management Tips for employees

The other side of the coin is the employee requesting leave.  Here are some tips on managing leave from both a work and personal perspective.

Know the leave policy of your company

It is crucial that you know how much leave you are allowed to take.  Understand the different types of leave you are permitted to take, and which are applicable.  Know that it is up to management

Plan your vacation days in advance

Just as the HR Manager needs to plan their resources, planning your vacation days in advance, and applying for your leave early enough to assist them in doing their planning would be appreciated.

Ensure your work is up to date

With your work being complete before you go on leave there can be no issues or piles of paperwork when you return.  And then you do not have to worry about work when you are on vacation.

Be aware of how much leave you are taking

Do you have a work-life balance?  Are you taking your allocated leave to ensure you are not over-stressed?  Are you taking too much leave and letting your work performance slide?

Enjoy your leave

Most importantly take time out and rest.  Recharge your batteries and get ready to hit the ground running when you return to the office.

Reasons to take leave

It is important that employees take the leave allocated to them.  Here are some of the reasons why.

Less stress

Taking a break allows an employee to re-energise and distress from all of the tensions they deal with at work, and will be refreshed to manage their work responsibilities.

Increased productivity

Being rested will allow an employee to work more productively, and able to approach their work with more clarity and perspective.  Fatigued workers are not efficient workers.

Less absenteeism

A healthy and happy employee is less likely to be absent on a regular basis.

More positivity

Feeling recharged will promote a positive outlook toward new projects and challenges.

There are more benefits, these are just a few to understand why taking leave is important, especially for those employees that don’t take leave as they fear falling behind in their work or disappointing their manager.  Employees that take time out are doing your business a favour, and this you should encourage.

Applying for leave is as easy as 1, 2, 3

Submitting a leave application is as easy as 1,2,3 with nuQ.

  1. A leave application is entered by the payroll/HR clerk, or directly by the employee.
  2. It is then approved or rejected by the appropriate manager.
  3. Once approved, the number of days leave to be taken is calculated by nuQ, taking into account the employee’s working days and any public holidays that might fall within the period of leave.

The number of days leave is calculated automatically, processed and deducted from the amount of leave which the employee has accumulated.  This appears on the payslip so that the employee is always aware of their leave balance.

Enjoy 3 steps for applying for leave and 3 steps for approving leave requests.

Make use of the employee self-service option with nuQ.

This allows employees to update their information, submit leave and have access to company information without tedious paper work processes and handouts – all from the comfort of their own desk (or even bed).

The leave experience

There has been a focus, or trend, on the employee leave experience, where companies implement benefits that will attract and retain talent while improving workplace productivity.

To remain competitive in your business, you need to be productive and have great staff.  You also need a reliable leave management system to manage employee absence, calculate leave accruals and make payments accurately.

Companies are turning to technology partners for more cost-effective solutions such as employee self-serve of leave benefits and to meet the growing customer demand for scalable integrated employee self-serve solutions.

Leave and the management of it shouldn’t be a pain in your side (business), and hopefully as an employee it is a joy (taking it).  To add to this should be a leave management system you are using to manage it well.

An automated leave system is the ideal, and if your business isn’t already using one, it is definitely time to put one in place – do it before you go on leave.

Sources

 

 

10 reasons to run your payroll in the Cloud

The 10th reason, from the 10 reasons to run your payroll in the cloud, is that the cloud has given small businesses access to more sophisticated technology that was once only available to Fortune 500 employers.

This is according to the 19th annual Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey released in America recently.  The survey also stated that adoption of cloud-based HR technology is increasing rapidly among small companies partly, perhaps, because they have not made the same investments in, and are locked in to, older technology as larger firms often are.

Cloud-based technology is gaining favour. 2016 marked the first year where more than half of organizations surveyed are running their payroll software in the cloud, which is up significantly from 2015.

Companies no longer need their own data centres to run specialized software. Lower capital costs and the scalability of cloud-based software gives smaller companies access to “more sophisticated technology,” says Stacey Harris, vice president of research and analytics at Sierra-Cedar.

If you are still running a manual payroll system, it might be time to consider moving it into the cloud.

Manual versus Cloud

Manual (by hand) payroll systems are filled with tedious, repetitive and complicated tasks such as ensuring timesheets are accurate and expense reports are complete – these tasks are time consuming and open to human error.

Doing a manual payroll takes up hours, often days of work, whereas using a cloud based payroll system would take minutes.  This is just one of the benefits of moving from a manual to a cloud based payroll system.

If you have been thinking about the cloud and moving your business into it, now would be the time to do it, especially if you are considering moving your payroll system there.

It is time to move with technology.  If you haven’t already, you need to get into the cloud, or is that get on the cloud?

For those of you needing a recap of what the cloud is, here it is.

What is this Cloud?

The Cloud is simply a network of remote servers hosted on the internet that you will use to store, manage and process your company data instead of on a server stored in your back office, or even on the bookkeeper’s computer.

Some servers use their computing power to run applications, or deliver a service, while other servers in the network are responsible for storing data.

A financial reason is normally why a business chooses to move to the cloud.  Previously, companies would have to buy their own hardware equipment, the value of which depreciates over time.  But now with the cloud, companies only have to pay for what they use.  This makes it easier to scale use up or down, and quickly.

Working on the cloud allows your company to be efficient and cost-effective.  If your company quickly needs access to more resources, it can scale quickly in the cloud.

And the opposite is true – if it needs to downscale or reduce resources, it can do so just as easily and quickly.

Where the cloud began

Back in the 1950s or 1960s (where the cloud dates back to), a mainframe computer was so big it filled an entire room.  Because mainframes were so expensive, organizations couldn’t afford to purchase a new one for each user, thus they developed time sharing methods, which let multiple users share access to data and CPU time.

Today, this idea of time sharing is the premise of cloud computing.

Types of cloud services

There are 3 categories of cloud computing services, and knowing what they are will help you when making your business decisions.

  1. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)With this service, you will rent IT infrastructure from a cloud provider on a pay as you go basis.  The infrastructure you will rent includes servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems.
  2. Platform as a service (PaaS)This service supplies an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development.
  3. Software as a service (SaaS)This service delivers software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis.  Cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC.

Now with this said, consider the benefits of hosting your payroll system in the cloud.

Here are some of the reasons why more businesses choose to have their payroll system in the cloud.

Reasons to run your payroll in the Cloud

Reason 1 – No Technology Worries

You don’t have to worry about the technology.  Ironically, by using cloud computing, you have to worry less about the technology you need to run your business.  You will have access to the latest software, and you don’t have to worry about spending money on expensive software, installing this software and keeping it up to date.

This leads onto the next reason – cost.

Reason 2 – Cost

Because you don’t have to keep up to date with the latest software (but you get to use it anyway), costs are kept lower.

Using Cloud-based payroll software provides you with the lower costs of computing, which means they can offer extremely flexible pricing that can fit companies of any size.

Everything is done online, which means you don’t need to install anything or worry about increasing license renewal costs.  Also, updates are done regularly and automatically.

This financial benefit helps reduce overhead costs and other fees as they are managed by the cloud service provider.

Using a cloud payroll system gives you the ability to manage your costs with the flexibility to manage your employee numbers and avoid paying for functionality that you don’t use.

Reason 3 – Secure

Documents are not sitting on a desk and can’t be misplaced if using the cloud.  Instead, your payroll information is stored remotely on secure servers, accessible from anywhere and at any time.

Your data is secure, with standard security precautions in place; regular internal security audits and security scans run often on the servers.  Sensitive data is also encrypted using SSL technology.

In addition to your data being secure, it is also backed up, preventing data loss.  Backing up your data happens constantly, and can be automated so you don’t have to do anything but have peace of mind that your data is safe.

Reason 4 – Decreased Liability

If your system is operating from a server on your business premises, you are responsible for keeping all of the sensitive information safe.

If using the cloud, your data is held way from your business premises and the onus is on the cloud provider to keep it safe.

In addition, your data cannot burn down, get flooded or damaged.  The location of the servers might, but your data is always backed up.  Storage in the cloud is also more affordable than any storage you might need for all your files/paperwork.

Reason 5 – Accessible

Cloud payroll can be accessed on a laptop, tablet or mobile, wherever an internet connection is available – so you can start working in real time and spend less time constrained by administration.

Mobile apps are available for employees to access and update their information anytime or where.

So in a nutshell, a payroll system operating in the cloud gives you freedom to access your payroll run wherever you are, and wherever you are you can access your payroll data, review the figures and finalise your payroll – at the coffee shop, or while away on business.

It is accessible to everyone in a business, serving both the management and the employees.  Managers and payroll teams can run payroll and view reports while out of the office, while employees can manage their personal information, view their payslips and verify their hours worked. The added benefit is freeing up the burden on HR staff for forms and tasks that can be addressed individually by the employee.

Reason 6 – Simpler

Cloud payroll accounting software can simplify processes and reduce manual effort.

It can be easy to set up new clients and add their employees, as well as automate payments to employees, tax authorities and third parties

Cloud payroll software takes payroll processing back to the bare bones, removing unnecessary, over-complicated procedures, making payroll handling almost child-friendly.

Reason 7 – Improved Efficiency

A cloud-based payroll software automatically and accurately calculates the exact amount each employee should be paid. It also helps you to keep track of each employee’s work record such as overtime, absences, taxes, and benefit deductions.

Cloud based payroll software should be offering integration capabilities, such as linking the system to leave applications, timekeeping and overtime pay rates. This not only saves a lot of payroll processing time from having to manually input the necessary payroll information but provides real time information.

Reason 8 – Paperless

As you are managing your payroll system in the cloud, you will be using minimal paper.

It cuts down on payslips and timesheets, as these are completed online or with mobile devices.  There is no lost paperwork either.  You can view payslips or statements online, leaving behind the need for paper.

Reason 9 – Compliant

Keeping on top of employee contract changes, as well as governance changes is a full time job.

Payroll and HR processing is complicated because it’s governed by countless sets of regulations at different levels.  To compensate your employees correctly, you need a cloud-based solution that automatically updates current information about the law and reduces the risk associated with processing your payroll.

Reason 10 – nuQ in the Cloud

nuQ payroll software is an intelligent payroll that thinks for you. It is easy to use and requires no extensive training.  nuQ boasts superior payslip and reporting structures.

They have a service offering which allows clients’ payrolls to be run using the nuQ payroll system in the cloud.  This payroll database is held on a server which is accessed by the client via the internet.

Requirements

  • Basic entry level PC with internet access and Internet Explorer

Benefits

  • Access your nuQ payroll from anywhere
  • Faster support response time

Security

  • Scheduled daily backups
  • Access limited through the use of a secure socket layer and digitally signed certificate

Reasons to run your payroll in the Cloud

The cloud is just another way of saying that you will use the internet to run your applications, and store your data on servers that are not in your offices.

This is a more secure and convenient method of using software, particularly for small businesses.  They don’t have to worry about their IT, and can rather concentrate on their core business.

Having your payroll in the cloud means that your processes – from payroll to time and attendance – will be handled reliably without worrying about having IT staff update software, or ensuring you have enough space on your computer or servers.  Cloud computing also means leading providers are able to offer you software-as-a-service with clearly defined subscription or processing fees.

With the right cloud software solution supporting your business, it can improve the productivity levels, revolutionize the processes, and empower your organization with actionable data for strategic decision-making.  According to the Sierra-Cedar survey, organizations with cloud-based HR environments “reap greater talent and business outcomes from improved decision making across their organization.”

Sources