No matter how big or small a business is, the administrative side of things, like payroll, has to be taken care of. Depending on where you are in the company, you may be aware that your employer can’t stand this part of the job.
It is, of course, paramount that employees get paid on time, and the good news is that payroll doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you’re the small business owner or in charge of payroll, are you making things more difficult than they need to be?
It’s no surprise that for most companies, the biggest expense is the cost of employees. Payroll can be the crux of a slew of problems, especially as your business grows and you hire more people. The seemingly simple act of cutting paychecks or even managing direct deposit eats up precious hours that would be better spent elsewhere.
Here are the six biggest reasons people hate payroll and what to do about them.
1. Time waster
Maybe there’s a paper jam when you’re printing checks or someone forgot to add in their sick leave. What should be a quick process can take all afternoon if just one glitch strikes.
If you pay an employee late, not only does that badly affect morale but it can also be illegal — depending on the state and just how long the delay is. If you rush to pay employees and make a mistake, whether in your favor or not, that will lead to more delays down the road.
2. Keeping CPAs happy
If you’re a really small business and you do payroll yourself, but have a CPA to handle quarterly taxes, you also have to keep this professional happy. A CPA won’t be happy with guesstimates or a lot of mistakes.
It’s important for your employees and for your business that payroll is processed correctly, on time, and the process is easy to understand. You probably pay your CPA handsomely, but you’ll be paying more if you don’t take care of your end.
3. The taxes
Taxes in the US are notoriously difficult, and things get worse when you’re dealing with payroll. The federal, state, and local government might all require different things of you, and the last thing your business needs is an audit.
Handling taxes is overwhelming for even the savviest business people, and there’s no room for errors. A strange tax issue can creep up years down the road, so don’t assume you’re safe just because all has been quiet this year.
4. It’s mind numbing and exhausting
It takes a certain type of person to excel at the old-school methods of payroll. You need incredible attention to detail, a knack for numbers, and organizational abilities to rival Martha Stewart.
These are skills that can be learned, but few have the time or desire to do so. It’s also not a very natural talent, and the chances that you’re a “natural payroll expert” are slim to none.
5. You have a deadline
Some people excel under pressure; others get worse and worse under a ticking clock.
Unfortunately, payroll pretty much has to be done under pressure. You need to print the checks by a certain time every week or month, and that pressure can cause unnecessary stress. Nobody likes to feel like they’re in a race.
6. You get all the complaints
Even if something goes wrong and it’s not your fault, your employees will blame you … and rightfully so. You’re responsible for paying them correctly and on time, end of story. If anyone’s going to struggle with glitches, it will be you. Not only do you have to take on absolutely everything to get the payments done, you’ll also have the short stick if there’s a problem.
The good news is that you don’t have to put up with this. There are simple corporate solutions designed to make payroll fast, easy, and accurate — plus, it passes the buck to someone else. It can also be affordable, even for a startup.