Ask the Right Questions to Audit Your Payroll System

Most businesses reevaluate their payroll systems every few years to determine if the system is meeting their needs and expectations. When reviewing your payroll system – and debating whether or not it’s time to switch to a new provider – it’s important to keep in mind that payroll is about far more than paying employees. The right payroll system should also include talent management capabilities to help streamline your HR processes, like onboarding, time and attendance, benefits administration, and compliance tools.
The next time you’re evaluating your payroll system, ask yourself the following questions to see if your current system works for your business.

How much time and money do I spend on payroll?

Total spend on payroll and other HR processes can add up quickly and isn’t always easy to calculate. From spending extra time on manual processes to employing several HR specialists across locations, the administrative costs of payroll can cause your profitability to take a hit. But an even more significant cost can be extra payroll fees that add up throughout the year. Most payroll providers charge per payroll run, for example. If your business runs payroll for certain roles every week, other roles twice a month, and once a month for sales commissions, you’ll face additional charges each time you process payroll. Other payroll providers have added charges for reporting and end-of-year tax forms.
What you should look for in a payroll provider: A partner that offers a transparent cost per employee per month structure. This ensures you won’t get nickel and dimed for each payroll run or other necessities, such as tax forms.

How many total solutions do I use for talent management?

If your payroll system doesn’t include integrated talent management capabilities, you might not be aware of how many total systems you’re using for various HR processes. For example, you could have different systems for onboarding, taxes, benefits administration, hourly time tracking, and time off tracking. If your business has several locations, you may even be using different systems at each of your locations – and have several employees spending time and money running payroll and other HR processes.
What you should look for in a payroll provider: An integrated hiring and talent management solution, which can provide more centralized, automated HR capabilities and cut unnecessary resources, ultimately making your business more profitable and streamlined.

Is my business compliant?

Keeping up with constantly changing state and federal compliance regulations can be a never-ending cycle, and your business can face steep fines or lawsuits for seemingly simple mistakes. But automating your HR processes enables you to stay compliant without spending time manually tracking each compliance update. Rather than using a standalone payroll solution, an integrated talent management solution comes equipped with all the tools and reports needed to maintain compliance, including employee verification, tax compliance, minimum wage and overtime compliance, equal employment opportunity compliance, and more.
What you should look for in a payroll provider: Partner with a team that has compliance experts with a strong understanding of federal and state-specific regulations. Avoid businesses that charge hefty fees on top of your monthly or annual access fee, and learn whether or not the team representing you has payroll and organizational accreditations.

Does my payroll system provide the insights I need to measure overall business health?

Your payroll system should provide robust talent management analytics so various stakeholders in your company can gauge overall business health. These insights include, turnover analysis, benefit plan spend, wage spend, headcount analysis, new hire analysis and employee profitability. Using this data, you can be better equipped to make key business decisions, such as hiring or letting go of employees based on business need, and improving business operations if you see high turnover rates.
What you should look for in a payroll provider: Be sure to deploy a platform that enables you to easily run reports to make an impact. Can you get a bird’s eye view of which benefits are being underutilized? Are you alerted when team members are nearing overtime pay? Are you detecting any turnover trends by team, hiring manager, or tenure? These insights can help you drive real business results, saving tens or thousands of dollars annually.

Does my payroll provider’s customer service provide value?

The right customer service team can help you get the most out of your payroll and talent management solution. When evaluating your payroll system – and comparing and contrasting others – the customer service model should be a top consideration. If the only customer service offered is a “Contact Us” page or call center number on the payroll provider’s website, this should be a red flag. Instead, look for a payroll provider that offers a dedicated customer service team. This team will know your account inside and out, making them better equipped to answer any questions you have – and help you get the most value out of your payroll and talent management system.
What you should look for in a payroll provider: When you need payroll support, you don’t have time to stay on hold on an 800 number. Look for a provider that gives you actual contact details to a live team – ideally U.S.-based and familiar with the dynamics of your business. Anything else may lead to frustrations at critical points of need for your business.

Is my payroll system user-friendly?

While your business needs a sophisticated talent management solution complete with robust reporting, your decision makers and human resources managers aren’t the only ones who need to use the solution. If you find you employees are constantly turning to your HR department to ask questions about accessing the payroll system, chances are it isn’t user-friendly.
What you should look for in a payroll provider: Your payroll system should be simple enough for all employees to use, as they’ll tap into the system to retrieve pay stubs, input benefits information and access their tax forms.

Are my employees profitable?

For sales roles in particular, you can tap into your payroll and talent management solution to determine whether or not employees are profitable – and how long it takes for your employees to become profitable after their hire dates. For example, you can use such metrics as the time to first commission, average payback period and new hire turnover rates.
What you should look for in a payroll provider: A partner that provides relevant data to measure the profitability of your employees. This data will help you determine if you need to improve your onboarding and training process to better set up employees for success, or implement a repeatable hiring process to bring on more profitable employees.
Payroll can account for as much as 70% of your business’s total expenses, so it’s important to strive for efficiency and accuracy. Interested in learning more about how to improve your payroll? See our talent management solution and schedule a demo today.



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