What the electoral system could learn from modern payroll practice

17th Feb 2020
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The British electorate is weary of elections - they have just voted in their 3rd General Election in four years and that’s not including the historic Brexit referendum. Election officials are most fatigued with every vote still counted manually. Modern payroll processes have luckily advanced and the electoral system could learn a thing or two about moving with the times. Embracing cloud technology for everyday payroll tasks is proving successful in taking similar drudgery out of what is an essential process. Even if the paperwork of payroll has largely been consigned to the past, some payroll bureaus still spend time emailing to and fro with clients in respect of repetitive payroll tasks that are now easily automated. 

One of the most common time-consuming tasks payroll bureaus face is the time spent emailing clients requesting their employee hours each pay period. Then once the payroll is finalised, the client inevitably emails back again to say they forgot to tell you about an employee being on sick leave or last-minute holiday leave. Adjustments for payroll additions and deductions, adding new starters and varied pay categories all feed into the overall file each pay period. With any manual administrative tasks comes the potential for inaccuracy being recorded on the payroll.

Back to the election agents, inaccuracy is all about laborious recounts, working overtime, managing anxious candidates and party management. For the payroll department, inaccuracies can be damaging reputationally. Payroll bureaus must ensure that the payroll information is taken care of correctly, accurately and on time.

Cloud automation can assist with these administration headaches by allowing payroll bureaus to securely send a request asking clients to upload the employee hours. This technology is changing the way payroll bureaus interact and communicate with clients. Instant, seamless information transfer between bureau and clients leads to less email traffic, fewer errors and less delay.

BrightPay Connect is a cloud portal that not only allows bureaus to request employee hours but also a function to securely send their clients a payroll summary before the payroll is finalised. This two tier approach opens up a two-way communication process that greatly reduces time-consuming payroll administration tasks.

Requesting Employee Hours

BrightPay Connect has the ability to send a request to clients asking for the employee hours for the pay period. Clients then receive a notification on their employer portal. This Payroll Entry Request feature allows clients to easily and securely enter their employees’ hours on their employer dashboard. All of the information included in the request (payments, additions, deductions and new starters) seamlessly flows through to the bureau’s portal, ready for payroll processing, while saving the bureau valuable time.

Approving the Payroll Summary

BrightPay Connect’s Payroll Approval Request feature offers another layer of security and increased accuracy. Once the bureau has processed the payroll for the pay period, they also have the option to send a summary of the payroll to the client for their approval before the payroll is finalised. 

Clients will receive an email and a notification on the BrightPay Connect portal that the payroll summary is awaiting their approval. Once the client approves the payroll summary, the payroll bureau can then finalise the payroll. Employee payslips and payroll reports become automatically available on the employer portal.

The four big advantages of BrightPay Connect:

  1. Reduced routine administration tasks: The automatic synchronisation of client information with the payroll bureau eliminates tedious email exchange. BrightPay Connect facilitates better security and accuracy in recording timesheets and employee hours.
  2. Fast data entry: There is no need to enter data twice as the client inputs the employee hours. The payroll information entered on the client's side flows seamlessly through to the bureau’s employer payroll file.
  3. Client data validation: As the client authorises and approves the payroll summary, this puts the onus on the client to ensure the final payroll file is accurate before finalising the payroll.
  4. Increased transparency: Transparency is demonstrated through an audit trail function that details each communication in both the process of requesting employee hours and approving the payroll summary.

If payroll can successfully make the leap to cloud-based technology in making the payroll administration task more efficient and more secure, why can the electoral system not follow that lead? For now, vote tellers in the UK will just have to hope they don’t have to open an election box for a very long time!

Book a BrightPay Connect demo today and find out how to boost efficiency in your payroll process.