Why payroll doesn't need to be a month-end chore
There’s a prevailing belief in the business world that payroll is a month-end process – a task you get done during the very last week of the month, just prior to pressing ‘go’ for the payment run. But the reality is that payroll needn’t be solely a month-end chore. It can, in fact, be a series of connected processes that are streamlined and automated throughout the whole month.
Spreading out the various parts of the payroll process across the month can be a real benefit, whether you’re a payroll bureau, an accountant providing outsourced payroll support, or a business running its own payroll. Instead of creating a huge log-jam of payroll work in the final week of the month, you can plan, prepare and automate much of the work across the period. That’s good news if you have a month-end holiday booked, or know that your to-do list is likely to be getting longer and more pressurised as you get closer to month-end.
1. Educate and train clients in the benefits of BrightPay Connect
A good starting point for improving the all-round efficiency of your payroll process is to roll out BrightPay Connect to your clients. This cloud-based hub has a number of features that make it far easier for the client, and their employees, to get involved in the payroll process.
Onboarding your payroll clients to BrightPay Connect will be the first step. You’ll need to communicate the core value of cloud computing, and provide support to get clients up to speed with how to use the portal. But it’s time and effort well spent if you can consolidate the payroll work and ensure that more of the admin work is done before month-end.
Key benefits of having a cloud hub for your payroll include:
- Automated cloud backups of payroll data – rather than struggling to carry out manual backups to external drives and office servers, BrightPay Connect offers automated backups to the cloud – keeping your payroll information safe and secure in the cloud.
- An employer dashboard for clients – this employer dashboard gives clients access to all their employees payroll information, plus the ability to view an employer-wide payroll calendar and a range of payroll reports. Instead of emailing files back and forth, clients just log into the cloud hub to see the current information.
- An employee self-service hub – this self-service hub gives employees a simple and straightforward way to access their own personal information in the cloud, making it easier for them to update their details or download forms and paperwork etc.
2. Get your clients to enter payroll information early
One key way to spread out the payroll workload is to get the client involved in some of the keying-in of payroll information. By starting the data-entry process earlier in the month you can distribute the workload across a wider period, and get much of the main payroll information entered well before you reach the end of the month.
Using the cloud-based employer dashboard, clients can get involved in payroll entry directly into BrightPay Connect. Any information they enter is then automatically synced to your BrightPay payroll software on your Mac or PC, removing any duplication of data entry and giving both parties an up-to-date record of the most current payroll information for the month.
This has the added bonuses of getting your business clients more ‘hands on’ with their payroll, and also removes a lot of the time-consuming admin that you’d usually face at month-end.
3. Use the employee portal to update information
Employees also have cloud access to the self-service area of BrightPay Connect, and this can be one way to redistribute some of the more tedious administrative tasks.
If employees need to update their contact or address details, they can do this directly from within the employee self-service portal. They just log in with their secure password and make the relevant changes in the cloud. This updated information is then synced with your master payroll file next time the software performs a sync.
Employees can also book annual leave through the cloud portal, with the employer able to view and approve any holiday requests through the employer portal. This keeps the annual leave process streamlined and simple, and gives you a clear record of booked holidays that will need to be paid in the forthcoming payroll run.
4. Access and download payslips in the cloud
Finalising, printing out and posting payslips at the end of the month is not just time-consuming – the postage and printing is also costly and far from sustainable. One way to remove the whole payslip process is to make use of the employee self-service section in BrightPay Connect.
By logging securely into their own employee portal, your client’s team members can access their electronic payslips each month, with no need for any emailing, printing or postage. Instead, payslips are automatically available to employees on a predetermined date set by you, so there’s no reason to be fussing about distributing payslips if you want that month-end holiday. If paper copies are needed, the employee also has the ability to download and print their payslips on demand – removing the need for duplicate payslips to be produced by you.
5. Schedule payments in advance with Modulr
BrightPay has partnered with Modulr, the direct payment platform, to offer a simple and hassle-free way to pay employees directly from BrightPay. This not only allows you to pay employees in just 90 seconds, it also allows you to schedule payments in advance.
What this means, from an efficiency perspective, is that you can finalise a client’s payroll, get approval on the final amount and then set up the direct payments to take place on a pre-approved day and time. So, rather than struggling to run all your client’s payrolls manually on the last day of the month, you can get the hard work done earlier in the period – and set a mutually beneficial time for the money transfers to automatically take place through Modulr.
Remove the month-end chore: switch to flexible working with BrightPay Connect
BrightPay Connect brings you all the flexibility and convenience of payroll in the cloud, and that’s a huge benefit when you want to spread out your workload across the month.
Clients can get involved via the employer hub, employees can access all their personal information and payroll professionals get the time-saving benefits of automated backups, scheduled employee payments and a more direct working relationship with clients.