Behind every good business is a great bookkeeper. Dee Hock, the founder of VISA, said it best, “Making good judgments when one has complete data, facts, and knowledge is not leadership – it’s bookkeeping.”
But providing bookkeeping and other accounting services to your company or clients is not simply a matter of being good at it. Accounting is a demanding practice with many time-intensive tasks, large amounts of administration and an enormous level of responsibility to the business and its people.
Few administrative tasks reflect this as much as payroll. It’s hugely important, reimbursing employees for their time and effort, and one of the largest regular transactions in an organisation. Payroll is also an easy target for mistakes and fraud, and creates a high-pressure and non-negotiable process squeezed into the month’s final days.
No wonder companies spend a lot on software and payroll specialists, and it’s even less of a surprise that payroll can take up enormous chunks of an accountant’s time.
Imagine what more they could achieve if they didn’t have to churn the manual requirements for payroll. And imagine if payroll information could be a living part of business intelligence, providing that complete data, facts and knowledge that Visa’s founder spoke of.
The New Payroll Standard
This change is already happening. Payroll does not need to be cumbersome, opaque or expensive. Today’s companies can unload payroll burdens and turn these into advantages by creating a continuous payroll service.
They can use automation to reduce manual processes and interventions, and integrate with other business systems such as finances and HR. On-demand reporting tailored to different stakeholders gives a snapshot of payroll activities and potential fraud. Companies can provide easy self-service access for staff to payslips and leave documents, even on their phone through Whatsapp. And compliance, the dark horse of payroll problems, can be automated across multiple regions.
It’s all possible with modern cloud platform services. Let’s look at some of the standout features of such a payroll platform:
● Automated processes: replace manual processes with automated alternatives, even creating comprehensive workflows that reach different corners of an organisation.
● Self-service: as the payroll system extends across the organisation, self-service portals and access management control enable the right staff to capture and access relevant information, and approve leave remotely.
● Legislative updates & statutory changes: your payroll administrators will never download any statutory or legislative updates, or be in the dark about how it impacts the payroll as all legislation is updated timeously.
● Easy access for staff: modern features, such as Whatsapp integration, let staff access payslips, leave forms and other info through their phones and computers.
● Integration: reduce even more manual processes, information errors and unethical access by integrating the payroll platform with key business systems such as finance and HR.
● Automated compliance: stop relying on outdated payroll regulations or paying for expensive updates—the payroll platform vendor frequently updates this information that your administrators can use immediately.
● Regular reports: whether for oversight, spot checks, financial planning or strategy, generate on-demand reports at any time and tailored for different roles.
● Cloud platform: no more expensive and limiting user licences, outdated software or costly capital investments to own the payroll software—just pay for what you need and when you need it.
● Continuous payroll: enjoy a payroll system where integrated business systems and relevant stakeholders can add information throughout the month, keeping information current and freeing up valuable employee time.
Traditional systems cannot create such a payroll environment. They are too limited, cumbersome and expensive. You can only access them on a limited group of licensed machines, and expensive fees limit the number of people who can access the system. Updates are also expensive and late in arriving—a particular issue if you expect up-to-date compliance. Traditional payroll software is painful to integrate with other business systems (if that’s even possible), and they keep payroll operations in isolation, raising the risk of fraud and abuse.
A leading cloud payroll platform delivers on all the new features mentioned earlier and more. It can scale from a few users to thousands, reach them across multiple channels, and handle sensitive data responsibly and securely. Yet you never have to own the software. You use it as a service, keeping control over your data and processes while reaping the benefits without the drag of system ownership.
You can simplify your process by leveraging a cloud payroll platform and creating an easy and affordable payroll. Why continue to struggle with outdated systems that limit capacity for other accounting and bookkeeping services? To leave you with one more quote, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said it best:
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.”