3 points to consider in your HRMS payroll requirements analysis

Like any other HR automation software, a standard payroll module will offer certain functions as standard. The bare minimum might be: calculate gross and net employee pay, calculate deductions (taxes, social security, etc.), pay employees (by direct deposit or check), and produce year-end tax forms and returns. Everybody is paid correctly and on time, and the necessary amounts are withheld and paid to the appropriate authorities. But a payroll module can hold other benefits than simply paying the workforce what it is due.

1) Self-service

The first benefit of payroll self-service is that it puts each employee’s information at their fingertip; thus avoiding a large proportion (and in the long-term, all) of those everyday inquiries about pay stubs, deductions and so on. Which, of course, frees up HR staff to carry out work which might have a more strategic impact. The other key benefit of individual access is that each employee is responsible for updating their personal details (including changes of bank account which can cause direct deposit problems). By ‘outsourcing’ the updating to the most appropriate person in this way, more HR time is saved and the overall accuracy of the database increases – a double win.

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2) Notifications, updates and alerts

Efficient automation means that your payroll software will prompt you to act when you need to, sending reminders when payroll data must be inputted, processes initiated, etc. Such updates should be fully customizable, allowing you to okay the ones you want to receive. Furthermore, if there are any legislative issues that might impact on the smooth running of payroll (e.g. tax law changes), then automatic updates should take of them, ensuring the system is deducting the correct amounts according to individual employee circumstances.

Finally, some of that pay-related data can be put to other, more engaging uses. For example, each employee record will include their birthday and start date with the organization; the payroll system might be set to automatically notify the relevant manager of such anniversaries, enabling them to mark the occasion (in a manner appropriate to your corporate culture and values, naturally).

3) Payroll cards

Some systems offer functionality that can support payroll cards – prepaid debit cards which are credited with the employee’s salary each month or week, according to the payroll cycle in place. This can be highly convenient for the employee, particularly those without a bank account who find it difficult to use direct deposit and paycheck options (the cost of cashing a check can add up over the course of a working year).

Other features that might be attractive include: managing benefits packages, mobile apps for employee access and payroll management (i.e. you can run the payroll when not in the office), and seamless integration with your bookkeeping software. The question is, when considering HRMS payroll requirements, what do you need your payroll software to do for you?

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall