Running a small business can be so stressful that it will make you want to go back to a regular 9-5 where you were just an employee who only had to look after their own job. However, if you are running a business, you’re the future, you’re the innovation and you’ll be so happy you never gave up when it all works out. However, there are some kinks that get in the way of running a successful business, and one of those is how you manage employee payroll. It can literally take up hours and days if you make a mistake, and it can be a huge pain. So, to make sure payroll is just another day in the office, here is a list of tips to help you manage it:
Your company might have employees at different levels, who came into the company at different dates and who have different salaries. Trying to handle each one of them individually will not only give you a headache, but will mean that you have to constantly be thinking about whom you have to pay and when. The best thing to do is to synchronize all payrolls into one or two dates per month, and everyone will get paid then. This is good for two reasons: firstly, your employees will know exactly when to expect their paycheck and there won’t be any bickering about why someone got their salary before someone else. And secondly, you’ll be able to free up your time over the month and only focus on payroll on that single day.
Human error will always be present, no matter how you handle things, but there are things you can do to minimize the potential damage. Firstly, you want to automate as much of the process as you can. You don’t want to be imputing the numbers by hand every time because missing a zero can cost you a lot. You also want to make some DIY pay stubs that will make it easier to have an overview of everything that is going on. Depending on the size of the company and the number of employees, you’ll want the process more or less automated, but even with a small team, any time you can minimize the time spent on repetitive actions and the potential human error - you should.
In a small company, where you might not even have an HR department, you as a business owner are probably handling all of the payrolls. But if you feel like this is taking too much of your time or you just feel like someone with more expertise should be handling it - don’t be afraid to hire help. For starters, you don’t have to hire someone for a full-time position if this is the only thing you need them to do. You can just have someone come in on a freelance basis to take care of the payroll and then leave. You can also hire someone to automate the process if you’re not sure how to do it yourself, and they can teach you how to use the system.
There’s nothing worse than losing track of who got paid, when and how much. If you have no way to prove things and quickly get the info you need, you might be in trouble. You can get specialized software for keeping records of payroll which will encrypt the data and keep it safe, but if you are a small company, you can literally just keep a spreadsheet open with all of the info in there. Just make sure you have a clean system in place from the start, something you can easily access and explain to others how it works. Of course - update it regularly! Don’t leave filling out the payroll dates “for later” because you’ll forget it and make a whole mess.
Handling money can be a daunting task for many, especially if it’s not their business niche. But if you just remember to keep things clean and simple, you’ll be fine. Most transactions today are made as direct deposits into your employee’s bank accounts, and all of that can be done through online banking, so you really don’t need to do a lot of thinking and planning manage employee payroll. Just have a clean list of how much someone needs to be paid, do the transactions in one day (automated if you can) and deliver their pay stubs so they know what you deposited and when. As your company grows, these processes will change, but even while you’re a small business, this is one of the most important things to keep track of.