Automated payroll: taking the pain away from small businesses - HR Future helps people prepare for the Future of Work and is South Africa's leading print, digital and online Human Resources magazine.

Automated payroll: taking the pain away from small businesses


One of technology’s key gains is doing away with the time consuming and painful weekly or monthly manual payroll system.
Transforming HR and payroll with specialist solutions is not just about doing away with the laborious manual system; it also provides additional benefits.

These include:

1. Saving time and money on manual labour

A payroll solution will automate the processes of printing and distributing payslips as well paying employees. That will save you many hours spent manually calculating statutory deductions and spare you the risk of making an error that could harm your business.  

An automated system also spares payroll management employees from having to manually process leave applications, calculate hours worked, manage expense claims, print payslips for employees, and keep accurate employee information.

2. Taking advantage of advanced Cloud technology

More and more South African businesses are embracing Cloud-based software for their payroll and accounting needs. This enables them to simplify their IT environments, save money, and achieve the flexibility to get more done quicker. With an online solution, you can simply log in from wherever you are and start working. You can access your data from the cloud which means that your data is available online, anywhere, anytime and from any device. All you need is an internet connection and the ability to pay a small monthly fee for the use of the software.

3. Curbing payroll fraud

Payroll fraud is a major risk and is a lot more pervasive than most business owners are aware. Erroneous payments can cost a business dearly and overpayments are often difficult to retrieve. Payroll solutions deliver better visibility into transactions, prove an audit trail, and offer a set of controls, checks and balances that help to prevent errors and fraud.

4. Data security

Preventing the loss of a business’s and employees’ financial, payroll, and tax information is critical to any business.

Employers with a manually run payroll system would be hard-pressed to come up with a better reason for not going the automated payroll system route, than for the safekeeping of their personnel records.

5. Compliance

The labour and tax environment in South Africa is always changing and a business that is not 100% compliant is at risk of breaking the law.

According to a 2016 South Africa Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, employees rate “organisational design, culture and engagement” as three of their top priorities.

Today’s best payroll solutions can help with employee self-service modules. Such modules enable employees to apply for leave, submit travel claims, download old and current payslips, and update their personal details online or via their smartphones. This will assist organisations to align with the three top priorities mentioned in the survey.  

In a time of seismic technological change and digital invention, it’s important for business to make use of smart technology to reinvent and simplify their daily business practices. Automating the HR & Payroll function is just one way of helping Small & Medium Businesses to succeed.

Sandra Swanepoel is the Managing Director at Sage HR & Payroll.

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