Like time tracking, payroll processing is often a tedious and disliked process. It’s an important part of any business though and there are ways to reduce the administrative hours involved in payroll, all while providing a better experience for your employees. A beneficial strategy of bookkeeping automation is to decentralize the entry of data to your employees. Payroll is no different. Many payroll softwares offer the ability for employees to fill out W4s, personal bank account info, state filings, I9s, and upload documents securely from their own user account. The entered data can be reviewed for accuracy by HR and your accounting department before you start paying your employees. Many payroll systems offer self-service options to employees so they can retrieve pay stubs, change bank info, change withholdings, request time off and download year-end tax statements like a W-2. Training employees to be self-sufficient will help save you a lot of administrative time. With better onboarding processes and employee self-service options, you will ensure a more seamless payroll system that better serves you and your employees all at the same time.
From a bookkeeping automation perspective, it’s helpful to select a payroll software that connects with your accounting software and a time tracking software if you have hourly employees. Once again remember the wagon wheel example. The hours tracked in a time tracking application will sync with your payroll service for any hourly employees (the edge of the wagon wheel). As discussed in the time tracking section, these hours are already reviewed and approved by a manager in that software, so you have accurate hours that sync directly to the employee’s profile in the payroll software. After payroll has been submitted, the payroll software creates a bill in your accounting software so you can record the debits the payroll company will make from your bank account for employee direct deposits, payroll taxes, and employee reimbursements. Your payroll company will then process all tax payments to the appropriate government entity and file all payroll tax filings.
Gusto is a highly recommended payroll software that is simple to use and cost effective. It connects to multiple time tracking softwares as well as accounting softwares, so it does a good job helping with bookkeeping automation. It does have weaknesses though especially if your employees work in multiple states or if your state has varying tax rates by location. If that’s the case, there are other good payroll options that connect and help you automate your bookkeeping.
The payroll automation features discussed will save you administrative hours, eliminate double entry, and ensure accuracy of your payroll records. Payroll is a necessary administrative process and one that doesn’t directly produce income but there are ways to save time and money through automation. This allows you to reinvest your time and money into activities that produce income for your business. If you can save time and money on your payroll, why wouldn’t you?