Payroll Blog

The Evolution of Payroll Software

Evolution of Payroll Software

The Old Days

Remember those days when you sat behind a desk with an electronic calculator; adding up Bundy cards, breaking hours down into different pay elements, keying them into payroll and finally getting a result hours later?

You were still not done after this.

There were printouts to take to management for approval, the endless back-ups of data and then an hour or two of printing. There was manual collation of General Ledger expenses, the filing of reports, leave forms and maintenance change paperwork, only to start all over again when the next pay cycle came around.

I am so glad we are past this!

Payroll Systems Out of Sync

The following era saw us purchase costly Workforce Management software external to payroll, where little or few of these systems integrated with payroll both ways. It cut down manual errors, but caused its own set of issues – as if / when the user forgot to update one of the systems, they no longer ran in sync. In addition to this, set up costs ran in to the tens of thousands of dollars (and still does) – two systems were a huge expense for any business and still cumbersome to use.

Of course, the alternative of using an accounting software package with payroll as an ‘add on’ was also popular, and still is. The downfall is that often things are missed in the important set up phase due to our complex legislation. This, coupled with most users having little to no knowledge of payroll rules, results in incorrect leave accruals and Superannuation Guarantee calculations.

This is also true for termination payments.

Need to Streamline Payroll

In today’s age, any business desiring to cut costs and have an efficient payroll department must streamline their systems. Streamlining will not only save costs with regard to staff hours, but eliminate those costly manual calculation errors.

Today’s systems have ‘All-in-one’ capabilities that incorporate Workforce Management software into the payroll system, allowing a seamless flow of information. Payroll set up costs are kept low so it is more affordable than the ‘add-on’ systems, which do not really talk to all parts of your business.

Imagine being able to roster your staff and direct them to work in a different department or location within the organisation, regardless of their current position and location. Imagine the ability to see what the shift would cost in advance and have the correct manager of that department sign off on the hours to say ‘yes’ they attended that shift.

With a streamlined payroll system, costs flow through to the correct expense account and the hours are visible in the employee’s timesheet each day prior to payment. Daily cost reports include budget figures to compare actuals-to-budget costs along with sales figures if required.

These features are only the tip of the iceberg. Added functionalities are often available depending on the business’s financial needs.

Cloud-Based Payroll Software

It is true that cloud-based payroll software eliminates need for data back-ups. Some software will even store reports by financial year in date order for up to seven years, which is a handy feature to have, especially when management requests copies of past payment summaries.

Employee earnings are stored indefinitely in date order, along with timesheet data to ensure compliance. The online audits available in the program fulfil external auditor’s requirements and are easy to navigate.

Add-on Features and Functionalities

Some other handy features that all payroll systems must have in today’s market include: Gantt charts, employee self-service, a user friendly, report writer, automatic email sent for reports and payslips, leave applications, online approvals, smart termination modules (fully compliant with ATO rulings).

To see how you can cut costs and improve efficiencies against your current system, contact E-Payoffice for a demo. Find out how you too can have a smooth, streamlined payroll system that does not make your payroll officer grit their teeth each pay cycle.

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