5 Steps to Stress-Free Payroll

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Taking care of payroll can be an overwhelming task for small business owners, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Payroll is probably one of the most tedious jobs you have to do, so doing it yourself might seem appealing, but it can take up lots of your valuable time and isn’t always the best option. The following are 5 steps to helping you take the stress out of payroll so you can focus on growing your business, rather than worrying about how much money you owe in taxes or what you’re going to do with your employees’ money.

File your taxes on time

If you wait until tax season is upon you, you might not have enough time to gather all your paperwork and receipts. The IRS will often waive interest and penalties if you're late filing because of circumstances beyond your control, but that doesn't mean it's not better for your bottom line to file early. Depending on how much you earn, procrastinating could cost thousands of dollars. If it seems overwhelming, call a professional or go into a local branch with questions—the IRS also has plenty of online resources that can help simplify things.

Use cloud software

Cloud software is a relatively new method of payroll administration. To be sure, it’s not for every business, but if you have more than a handful of employees and need more sophisticated payroll processes, cloud software could be a perfect fit. The basics of how it works: Your employees access a secure online portal that logs their hours and automatically updates payroll information in real-time. You can access your own account anywhere from any device with an internet connection. Best of all, everything is updated instantly so you can sleep easy at night without worrying about missing information or incomplete reports on payday. Automating your payroll is often more reliable and takes less time than filling out paper forms manually or paying high fees for human administrators.

Automate what you can

It’s easy to spend hours every week doing payroll manually, entering each employee’s hours and payments into a spreadsheet. The problem with that approach is that it requires a lot of time, and employees who work remotely don’t have a way of keeping track of their own time—and managers usually don’t have a good way of tracking whether remote workers are following policy. Automate your payroll system by signing up for services such as UZIO These tools automatically calculate wages based on hours worked, company policy and other factors. Plus, they send out W2 forms directly to employees so there’s no need for you to manage paperwork or file them in folders in case an audit happens down the road.

Integrate your Payroll system with HR

Organizing payroll can become incredibly complicated as you scale. Having one system that is integrated with Human Resources makes it much easier to handle everything in one place, reducing errors and ensuring you're compliant with employment laws. For larger businesses, consider building your own payroll software (or at least integrating it yourself).. Keep compliance in mind: The last thing you want is getting dinged for missing a payment or failing to pay an employee on time. Paying someone late could also mean paying higher interest rates on business loans, which hurts your bottom line even more than late payments.

Keep Things Organized

One of the most common headaches small business owners face is how to effectively track employees' hours and make sure they're paid correctly. If you're running a successful company, time is your most valuable resource. The more efficient you can be with your time, whether it's in payroll or something else, will ultimately help determine your success. By creating an organized system for tracking hours and compiling reports, you can save yourself valuable time that would otherwise be spent logging information in spreadsheets or on paper—time that can be better spent elsewhere in your growing business.

There are plenty of business payroll services out there that promise they can handle every detail of your payroll with ease. The truth is, though, that complicated software and confusing terminology can turn what should be a simple process into a stressful one. With so many options available, it's hard to find a service that works for you—but there's no reason you have to put up with needless hassles. When it comes time for your next payroll, give a closer look at a professional payroll solution from a reliable company.

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