We all know only too well that payroll can be a difficult animal to tame. In my opinion it is much easier to control payroll with the correct software applied in the correct manner.  Software will change and evolve every year as does the regulations and legislation surrounding payroll.  Choosing the right software or provider for your business is a critical decision which can make your life a whole lot easier if executed well.

Making sure you’re swapping paper for digital is the way forward for companies of any size – records need to be kept for employees payroll and taxes for a minimum of three years which mounts up to a lot of paper.  By having the right software in place you can save office space and time when it comes to searching for information.

Some companies may still be paying by cheque or cash. I think the safest and quickest way to pay employees is by BACS transfer, almost everybody has a bank account these days and paying by BACS saves time writing cheques and also eliminates the risk of employees losing/misplacing a cheque.  Paying by BACS is more secure than cash and large amounts of money do not need to kept on the premises.

Ensure employees have a good understanding of how payroll procedures work, this will help with receiving information you need on time.  If employees understand the work and processes involved with payroll then they may even be able to assist you in certain areas.  However, you must be sure to keep confidential information exactly that, confidential.  Payroll details such as pay rates, NI numbers and bank account details must be kept secure to minimise the risk of fraud.

Have the right tools at your side.  When you have new employees starting, ensure one of the first things you do is have them fill in a P46 form or return their P45 from their previous employer.  These forms ensure that the new employees are on the correct tax codes from day one and are not placed on the emergency/0T tax codes unnecessarily.

Hopefully this will help you negotiate the payroll minefield and all can be run smoothly.