Payroll 101: Best Practices for Collecting Employee Hours
Collecting employee hours can be a real pain if you don’t have the right systems and processes in place. But if you do have those payroll 101 best practices setup, then collecting employee hours can be a seamless task that doesn’t get in the way of the rest of your operations.
We’ve previously posted about automating your workflows to ensure your your company’s operations run smoothly. Here you’ll learn about making your payroll reporting tasks more efficient while remaining compliant with DOL regulations.
Payroll reports, while probably not your favorite business task to conduct, are typically generated from accounting data, and are organized to reflect details of all transactions relevant to your payroll.
Typically, your reports include:
- Salaries and wages
- Net amount of pay
- All funds withheld
Payroll reports also offer information regarding taxes paid by employers. There are numerous software solutions available to help you and your managers analyze relevant employee payroll information for reports.
Payroll Data Mandates
Mandates for reporting payroll data vary based on your state and local jurisdiction.Federal reporting rules also fluctuate on a regular basis.
Despite these modifications, there are several basic tenets of collecting employee payroll information to maintain accuracy and compliance. Each of these actions ensure when it is time for you to report, the required information is both available and easily accessible.
Collecting Your Payroll Data
So how do you efficiently retrieve this information from all departments within your organization?
Consider the following:
Document procedures for recording time.
Whether time is recorded via an honor system, a physical time clock, or other basis, the means of reporting time worked must be thoroughly reviewed and understood by all parties involved. Employees should be notified in writing of any changes to the system.
For your international or otherwise remote employees, a system of phoning or faxing time worked can drastically increase the speed in which payroll information is conveyed.
Use a payroll calendar.
A detailed payroll calendar allows you to plan ahead for the payroll processing days. Holidays and other significant dates can and should be considered. A coding system, which might include using different colors, can identify submission dates, payroll changes, pay dates, and other noteworthy components of the process.
Maintain a standard payroll processing record.
This can be stored digitally within the software system, and should comprehensively detail each step of the payroll procedure. Such a protocol can help ensure consistency, as well as assist in the future training of new administrative employees.
Describe the reporting process in the standard protocol.
The payroll processing record should include detailed expectations for reporting. After payments have been made, relevant reports can take place within the software system. This includes tax reports, for instance. Information should be described in this resource and should be updated in a timely manner to correspond with any changes to reporting regulations.
Technology has given new life to payroll reporting.
What we once thought to be futuristic is presently becoming commonplace. Retinal scans and biometric hand readers are employed by leading organizations who wish to take advantage of such advancements with great benefit to their business processes, not to mention more secure reporting measures.
A further nod toward our need to streamline is the advent of using PC’s and cell phones to clock in and out for work shifts. As the future of payroll reporting, this method utilizes a restricted IP address for PC’s and the GPS feature for mobile users.
Know The Laws Affecting Your Business
Although regulations fluctuate over time and can differ based on jurisdiction, there are some basic principles that are applicable nationwide. Make an effort to thoroughly understand and interpret the laws affecting your organization on both state and national levels.
If you haven’t already, appoint an ambassador to oversee that your records are kept and filed properly to comply with the IRS, FMLA, and other such organizations and statutes. The last thing you want is to be unprepared for an audit, relegating you to possible fines and restrictions for noncompliance.
Failing to adhere to federal and state documentation and reporting guidelines can result in steep fines and other potentially serious ramifications for your organization, so it’s important to collect all data appropriately.
Learn More About Payroll 101 For Your Business
Want to learn more about how to better manage your employees’ time and collect employee hours for your business?