During 2018 the Fair Work Ombudsman fined a record number of Australian business who either unknowingly or knowingly processed their payroll incorrectly with underpayment, of hourly rates and failure to meet payslip requirements topping the none-compliance list. Without a doubt, the veritable quagmire of legislation and regulation in Australia is a contributing factor. The result is one of financial and reputation damage which for many Business Executives and Owners is an overwhelmingly painful thought.
Today more and more businesses are seeking outside help and support for not only their payroll processing needs but support with compliance, data accuracy, insightful data analytics and knowledgeable talent. If you are considering having your payroll managed or supported by a 3rd party, here are seven key questions to ask when researching options.
Do they employ high-quality payroll talent?
The light continues to shine brightly on digitalisation and innovative technologies that will automate and augment roles, task and responsibilities. As we know from sports like Formula One the very best technology is brought to life by highly talented, skilled and suitably qualified humans. An average driver will produce average results, and it’s exactly the same in the world of payroll. Ensure you create the opportunity to get up close and personal with their payroll talent, understand their background, qualifications, continuous development program, ability to think creatively and the ability to provide data insights. Remember Sales and Marketing do not process Payrolls.
What aspects of payroll do you want to outsource?
You need to be totally clear on what aspects of the payroll eco-system you wish to outsource. Do you simply want to outsource the management of data entry? Or do you want to completely remove all aspects of payroll management from your organisation, including responsibility for payroll compliance? Clearly understand what aspects of payroll you will retain responsibility for. And remember the more you are responsible for the lower the service cost.
What does the customer experience feel like?
The Customer Experience from an Employer and Employee perspective will be critical to overall service satisfaction. Make sure you understand the end-to-end Customer experience and you are presented with the opportunity to meet your key points of contact. Key points of contact should include, implementation lead, payroll manager and key escalation point. It’s also worth looking for a company that provides Single-Point-of-Contact Support. Save yourself time and hassle with dedicated support who knows your story rather than starting from the beginning with someone new every time you reach out.
What does your network say about them?
Potential business partners will be forthcoming with contact details for happy Customers, which is great. It is however very important to do your own research and identify business professionals in your network that have experiences interacting with business partners you may be considering. It is also worth looking for instances were a Customer has experienced issues with the service provided and how their business partner worked to deliver a solution. Truly great partners are the ones that will proactively and transparently solve your problems.
Is their technology in step with current trends?
Technology is always changing, and you need a payroll provider who is on top of the latest trends. You need to look into how user-friendly their software is. Cloud-based options make it easy for you and your employees and management to interact with payroll data and processes via mobile devices. With technology front-end’s, such as self-service portals, make sure you allow key business stakeholders the opportunity to interact with the software, this ensures buy-in which will increase employee engagement and take up during the implementation phase.
How safe will my business’ and my employees’ information be?
Sharing sensitive data with a business partner can be scary. Breaches and crashes have been in the news more often so it’s imperative you look into how your data is stored. Look for a company who can provide round-the-clock security and has a comprehensive disaster recovery system in place.
Who is responsible for payroll compliance and data accuracy?
Australian payroll is complex and staying on top of legislation and regulation requires regular data and compliance audits. Will the provider take responsibility for ensuring your payroll is processed in accordance with Australian workplace law? Or are you responsible for retaining payroll knowledge in-house that ensures your payroll remains compliant?
As you can see there is a lot to consider when choosing to outsource your payroll. Taking the time to research providers and asking the right questions will ensure you wind up with a company you are happy with who meets all your needs and allows you to be free of payroll.
About Payroll HQ
Payroll HQ is an Australian owned and operated managed payroll practice. The Payroll HQ service offering allows businesses to be completely free of payroll.
Why not take our Payroll Compliance Scorecard and see the areas your payroll function can improve.
Download your free eBook, In Safe Hands, co-written by Andre Atton, Payroll HQ’s General Manager, and Tracy Angwin, CEO of Australian Payroll Association.