Global Payroll Advisory
Published on 13 Mar 2023
Let’s be honest – no one really thinks about payroll. That is, until a mistake happens. Maybe an employee’s salary this month didn’t reflect all the overtime they tirelessly put in, or the worst-case scenario of late payment on salaries occurs company-wide. In these situations, you would have some unhappy employees to answer to. All is well and good if you are able to rectify it quickly, but it is then key to not let it happen again.
That’s because when it comes to salaries, a majority of people will have a very low tolerance for instability. A survey has shown that over 50% of people will start looking for a new job after only two payroll errors. Not only will the issue impact your employee’s confidence in your organisation, but it could impact your reputation as an employer overall.
This is not even taking into account the potential fines and penalties regulators can impose on you for non-compliance. In the US, paying your employer taxes a day late will result in a 2% penalty, and that increases over time. Many jurisdictions will have similar fines in place. Besides fines, employees can take you to labour court and the damages can be rather significant.
Payroll errors can plague all companies, from the bootstrapping start-up to even the most sophisticated of MNCs. We pulled together some common payroll errors and put forward some suggestions on how to handle them below:
Classification of employees
Examples include misclassifying full-time employees as part-time or inputting the wrong pay rate. This can create a domino effect that impacts all other areas of payroll including withholding and tax errors
Besides misclassification, incorrect overtime records, calculations or added salary complexity such as commissions can contribute to wrong salary amounts being paid out
Payroll has to run on very strict timelines, and ensuring adherence to those deadlines is crucial to ensure salaries are always paid on time. Employees, and the government, can be very unforgiving if salaries are paid out late.
Problems with taxes can include misfiling or unintended missed deadlines, but missed tax payments will result in penalties and fines
HR is legally required to keep multiple years of records that are not only accurate, but complete. Not keeping records is in itself a fineable offence.
We can't step away from the importance of technology in ensuring that payroll can remain accurate and efficient. Not only does automation play a role in minimising errors, but system integration, especially with accounting software, will help to reduce mistakes at points of "handshakes" between systems. Businesses are not the only players looking to technology to support payroll processes, but governments the world over are also embracing technology for their taxation systems. Countries like Japan, Mexico and Ireland have all implemented straight-through processes in recent years.
The right payroll technology partner is important. OS HRS is an award-winning payroll solution provider, with dedicated compliance expertise, ready to support your multi-country payroll across Asia Pacific and beyond. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can support your specific payroll needs today.