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The Paperless Payroll Process - Payroll Services Without the Paper

May 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 223

The paperless office has been a cliché now for many years, however, when is an office really paperless, then answer is never. Paper arrives in the post every day, unless you are one of the very few businesses that scan and electronically file everything that arrives then the post simply adds to the large and ever increasing paper mountain.

The paperless office then maybe is just an urban myth or something flowery in a mission statement to aspire to. There are however areas that can be paperless, these are processes within the office; this article discusses one of these processes that have many participants working to make it a totally paperless process, this is the area of payroll services.

Traditionally payroll services consisted of timesheets being completed by staff, manual calculations of taxes and net pay, leading to a payslip in an envelope, most likely with the cash payment inside as well.

The first "paper" to disappear was the cash payment, today very few members of a workforce get paid in real hard cash. The vast majority are paid directly into their bank accounts.

Timesheets were the next to disappear; traditional cards to log on and off work have been replaced by electronic systems that use intelligent swipe cards to record employee attendance information. This data passes through to the payroll system which in turn calculates the pay due.

The most innovative ideas in the payroll service industry come from the outsourced payroll suppliers, who need to make their service more appealing to the business owner in order to retain or gain their custom.

Surveys show that the two most important aspects of an outsourced payroll service are the simplicity of the service and the time required from the business owner to administer the service.

Companies that provide managed payroll services need to innovate as they are always competing not only with each other but with do it yourself online payroll systems that claim to be a more cost effective solution to payroll. However the online payroll solution suffers from the same drawbacks as doing it yourself using an in house system, namely, that it is complex and requires a large time investment from the business owner.

Very rarely will an in house or self administered online system meet that holy grail of the paperless process. The last piece of the paper trail to disappear is the payslip. Payroll service providers used to offer pdf format payslips as an option, now it is the norm with an option to take paper payslips at an added cost.

The preformatted paper payslips are normally printed by the employer and distributed to their staff; however this is the choice of the employer. In the age where most people have an internet connection, the time cannot be far off when all the payslips will be distributed by email; and sent directly to the recipients. At present there are one or two technology issues together with more than a few legal issues regarding the direct distribution of payslips to employees. However, these are being worked on and around by the payroll services industry and it will not be long before the last piece of the paper chase is removed and payroll processing will be added to the ever increasing list of completely paper free processes.

Philip Gurnhill is well known in the UK payroll services Industry, in addition to being a qualified accountant he has managed and written about payroll for over 20 years. He has recently launched Indigo Payroll Services a payroll company dedicated to making life simple. To find out how little this service would cost your business, simply enter the number of staff you employ on the instant quote tool at and the results will be sent direct to your inbox.

Source: EzineArticles
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