As many of Australia’s high-profile businesses and leading corporations discovered in 2019, keeping your payroll compliant and underpayment-free requires constant vigilance and regular software updates to meet new legislative requirements.
By far the easiest way to manage underpayments is to avoid them altogether, and regular review of your payroll function is critical to saving you pain and money, as is using payroll software that automatically calculates entitlements against the relevant award.
Despite the pain a deficient payroll solution will cause (imagine reviewing years of payroll data to remunerate your staff, with interest), no-one wants to have to update systems and processes, especially something as business critical as payroll.
That’s a major reason why payroll solutions are attracting increasing interest across the entire business spectrum, as a way to manage payroll risk and control cost – for those in the mid and small-market who want to risk-proof their in-house payroll service as well as enterprises that want an extra level of reassurance and responsibility.
So, consider the pay-off from switching to a modern payroll solution, which will save you time, cost and worry with:
- Transparent, predictable lifetime cost for customer service, future upgrades and configuration.
- Cloud solutions that deliver your payroll system online with best-in-class business continuity and disaster recovery.
- Locally based customer service with support options that evolve with your business.
Eight key factors for choosing a payroll provider
Some of these factors are common to any vendor selection process, but many apply specifically to payroll. It’s important to remember that no two organisations have the same payroll needs, and size doesn’t necessarily equal complexity – many SMEs have a more complex payroll than enterprises with thousands of staff.
The services you need: Ask yourself if the payroll service you’re considering covers the range of work types and conditions or specific services you need, such as modules for recruitment or health and safety. Who will manage the payroll service internally? Whether you have dedicated payroll staff will influence your choice of payroll solution.
Download the FREE checklist – Four Ways Underpayments Can Be Detected
Proven system and company: Look for a payroll provider that’s established in Australia and has a track record with local clients – are there any that reflect your business’s size, industry and operations? Whether you use all a provider’s services or not, the solution you choose still needs to be able to cover the entire employee lifecycle from recruitment and onboarding, through to redeployment and offloading, so your evolving needs can still be met by the same company. Review the payroll provider’s material to ensure that they publicise how they keep themselves and their customers up-to-date with changing regulations and legislation.
Cloud hosting: Cloud solutions don’t require you to invest in infrastructure – the service is delivered as an online experience with best-in-class business continuity and disaster recovery. Just ensure your data will be hosted in Australia, there are privacy laws about where your employee and financial data can be hosted.
Domestic vs. International: For an overseas-based payroll provider, creating an accurate payroll system in-country is not a simple a set-and-forget process. In addition to the application of legislation, awards and superannuation into software, it’s vital you can tap into local payroll expertise to help interpret complex or ambiguous government policy.
Lifetime cost: Have you factored in the cost of upgrading and maintaining your payroll system into budget projections? Our research shows that a major source of customer discontent is ongoing and unpredictable fees for customer service, upgrades or configuration. To make a sound financial decision you need a transparent, predictable lifetime cost with no hidden charges.
Training and customer service: Support in the set-up phase is essential, be careful of any claims about ‘simple self-set-up’, or maximum available support hours. If you’re a SME buying an off-the-shelf solution, how long is the implementation phase, and are there any foreseeable roadblocks? The best SME solutions should take no more than two weeks.
Accreditations and Certifications: Any company offering to handle sensitive financial information should have well-known certifications like ISO9001:2015 for a quality management system (QMS) and ISO27001:2013 for an information security management system. Now that single-touch-payroll is mandatory, your provider should also be a registered ATO BAS Agent and ATO Digital Service Provider.
Analytics and Reporting: Data analysis and reporting functions are essential HR tools for improved decision-making, employee engagement and productivity. Your preferred payroll solution will be able to transform employee data into actionable reports and dashboards so you can track key business metrics, see long-time trends and identify outliers.
Like so many core business functions, increasing complexity and disruptive technology has turned a modern payroll solution from a nice-to-have to a necessity in the struggle against underpayments.
Are you concerned about underpayment in your organisation? See below to access our new whitepaper BULLSEYE!: the definitive guide to Underpayments and getting payroll right.
Download the Bullseye!: Your definitive guide to Underpayments Whitepaper
In this whitepaper, we analyse the current underpayments crisis in Australia, what it means to you and your business, and provide step-by-step guides to avoiding, detecting, fixing and preventing underpayments.
Download the whitepaper to:
- Understand what underpayments are, whether you could be impacted, and how to fix them
- Mitigate your underpayment risk with our complete 7-stage guide to underpayments
- Get your payroll right every time with our compliance tips and advice
About the Author
Nick researches and writes quality content that educates our community about current and emerging Payroll & HR trends. This requires building solid relationships with internal and external stakeholders to understand issues, products, and the wider Payroll & HR landscape.