5 ways to improve your HR and payroll process as a small business owner

There are plenty of things to worry about as a small business owner—marketing, customer service, social media, taxes—but you should never have to worry about HR and payroll. These two functions are vital to the success of your business, but they also require meticulous attention to detail and adherence to multiple regulations that can easily trip up even the most careful employer. With that in mind, here are five ways you can improve your HR and payroll process as a small business owner to avoid costly mistakes or legal action down the road.

Get rid of the manual payroll process

Switching over to an online time tracking software system will not only make payroll easier, but it’ll help ensure your employees are fairly compensated and accurately paid. As a small business owner, you probably already know that time tracking is important – but chances are you’re still doing it manually. This can be incredibly cumbersome – especially if you have more than one employee – and at worst, it’s illegal (in most states). Instead of tracking time manually (or worse yet, neglecting to track time at all), switch over to an online time-tracking tool like TSheets. Once your employees start using TSheets they’ll quickly become familiar with its ease of use; pretty soon they won’t even need your help or oversight.

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Choose Payroll software that suits your business

As a small business owner, running payroll is one of your biggest expenses. Choosing automated payroll software can help you save time and money while ensuring that everything gets paid out on time. The two most common types of pay software are cloud-based or desktop solutions. Whether you choose one or the other depends on whether you’re looking for something simple to manage with minimal training required (cloud-based) or if you need more control over what happens in your accounting department (desktop). Once you decide how much control over your payroll process is important to you, compare pricing and determine whether paying for software in one lump sum or through monthly installments makes sense for your budget.

The shift towards integration of HR and Payroll

It can be tempting for business owners to outsource their HR and payroll functions so they don’t have to deal with them. But, of course, outsourcing brings risks that could derail your whole company if you’re not careful. By shifting towards the integration of these systems into your business processes, you can reduce or eliminate risks associated with outsourcing while getting all of the benefits. A good way to get started is by developing an employment contract template that includes non-compete clauses. This will protect both your employee’s and your business’s intellectual property (i.e., trade secrets). Making sure everyone in your company has access to high-quality healthcare is another key step in managing risk; it keeps workers healthy while reducing costs—both of which are essential for any growing company.

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Switch to virtual onboarding with HRIS

If you’re still working with paper forms for new hires, it’s time to switch over to online onboarding software. You can quickly set up your employees for success by incorporating their information into your existing HRIS. In addition, virtual onboarding software provides features that will help you easily verify each employee’s work authorization status, making sure your company is legally compliant from day one. As an added bonus, online onboarding software integrates with a variety of popular payroll systems so you won’t have to worry about data discrepancies or double-processing.

Stay Informed of State and Federal Tax Requirements

It is important for business owners to know what is going on with tax laws, because these can change often. New legislation can affect payroll requirements and employee benefits, such as healthcare. Make sure you keep your ear to the ground on new tax regulations so that you can adhere to any new changes that may affect your company. Consider forming an alliance with other small business owners in your area, or hire an experienced accountant if you’re unsure how best to proceed with legislation changes.

It’s often easy for small business owners like you to neglect human resources and payroll management. Sure, you’ve got employees and they’re busy running your company, but where does that leave these functions? If you find yourself in over your head in any of these areas, it’s time to seek help. With either service providers or other business owners with whom you can trade services, there are always ways for small businesses like yours to improve their HR and payroll processes.