For every business that employs staff, the payroll is a vital task. You expect your employees to be productive, but have you considered whether your paying processes are inhibiting any efficiency your workers gain? Managing the payroll can drain significant amounts of time and money – resources which could be better spent on achieving organisational goals and growing your business.

Utilising solutions such as payroll software can be a great option, but you need to understand the specific needs of your company as well as HRMC pay and reporting systems for it to be effective. So how can you go about improving your payroll performance?


Paying your employees can be a time-consuming task if not managed well.


Payroll can be a consuming task

Managing your payroll is merely an administrative activity, something that has to be done, but does not really contribute to wider business objectives. Yet many small business owners report spending a shockingly large amount of time on it. According to a 2015 survey from small business advice firm Score, 40 per cent of owners claim to spend more than 80 hours a year working on payroll, tax and accounting tasks. That’s two full working weeks on financial administration alone! Similarly, 11 per cent say they spend more than 10 hours on payroll every month. In addition, 16 per cent estimate these activities cost them £16,000 or more annually, and this is not including the amount of money that is actually being paid to employees or in tax.

These statistics demonstrate that financial tasks such as payroll can be a huge burden for companies, and they are certainly not being managed as well as they should be. Not only that, but they are widely disliked by business owners, with 40 per cent of survey respondents agreeing that it’s the worst part of small business ownership.

Forty per cent of business owners say that financial admin tasks like payroll are the worst part of business ownership.

You don’t need more time, but more efficiency

Many business owners, and professionals in general, would say that they need more time to fit in tasks such as payroll with all the other obligations that come with running a business. However, it may be the case that time is not the problem at all, but efficiency. The old saying “work smarter, not harder” sums up the issue perfectly. Many companies would be able to significantly reduce what they spend on administrative tasks if they knew how to manage them more effectively.

By finding the productivity solutions and strategies necessary to minimise and streamline these administrative tasks, it’s possible to vastly increase an organisation’s overall efficiency. In doing so, they can focus on the things that actually add value to the organisation, rather than those that are necessary just to keep in functioning.


Utilising payroll software means that paying you staff doesn’t have to be an arduous numbers game.

Tips for picture-perfect payroll

It’s clear that payroll, while it can be a demanding activity, does not have to be laborious or hinder other aspects of business if it is managed efficiently. Streamlining your approach to payroll requires a combination of actions:

  • Establish what you are trying to improve – What are the aspects that are slowing down your operations and often lead to challenges? Perhaps you have trouble collating your leave or time and attendance data, or important information is getting lost in the process, leading to inaccuracies. Whatever it is, identifying the common issues you face will show you where you need to make improvements.
  • Gather the necessary information – Make sure you know exactly how every employee is paid (whether that be hourly or as a salary), as well as the type of worker each one is classified as, any benefits or pay raises, and all tax regulations and deadlines.
  • Simplify existing practices – Overly complicated payroll practices are one of the biggest causes of mistakes and high time and labour costs. Find a system that will ensure all necessary information is seamlessly transferred to the correct people, and wherever possible, make use of self-service and automation to make everything simpler.
  • Find the right tools for the job – Perhaps the biggest aspect of improving payroll efficiency is equipping your business with the right software solution. Intelligent recruitment software can consolidate your workflow, allowing payroll processes to managed easily and automatically.

Revisiting your approach to payroll using efficiency software can provide a substantial return on investment. You will find yourself with a lot more time to devote to achieving business objects without having to worry about fulfilling your obligations to the staff that help you get there.

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