It seems to start earlier each year (certainly in the shops), but the Christmas and New Year Period can be a difficult time for many payroll departments without proper and robust planning. Our guide and tips below will help you navigate this difficult time.
With many companies increasing their staff over this time, the Christmas period can see an increase of up to 60% for a 6-8 week period. Add in the logistical requirements of bank holidays, and the fact that many companies pay early in December, and it’s easy to see the potential pitfalls that may arise, leaving payroll staff stressed and employees potentially unpaid. Here are our top tips for a stress-free December payroll;
1. Payroll Outsourcing;
Find a reputable payroll outsourcing company. Outsourcing your payroll to fully qualified professionals means that you can be confident that your staff will be paid accurately and on time with the minimum amount of effort on your part.
2. Plan ahead;
Allow sufficient time to recruit and train the right people if needed. Ensure you have the right amount of stationery such as payslips available. Ensure you don’t repeat the previous year’s mistakes.
3. Ensure you have the right payroll team;
Temporary payroll staff are difficult to find and expensive at short notice, and will need to learn your specific operating procedures. One of the problems with payroll is that when things go wrong, the workload spirals upwards. If you are using an outsourced provider, they will have more resources available, but you should give them sufficient notice.
4. Gather information once;
Make sure you capture employee information at the earliest possible opportunity, not just on their first day at work. Examples include; tax forms, NI numbers, proof of student status, and bank details. Ensure that the amount of manual data input into your payroll system is minimal, this reduces errors, and makes the whole process quicker.
5. Test your systems;
With many seasonal employees being paid weekly, make sure your payroll software is up to the task. This is especially important if you have upgraded or have had new software installed recently. Most payroll systems have the ability to import payroll data via CSV (comma separated value) or excel template, so investigate whether input via this method would speed up the payroll process and reduce the risk of input errors.
6. Learn from your actions;
Don’t just sit back in the New Year, analyse what could have gone better, and implement changes for the next time.
With planning and foresight, even though the month is foreshortened by bank holidays and the pre-Christmas pay date there is no reason why the Christmas payroll should be any more trouble than the other eleven months of the year.
For flexible, confidential, and reliable payroll bureau services that ensure your staff get paid accurately and on time, contact us now on 0115 9853199 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get back to you at your convenience.