It’s not uncommon for small business owners to eventually reach a point in their company headcount where processing payroll manually becomes too expensive and time-consuming. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to speed up your organization's payroll process, it may be time to automate your payroll using cloud-based technology.
The Benefits of a Cloud-Based Payroll Workflow
Taking advantage of cloud-based payroll solutions can simplify and streamline your workflow. Better still, research presented by North American payroll specialist, Wagepoint, estimates that automation reduces payroll processing costs by as much as 80%.
There are dedicated online systems available for every step of the payroll process, making it easy to:
- reduce manual payroll entry for greater efficiency,
- eliminate the collection, printing, and filing of paper timesheets, and
- access your employee data virtually and securely prepare your payroll from anywhere, any time
System integration that allows payroll data to flow seamlessly from online time tracking system to cloud-based payroll and bookkeeping software is the key to automating your workflow.
How to Automate Payroll for Your Business
Before you can automate your payroll system, you’ll need to onboard your staff. One effective way to accomplish this is with the help of a software service like Bamboo HR.
As a cloud-based human resource information system (HRIS), Bamboo HR makes collecting, organizing, and managing employee data extremely efficient. You can consolidate each of your employee’s pay details in one convenient location, including:
- individual pay rates,
- personal tax forms (like TD1s and void cheques for direct deposit),
- Social Insurance Numbers, and
- vacation pay data
Using a powerful, secure automation system like Bamboo HR makes it easy to access the payroll data you need. And with all the relevant information at your fingertips, you can move on to processing your payroll in 3 cloud-based steps.
Step 1: Enter Timesheets into a Cloud-Based Time Tracking Software
Two of our favourite cloud-based employee time tracking software are TSheets and Harvest. These tools play an integral role in automating your payroll because both your regular staff and any contractors you employ can use it to track and submit working hours.
These time tracking tools can typically be accessed from any device, making it easy for employees to manage their time and for you to approve it. A key benefit is that they often integrate directly with your payroll system, some even have built-in systems, which allows timesheets to be submitted and processed for payment.
Depending on your chosen payroll software, it's worth conducting some research before investing in a time tracking tool to ensure your systems will integrate.
Step 2: Export Pay Data into Cloud-Based Payroll Software
Your company has many options when it comes to exporting employee timesheet and other payroll data to a cloud-based payroll processing software.
Software like QuickBooks Online, Payworks, and Wagepoint, for example, not only let you manage payroll activities remotely, they also offer secure, multi-user access that lets you collaborate with your bookkeeper or payroll administrator.
Other functionalities of cloud-based payroll software include:
- direct deposit capabilities,
- automatic generation of employee T4s and ROEs, and
- generation and remittance of payroll taxes directly to the CRA (in the case of Payworks)
Using one central location for all your employee payroll data also means you can do away with both paper files, and the need to store digital files in multiple offline drives.
Step 3: Create Journal Entries in a Cloud-Based Accounting Program
Once the payroll for a specific pay period is complete, you can use your payroll software to create and export journal entries directly to a cloud-based accounting program like Xero or QuickBooks Online.
Automating this important data entry step in the payroll process not only saves time, but it also ensures the accuracy of your accounting records. Your company will benefit from an up-to-date set of books, and you’ll be less likely to have to endure the headaches and extra costs that can accompany bookkeeping errors and audits.
From understanding payroll deductions to complying with tax laws, payroll has become more complicated than ever. Discovering how to automate your organization’s payroll with the help of cloud-based technology is an enormous step forward.
But if you’re not technology-savvy - or you simply can’t find the time to make the switch - contact us. As back-office payroll professionals, there’s nothing we like better at Enkel than helping small business owners take the pain out of payroll.