5 Tips for Payroll Tracking in your business - Woman on phone discussing payroll in her business

5 Tips for Payroll Tracking in your business

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Creating a seamless payroll process

As a small business owner, you know that payroll can be one of the most time consuming administrative tasks. Nonetheless, it’s an important procedure that’s necessary to get right. That’s because payroll errors can be costly, from payment penalties to issuing incorrect paychecks. Plus, correct timesheets can give you valuable insights into your business, including where your employees are focusing their efforts and where your business can improve its efficiency. So in this article, we’ll take a look at five tips to improve your payroll tracking process at your small business. To start, let’s take a look at payroll tracking and why it’s a necessary process for your business.

What’s payroll tracking and why is it important?

Payroll tracking is the process of recording employee time systematically. If your small business hires hourly workers, employee time tracking is necessary. Without this process, you won’t know what payment amount your company owes employees for their work. Time tracking also helps your business stay within the law. Knowing the number of hours an hourly employee works can ensure that non-exempt employees are working the correct amount of hours and compensated appropriately for overtime. Therefore, tracking employee hours is a necessary process for hourly staffing.

However, payroll tracking can also help with bookkeeping for salaried employees. Whether you need to track time to monitor billable hours or understand staffing needs or efficiencies, your business can put payroll tracking to work even if you don’t have hourly employees.

When it comes to the potential issues with incorrect tracking, the biggest issues revolve around paying employees overtime. Inaccurate payroll tracking can often result in overpaying or underpaying employees. Not paying overtime wages to employees can result in paying penalties and interest. Plus, you’ll have to pay back wages to the employee or employees. This can be a headache for small business owners like you. So what can you do to ensure accurate payroll tracking? Let’s look at five tips that can help your small business.

Leverage technology (mobile apps, real time monitoring, etc)

Technology is evolving, and your small business can leverage it for more accurate time tracking. While old timekeeping methods like pen and paper time cards or spreadsheet tracking with Excel are still around, going paperless is the best way to streamline your time tracking. Payroll tracking software typically allows for paperless inputs, while employees can also utilize mobile apps to clock in and clock out.

Mobile apps can prompt hourly employees to check-in for their shifts and even prompt them at break time. Some time tracking solutions even have GPS tracking and geofencing, which is great for small businesses like construction companies. With this technology, employees get push notifications to clock in and out while on the job site, all based on their GPS location.

Your small business can also look into browser plugins that allow for real-time monitoring and tracking for employees who work on a computer. These plugins allow workers access to web-based tracking systems and timers, so they'll know exactly how much time they're spending on various projects. As you can see, a time tracking app can help you gain a more accurate picture of how your employees are spending their time.

Train your employees

One of the best ways to ensure accurate time clock tracking is to train your employees in the best practices and expectations your company has. Ensure that the onboarding process includes training on the time tracking software your company uses for each new employee. That way, they’ll be familiar with the software and expectations when they need to complete time entry without you.

For those who manage workers, it's important that their training includes the approvals process to ensure that they know how to approve others' time. Another essential element to the onboarding process is making sure all employees fill out their documentation correctly, which allows your business to ensure you’re classifying and paying employees accurately.

As a small business owner, you should also educate your employees on how long their breaks should be, the PTO accrual process, what they should expect in their work, and how they can correct any time entry errors they produce. Educating employees is one of the easiest ways to ensure correct time tracking at your business.

Track hours accurately and stay organized

As we’ve discussed, accurate tracking of work hours is vital to your small business. The more organized you are, the easier it is to keep your business moving and save time in the process. Besides working hours, it’s important to make sure you’re tracking your employees’ PTO, sick days, and scheduling. In addition to a calendar that shows employee scheduling, it’s essential to get organized with a calendar that also shows key business operations dates – like when payroll forms or taxes are due.

Use software or partner for payroll and time tracking

Payroll software or a payroll processing partner can help you ease the stress of payroll. With payroll software, you can keep track of all your employees in one place while simplifying payroll entry for them. Payroll software allows easy timekeeping. including time tracking tools for accurate time entry. Plus, payroll software can let you track a higher level of detail than standard payroll methods. With the insights you can gain from using payroll software or payroll partner, you’ll be able to optimize your payroll and your business.

Don’t forget about taxes

Payroll taxes are a crucial part of running payroll. But if you’re not keeping a close eye on them, they can sneak up on you. That’s why it’s important to automate your payroll taxes. That way, you’ll ensure your business pays the IRS accurately and on time. Many payroll processing systems can help your company with this, so it’s important to check with your payroll provider to see how you can make sure you stay compliant with payroll taxes.

Payroll tracking is an essential part of doing business, no matter your industry. While it’s especially crucial for companies that employ hourly employees, it can also benefit businesses that have salaried employees. With these five tips for payroll tracking, your small business is on its way to improving its efficiency and accuracy, keeping your employees happy, and moving your business forward.


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Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind.