Do you have a payroll back-up?

10th December, 2015

Who takes care of business when you’re not around? Do you have someone in place to manage the pay run? Do you have a plan? 

We all go about our day to day business simply presuming that we will be back at work tomorrow to carry on business as usual. Unfortunately, lately there have been some situations where our clients have been left between a rock and a hard place when their payroll person has been absent. In one case, the payroll administrator was involved in an accident and ended up in hospital on pay day. The combined stress of having a friend or colleague unexpectedly injured and no one to process the pay run can make for a pretty bad day.

Unfortunately, this is something we come across from time to time – none of us is invincible. So take some time to have a think about who completes your payroll if for some reason you can’t. (In my team we call it the “In case you get hit by a bus” contingency.)

Ask these two questions to help you make a plan.

1. Who is your internal back-up?

Who in the business can take care of your workload if you’re not there? It’s always a very good idea to cross skill people wherever possible so the tasks can be covered when necessary. Not only do you have back-up in case of emergency, but it’s a chance for other team members to up-skill and vary their daily tasks.

If the back-up staff member needs training, send them to an MYOB EXO Payroll New User training session to get up to speed. The next step is to get them to help out with payroll processing now and then so that they are familiar with your process.

The only consideration here is confidentiality when dealing with Payroll and HR – the person must be in a position where they are allowed to see payroll details.

2. What documentation do you have in place?

Whether you have someone already trained as a back-up or not, we encourage our clients to have a detailed set of documentation that details how the pay process is run in the business. This means that even if you don’t have an internal back-up person, a temp or another team member should be able to pick up your documents and complete the pay run.

The documentation should cover:

  • How does the payroll process happen? How do you know what has to be paid and where does it come from? ie. Leave payments or timesheets. Do you use multiple modules such as Time and Attendance or MyStaffInfo? A flow chart or step-by-step guide is helpful.
  • Who approves the pay then sends to the bank? How does this happen? Email, hard copy, etc.
  • How to access all the systems required?
  • How to get help if there are any issues? ie. product help file, support or helpdesk contact numbers. Include your client ID number as a reference, and even training guides or product guides. (Note: all of this can be found within your EXO Payroll product.)
  • What reports are printed out and when? Do you email payslips or print them? Do you save hard copies of payroll reports or PDFs, do managers or anyone else get various reports at certain times?
  • How do you complete IR filing? What are the company login details for this?
  • Any other “tricks” to watch out for that you need to work around or manage.

It seems like a lot of information, but all of this is important for someone who has never processed payroll.

Think about your guide as one of those “Payroll Processing For Dummies” references. That way, even if someone doesn’t have payroll experience they can get your people paid.

We know that payroll staff are passionate and take great pride in getting people paid on time every time. Hopefully you’re never in a situation where you aren’t able to plan for your absence, but if you have these things in place then you can rest easier.