4 Ways to Make Your Automatic Payroll Deposit Process Better
Perhaps you started your business with only one employee and were able to handle payroll, and the writing of that one paycheck, yourself. But even with fewer than five employees, payroll can become amazingly complicated, and the risks you take with payroll mistakes can be very serious. Incorrectly calculating your state unemployment insurance or getting someone’s tax withholding wrong can lead to expensive fines as well as unhappy employees.
When you include automatic payroll deposit as part of your company’s payroll program, you save time over manual check preparation and make paying employees more efficient and secure. Employees don’t have to worry about losing a paper check, and check fraud is virtually eliminated. The United States government saves tens of billions of dollars every year by using automatic payroll deposit as opposed to traditional paychecks, and employees save the indirect costs involved with cashing or depositing their own checks.
Whether you have been providing automatic payroll deposit for years or are implementing it for the first time, there are several things you can do to make the process better for all parties. Here are four ways you can make your automatic payroll deposit process better.
1. Hold an Annual Automatic Payroll Deposit Drive to Encourage Participation
You can encourage participation in your automatic payroll deposit program by designating an enrollment period and turning it into an event. You could set up a booth in your lobby or company cafeteria, or add a special page to your employee web portal explaining the benefits of automatic deposit and how to enroll. Some companies encourage participation by holding a prize drawing (such as a gift card) for new enrollees. If you hold a direct deposit drive annually, you should steadily improve participation with each round, for a positive return on the investment of effort.
2. Offer Employees the Choice of Paper or Electronic Pay Stubs
Many employees are perfectly happy with electronic pay stubs that they can print out themselves if they need to. A few still prefer to have paper pay stubs. If your employees don’t have online access at work, you can install one or two kiosks in common areas where they can log into their employee account securely and view or print their latest pay stub. Implementing an automatic payroll deposit program is all about options and convenience, and letting employees know they can access either paper or electronic stubs with direct deposit can encourage higher participation levels.
3. Make the Signup Process Part of the New Employee On-Boarding Process
When new employees join your workforce, they usually have to fill out a number of forms during their first days on the job. Making these forms electronic and setting up the on-boarding process so that information entered by a new employee can be used to populate multiple forms at once speeds the process up considerably. Have enrollment in automatic payroll deposit as part of the new employee on-boarding process and both you and they can enjoy the advantages of automatic deposit from the very first paycheck. When signup is convenient and done electronically, employees have fewer excuses for not signing up.
4. Offer Year-Round Signup Through an Employee HR Portal
Creating an online HR portal for employees can make many HR processes more efficient, such as requesting vacation days, changing tax withholding, and enrolling in automatic payroll deposit. When these processes are paper-based, information passes through a number of hands, and the probability of errors goes up with each handoff. It’s all too easy to misread how someone’s name is spelled, or transpose two numbers in an employee ID when information is entered manually. Making HR forms electronic and providing automatic alerts for key HR employees when a form is submitted streamlines processes while reducing error rates.
When a paycheck must be passed from hand to hand between the time it is printed and the time it is deposited by the employee, its security is less certain, and there’s a lag between when an employee is paid and when he has access to the money. Using automatic payroll deposit and making enrollment as easy as possible for employees with electronic forms encourages participation and ensures nobody spends excessive time filling out forms by hand and tracking progress with phone calls.
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