If payroll falls under your responsibility, then we know a little something about the stressful period that approaches with the payroll end-of-year. We’ve put together a high-level checklist that will hopefully help you glide through the process.
Payroll End-of-Year Checklist
- The Budget. If you’re manually working out your payroll, be sure to listen out for any changes. These may include the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), Social Security Rates (SSR), tax rates and other dynamics such as sickness benefits. If you’re using a software application to work out your payroll, all changes dictated by the budget should be updated by your service provider, so that your system will automatically calculate the payroll inclusive of all changes come the first payroll of the year.
- Applying changes to the January Payroll. If you’re manually working out your payroll, the first month can get a bit tricky with possible changes in COLA, SS rates, tax rates, and more. Software solutions should cater for these changes globally once you start working on the new year. Remember that you need to apply the COLA adjustment to the basic salary of all your employees. This can be a bit tedious when done manually, especially as your company grows.
- Tax Returns. The payroll end-of-year can be pretty busy with the submission of your annual tax returns for both your employees and company. Make sure you obtain all the latest forms from the Inland Revenue Department, and be aware of any changes in the Electronic Lodgement. If you are using a payroll software solution, check whether it automatically generates all the information that you need to submit, in the required format and whether you can do so electronically. You’ve usually got until mid-February of the following year to get sorted, but you might want to get it over and done with once you’ve closed off the year.
- Changeover to the New Year. Check whether your application allows you to change over from the new year to the previous year and vice versa. This will provide you with more flexibility come January to finalise the previous year whilst working on the new.
- Public Holidays in the New Year. Be sure to check the public holidays for the new year and see which fall on working days or weekends. Local payroll software solutions are designed to automatically update the public holiday calendar for you, facilitating your start to the new year.
- Leave Balances. Depending on your company policy, you will need to cater for employees’ outstanding leave balances as part of the payroll end-of-year process. Your software solution should allow you the flexibility to accommodate your company leave policy and process leave balances accordingly.
- Be Independent from your Solution Provider. Whilst some software applications may require the assistance, whether remote or on site, of your service provider’s technical people, others make processing the payroll end-of-year fully automated by yourself so you don’t have to rely on or wait around for your software company and can go ahead and get the job done in your own time.
- Choosing your Payroll Software. If you’re about to take the step from a manual payroll to a software solution, or are unhappy with your current system, consider a locally developed and supported application that would cater for all local legislation. This is particularly important when considering the budget changes, tax rates, benefits and public holidays. These vary from one jurisdiction to another, so having a localised solution can save you tons of time.
Shireburn’s Payroll Expertise
At Shireburn we have over 30 years of experience in business software solutions, and are leaders in the local payroll and leave management market. More than 50,000 employees are paid using our software and just over 8,000 have their leave managed by our systems.
Our solutions include regular updates, backed by a team who are always on the lookout for changes in the payroll legislation, so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. We programme our systems to automatically cater for changes in legislation, and generate all the information you need for the electronic lodgement of your annual tax returns. We also make adjustments easy, with tools that facilitate the global allocation and adjustments of COLA, leave entitlement, company bonuses and more. So come January, you can rest assured that your first payroll of the year is up to date with all necessary adjustments.
You can count on us to guide you through a number of payroll options to suit your particular business requirements. Our solutions include:
- Shireburn Indigo Payroll – a cloud solution inclusive of an employee portal for leave management and other neat features.
- Shireburn Payroll and HR System – a modular solution complete with time and attendance management.
Get in touch with us for a proposal and demonstration.