Kicking off the Payroll New Year
January 9, 2017
For most of us, the new year brings with it a new chapter, a renewed sense of motivation to overcome any obstacles and persevere in our aspirations, both personal and business.
For those working in the HR and Payroll environment, the new year brings with it a number of changes, having to close off the previous year for fiscal purposes, and begin a new payroll year, often with many adjustments that apply to it.
We’ve put together a checklist that will hopefully help you kick off the payroll new year much easier.
There’s no better time to consider a new 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, January is the perfect time to consider a locally developed and supported application that would cater for all local legislation, especially 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.
But don’t think about it for too long – January is also a busy month for payroll software providers.
- Changes in Cost of Living Allowances (COLA), Social Security Rates (SSR), Tax rates and more. If you’re manually working out your payroll, be sure to listen out for any changes to COLA, Social Security Rates SSR, tax rates and other dynamics such as sickness benefits that need to be applied as of 1st January. If you’re using a software application to work out your payroll, all changes should be updated by your service provider, so that your system will automatically calculate the January payroll inclusive of all changes for the payroll new year.
- Changes in Benefits such as Sickness or Injury benefits. The same as above would apply to changes in employee benefits.
- Global Adjustments for all Employees. Global adjustments, such as applying the COLA adjustment to the basic salary of your employees, can be tedious and time consuming if you’re working on a manual system. Good payroll software solutions should allow you to apply such changes across all employees or a group of employees at the click of a button, without having to adjust each and every employee record come the start of the payroll new year.
- Tax Returns for 2016. You’ve got until mid-February to submit this, but you might want to get it over and done with once you’ve closed off 2016. Make sure you obtain all the latest forms from the Inland Revenue Department, and be aware of any changes in the Electronic Lodgement process which requires electronic submission of employee pay history and deductions. 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.
- Changeover to the New Year. Check whether your application allows you to change over from 2017 to 2016, giving you the flexibility to issue reports and tax submissions for last year whilst working on the January payroll.
- Public Holidays in the New Year. Be sure to check the public holidays for the new year, especially those that do not always fall on the same date such as Good Friday. Good payroll software solutions are designed to automatically update the public holiday calendar for you, facilitating your start to the payroll new year.
- Leave Balances. Depending on your company policy, you will need to cater for employees’ outstanding leave balances. Your software solution should allow you the flexibility to accommodate your company leave policy and process leave balances accordingly.
Consider moving your Payroll to the Cloud.
If your new year’s resolution is to embrace technology, this may be the perfect time to look into moving your payroll to the cloud. This will give you and your payroll team 24×7 access, allowing you to work from anywhere where an internet connection is available. Our cloud based Shireburn Indigo Payroll also provides an employee portal for all employees to use when applying for leave, viewing their payslips and FS3s and much more, taking a large load off the HR team.
At Shireburn we have over 30 years of experience in business software solutions, and are leaders in the local payroll and leave management market with more than 50,000 employees being paid using our software and over 8,000 having 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 system 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 you can rest assured that your first payroll of the year is up to date with all necessary adjustments. Find out more at Shireburn.com/indigo and Get in touch with us for a proposal and demonstration.