5 Common Payroll Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

5 Common Payroll Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Payroll management is like oxygen in your company: when it's there, you barely notice it; when it's gone, you can't focus on anything else. That makes payroll management an extremely underappreciated yet critical function within a firm. Efficient payroll management can keep workers happy and help your company avoid legal problems when done correctly. On the other hand, it may have a negative impact when payroll mistakes occur throughout an organization. Fortunately, with education, adequate preparation, and the appropriate tools, virtually all of the most prevalent payroll mistakes are avoidable. Learn about these payroll errors and how to prevent or correct them.

The 5 Most Common Payroll Mistakes

There are numerous ways that businesses may make mistakes regarding payroll. Here are some of the most prevalent payroll mistakes that employers should know.

#1 Misclassifying Employees

Misclassifying Employees is one of the most common payroll mistakes that employers make. It is important to classify employees accurately so that they are not subject to liabilities that will no longer apply. Misclassification may result in an employee missing out on benefits they should be receiving and may also result in the company owing back payments.
Even though many classify their employees as self-employed contractors, they should classify them as employed workers. For those classified as self-employed contractors, it has been said that the NHS should request the DBA information for those individuals and verify whether or not they are self-employed or employed workers. If they are wrongly classified, the company can be subject to fines and penalties.

#2 Miscalculating Pay

Another most common payroll mistake is miscalculating pay. By forgetting to include overtime, shift premiums, and time off in calculating a person's pay, it can happen. Another way is by not having these calculations correctly on a paycheck. A third way this may happen is if someone decides to take unscheduled leave without first adding any paid leave time from their balance.
If you are miscalculating the amount of NI that an employee needs to pay, it could result in penalties or fines later on down the line. When a person's pay is miscalculated, they may not receive the overtime they have worked. It can cause a lot of financial stress for employees.

What are Payroll Error Corrections?
When payments need to be adjusted, a payroll correction is necessary. Payroll mistakes, such as forgetting to make a payment, miscalculating an employee's wage, or wrongly classifying an employee as self-employed, can all result in the need for a payroll correction.

How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Payroll Error?
When a payroll error occurs, it is essential to correct it as soon as possible. If a person is miscalculated on a paycheck, they could have too little pay for their work. If that company does not clear up this mistake, the person may have no income whatsoever. In those cases, the company usually owes the employee back payments for their unpaid wages and time off.

#3 Missing Important Deadlines

In payroll, timeliness is everything. Employees expect to be paid on time and correctly each pay period. You may make employees' lives more difficult by delaying the close of a payroll cycle and making late payments. Furthermore, you may find yourself paying more tax and NI than you ought to if you forget to close a payroll cycle. Missing deadlines could also result in fines and penalties later on.

#4 Failure to File Tax Documents

One of the most important parts of payroll is filing tax documents. If you do not file these documents on time, you may be subject to penalties and fines from HMRC. These fines can be quite substantial, and they can add up quickly if you are not careful. To avoid these penalties, make sure you file all of your forms according to their deadlines.

#5 Failing to Maintain Complete Records

One of the most common payroll errors is failing to maintain complete records. This type of mistake can be costly because employees are entitled to bonus payments for years that go back up to six years. If a company does not maintain complete payroll records, it can lead to missed payments, but it can also cause employee relations problems.
Maintaining complete records is essential for any company that wants to comply with payroll laws. If you have difficulty maintaining your records, consider using a payroll software or service provider. Without up-to-date records, you risk making errors with pay, misclassifying workers, and so on.

How to Avoid Payroll Errors

Avoiding or preventing each of the mistakes listed above necessitates a variety of tactics, but we've compiled our top suggestions below. Incorporating these items into your payroll procedure may help you detect errors before they occur, resulting in quicker, more efficient, and more accurate payroll.

Invest in the Right Technology
What is the most effective technique for preventing payroll errors from disrupting your company? Invest in a sound payroll system. Payroll technology has come a long way in the past two decades. With the right software, you have reliable automation to help simplify your payroll procedure and ensure accuracy.
It should sync with your HR system and automate the most time-consuming tasks. Payroll software makes it easy to run automated reports and check your payroll process regularly. Using such tools can automatically calculate the pay period, overtime rates, and more.

Discovering What You Need to Know
Payroll mistakes are usually the result of insufficient data or incorrect information on payroll staff. As your company continues to grow, payroll will likely become more complicated. While it may be challenging to keep track of everything you need to know, make sure you pay attention to the following aspects of your payroll procedures:
- Whether your company is liable for up-to-date payment records (such as P60s)
- Update all responsibility and confidentiality agreements
- List all staff members on the payroll system or payroll software

Establish a Clear Payroll Policy
Create a manual that details all of your payroll operations, including when pay raises are approved and the steps for reviewing and approving modifications. It would help if you also established a records management and retention policy. It aids you in following legal requirements to retain payroll records for up to three years.

Keep a To-Do List
A checklist is always a safe bet. Even if they have software to assist their procedures, payroll executives must keep track of many things. They may go through every step of the method using a checklist, verifying each component and ensuring everything is correct. If you discover a payroll mistake, act as soon as possible and notify the authorities if required. Keep track of all new hires; any pay raises, deductions, and other changes in one central location, organized by pay period. Then, when you're working on the payroll for that period, you may go through each list to ensure everything got correctly recorded.

Run Reports Before Payroll
If you have access to a perfect payroll software, running a few critical reports before processing payroll may assist you in catching and correcting errors. To verify that all of your check amounts are correct, run the following reports:

Automated and Integrated Payroll ProcessesAn integrated payroll system automates payroll processes, allowing you to avoid manual entry and paper-intensive procedures prone to errors. An integrated solution also keeps payroll activities synchronized with time recording, scheduling, and employee benefits elections so you can manage your staff while maintaining uniformity in payroll and HR data.

You may reduce frequent payroll mistakes and obtain the following advantages:

Consider Your Current Payroll Provider & Procedures
If you have a large staff and an outdated system, you may find more inefficiencies than you expect. A thorough examination of current practices might reveal inefficiencies and areas for improvement. If your organization has problems with payroll administration and needs a new approach to managing it, you may need to consider switching payroll providers. You can choose a partner that can help you manage your payroll and HR processes or consider a cloud-based solution that will provide you with the latest tools and technology.

Deliver the Right Paycheck Every Time

It's essential to be aware of the most common payroll mistakes so you can avoid them in your organization and keep a good payroll process going. While running a smooth payroll might seem like a thankless task, it impacts various aspects of the business, including employee happiness and even corporate culture. Invest now in a cloud-based innovative payroll management system like Brain Payroll to provide your business with fast, reliable, and secure payroll services!
Brain Payroll is an end-to-end cloud-based payroll application that automates the entire process. You can book a Free Demo and try it for yourself today!

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