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Do You Dread Payroll?

Barbara Steckly

Barbara Steckly

Does the dreaded challenge of payroll management routinely cast a pall over your workplace operations?

It’s interesting how something as positive as getting paid can become such a huge bone of contention, and it’s especially so when human frailty raises its ugly head. Accounting staff will often complain that timesheets are submitted late or not at all. When they diligently do track them down from the paperwork procrastinators, they’re likely to be illegible with errors, omission, even coffee stains. Yet, heaven forbid there should be a miscalculation in what the employee is owed! if the amount is less then expected, all hell can break loose. 

People turn a tad crazy if they feel someone’s messed with their money. Sadly, situations like this can cause chronic employee unrest, bitterness between departments, even between individuals. There are cases where even the most confidentiality-minded professional succumbs to indiscretion, your internal payroll team is privy to who gets paid what among the staff members, and who’s lucky enough to be getting that elusive bonus. Sometimes, the juicy gossip is just too tempting not to share. Everyone swears everyone else to secrecy, but let’s face it, salacious office news tends to travel faster than the latest YouTube cat video. 

Ah, if only that were the sole drawback to preparing payroll internally these days!

In reality, the timelines, regulations, and requirements regarding government compliance and payroll remittances seem to change like desert sands in a windstorm. It’s a full-time job just keeping up with the provincial labour standards and the ever-changing statutory holiday and vacation pay regulations. Feeling overwhelmed by the addition of payroll management to all their other finance and bookkeeping obligations, it’s easy for accounting staff to fall behind or become just downright confused. Unfortunately, a situation like that can lead to late filing fees as well as interest charges and other penalties. Once you catch the negative attention of the powers that be in the tax department, it’s difficult to escape their continued vigilance. 

Not only do avoidable fees waste company money, but there’s also the matter of the wasted time it takes to review and re-do.  All these annoying errors have to be corrected where ever they appear on reports and official documents. Sometimes as simple as erroneously classifying a new hire as a contractor when they are working as an employee can result in major financial repercussions. 

As an employer, when you hire a contractor, you don’t have to withhold their provincial and federal taxes because, being self-employed, they routinely pay those taxes themselves. Imagine the horror of discovering down the road, however, that this so-classified contractor should have been classed as an employee. Now, not only do you have to pay the CPP and EI you should have submitted on their behalf, but you’re responsible for any earned overtime or worker’s compensation, if applicable. That’s not even counting the penalties and interest CRA would charge for just making that disruptive mistake. Just sends a chill down your spine, doesn’t it?

At a certain point in your business’ growth, maybe it made sense to do everything internally when it came to finances but, now you’re established, you have to ask yourself if all this time, effort and avoidable strife is worth it. Have you calculated in all the stress leave your finance employees are going to end up taking if things don’t improve? Large-scale operations face payrolls too extensive and time-consuming to effectively manage while, smaller ventures, may find it a deceptively "easy" procedure, often treated as an afterthought, and that’s when mistakes due to inattention mount up. 

When your staff members are rightfully preoccupied with their other duties, who keeps up with all the pesky little payroll details like remembering at year-end to provide the tax documents and record of employment for the guy who got fired at the beginning of the year? And you thought he was a problem then! Whether the terminated employee wants to file an insurance claim or not, you’re still required to provide information about their earnings, work hours and other work history details when they move on from your company. 

Have you thought about contracting an outside team of expert bookkeepers who are, not only up to date on all of these regulations, remittances and compliance issues, but are experts at it all, because it is their specialty? They live for this stuff. It’s what they do.

Instead of constantly checking for tax changes yourself, worrying about some obscure detail getting overlooked and costing you big time, why not enjoy some payroll peace of mind. Your professional bookkeeper always has it all under control. Well-versed in all the right financial software, not only can they efficiently track the changing rules and rates, but they will wisely systematize every aspect of the task, eliminating all that payroll rigmarole. All things considered, the cost is comparable, and, this way, you’ve got devoted specialists on your team when needed, impartial professionals who get the job done right the first time. 

We know first-hand from all our experience in helping businesses like yours prosper more efficiently! Here at Preferred Client Services, we’re so focused on solving all those complex payroll problems and more, we’ve got a S.W.A.T. team of our own! In our case, S.W.A.T stands for Strength, Wisdom, Accountability and Trusted Teamwork.  As professional bookkeepers, we’re proud to work together with you as a business partner to make a positive impact on your bottom line. 

If payroll management strikes terror in the hearts of your financial administration employees, or if you simply need some more pertinent information on the subject from a bookkeeping standpoint, please feel free to get in touch. We’re happy to be of service!

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