Payroll services, best practices, tips and tricks

Teamwork, strategy, and delivery. These aspects are what it takes to execute payroll services in an efficient and effective manner. Ensuring client and employee satisfaction in delivering payroll duties is of the utmost importance, and in just a few minutes reading, learn about some best practices, tips and tricks to best optimise payroll services, and how SureBooks can help you on your way.


Maintaining policies and procedures to optimise payroll services

One key strategy to ensure the smooth running of payroll services, if you have the means and time to execute your own payroll duties, is to draw up an informative payroll manual. By doing so, employees will have a means of referral and the process will be more streamline and efficient. Employees will then require less of your time for questions and can refer to the manual first. However, this manual will need to be updated frequently to match the ever-changing slew of governmental tax policies.

This can become quite a timely process and may require a substantial amount of effort on your behalf. It is advisable to distribute the payroll manual electronically for ease of use and keyword search. Of course, in employing the use of SureBooks for all your payroll services needs, these measures will not be necessary.

Make clear important dates and deadlines regarding payroll services


No one likes a late submission – least of all SARS. Keeping a calendar or digital reminder system such as email alerts is a necessary measure if you wish to keep on top of all your deadlines. Tax deadlines, quarterly tasks and end of year submissions are some compulsory elements of payroll, and can be overwhelming at best. Enlisting payroll services from SureBooks can remove this burden from your shoulders while you optimise your small business, nurture it and watch it grow.

While creating a calendar or digital alerts can be fun and give the illusion of productivity and organisation, adhering to them is a whole other story. Staying on top of deadlines and meeting dates can be stressful at best, which is why outsourcing payroll services is perhaps the best option for the busy business owner.

Keep tabs on employee classifications to assist with payroll services

No matter how big or small your business may be, working under great levels of stress promotes the overlooking of smaller details such as how to classify each employee, whether they be full-time, contractual or part-time. According to recent studies, one in three companies fail their worker classification audit. Misclassifying employees can result in penalties from SARS as well as a general miscalculation of wages and salaries. Keeping tabs on the classification of each employee requires frequently-updated filing systems that may be a chore to complete but are highly important.

Keep a record of everything to do with payroll services

Employee records, tax transfers, payroll receipts from five years ago – you should keep it all. You never know when the need to go back and check something may arise, and should it be a matter of great importance, you will be glad to have kept it. This system is only effective if your filing is up to date and clearly labelled and stored. While filing is an unforgivingly tedious and often backbreaking procedure, one cannot always rely on storing everything on computers or online on the cloud.


Keep brushing up on your payroll system knowledge to optimise payroll services

As a business owner, if you are executing your own payroll services, it is important to frequently test out your knowledge. Not having studied accounting or have years of industry experience may put you at a disadvantage. Try quiz yourself on your own payroll system, and ask yourself if you could explain it to someone completely unfamiliar to the topic. This is a great way to establish whether or not you are completely in the know and familiar.

If you are utilising an automated payroll services system, ask yourself whether you are you up to date with all its new and exciting features – or whether you are you operating on the most basic settings. All these considerations may take some time and practice. If you trust in SureBooks to handle your payroll services, you can rest easy knowing your data is undergoing rigorous technological checks through cloud-based accounting as well as by the careful eye of your accountant.

What is cloud-based accounting, and what does it have to do with payroll services?

Cloud-based accounting is fast becoming one of the most efficient and viable ways in which to execute the payroll process, among other accounting needs. While on-site accounting software is contained and filed in computers and hard drives, cloud-based software occurs on remote servers and is subsequently processed and returned with great speed. Cloud-based accounting offers a great security in terms of your data being stored where it cannot be lost through computer crashes or workplace accidents.


One common concern from clients who entrust their payroll services to firms who utilise cloud-based software is that of security. It is only natural to worry about the safety of your important data and information, as well as that of your employees. These concerns are valid in times where data leaks seem to be ever-present topics of discourse across news and social media platforms. Technology that processes important data is then naturally regarded with suspicion.

Keep in mind, however, that cloud-based accounting software is encrypted with a plethora of passwords and other security measures that ensure the safety and privacy of your information is maintained at all times. One need not worry about a server crashing and the loss of information, as data is usually backed up on servers in two or more locations as a precautionary measure. Despite the convenience and timely way in which payroll data is processed through accounting software, you are still required to manually enter information regularly which can become time-consuming and distract you from your schedule – which is why utilising payroll services from a firm like SureBooks makes the entire process easier and streamline, while still ensuring your data is processed in the cloud.

Some common payroll services missteps

A payroll system needs to be akin to a well-oiled machine – effective, efficient and most importantly, comprise of functioning cogs. If you are currently executing your company’s payroll, it is likely that you are relying on some other team members to assist you (the cogs in the machine). Together, you comprise the payroll front of your business and ultimately have a direct hand and responsibility in the satisfaction of your employees. When a payroll system is not at its most optimal, it is felt all the way along the production line.

Errors in payroll can be frustrating at best, and maddening at worst. Whether it be a demotivated team member not fulfilling their duties, inaccurate data or lazy calculations if you are doing it by hand, the wrath of your employees will be felt by all. We have compiled a list of 3 of the most common payroll missteps that could be causing trouble in your system, and how to recognise them:

Too many chefs in the kitchen


If you and an associate are heading up a small to medium-sized business and have taken the matter of payroll into your own hands, you may have experienced some tensions in terms of who bears the brunt of the payroll duties. You may even have different systems that do no gel too well either. If the situation is causing setbacks in your payroll schedule or causing unnecessary conflict, the ideal solution is simple: make use of a payroll services accountant to do it for you. That way, you and your team can focus on growing and maintaining your business.

However, making use of an accountant for your payroll process is not always financially viable. If you are unable to, or do not wish to outsource, there are other options to try. Sitting down with your associate or team and setting strict boundaries concerning who fulfils what step of the payroll process is a good start. Make sure, however, that when you suggest this idea, you come to the table with no hostility and true compromise on your mind – otherwise you could cause even more tension. If all else fails, one of you may have to shoulder the payroll burden, and the other may have to pick up the slack in other areas that you may need to neglect.

Wait, was that due today?

Fitting in your payroll responsibilities during your busy work day is a feat in itself. A feat that cannot be achieved if you do not set yourself a host of reminders to keep important deadlines and duties in the forefront of your mind. Without reminders, it is also easier than expected to forget a critical step in the process, meaning that you may add several hours onto the process at a later stage when you or worse yet, someone else, realises that something went wrong somewhere along the line.

Office bound for payroll services

Growing your small business may take you on quite a journey, quite literally. Whether it be travelling to meet prospective clients and employees, checking out locations or forming new alliances, it is good to be on the move and out of the office (if you can help it). However, if you are in charge of the payroll process, this situation can fast become nightmarish. The global Covid-19 pandemic has seen a massive portion of the world’s workforce move online and off-premises, leading to new and digitalised skills being learned over very short periods of time.

In some cases, the shift to working online has been a boon for businesses, and others not so. If there was a time to lean more on the online world, it is certainly now. If you are only able to complete your payroll duties in your office, consider converting to the cloud-based accounting software previously discussed. This way, with a stable internet connection and laptop at the ready, you can make inputs and changes to the system a thousand kilometres away.

Making use of payroll services from SureBooks in 2021

We understand the gloomy financial situation caused by the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Many businesses have suffered huge losses, while others have simply been forced to close their doors. Hiring an accountant to take care of your company’s payroll needs during these times may seem like an avoidable cost if you take the time to execute your own payroll responsibilities. However, you may be surprised to hear that enlisting the services from accounting firms such as SureBooks for payroll services may free up your productive time to the point where you could potentially earn more effectively than before.

Hiring an accountant need not encompass all accounting services, but rather one specific service such as payroll services in this case. In this instance, you will be paying for exactly what you need – and nothing more.

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