Paymaster Magazine
Article - is payroll on international best-practice

Self-evaluation: Does your organisation’s payroll comply with international best-practice? 5 key areas to assess

Author: Ian Hurst — Managing Director, Paymaster People Solutions

Before we attend to the issue of how to conduct the self-evaluation, let’s be clear on one thing: every organisation is different. Organisations have different needs and expectations of their payroll. Organisations allocate their human resources, finance and payroll responsibilities in many different ways. Consequently, be sure to keep this fact in mind when you start with your organisation’s self-evaluation.

There are 5 key-areas which apply to all payrolls — When conducting your organisation’s self-evaluation exercise, be sure to check the following:

Article - is payroll on international best-practiceIs organisational discipline being fostered by policies and procedures?

  • Are the policies and procedures for your organisation well documented and accessible?
  • Are these policies and procedures being reviewed on an annual basis?
  • Are new line-managers and employees being sufficiently trained on due-process related to the proper functioning of the payroll?
  • Are all policies and procedures being strictly adhered to?
  • For the approval of discretionary exceptions, do clear levels of responsibility exist?
  • If policies and procedures are broken, is there a clear understanding of resulting consequences?

Do clear, unambiguous areas of accountability exist?

  • Do signed and agreed upon levels of employee accountability exist?
  • Are various levels of accountability clearly prescribed for individual employees?
  • Is there a healthy culture of accountability for individual areas of employee responsibility?
  • Do line-managers have service-level agreements?

Article - is payroll on international best-practiceDo check-points exist to ensure accuracy?

  • Is there an existing process to check that all inputs have been processed?
  • Is there a process to balance the payroll?
  • Are regular documented payroll spot checks being done?

Is ongoing-learning for all employees being fostered and encouraged?

  • Do training programmes exist to suitably address employees’ ongoing-learning needs in the technical sphere (e.g. knowing what payroll software can process)?
  • Do training programmes exist to suitably address employees’ ongoing-learning needs in the knowledge sphere (e.g. knowing all about payroll and employee tax)?
  • Is there a documented process to support and promote the upskilling of payroll staff?
  • Do employees know what their payslips are all about and what the various sections mean?
  • Do line-mangers understand what all the payroll reports are for and what they mean?

Article - is payroll on international best-practiceAre new technologies being leveraged for optimal payroll productivity?

  • Is your current payroll software application delivering according to your organisation’s true needs — i.e. in terms of reports, additional information, access and accuracy?
  • Is your payroll team spending too much time on the creation of additional payroll reports?
  • If your organisation is reliant upon several software applications, are these software applications interfacing seamlessly?
  • Is your organisation’s payroll system working on the latest technological software frameworks?
  • Is your organisation’s technology updated with the latest information?

Whilst this is by no means an exhaustive or comprehensive list, it does serve to get you thinking about (and planning for) that all-important self-evaluation exercise. In today’s world— a world that is constantly changing at a rapid pace—organisations need to keep on asking these important questions. This is the only sensible way to be sure that an organisation remains ‘on top of its game’ and compliant with international best-practice payroll standards.

You are invited to email me, Ian Hurst, for more information. I will be happy to entertain any further enquiries that you might have.

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Paymaster People Solutions (Pty) Ltd is a subsidiary of Grant Thornton Advisory Services Cape (Pty) Ltd
Grant Thornton Advisory Services Cape (Pty) Ltd is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd

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Adrian Baillie-Stewart

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