Michael Lansdell: Payroll is essential, but ways to improve it are often overlooked
An efficient payroll is one of those nuts-and-bolts processes that is essential to a well-run dental practice. There are excellent software options out there that might even save you money – as well as being the means by which you pay people. Some platforms will simplify payroll to the extent that you will only need a few clicks to process it.
Your payroll software, along with all your everyday processes, should be resilient and adaptable. If you have plans to expand the team, or if self-employed people are on a different schedule, you need software that copes with these things, as well as other unexpected circumstances. So, functionality is key.
Whatever package you use must provide excellent customer service, because you need to avoid people not being paid on time or being paid incorrectly. Also, try to provide basic training on payroll, to cover absence or if anyone is moving on. There are various courses available from quality providers.
Regardless of how many are trained on payroll, you will need an up-to-date database of processes to ensure consistency. Every dental practice should have a resource library of sorts – a tool that would be as useful to a new starter as it is to established members of the team. Adapting to rapidly changing circumstances is only easier if good structures and processes are in place.
By “good” we also mean clear, efficient and flexible. Also, if you document your payroll processes fully, the information can be useful for benchmarking as well as helping keep things running efficiently.
Perhaps you will choose to outsource payroll to an external provider, or to have the role done remotely. If you are able to offer flexible remote working opportunities for your payroll team, this widens the net in terms of recruitment so you can get the best people on board. A remote payroll could also mean you issue digital payslips, not paper ones.
Cloud-based working – which I have talked about in this column several times – comes into its own here, of course. When data is stored securely in the Cloud, you will not only save space but make key information accessible to anyone who needs it – including your accountant.
We must also remember that technology is driving efficiency in all areas of business management – including accounting – and a growing number of tasks are being performed “virtually” rather than in person. More practices are going paperless, to boost their efficiency as well as their green credentials.
If you want support with payroll, talk with a specialist dental accountant like Figurit. Its services go way beyond accountancy and tax efficiency; the team wants to help you optimise your business in every area. They are also strong advocates of cloud-based accounting.
A more efficient payroll system will save time and money as well as reduce stress. Any payroll manager will probably tell you that 2020 was “challenging” to say the least, but there are lots of other, ongoing issues that can complicate a modern payroll, like auto enrolment. Get payroll right and you’ll get a happy team and happy practice.
For more information, visit https://figurit.com or call 020 7376 9333.