There isn’t a single area of our daily lives – including business operations – that has not been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even something like payroll processing, which has developed to the point where it mostly functions quietly in the background, has to be modified to keep up with the ‘new normal.’ As businesses adopt continuity plans to stay on top of the rapid changes, they must consider seven interrelated areas with regard to their payroll processes.
1. Payroll organization
In all of a company’s locations, particularly where international payroll is a relevant concern, there must be clear guidelines in place regarding who is responsible for payroll at each operational location, including a thorough definition of all the key functions and how they are carried out. Continuity plans must be in place to ensure continued payroll processing, even during temporary shutdowns or with staff working from home.
2. Staff availability
How many members of payroll staff are affected in the event of a COVID-19-caused shutdown or downsizing? When staff availability becomes severely limited, plans must be put in place to keep payroll functions going.
3. Working from home
If companies require their payroll staff to work from home, they must be equipped with everything necessary to ensure continuity, from laptops and sufficient bandwidth to all the measures needed for data security.
4. IT infrastructure
IT has been categorized as an essential service during the pandemic in order to facilitate the seamless delivery of data-based and financial services, including payroll. In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, companies must make sure that their IT infrastructures are secure and support and maintenance are always available.
5. Physical processes
In those cases where business functions are entirely paperless and free of physical processes such as filing, it is easy to adapt to remote work. However, many companies still have at least some physical processes as part of their payroll operations. These must be adequately provided for, or the entire system must be migrated into the digital space.
6. Access to data
What about cases where staff need access to payroll data from last month or year – or the past ten years? This information must be made available and access must be easy and secure for authorized staff.
7. Bank payments
Remote access must be guaranteed to ensure that bank payments can be released at the appropriate times. There must also be continuity in the processes required for the authorization of exceptional payments.
Whatever other operations might be interrupted – whether permanently or temporarily – the payment of wages and salaries must always go on. When you outsource your payroll processing to professional payroll services experts like those at PSI Payroll, you guarantee continuity and keep your staff paid on time. Contact us for more information.