Employers of non-profit organizations must continuously look for ways to increase efficiency and reduce administrative costs. One way to cut costs is to move towards an electronic “paperless” payroll environment within your organization instead of relying on traditional checks and paper-intensive payroll processing. Not only will the organization benefit from reduced administrative and labor costs and a reduced carbon footprint, but your employees also stand to benefit from a transition to paperless payroll processing.
There are various types of paperless payroll opportunities, such as direct deposit, payroll cards, and electronic checks. By using some of these pay alternatives, organizations can offer their employees immediate access to pay while helping to reduce overall payroll processing costs. Paperless pay can help employers reduce time and resources needed to process paper payments, help eliminate costs from printing and delivery of checks, and can help reduce compliance fines from late delivery of paper paychecks. While the majority of the current workforce already uses direct deposit, this type of payroll processing arrangement cannot be used by employees who do not have bank accounts. For employees without bank accounts, using payroll cards could be a beneficial alternative to traditional paper checks. The payroll card is similar to a prepaid debit card. Employees who opt to use a payroll card are not subject to credit checks. Employees who have payroll cards collect their pay electronically each pay date and can use their payroll card immediately to make in store purchases, shop online, pay bills, or withdraw cash from ATMs. Not only does this save the employer time by not having to cut hard copy checks, it also benefits the unbanked employee who will no longer need to spend time waiting in lines or paying check-cashing fees. Millennials’ strong preference for prepaid payroll cards is driving more payroll providers to offer features and benefits typically offered with bank accounts, such as mobile phone applications. Such mobile phone apps allow payroll cardholders to manage their account while away from home. For instance, ADP launched an application that uses Apple Pay® earlier this year, allowing their ALINE Card by ADP® cardholders to make purchases in store and in apps using their mobile devices.
In addition to paperless payments, organizations can invest in paperless time-clock systems in order to track hours that employees work. Apps like TimeStation® and Zenefits®, cloud-based time tracking software applications, allow employees to punch in and out at the click of a button. Employees can install the app on their mobile devices or use a website to clock in and out. Customizable reports can be generated by the employer and exported to excel in order to easily calculate payroll. Electronic time sheets can also be approved by supervisors remotely. Many applications also automatically calculate overtime pay based on state regulations. Some applications also feature GPS location tagging, which is extremely valuable to organizations with employees who travel frequently as a part of their job. As employees clock in and out, GPS coordinates are uploaded to the system and stored. This type of mobile tracking with GPS location tagging is especially convenient for service providers that need to maintain records that include evidence that an employee was at a specific location providing a service. These types of applications can help increase employee accountability and improve efficiency. Costs to purchase a mobile tracking application are minimal when compared to the amount of time saved reviewing hand written employee time cards. Some mobile tracking applications are even free, up to a certain number of employees.
With electronic payroll processing options, employers can be sure they are keeping up with the current trend in employee management and the increasing importance of paperless mobile financial solutions. As organizations continue to seek ways to address evolving employee needs, adopting paperless payroll options remains one of the best to help reduce payroll costs and offer changing workforces more immediate, secure, and convenient ways to get paid.
Lauren has been a member of Cerini & Associates’ audit and consulting practice area for over five years where she focuses on serving nonprofit, healthcare, education and contractor clients. Lauren has experience performing assurance work, outsourced accounting work, and government filings. Lauren brings her expertise, diversified background, and helpful approach to all of her engagements.