Payroll outsourcing: surviving the recession

Nobody likes a recession. They’re a drain on the economy and they negatively impact on businesses ranging from small start-ups to international corporations. As global currencies falter, consumers become more tight-fisted and are much more conscious in utilising their buying power, meaning companies often lose out on business and, in worst-case scenarios, are forced to close their doors.

From an employer’s perspective, one of the first ways they cut costs is to retrench employees. Often this isn’t in the best interests of either the employer or the employee, as it means loss of valuable resources for one party and loss of income for the other. Circumventing the need to cut costs can help your business retain talent and stay afloat during challenging economic times.

The first aspects of a business to suffer during hard times are often the core functions, such as the company’s main income generator, business strategy, and various facets of administration including payroll management. Ensuring that these operations run smoothly can help your business stay afloat.

Evaluating your systems

The systems that your company utilises are crucial to keeping the ship afloat during hard times. If you don’t keep track of what is and isn’t working, it’s easy for things to quickly spiral out of control and negatively impact your daily operations.

One such system that can be easily neglected is payroll management. The importance of maintaining effective payroll management solutions cannot be stressed enough when it comes to the long-term health of your business. When it comes to internal payroll, issues often arise when companies are understaffed or responsibilities are handed over to unqualified individuals.

A common issue in human resources and payroll management is handing the burden of the responsibility to one employee. While this may be passable in smaller companies, it is a much safer bet to expand the team or, if you want to save money in the long-term, outsource your payroll functions to a dedicated service provider.

Getting the help your business needs

There are a whole host of reasons that might lead to a company biting the bullet and outsourcing their payroll. For whatever reason you decide to do it, there are a few things you need to consider.

Payroll is a critical function of your organisation. Mismanagement can lead to loss of money for the organisation, late salary payments to employees, and, ultimately, heavily affected employee morale and happiness in the workplace.

When choosing a service provider, always do your research. Handling of company funds is a big deal and you need someone you can trust to take care of it effectively. Don’t be tempted by lower costs or overpromising from a prospective service provider but rather do your research and ensure that the company you are hiring are reputable and are recommended by others.

Checking their credentials

Other possible items that a business should assess when selecting an outsourced partner is whether their staff have a professional affiliation to a regulatory body, such as the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT), and are appropriately qualified in order to provide the business solid advice instead of simply providing an administrative function.

An additional factor to consider is whether the potential outsourced partner takes the security of the business and employee data seriously, especially in this day and age of data hacking and identity theft. This is best assessed by way of an outsourced partner having a valid InfoSec compliance certification in place measured against one of the recognised standards like ISO 270001 / ISAE 3402 or SSAE 16 SOC.