One of the best practices that a payroll professional can implement is publishing an annual department calendar. It doesn’t matter if you are the manager of a 15 member payroll department of a multinational corporation or the sole payroll clerk in a small company. By publishing a calendar of dues dates for payroll you go along way towards increasing communications with other departments and individual employees.
I am not talking about your processing calendar that you set up every year with your outside payroll service vendor or the IT department if you are in-house. But rather a calendar that explains every deadline you have to anybody who reads it and needs to know a deadline. You could lists period end dates, processing dates, dates for submissions of such items as new hires, FormsW-4 updates, address changes, direct deposit set ups or changes to existing accounts or even pay raises. For example you could list the entry on the calendar as: Friday, May 14th: Last day to submit changes or updates for the May 21st Payroll. Please have into payroll by noon Pacific time.
Of course you would also list when you need things from other departments if you would like or send a separate calendar for them alone. Whatever works best for your company’s way of communicating. The calendar is distributed to all departments. You can even distribute it to all employees if you can use e-mail. Paper would be way too much time and effort. Post it where you post other payroll items such as payday notices or wage orders. Publish in the company newsletter on a monthly basis for the upcoming month. Reminder e-mails for the month ahead can help in gently keeping everyone on schedule. And don’t forget to put it on your webpage if you have one set up.
This best practice goes a long way in helping employees and departments to get the information they need to process and the paperwork you need for the payroll to you on time and not ten minutes after you close the payroll.
Have you used a payroll calendar before? How did it work for you? Let us hear from you.