Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How Do I Know What a Best Practice for Payroll Is When I See It?

When I was planning out this blog I decided that I wanted to use Wednesdays to discuss best practices in the payroll department. But when I mentioned this to a fellow payroll professional recently her first question was really an eye-opener. She simply asked “how would I know a best practice without it coming up and biting me in the a$#? She always gets right to the point by the way. But it is a good question. If I am going to blog weekly about best practices we need a common starting point for everyone to use. So what exactly is a best practice and how do I know I have one for my payroll department.

We need a definition to get us started. So of course since I am blogging I have to go to that “supreme” source for knowledge on the web, Wikipedia for a definition. Please do read the sarcasm there. According to Wikipedia a best practice is:

a technique, method, process, activity, incentive, or reward that is believed to be more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. when applied to a particular condition or circumstance. The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.

Hey even Wikipedia can get one right on occasion. That is exactly the definition I am going to use for this weekly blog topic. So what we are looking for is something that a payroll department can take, a process, a form, a template, a procedure, anything that can increase efficiency, communication, or make processing the payroll easier.

Now I will be sharing my own experiences with you on what are my best practices. But this is where I am hoping that my readers will come forward. You see we all have a best practice to share. So I am asking those who comment or read to give us your best practice each week. It can be on any facet of payroll. Maybe it’s a way of organizing a payroll department, or maybe it’s a template to use when you receive a garnishment for an employee. It doesn’t matter. We want to hear all about.

Hey how often do you get asked to share your A-Game with other payroll professionals? So think about all the best practices that you use, have heard of or tried and it didn’t work (warn off all the rest of us) and be prepared to share with us next Wednesday.

But of course you can always post it this week too!

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