I have been finishing up my latest project this week. The benchmarking report for my publisher. It is a lot of work but really an enjoyable venture. It is very interesting to see all of the statistics on the costs etc associated with payroll just laid out to review at my leisure. When I was first working full time in payroll I would have killed to see some of these numbers. But back in those days no one had heard of benchmarking. So I had to guess how well I was doing. There was nothing to compare it to.
But it wasn't really necessary to benchmark back in those days either. Since we only paid by check or cash, had only a few fringe benefits--no 401(k) or cafeteria plans, and very few garnishments what was there to benchmark. All anyone cared about is that I got the payroll out on time. Compliance wasn't even an issue with the company--just me! Just get it out on time, don't make too many mistakes or tick any of the employees off and they were satisfied.
But times certainly have changed. Now they want you to get it out on time, don't make too many mistakes, don't tick off any employees, keep in compliance (still not as strict as it should be), and on top of all that--keep the costs down.
So today I guess my suggestion for a best practice is to check out how well you are doing. Think about adding benchmarking to your project list next year. You will find places to save costs, improve functions and processes and maybe even impress the bosses. Who knows, might even surprise yourself at how well you are doing.
How many out there are benchmarking already? Let us know what you have found.