Last month, many of your peers celebrated National Payroll Week. But beyond the paycheck stuffers and free doughnuts came some important benchmarks for this mission-critical finance function.
As part of the festivities, the American Payroll Association conducts the annual Getting Paid in America survey.
And the results can help you see how your payroll department compares with others across the country.
Check out seven key yardsticks to come out of the 2014 edition.
Benchmark 1: How employees input time
Before Payroll can begin their calculations, employees have to input their hours. And there’s no shortage of ways to do that.
The most popular now? Entering hours on a PC, say 43% of employees. After that, many of your peers use a custom solution, which may still involve paper timesheets.
The next two closest options: badges or card readers (12%) and biometric scans (5%).
Benchmark 2: How employees receive their pay
Score one for streamlining! Direct deposit carries the day when it comes to compensation these days.
An overwhelming 96% of employees say they are paid via direct deposit. Paper paychecks now only hold 3% of the country’s employees, with the remaining 1% split between payroll cards and prepaid reloadable cards.
Benchmark 3: Communicating paycard fees
If you are among those employers that do offer a payroll card as a choice, be sure you’re explaining to employees the fees associated with them. Only a little more than a third (37%) of employees said their company was the one that informed them about paycard fees. Another third had to hear about it from the card provider.
And you certainly don’t want your people to be among the 25% who learned the hard way – when they used the card.
Benchmark 4: Self-service portals
Of course, with the bulk of employees on direct deposit, the last thing you want your staffers doing is printing and distributing paper paystubs. That would totally undermine your time and money savings.
That’s why self-service portals have grown increasingly popular in recent years. A full 83% of employees now have access to one at work.
Benchmark 5: Where they want to access the portals
To increase your odds that employees actually use the portals, you want to allow them to access it where it’s most convenient for them.
The top preferences, according to the survey:
- Desktop computer (49%)
- Laptop computer (24%)
- Smartphone (7%)
- Tablet (3%)
- Kiosk at work (1%), and
- Telephone (0.3%).
Benchmark 6: Scanning paychecks
Here’s a relatively new entry to the survey, as people are just starting to warm to it: Depositing pay by scanning it via tablet or smartphone.
A surprising number of employees have tried it. Nearly a quarter (24%) of employees say they’ve scanned a check with their personal tech tools.
Benchmark 7: Year-end returns
We’re soon approaching your payroll staffers’ busiest time of the year: year-end. Which means that your team will be cranking out W-2s.
But in what format will they do it?
Many companies are doing double duty, with both paper and electronic W-2s as the most popular response (39%) to how employees receive their information returns.
Paper copies remain the second most popular choice, with than a third (35%) of employees receiving them that way.