6 Ways Retailers Can Streamline Their Payroll Process

Retailers around the globe have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. In addition to dealing with shut-downs and revenue loss, many retailers are now struggling to find employees. This experience has put added pressure on retailers to revisit their employee experience to attract qualified staff.

Payroll is one of the processes that must run smoothly to keep employees happy and reduce turnover. Here are six ways retailers can streamline their payroll process to ensure everyone gets paid correctly and on time.

Use A Paperless System

If you haven’t already moved to a paperless system, the time is now. Offering direct deposits and digital records ensures everyone has what they need to pay their bills and file their taxes. Furthermore, it reduces the occurrence of employees coming back for documents that they’ve misplaced, putting more work on your plate. 

Moving your payroll process and workflow to a digital ecosystem is perhaps the best thing you can do for your business during these trying times. The one exception is digital versus printed pay stubs, as some states require printed proof of income (source:

Empower Employees to Take Charge

Give your employees more control over the payroll process to minimize the back and forth and centralize your payroll documentation. Implementing a self-service platform can centralize scheduling, time tracking, payroll, and benefits management to enhance the employee experience and increase productivity.

With the right program in place, your employees can update their address and banking information as needed, submit shift change requests, and take ownership of the process. 

Create SOPs and Error-Checking Protocols

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are an effective tool for creating efficiency and productivity in your business processes. Consider creating an SOP for payroll to help you walk through the steps, minimizing errors, and opening up opportunities to delegate.

As payroll mistakes can be costly from both a monetary and employee morale standpoint, having an error-checking protocol is also a must. It’s also wise to integrate regular internal audits and put proper security measures in place to protect the data.

Stay Updated On Tax Laws

Tax laws are always changing, sometimes without notice. Unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t see ignorance as a legitimate excuse for making a mistake or missing a legislative change. It’s up to business owners to stay ahead of tax laws and make changes as needed.

At a basic level, you should always be ahead of deadlines and know what information and money should be submitted. 

Incorporate Automation

Incorporating automation into business processes is an effective way to free up human resources, save time, reduce errors, and delegate monotonous tasks. Fortunately, payroll is one of those business functions that’s practically designed to be automated. 

Automated, direct-deposit payments are just one of the ways to streamline your processes. You can also use integrations and automated workflows to import time tracking, calculate taxes and deductions, and store records. If you choose the right accounting software, you can even automate taxation law updates to ensure you’re always up to date and in compliance.

Outsource and Delegate

Finally, know when the opportunity cost of trying to handle payroll in-house costs you more than offloading this core business task. Consider outsourcing to a payroll processor or bookkeeper to ensure everything is completed accurately and on time. This strategy is immensely valuable for overworked managers who are forced to pick up the slack during staffing shortages. 

Conversely, you can also delegate certain aspects of the process to employees during slow periods. If you go this route, choose a trusted employee and ensure that you have the right security measures and division of access put in place throughout the process.

With these simple tips and strategies, you can streamline your payroll process to enhance employee retention, reduce turnover, and free up valuable human resources to focus on high-value tasks.

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