• CXL Editorial Team

Key Considerations About Payroll Management During a Time of Crisis


When it comes to the subject of payroll, often what comes to mind is the tedious process of ensuring monthly payroll processes are completed seamlessly and on time, preferably without errors. After all, any mistakes can result in serious implications. It includes penalties that are imposed on the employer for wrong tax calculation, employees not made known of new or existing amendments to the legislation and more. These penalties apply despite the changes in working arrangements or business processes brought about due to the covid-19 pandemic. Payroll processes must continue as usual! Hence, if the subject of payroll processes has been a concern of late, here are some key considerations when deciding how to move forward:



Legislations change. Income Tax laws change. Company policies change. Employees change.


Change is inevitable. Even more so during the past few months since the pandemic has affected both individuals and businesses. Income tax laws and legislations are frequently amended, and those in charge of your company’s payroll, whether in-house or outsourced must remain proactive and aware of any of these changes. Hence be sure to hire someone experienced and knowledgeable in matters relating to statutory compliance. Otherwise, leverage on the expertise and knowledge of an outsourcing team so that you can focus on other matters of great importance, such as ensuring a productive workforce during these challenging times or growing your business.



Keeping Your Company’s Data Safe and Secure.


Another buzzword with the rise of digitisation is security. Data security to be more specific! This includes employee’s private information such as their address, contact details, bank account information and salary. Common steps taken to ensure such sensitive information is not comprised include,

  • Physical copies of documents being kept in a locked room.

  • Excel sheets or any files stored in the computer is accessible only with a password.

  • Deterring the use of a shared computer or laptop.

  • Sensitive information is shared only within the senior management circle and relevant departments.

If your payroll or HR department is outsourced, be sure to ask them what are the additional steps taken to ensure that your company’s data remains protected. Some questions you may want to address may include,

  • How are the data stored, and is there a back-up plan?

  • What kind of cyber-security measures are in place to ensure this information stays where it needs to be?

  • What are the security features put in place for the payroll management software?

  • Are outsourced company employees permitted to move around freely, which means company data can be exposed easily?

Should Payroll Be Part of Your Company’s Crisis Management Measures?


A survey conducted by the Institute Corporate Directors Malaysia (ICDM) has shown that 70% of Malaysian companies have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to get them through a crisis. However, of that number, only 17% have found their BCP to be ‘very effective,’ while another 70% have acknowledged that further improvements are required. The pandemic has presented an opportunity for businesses— big and small to improve their existing BCP or for those without one; we’re sure they are now fully aware of the importance of having one.


Payroll processing may not typically be top-of-mind when developing your BCP. But, consider this— during a time of crisis, employees will be first and foremost hardest hit when bills cannot be paid, or they are unable to feed their family, which may eventually lead to an unproductive and demotivated workforce. Hence, ensuring sufficient measures have been put in place for a seamless disbursement of salaries to employees should be a top priority. The good news is that, if this remains a challenge, outsourcing your payroll to a reliable outsourcing firm will help ensure your payroll remains undisrupted during a time of crisis. Be sure to ask this important question when you’re looking for a payroll outsourcing partner— What are the measures put in place to ensure the right legislative requirements are practised while ensuring my employee receives their monthly salary accordingly during a time of crisis?


Experienced payroll outsourcing firms would have had sufficient measures put in place to ensure your company’s payroll processes continue as per usual.

Cost-saving Measures


With the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hitting hard on businesses in almost every industry, many are taking cost-cutting measures to help sustain their businesses during these trying times. As vital as it is, payroll management should be able to safe your company a dime or two (in some cases, even more!)


Most importantly, identify your company’s needs, requirements and preference. Then explore the different options available. Some may be happy with digitising their payroll processes with the use of a payroll and HR management software while some can benefit more from the knowledge and expertise of a payroll outsourcing team.


Businesses in Malaysia are spoilt for choice today with the various payroll services that are made available to them. Payroll management; a lengthy, tedious, but vital business process can be easily made seamless today. By deciding which option would work best for your company, business owners and HR or the senior management team can focus on growing the business and keeping employees safe and healthy during these uncertain times.




References:

ICDM Pulse: Malaysian boards are equipped to respond to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but cite the need to adapt to the evolving situation.


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