Whatever the size of your business, payroll outsourcing can definitely help you improve your business efficiency. The key benefits of payroll outsourcing include cost savings, time savings, and overall improvement in service delivery quality due to the involvement of domain experts. At the same time, clients must be mindful of the risks associated with the outsourcing of payroll operations. The good news is that most of these risks can be mitigated by following a proper checklist to ensure a seamless functioning of the outsourcing process.
Here is a lowdown of the risks in payroll management and the most effective means to mitigate them.
1. Read the Contract Agreement Carefully
The ratification of the contract agreement is the first step of the outsourcing process. The agreement contains important details like fees and payments, customer responsibilities, information processing, processing schedule, intellectual property rights, confidentiality etc. It is imperative to go through the agreement carefully so that you fully understand the ramifications. Don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a lawyer in case you have a doubt.
Apart from ensuring that all terms and conditions that are mentioned in the contract are acceptable to you, you should also seek to include any specific conditions that you have, in the document. This will ensure that the conditions are enforceable and clear to both the sides at the start of the campaign.
2. Ensure Proper Data Transfer
Once the launch date is finalised, both parties must work together to ensure that all employee data is migrated to the payroll vendor well ahead of time. It is important to see that the necessary data has been properly transferred and integrated into the new payroll system. Even minor errors in data transfer including incomplete transfers could result in big problems going forward. One of the key means of risk mitigation in payroll outsourcing is to ensure complete and effective data transfer to your outsourcing partner.
3. Be Careful About Data Security
This is among the biggest problems for any company outsourcing its payroll functions to an external organisation. When a business gives a service provider access to the private data of its employees, there is always the risk of compromising that information. Data leaks not only harm employee interests, but can also seriously damage the reputation of your business.
The key is to satisfy yourself about the data security standards of the vendor prior to initiating the process. Your contract should lay down the data security standards expected of the vendor. While selecting the vendor, be sure to ask about the data security measures they take and also find out what steps are adopted to prevent fraud and embezzlement.
4. Ask for a Trial Run
The performance of any outsourcing initiative can only be assessed a few months into the launch. An effective way to mitigate outsourcing risk involves requesting the vendor to agree to a trial run. It will allow you to assess whether payroll outsourcing is actually benefitting your business, while also allowing you to iron out the creases that have become visible in the process. By actually executing the outsourcing campaign in tandem with your service provider for a few months, you can easily identify the problem areas and highlight them to the vendor so that they can create a strategy to resolve the issues.
5. Be Mindful of Legal Issues
Businesses must remember that despite transferring payroll services to the partner, they are still responsible for salary delays and errors in calculation in the eyes of their employees. You may also be legally liable for errors of omission and commission on the part of the outsourcing partner depending on the contract you have executed and the law of the land.
To minimise legal issues, companies should keep the channels of communication with their outsourcing partner open and active. It is their responsibility to keep the outsourcing partner updated with all the necessary information like resignations and promotions. A clear reporting structure should also be established to enable the business to keep an eye and monitor the progress of the outsourcing campaign.
Risk Management Can Prevent Major Problems
Payroll outsourcing has many advantages compared to running an internal payroll department. But like everything else, it also entails a certain set of risks. A good risk mitigation strategy can help businesses minimise the downsides of payroll outsourcing and reap the full benefits of the activity. It has the potential nip major issues in the bud and enable the seamless execution of your outsourcing campaign.
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