March 22, 2022 Continuous Improvement, Payroll Support

Payroll Processor Out of Office? Here’s How to Make Sure Your Employees Get Paid

Between seasonal viruses, the inevitable Spring and Summer uptick in PTO requests, and the phenomena that experts are calling the ‘Great Resignation,’ payroll continuity planning has become a hot topic. Losing talent, especially someone as integral to your business continuity as your payroll processor, can wreak havoc if you don’t have a reliable backup who can step in and ensure that internal processes continue without a hiccup. 


If you have been considering beefing up your payroll continuity plan, our team is here to help.  Documenting processes, providing a review to strengthen your payroll and preparing to keep your payroll running in the event of PTO or an emergency are a few ways Wise payroll professionals can have your back. For more information about bolstering your payroll continuity plan to keep staff happy, prevent catastrophe, and keep payroll running, read on.


Lessen the Burden of PTO with Strategic Planning


While it’s impossible to foresee 100% of potential curveballs that can be thrown at your organization, there are a few tried-and-true steps you can take to make sure your team is prepared in the event of a key employee absence:


    1. Require Ample Warning Of Planned Leave: If your business doesn’t have a formal process in place for requesting PTO, this is your reminder to implement one, stat. The standard recommendation is two weeks to one month’s notice for taking planned time off, depending on the seasonality of your business.
    2. Create a Time-Off Checklist: Draft a thorough time-off checklist that employees can refer to as they prepare for taking a vacation. The checklist can include ensuring emails are being answered or properly forwarded to a fellow employee while someone is OOO, and communicating with team members about important upcoming deadlines so no one is stuck in limbo while waiting for the key portion of a project to be completed.
    3. Uphold Responsible PTO Policies: Provide guidelines around spacing of when employees can take PTO to avoid too many people taking off at the same time. For example, set and enforce a rule that only 50% of employees in any one department can take time off simultaneously. That way, there’s always someone in the office who can pick up slack or address a higher priority task while others are away.
    4. Set Up a Reliable Stand In: Especially if you have a lean team and you are aware that they don’t feel free to request or take leave due to the relentless nature of payroll, contract with an experienced third-party resource – such as the Wise payroll team – that can be scheduled to step in and seamlessly keep payroll running while your valued staff take well-deserved PTO. 


Create a Backup Plan Internally


We get it—it’s not easy to plan for a future emergency you can’t foresee, or for the illness of key staff. This is especially true if you’re a smaller business where employees are wearing many hats. However, this reality doesn’t lessen the importance of creating a backup plan that will kick start if your payroll person quits or becomes ill. After all, messing up even one payroll cycle is a mistake that’s hard to come back from. A dropped or botched payroll causes a snowball effect of short-term and long-term repercussions. Missing a payroll cycle means potentially missing a round of payroll taxes, which can lead to attention from the IRS, fines and disgruntled workers. Messing up a pay period is one of the largest drivers of employee dissatisfaction and distrust, which can negatively impact your turnover rate. In short, always make your payroll continuity a top priority.


A backup plan can start with documenting processes and training multiple employees on how to run payroll in the event that your payroll processor abruptly quits, takes time off, or falls ill. A backup plan can also look like recruiting help from a third party who can work as an extension of your team, learn your payroll process and ensure it stays timely, accurate and compliant no matter what. Either way, documentation of processes and creation of checklists is best practice and part of any business continuity plan.


Recruit the Assistance of Wise’s Payroll Support Team


Preparing for planned PTO by lining up support is smart: you know payroll will be covered, and your valuable payroll processor doesn’t feel like they can never take vacation or a day off when sick. This protects payroll continuity while offering staff a valuable perk at the same time.


Alternatively, if you lose a payroll employee without warning for any reason, Wise can step in. Setting up emergency payroll support with Wise is easy. Consultants will work remotely with you and your team to document your payroll process. That way, our experienced, certified team can jump in to keep your payroll going with no lead-time if an emergency strikes. Your Payroll Support contract with Wise is like an insurance policy that can be triggered at any time to seamlessly continue your payroll process when you need it, for as long as you need it. Our certified payroll professionals come from diverse backgrounds within the industry—most have extensive client-side experience—which translates to a keen understanding of client payroll frustrations and how to mitigate them. 


Want to Protect Your Payroll Continuity? Reach Out to Our Team Today!


Make sure your employees continue to get paid, no matter what, with the assistance of Wise Consulting’s payroll support team. To learn more about our short-term and long-term payroll support options, click here. Or, get in touch with a Wise consultant by contacting us today.


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