Managing payroll is a critical function of any business. It’s more than processing paychecks — the role of a payroll professional is a complex one, requiring the handling of numerous forms, staying on top of payroll tax compliance laws, and managing expenses for hundreds, if not thousands, of employees. To celebrate the people that make all of this possible, the American Payroll Association founded National Payroll Week in 1996 to celebrate the partnership between America’s employees, the payroll professionals who pay them, and the critical government programs and agencies that our payroll system funds. Though managing the world of payroll can often be complicated, it doesn’t have to be painful. We’ve highlighted five ways to make payroll tasks more manageable for you.

1. Give employees easy access to their payroll information. Today’s modern workers want quick access to information without taking multiple steps to get it. Providing employees with a self-service portal allows them to easily view and update their personal data, view breakdowns of their paycheck and direct deposit info, and view tax forms. This saves you time from having to look up their information and send it to them when they have simple questions about their pay. And with our mobile app, they’ll get notifications when their paycheck is ready for viewing and have on-the-go access to their information, so they can manage it when and where it’s convenient for them.

2. Encourage employees to “go green.” Direct deposit eliminates the need for paper checks and is a more efficient way for employees to receive their paycheck. Checks are directly deposited into bank accounts automatically, saving employees a trip to the bank and allowing them same-day access to their funds. Their paycheck can also be split across checking accounts, savings accounts, and retirement funds, allowing employees the flexibility to manage their money. Going paperless also comes in handy during tax season. Employees can access digital versions of their W-2 form when it becomes available, making it easier to file taxes and save information for future access.

3. Take a proactive approach to important deadlines with a payroll-specific calendar. Keeping track of year-end dates, tax filings, and when employees should be paid can overwhelm even the most organized. Creating a calendar dedicated to these deadlines can help you plan your year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Finance Center offers downloadable pay period calendars up to several years in the future. Calendars are provided by calendar year, fiscal year (one year), and fiscal year (two year). You can also provide payroll calendars to your employees each year so they know when they will be paid, allowing them to plan their finances.

Fill in your calendar with year-end dates to help you plan for submitting W-2s and 1099 forms, running final payrolls, reviewing accruals, and more. Paylocity’s Year-End Dashboard can help you prepare for this hectic time of year by allowing you to manage year-end tasks in one, centralized location.

4. Automate everyday payroll functions. Managing daily payroll tasks can be time-consuming, no matter the size of your organization. Streamlining these processes can increase accuracy and simplify burdensome processes, allowing you to better manage payroll functions. Our flexible payroll software provides you with editable templates, custom checklists and frameworks, simplified payroll processing, expense management, and more, maximizing your department’s capabilities. Digital solutions also provide on-demand reporting and analytics — a wish list item for 87% of payroll professionals. This data can help you meet business goals and provide insights into how your company operates.

5. Stay on top of compliance alerts and updates. New policies and legislation can be difficult to keep up with as the HR landscape changes at a rapid pace. According to research by the American Payroll Association in partnership with the Workforce Institute, 66% of payroll professional and 51% of HR practitioners say their organization occasionally cuts corners that may jeopardize compliance. And the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor reported that in 2018, they recovered a record $304 million in back wages from employers who were not compliant with wage and hour laws.

Fortunately, there are resources available to keep you on track. Paylocity posts tax and compliance alerts to our News page and is updated regularly as new information arises. These alerts notify you about federal forms and filings, mandatory trainings, new state leave requirements, wage and hour ordinances, and more, allowing you to stay in compliance with changing state and federal law. A live thread of this news is also available in our Compliance Dashboard so you can see them in real-time. Our dashboard is useful for managing your tax compliance related tasks such as document acknowledgements and I-9 verification; and viewing employee data, providing you with graphical summaries and snapshots of your employees’ and company’s information.

Paylocity thanks the payroll professionals who make business possible. Learn more about how our software can streamline common payroll areas to make your work even more impactful.