As a payroll professional, you might be used to working in a more traditional and rigid environment, especially if you are using desktop software. This article will give you some ideas for how to collaborate with your clients.
What is Collaborative Payroll?
Payroll is a great example of where collaboration can often be improved as there are many individuals involved. You might be a payroll bureau working closely with the accountant who in turn manages dozens of employers with hundreds of staff. Or you may run payroll in house. Either way, there is often a need for information to be shared and discussed at every level. Collaborative payroll is ensuring that each stakeholder is looked after.
As we have seen with other accounting software, working collaboratively is a great way to help you develop a deeper connection with your clients. Not only does it help create a sense of community, but you’ll also be able to show that you care about every customer having the best experience possible. These partnerships often save time and resources by allowing you to share information and resources with all stakeholders in the process.
A collaborative payroll partnership can be achieved by having strong methods of communication. The faster an employer, employee or accountant can retrieve the information they need, the stronger the relationship will be for all parties involved.
Unfortunately, not all payroll software allows various user access. User access is one of the main reasons why most accounting software has been evolving and transitioning to cloud technology over the past few years. We are delighted to say that Payroll is slowly catching up.
Why should you work collaboratively?
Working collaboratively is easy once you have the right tools in place. The ease and flow of information reduce the time a client is waiting for a response meaning that there are fewer disgruntled people in the chain and you as the bureau or accounting practice can spend your time on more demanding queries. It helps you develop trusting, open relationships with your clients; without overloading you with time-consuming repetitive tasks.
The access to information also reduces the chance of inaccuracies as the data is never out of date. This means by switching to a collaborative model, there will be less need to print information and less of a slave to time than you once were.
Working collaboratively also means that there can be a better distribution of responsibility. For example, with FreshPay the employer can send a new employee their new employee form to complete directly. The form will then be returned to the employer to check before a notification heads off to the payroll person for the final checks. This means there will be a lot fewer emails flying around and everyone can see where they are in the process. Phew!!
Tips for making collaborative working normal
Collaboration is about having open communication. Using cloud payroll software is just the beginning. If you truly want to support your clients and help them to help themselves you need to use software that allows for various user-profiles and permission levels so everyone has access to the information they need. There needs to be a level of in-app support where most FAQ’s can be handled. And there needs to be a robust communication channel for questions that come up which are out of the ordinary.
We also recommend that a good payroll partner will proactively check in with clients to make sure that the systems are working effectively, this can help identify any issues before they become a problem.
To be collaborative you need the right tools in place. The tools will set the foundation of your relationship but to be truly collaborative you need to be proactive to make sure that your clients are happy.
If you would like to find out more about how FreshPay can help you work more collaboratively why not book a demo? Click here