Payroll compliance in the South African market is complex and demanding.
Organisations must obey the rules to ensure they don’t face unexpected fines, lose essential funds or suffer reputational damage.
Personnel business practices must adhere to the law, paperwork needs to be kept up to date, and records must be maintained – and payroll must receive the support it needs to keep the business compliant.
“It is critical for your business to have formally qualified people with a deep experience in compliance, who keep current with legislature,” says Teryl Schroenn, CEO of Accsys. “In addition, the business can invest in software tools that are designed to support compliance and pay attention to standard corporate governance procedures.”
Whether the business is small or large, expertise in compliance is vital. For smaller organisations, the skillsets can be outsourced or they can hire a payroll practitioner with a broad spread of expertise. The enterprise, on the other hand, should ensure that senior management is given the responsibility and the tools it needs to keep up to date with compliance.
Schroenn adds: “Payroll must be looked after and taken seriously. Encourage attendance on regular training and courses, keep them up to date on legislation and ensure that their value to the organisation is recognised. It is an easy place for people to be neglected, but they can add inordinate value if treated with respect. They are the gatekeepers of compliance.”
In addition, the business should follow standard corporate governance procedures. Many of these steps are common sense, often they are ignored by the business.
“A good example is that the person who calculates the payroll shouldn’t be the one who pays it over to the bank,” says Schroenn. “It is amazing how many people do that. Separate duties to ensure your business has a failsafe scenario, that the work is checked and that the data is secured.”
There are also digital solutions that support compliance across the areas of reporting, record keeping and data analysis, and within payroll. Use these tools to examine reports on a regular basis as this will help identify any unusual activity and areas that may need to be reassessed for compliance.
“Technology has tools that provide the organisation with clear cut steps towards compliance,” concludes Schroenn. “These need to be kept up to date by the relevant person in the company, and need to be sourced from a reliable software supplier. Don’t invest in a toolkit that isn’t from a recognised service provider with a reputation in compliance and legislation.”
From software to skills – outsource what the business can’t specialise in and ensure that all the boxes are ticked by placing someone in charge of compliance. Not only will this keep the business on the right footing, but it will go a long way towards preventing a mishap in the future.