Editor’s note: This is an opinion piece written by Talenox’s very own Channels Advocate, Kenneth Yeow. Kenneth oversees strategic collaborations with Talenox Affiliates and Payroll Experts across Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Hey there, Kenneth here again with another blog post. In my previous writings, I went pretty detailed into certain statutory portions for Malaysia and Hong Kong. This time, I’d like to focus a lot more on something that is more general and commonly seen. Many companies are still doing payroll in a painful and manual way, and I thought it’ll be good to shed some light on the reasons why. Finally, I’ll share why Talenox should be the software of choice for payroll simplicity and automation.
Payroll is some tough stuff
To begin with, if you’re doing payroll for your company, hats off to you. It’s an extremely stressful job as it involves careful calculation and scrutiny. It’s not easy to ensure that all of your company’s employees bring home the correct pay and also have the correct statutory contribution. One wrong mistake and your disgruntled employee could report you to your government for unfair practices.
For many of the payroll specialists that I met, they have often started with the utilisation of an Excel spreadsheet to tabulate their payroll calculations. Given their expertise, many of them have structured and crafted a master excel template with formulas that allows them to do payroll processing in this order:
- Key in the employee’s particulars
- Key in the gross salary
- Key in additional pay types like bonuses and commissions
- Formula helps to generate out the net salary and statutory contributions
- Export it as a Payslip and download it
- Email the employee
- Repeat Steps 1 to 7 for the subsequent Employees
Headcount increments become tedious
If you noticed, salary disbursement and statutory contribution was not included. Doing this for one or two employees is fine, but when a company increases its headcount size, the whole process becomes long and very tedious. If there is any statutory changes (e.g. the government announces a certain percentage change to the contribution fund), the payroll specialist must be aware of such a change and factor it in at the right time. If they don’t, they may miss out on a crucial error and these issues will snowball over time.
Perhaps you or somebody you know practises payroll processing in this way. You may want to take note of why Talenox can help to reduce the time taken to do such tasks, and also help with the reduction of workload. Here are some case studies of clients (names redacted for privacy) who have switched from doing payroll manually to using Talenox for their payroll processing and other important functions.
Case Study #1: Shortening Payroll Processing Time
An SME owner in the manpower staffing space with 60 staff was relying on her excel sheet to do her payroll. After many years of tweaking and modifying her excel, she was able to simply key in her employee’s full name, payroll details and the calculations would be made. She also manually printed the sheet as a payslip and passed it to employees. This whole process took her 4 days, and she was convinced that it was the best way.
When she started using Talenox, she had to spend a few days migrating her data onto the platform. With the employee import function, she was able to quickly bring all her employee information onboard Talenox. She then spent about 2 weeks learning the software through our demos and onboarding calls.
Her first payroll attempt was successful and saw her cut down her time from 4 days to around 3 hours. She no longer had to open up 60 individual employee excel files to do payroll and , and everything was streamlined for her. Payslips could also be sent across to employees without having to be printed. Not only did she save time on printing, she also saved about $150 worth of printer ink. She’s pretty happy and now dedicates her time to sourcing for more clients for her business.
Case Study #2: Removing Inaccessibility of Payroll Data
In 2020, when Malaysia had to undergo its Movement Control Order (MCO) due to Covid-19, many SMEs and Start-ups were unable to head to the office at all. As a result, many companies which used excel spreadsheets found that they were struggling to carry out payroll processing as the data was only available in the office. Some that were on legacy on-premise HR software also couldn’t access their systems too.
The Malaysia government, realising this, permitted a maximum of 2 employees or personnel from the HR department to return to the office for one day just to do payroll. This meant that the employees had to spend a rough two to three hours just to travel to the office and back.
When Talenox found out about the MCO through a partner, we quickly worked with many of our Payroll Expert partners and the Malaysia Institute of Accountants (MIA) to roll out a few initiatives that showed how payroll processing through Talenox could be done from the comfort of your own home. Interested SMEs and start-ups could sign up for an account with seconds and start onboarding data to do payroll.
Many of the clients which came onboard found that they didn’t have to travel to the office for the sole reason of doing payroll processing. Through Talenox’s cloud-based offerings, they were able to easily log in using their home-based computer or company-issued laptop. From there, most clients which had gone through our trainings, self-help articles and videos found it easy to navigate and do payroll, and didn’t have to account for any travelling time.
One of our Payroll Expert partners remarked that she had to bring home two big CPUs in order for her to do payroll at home. It was quite difficult for her as she had to be careful with the hardware when transporting them to prevent the data from being compromised. She was very thankful that Talenox made it easier for her to access her clients’ payroll from anywhere. She has since given up her rented office space and put the money saved into promoting her business through various marketing channels.
Case Study #3: Omitting Manual Salary Disbursement and Statutory Payments
An SME that focuses on the cleaning manpower industry told us that they had to pay their employees daily. The big issue they had, was that they had over 400 staff, and every day, about 100 of them had to receive their salaries within a 12-hour window upon completion of their work for the day.
The HR team only consisted of three people and they spend their whole day in office just transferring salaries. The good thing was that most of these employees were considered “freelancers”, so no statutory contributions needed to be made. However, they found the whole process of transferring a drag and wanted to find a way to shorten this whole manual process.
When Talenox was presented to this client, they were initially apprehensive about how the platform could help them with this task. The team was actually wary about the stability of the platform and how it could handle a large volume of payroll processing every day.
After 1 month of constant training being provided by the Talenox Customer Success team, this client was able to easily breeze through their payroll preparation for roughly 100 employees without any hitches.
When it came to payments, the HR team was amazed that the bank file, when downloaded and then subsequently uploaded into their banking portal, could pay out the salaries to all employees instantly within 30 minutes.
What used to take roughly 8 hours per 100 salary transfers was effectively compressed into just 5 minutes instead.
The team of three no longer had to partition out their employee excel sheet containing the salaries and bank account numbers between the 3 of them to manually pay out salaries.
They could just simply rotate amongst themselves every day when it came to preparing the payroll and paying out the salaries.
With the time saved, the HR team now spends the saved 7 hours trying to optimise their onboarding and offboarding flow, leading to a very efficient hiring system that creates cost savings for the organisation.
There are many more examples of how Talenox has made payroll processing easier for many clients, but these are some of the more common cases that we’ve come across.
Also, note that while we can simplify payroll processing and cut down time and labour, it still also falls on the user to check the numbers before paying salaries and statutory contributions. The main reason for this, is not because we’re unreliable, but because human error can still occur.
A user may accidentally add an extra “0” digit to the gross salary, causing the calculations to be extremely different. While the employee receiving the unintended increase in salary may be extremely happy, the error may result in a penalty to the company.
As such, Talenox will always recommend at least one round of checking before our clients pay out their salaries and statutory contributions.
All in all, Talenox has helped over 5,000 companies across Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia to simplify payroll processing. We greatly shorten the amount of time taken to manage the payroll cycle. We also store data in the cloud, such as downloadable files, for users’ easy access. As we keep striving to build better features for our users, we also hope to simplify the process even more such that users will never have to worry about their payroll anymore.
If you’ve read until the end, and are interested in knowing more, or you’d like to refer someone to simplify their payroll, do reach out to us. We’ll always be here to support you!