Is there magic in tidying payroll processes?

Tidying up payroll

You must have noticed a clean-up phenomenon, fueled by best-selling author and star of a Netflix series, Marie Kondo. Her books inspire people to purge tons of clutter and keep only what matters most. By applying the Konmari Method in business, we could see similar success by tidying payroll outsourcing.

Is it a coincidence that publishers placed an image of the sky on the cover of her book? Was this a nod to cloud technology for payroll? Maybe.

There are more parallels to payroll inside the book.

“Hold each item in your hand and ask: Does it spark joy?” Marie Kondo

Sparking joy = Sparking value. This is Kondo’s criterion for keeping things. That is to say, they must speak to your heart. This is easy to understand.

The equivalent for payroll is keeping things only if they spark value.

Depending on your business, the value of payroll might be the peace of mind in knowing that your payroll systems are accurate. Or maybe they are agile enough to respond to changing market conditions, legal requirements or company growth. Let’s not forget; global payroll is complex.

But, if you’ve already got the basics right, value could be through optimizing employee experience.  Mobile access, user friendly screens or visual analysis of your payroll data make this possible.

“The lives of those who tidy thoroughly and completely, are without exception dramatically altered.”

To begin, Kondo asks each client to aim for perfection. She instructs them to gather all clothing from every drawer and closet. People are surprised at the sheer volume. They often find long forgotten items and worn-out or outdated clothes.

Likewise with payroll, when consultants examine everything from payroll calendars to compliance, they may find some distinctly old fashioned processes. However, the review is critical for efficiency and for an honest assessment.  It highlights whether it makes sense to do your own payroll or to look to payroll specialists that tidy things up based on industry best practices.

Your payroll inventory may uncover:

  • Disorganized, redundant and unnecessary payroll tasks
  • Custom reports producing data that is duplicated in other reports
  • Multiple pay cycles that could be consolidated
  • Regulatory compliance that might not be updated
  • Absence of a business continuity plan

“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those things that have outlived their purpose.”

The organizational ninja reassures clients who struggle to discard items. Whether an item was a gift or something they have owned for a long time, she encourages clients to let items go with gratitude.

From a payroll perspective, the goal is eliminating all poor payroll practices. Examples include late and manual inputs or processing off-cycle. Employing industry best practices solves this.

Processing payroll in-house or sourcing from elsewhere, requires managing change. However, the benefits may far outweigh the investment.

It’s healthy to say goodbye to some old processes and accept that they are not part of your future, which includes:

  • Increased accuracy
  • Improved compliance
  • A reduction in pay cycles
  • Streamlining payroll inputs using automation

“Dramatic reorganization causes dramatic changes. In fact, it changes the future.”

Once the volume of belongings are reduced, organisation begins.

The Konmari Method dictates that visibility is key. An example is, instead of stacking clothes in a drawer, fold each shirt so it is visible. This means nothing is hidden at the bottom of the pile.

Organizing data is every bit as important. Translating payroll data into meaningful HR analytics and putting it into dashboards, makes the information more meaningful.

For multi-country payroll services, understanding where costs are and what is driving them enables leaders to make better decisions. For instance, when overtime or salaries outside of the norm are visible, a leader can therefore react and correct quickly.

Konmari Method clients report more clarity, better decision-making abilities and improved quality of life. They feel confident and above all gain a sense of freedom to embark on new adventures.

Applying this method to tidying payroll processes in your business can save time, lower risks and reduce administrative burden.

In conclusion, tidying your payroll leaves more time to focus on core business objectives. In other words you are able to generate revenue and better serve customers. Maybe in the end, it isn’t magic but it is certainly something that can really “spark joy”!.