Prioritise Process for Perfect Payroll Performance

Wages spend can be a complex beast! If you’ve got Awards, Enterprise Bargaining Agreements, and Individual Agreements to manage the overheads can be pretty intense. Of course you also have to manage rosters, timesheets, leave requests, and timesheet approval, and getting any of this wrong, can really come back to bite you, not only financially, but with staff morale as well!

There are several processes which are key to delivering the best results from your wages spend, and we’ll look at three of them below.


Your rostering HAS to be done to a budget! This seems like a no brainer but you’d be amazed how many organisations that I speak to that not only don’t have a payroll budget for each period, they don’t have a well-defined roster!

Your rostering process has to take into account several things but it starts with budget. Whether it is departmental managers, or supervisors who are responsible for their budget, they have to know what it is, and manage to it!

Once you’ve budgeted, you need to assign the right people, to the right work! It’s no good paying a Chef to wash dishes, nor is it a great idea to have the apprentice manage a worksite! Figure out how best to break up the responsibilities of your team into Areas of Work, and roster according to these. Figure out who can do what within your business, and schedule them to do the right level of work for them!

Once you’ve got your budget sorted, your Areas of Work and your people assigned to your areas, you’ve got to Communicate your Roster! I know, I know, you’ve printed it out and stuck it up on a wall in the office or on the job site, but that doesn’t count! For every single one of those rosters that I’ve seen, I’ve seen scribbled corrections all over them, and people who have swapped shifts left and right without regard for your meticulously worked budget!

Make sure you get an electronic form of communication for your staff so there’s one copy of the roster, that everyone has and stays up to date with any changes. Again, if you’re thinking email, don’t! It needs to be a live calendar!

Timesheets are a pain. Everyone hates doing them and most people do them as close to the end of their pay period as they can get away with, and let’s be honest, if you’re doing two weeks of time sheet entries on a Friday afternoon, do you really remember whether you finished at 5:30 or 6:30 last Tuesday?

Set a process with your timesheets that make them real time! Whether it’s signing in on your phone, at a mobile kiosk or even at the cash register, real-time timesheets are the key to making sure that your staff record exactly what they’ve worked!

Signoff and Submission

So, the only thing worse than filling out your own timesheet, is signing off on a dozen timesheets as a Supervisor. This gets even worse when you have to chase people to get their timesheets completed, and even worse when you can’t be sure if those timesheets are 100% accurate. With paper rosters, crossed out shifts, swaps between staff members, and timesheets that don’t match, supervisors are on a hiding to nothing!

Set up your processes so as to make it easier on your supervisors. Setup your timesheets to automatically approve submissions that match the rostered time. Allow Supervisors to approve overtime, but require that they do so within a budget.

Many of our clients require that overtime is approved in advance of it being worked, and unauthorised overtime is simply not allowed. As strict as this seems, it simply means that you never get to the end of a payroll period and have a spike of 300% in your spend. And YES, some of our clients have literally had 300% overtime bills.

So there you go, Get your Rostering, Timesheeting, and Signoff processes defined and digitised, and you’ll be ahead of the game in minimising your payroll pain!