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Payroll experts give clients peace of mind

Last updated 05:00 11/12/2012
Ezypay staff

Pay professionals: Ezypay's Justin Ryan, Harvey Polglase, Paula Retallick and Glynn Snook are dedicated to ensuring their clients' employees are always paid accurately and on time.

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Earthquakes and big snows can't stop the dedicated staff at Ezypay from ensuring their clients' employees get paid on time.

Love it or hate it, employers must attend to their payroll obligations accurately and in a timely fashion, says Justin Ryan, director of Christchurch-based payroll outsourcing company Ezypay.

"Most employers understand that, and that's why more and more companies are choosing to outsource this non-core but critical business function to specialists such as ourselves."

While payroll is an emotional issue from the employee's perspective, Ryan says it is a highly specialised and complex business management issue for managers. "It's an area that needs great care and knowledge. It's a confidential and delicate subject with great pressure on the person responsible for payroll administration.

"Add to this leave accruals, leave calculations, general ledger reporting, accurate costing, termination pays, tax calculations, management reporting and the fact that it is covered by many pieces of legislation and you can see why the role is one which causes many businesses more than a temporal ache."

Ryan says by outsourcing payroll, organisations can greatly ease the administration headache, providing accuracy and resulting in cost and time savings for businesses. "Organisations can focus on their core business and devote time and resources to profitgenerating activities."

Ezypay was established 15 years ago following a request by a large accounting firm that wanted to outsource its payroll and the payrolls it handled on behalf of its clients. Since then, Ezypay has grown to a point where it now processes 7000 payslips a month.

The only time Ezypay missed getting pays out on time was immediately after the February 22 earthquake but, Ryan says, even then everyone got paid just a day late. "In fact, we were back operating again within 24 hours and didn't have to resort to implementing our off-site backup processes."

Ryan says the gratitude shown by Ezypay clients after the earthquake was overwhelming. "Many of our Christchurch clients told us how reassuring it was that pays went out as normal, because it showed that not everything was broken.

That event confirmed our processes were resilient but it also highlighted the commitment of our team, who ignored their own personal situations to ensure others were paid."

More recently Ezypay has been integral in the development of new payroll technology which has been designed around the specific needs of payroll bureaus. Ryan says this technology provides greater transparency, more detailed reporting and many additional benefits which aren't available to users of traditional, single company payrolls. "It allows us to tackle any payroll, except maybe the teachers' payroll," he says with a wry smile.

He adds that outsourcing payroll is increasingly recognised as a mechanism that allows all businesses to benefit from up-to-date systems that work efficiently, while reducing capital spending.

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"There are numerous hidden costs associated with payroll that are eliminated when it's outsourced. Things like software installation and maintenance, equipment maintenance, staff hiring and training, staff back-up, problem resolution, disaster recovery and record maintenance as well as the obvious, but often greatly underestimated, administrative and management time.

"The main trigger that pushes a company to outsource its payroll is an 'unplanned circumstantial change', with the most common reasons being that the in-house payroll administrator has had to leave suddenly, the process is taking too long - longer than three minutes per employee - confidentiality has been compromised, available resources don't have the required knowledge leading to issues with compliance, or available systems aren't coping with changing requirements."

Ryan says a payroll outsourcing partner provides continuity of service, often in the most difficult of circumstances, and is a hugely valuable resource when it comes to general queries around payroll. "They tend to work across industries as well as within them, offering a wealth of knowhow and up-to-date understanding."

He believes there are a several important factors to consider when it comes to selecting a payroll outsourcing partner, like their reputation, confidentiality, professionalism, compliance, knowledge of legalities, capability in producing management reports, disaster recovery processes and their ability to keep pace with a business's changing needs.

"It's important that you pick the right one because the risks of getting it wrong aren't worth thinking about. At the end of the day, the pay must get done, no matter what."

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Ezypay understands payroll legislation and fully complies with all aspects such as leave accruals, IRD reporting and Kiwisaver.

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Ezypay knows payroll, how it works and what works, and has 70 years of combined experience.

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- The Press

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