By Allen Noll, President, The Payroll Factory®
Published: 03 APR 06

The bills have not been paid, the taxes have not been paid and the invoices have not been sent out – so you have not been paid.

Many small businesses find out that their bookkeeping staff is, instead, utilized for money earning tasks that take away their ability to complete money saving tasks. They help with marketing pieces instead of invoicing. They complete sales proposals instead of making collection calls.

In many small, privately owned businesses, this is the right thing to do: Make money first, count money second. This does not relieve us from paying our obligations, payroll and vendors – without whom we could not survive.

It is easy and appropriate to outsource payroll, tax payments, bookkeeping and even payables check writing. Talk with your financial services professionals. They usually work with several payroll companies that will ease your bookkeeper’s workload. These companies also help outsource your bank reconciliation and/or Accounts Payable checkwriting – a great improvement to internal controls – without you losing control of your money. Design and build proper systems with proper controls and your bookkeeper and/or controller will be more productive and your company more profitable.

Some business owners have been with the “Big 2” payroll companies and switch every year because the service does not meet their needs. They say “there are no other decent payroll companies.” That’s like saying, “I’ve owned Fords and I’ve owned Chevys, neither fit my needs, but there are no other choices.” This is ridiculous.

There are great payroll companies, all over the country, who can provide all of the service and products you need: Online Payroll, Timeclocks, Biometric Timeclocks, Online Employee Service, Multi-state & Multi Local companies, Certified & Union Payroll, everything. You should demand better service and more response from you payroll provider.

As with everything in a company, the owner must dictate the direction and force of any idea or change. Set the tone of your company to improve productivity in this area. Set the tone to improve efficiency and internal controls. Demand that your staff follow the rules. Most importantly, you must follow the rules. If expense reports are due a certain day, get it done. If notification must be given to get a check, give notification; don’t just tear a check from the checkbook. If you break the rules, everyone breaks the rules.

These are simple and inexpensive changes to make. You don’t have to implement everything at one time. Start now and make one change every two months. In twelve months time you’re likely to have more money, time and a happier bookkeeper and controller.