How the Right Technology Makes DIY Payroll As Easy As 1-2-3

How the Right Technology Makes DIY Payroll As Easy As 1-2-3


If you own a small business and employ people, making sure they’re paid accurately and on time each month is probably one of your biggest headaches.

After all, it’s not worth your while to pay a full-time resource to run a small payroll, while outsourced providers can be expensive and unreliable.

Related: HR Management Basics for the Small Business

However, it’s simpler and less time-consuming than you might imagine to run your own payroll, provided you put the right tools in place.

Here are a few steps to follow to successfully process a SARS compliant payroll and pay your employees on time, and all in just a few hours a month.

1. Have the correct employee info

Ensure that you have up-to-date and accurate personal information for each employee, including:

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  • date of birth (age affects the tax calculation)
  • banking details
  • medical aid contributions and dependents (for tax credits).

Employee self-service solutions allow your employees to view and edit their personal information from a web browser or a mobile device. That means they can help you keep their records up to date, which can save you a great deal of time and inconvenience.

2. Get the basics done

Capture the basic data for each payslip that will remain constant each month, for example, monthly salaries, pension and medical aid deductions, and fixed allowances.

If you store this information in your payroll software or on a spreadsheet, you won’t need to recapture it each month.

3. Getting the variable payroll input

There are many fields on the average payslip that change all the time – overtime, bonuses, commissions, travel claims, and loan deductions or garnishee orders.

Some of this information might be on email, some jotted down on bits and pieces of paper, and some claims might still be outstanding. Use technology to bring order to the chaos.

Insist employees use employee self-service to submit their timesheets and claims for overtime and expenses, so that you will have access to the information in one place when you need it.

4. Calculating deductions

This is the most difficult, time-consuming and error-prone step in the whole process, particularly if you try do it yourself with a spreadsheet or a calculator and a piece of paper.

Rather invest in a reliable payroll solution. There are affordable options with flexible, per-payslip pricing.

The really good ones allow you to do your payroll at your convenience nearly anywhere you have access to the Internet. You can do your payroll from your tablet or smartphone while travelling as easily as you can from your computer at work.

Related: How to Survive The SARS Season

5. Producing a professional looking payslip – in paper or electronic version

Providing your employees with a proper payslip is a requirement of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. If you make use of a software solution, you will be able to generate a well-designed payslip with all the information required by law simply by hitting the print or email button.

6. Reporting to SARS

Each month, you must report your Pay as You Earn, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Skills Development Levy calculations to SARS, and of course, pay the money to the agency. You also need to send the UIF a list of your employees, how much they earn, and how much their UIF contributions are.

Payroll software will produce these reports in the correct electronic formats so you can email them or upload them to SARS’ e@syFile software.

Madelein Taljaard
Madelein Taljaard is an expert in areas of employee tax and legislative changes affecting payroll. Madelein joined Sage Pastel Payroll & HR in 2000. She is currently Group R&D Development Manager for Sage Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa, as well as Senior Product Manager for Sage Pastel Payroll & HR. She is responsible for the development of Sage Pastel Payroll & HR software as well as Sage Pastel Accounting’s desktop products. In addition, she manages the integration of Sage Pastel desktop products in South Africa into other Sage initiatives like Sage Pay. Madelein has a BCom in financial management and has 16 years’ experience in personal income tax and employee tax.

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