Often times, companies generate payroll and pay out an entire month’s wages to an employee before the month has ended. We call this assuming payroll. This is how it works: If payroll is generated an the 25th and paid out on the 27th, the manager pays the full month’s wages, up till the 31st, assuming that the employee will make it to work on the last few days. If he doesn’t, the manager needs to deduct his wage in the next month
Assuming payroll is an inefficient and inaccurate way of paying employees. We’ve come across many business owners who do it in Singapore. Most of the time, it’s because they have been doing it for years and have never thought about changing the rule. We help our clients transition from assuming payroll to regular payroll which saves clients money and time. Here is a blog post on exactly how to transition from assuming to regular payroll.
Irregular Clock-in Timings
When an employee clocks in at 8.57am instead of 9.00am, the biometric device records it to the exact minute. Your HR manager needs to manually correct the irregularity because coming in 3 minutes early does not mean that the employee will get paid for those extra three minutes.
The PayrollHero app has a threshold feature that solves this problem. An HR manager can set a threshold: if an employee clocks in between 8.55am and 9.05am, their clock-in time resets to 9.00am, automatically correcting the irregularity that your HR manager would have had to deal with otherwise.
Disparate Systems for Time, Attendance, Scheduling and Payroll
Business owners have multiple systems that deal with different HR problems; a biometric device to measure clock ins, a separate Excel sheet that imports data from the biometric device and generates payroll, another Excel sheet that needs to be updated every week with schedules for each employee and a whole other system that employees use to apply for leave. With so many systems to deal with, no wonder an HR manager barely has any time to engage with employees or find innovative ways to overcome Singapore’s labor crunch.
An end-to-end solution that removes any need for multiple devices is exactly what an HR manager needs. PayrollHero allows employees to click selfies on their phone or an iPad in the work site when they clock in. This data is stored in the Cloud and used when payroll is generate by the system. The same app is used when applying for leave or checking schedules for the week. An HR manager can use the app on his laptop, phone or any device with internet connection anywhere in the world and have full control over what is going on at his work site.
While these problems are seen as some of HR managers’ biggest in Singapore, they are faced by managers in the Philippines and pretty much any other place too. Some of the other problems HR managers need to deal with are changing tax laws, a labor crunch and laws against foreign workers in the country.
We hope that this post serves as a solution to some of your biggest HR problems. Do let us know your biggest HR problem and how you are currently dealing with it.
PayrollHero takes in data in the form of selfies that employees have clicked on the app. The selfies are used to evaluate employee happiness by looking for certain metrics and correlating them to other selfies. For example, smiling for photos results in a different set of facial expressions than a serious face.
We know what you’re thinking. What if an employee smiles but isn’t really happy. Faking a smile is not hard and the metrics used to evaluate a real smile are the same as those used to evaluate a fake one. An employee could easily fool the app into thinking that the employee is happy when she really isn’t. Well, faking a smile has its own merits.
A Harvard study showed that a smile – whether fake or real – can be uplifting for one’s emotional well being. Granted, a momentary smile for a selfie certainly does not equate to happiness in life because a smile can be fake; but the act of smiling itself is a positive way to cope with sadness. Our preconceived notion that happiness causes us to smile is not always true. In fact, the reverse of that can work as well. A fake smile may be a better path towards happiness than others. It signals a willingness to stay positive in difficult times instead of suppressing ill feelings.
How does this relate to happiness reports? Well, from a high level, the happiness reports suggest a correlation between smiling and happiness and therefore suggest which employee or work site is the happiest. But with deeper inspection, the reports find a correlation between smiling and employees’ positive attitude. As a manager, you should consider the happiness report as a way of measuring positive sentiments in your workforce.
Finally, PayrollHero can use this data against employee records to find a trend in employee behavior. We can provide insight into whether happier employees are generally more punctual; whether unhappy employees experience a longer commute to work everyday; whether the happiest worksite equals highest earnings. This information is unique to PayrollHero’s data. Companies can leverage on it to make more informed decisions on what it takes to improve their bottom line.
Running a business is tough. If you are in Singapore, where the labour crunch is putting a strain on your resources, you cannot be spending time on administrative work.
Leveraging on technology has multiple benefits: you can access your work wherever you go; saving your work on the Cloud means that you have less chance of losing it if your computer crashes; you will be more efficient and less error-prone.
Using apps is the way to go in a place like Singapore where everyone is tech-enabled.
We have brought you 12 apps that can help you run your business:
Evernote is an app that helps you record text, audio recordings, notes, reminders and pictures on the Cloud. You can access it from any device and it is free up to a certain limit. Evernote also allows you to collaborate by sharing files with other Evernote users.
The app can be used offline and when you connect to the Internet, the app will automatically upload your files to the Cloud. Evernote is a great way to organize your thoughts now, and take action later.
This is an awesome project-based software. It’s free and does away with meaningless sticky-notes, spreadsheets and email chains. Trello is a great app to collaborate and track progress in a project. Trello allows you to integrate with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and OneDrive.
You can set notifications and make checkists to stay on top of your work. You can also create team to manage people working on Trello. Altogether, Trello makes for a great app that can boost productivity at the workplace.
Oftentimes, you need to file and submit forms for administrative work: whether you are incorporating your business or filing taxes. A great way to scan and store your official documents is by using CamScanner.
The app is free and lets you scan documents on your phone. You might be wondering why this is a step up from taking a picture of the document. CamScanner adds filters to the picture and automatically makes it look like a scanned version of the document. You can email the document to anyone as a JPEG or PDF file. You can also just save it on the app and access it online from any device.
For business owners who travel frequently, Tripit saves your itinerary in one place and lets you access it easily. Tripit also gives you weather updates and maps to your destinations. Tripit is free for a few features like saving your plans in one place, syncing plans with your calendar and editing plans manually.
The paid version allows you to track frequent flier miles and share your plans with friends.
Hipchat is a communication platform for your employees. It is free if you use the basic service where you can have chat rooms based on the functions of your business (marketing, sales, operations, etc). Hipchat is user friendly and only $2 per user per month for the full service. That includes video chat an screen sharing.
This is an interesting app, mostly useful for you as a manager. The app runs in the background and tracks what you are working on. It sends weekly and monthly reports.
This helps you compare what you plan to prioritize on and how much time you are actually spending on a task. The Lite version is free and has limited features. The full version blocks apps that are distracting you and send more detailed reports to measure your productivity.
If you send emails to a list of subscribers, then Mailchimp is a must for you. It is free up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers. Mailchimp gives insight into how many people have opened the email, how many have clicked on the links you have sent them and which emails have bounced.
Another cool feature is that Mailchimp integrates with other apps like Google Analytics, Slack, Salesforce and more.
Everyone knows about LinkedIn but how to use it is more important. It is a social networking site for professionals. It is free with limited features. LinkedIn is essential to help you stay on top of the latest events in your field of work. It has a number of groups where people in similar careers discuss opportunities and challenges.
LinkedIn could just be the path towards improving your business or finding new avenues for your personal career growth. It is also a great tool to use while hiring people.
Expensify is an app that helps you track expenses, scan bills and more. It is a free app that is incredibly useful for a business owner trying to separate personal and business expenses. It also helps your employees to report expenses clearly. The expenses are exported into your accounting software making a seamless transition between different applications.
Expensify integrates with Salesforce, Quickbooks and a host of other software apps.
Insightly is a CRM software that helps small businesses take charge of the CRM. It has a mobile app and a web app that integrates with Google, Mailchimp and more. Insightly helps you stay on top of leads, partners, vendors and suppliers.
It also gives you reports and data on how your CRM based project is progressing: with data on your sales funnel and forecasts on the closing date for a deal. Insightly is not free but you can sign up for a free trial.
If you haven’t realized it already, Dropbox is a force to reckon with. You can share, collaborate and store files securely on the Cloud. It is easily accessible on any device. Dropbox helps in collaborating by notifying you on any changes made in documents and saving different versions of the document.
Dropbox Business is not free but offers unlimited storage space, ability to make groups and third party app integration, among other things.
Most of these apps facilitate teamwork and remove barriers like difficulty in communication, unclear task delegation and poor management of data. What it leaves you with is time to focus on bigger tasks that are more pressing for your business.
These recommendations are also free or with minimal initial investment. We hope they serve you well and we would love to hear about more apps that can improve efficiency in your business!
As a business owner, you are bound to look towards expanding your business at some point. In which case, you will have multiple offices at different locations. While you are in one worksite, you will want to stay in touch with employees in your other store locations. Staying connected is essential when your employees are spread out over the map. It’s even more important if your employees work remotely and do not often physically meet you or other employees on a regular basis.
At PayrollHero, we use a number of apps to facilitate remote work. These apps tie our employees together. We use the apps for face-to face interactions and for quick chats instead of spamming employees’ inboxes. The following apps might be useful for your company too:
Slack: This is the center of all our communication through different departments and offices. Slack allows you to create chat rooms and invite people to them. We use this feature to separate different functions of the team: engineering, business development, etc. Slack is also our metaphorical grapevine. We have chat rooms for random news, general musings and articles or books that anyone wants to share with the team. Slack also allows for private chats, thereby removing the need for emails to coordinate work. Slack is flexible in the sense that it has a number of integrations: Twitter, Mailchimp, appear.in.
Appear.in, Skype, Google Hangouts: Teams can’t function without face-to-face meetings. Bosses benefit from meeting their employees face-to-face in order to gauge their emotional state and general well-being. The app features and video quality differ but essentially they help you conduct online meetings.
Asana, Trello: To ensure that all tasks are tracked and accountable to the relevant employees, we use Asana. These apps are built to suit remote work. Asana allows you to assign tasks in a checklist format whereas Trello breaks down work in the form of projects in which tasks are outlined using cards. Both apps can be accessed online. So you or your employee can work from anywhere in the world and still stay on top of things.
Google Drive, Dropbox for Business: Keeping track of all the documents and sheets created by multiple departments across different worksites is essential. These apps are tailored towards businesses’ storage needs. With a subscription fee, you have access to unlimited storage, data analytics (for Google) and more. Both apps allow you to track who is editing files and what kind of access you want your employees to have for each file or folder.
It’s More Than Just Apps
Making remote work successful is more than having a suite of apps at your disposal. It requires a shift in the way you and your employees think about work. It requires trust in your employees to work even if you’re not monitoring them at the office. We have inculcated some practices that help maintain discipline and structure even when employees work at different locations across the work. Here are some that have helped us:
Morning catch ups: Every morning, at a time suitable to your employees in their respective time zones, each employee summarizes their work in 60 seconds. The format is: what they accomplished yesterday, what they couldn’t complete, what they will do today and roadblocks to completing their work. From the head of the team down to the entry-level employee must be able to summarize their work in under a minute. The meeting is helpful in understanding where the team is going and what can be done to remove roadblocks.
Handbooks: For new employees, or employees that have changed departments, it is hard to catch up to how things are done when the entire department works remotely. Writing down the steps to each task in a handbook and storing it in Google Drive/Dropbox cuts down on confusion and time wasted in connecting with the employee who knows how to do the required task. Handbooks remove any misunderstandings or errors. It is a fool-proof way of ensuring that the business continues in case someone is not available to lend a helping hand.
Using Slack to integrate the team: While Slack can be used to create chat rooms and do work, it is often a great tool to include everyone on the team and talk about common interests. Our chat-rooms like #random and #general are great spaces for employees to share ideas and talk about things outside of work. It is a place to plan outings over the weekend or share movie reviews. These conversations pull the team together and allow for cross-departmental interaction; something that could be missing while everyone is focusing on work.
Finally, making remote work possible is about using apps to their maximum capacity and reviewing if they work or not. Managers need to be more mindful of their employees. Employees in turn need to make a conscious effort to stay on top of their work because remote work often results in the blurring of personal and professional life. Altogether, making remote work work is hugely beneficial to employees. All it takes is a little tweaking of the way things are usually done.
Since small businesses share a lot of work among fewer people, the stakes are higher. Business owners need to take their time and figure out who they are looking for before hiring.
Not only, does it risk handing responsibility too someone who is not ready for it, it could become a financial burden as well. Even without severance pay or lawsuits, firing someone is an expense. You would much rather spend that time and money creating a thorough and fool-proof recruiting process.
If you’re an SME in Singapore, we have a 5 actionable tips for you:
1. Make a List of Tasks That Need to be Done
As a business owner, you might be taking up more than your share of work to keep things moving forward. It is a good idea to write down the tasks that fall by the wayside because you are focusing on the next most important thing. Go through the list and figure out if tasks can be pooled together to make a new job position. This also makes it easier to write an accurate job description while posting your ad on job boards.
2. Sell the Uniqueness of Your Business
Big companies have a strong brand name to sell the position. This makes it easier for them to attract talent. They can offer higher pay and better benefits than a small company could.
SMEs in Singapore will naturally find it harder to create attractive job positions with that kind of competition which is why you have to showcase what makes you special.
Business owners need to find a new angle to attract top talent. This could be in the form of perks like working from home, flexible schedules and more autonomy. Free lunches and a Kindle book monthly stipend are simple perks that can attract millennial employees.
These are just a few of many ideas that can make working at a small company look attractive.
– What makes you unique — like a unicorn!
Remember, a small business can make decisions faster, is more agile and less bound by rules and regulations. These are attributes that business owners should rally behind in order to attract talent.
Find your ‘unicorn’ quality and sell it to job applicants!
An important way to ensure that your new hires stay in the company is to spend time and money on training them. Either a written manual or a program over a few days where the new hires interact with people in the company will help the new hire understand the way things work and align expectations with reality.
It would be best if this were done before solidifying the position. The mantra “Hire slow, fire fast” may be useful for small business.
4. Learn from your Competition
Your competitors are in the same boat as you. Try and learn from the way they sell the same position your are hiring for. Fresh ideas are always welcome, even from your competitors. Don’t forget that this includes multiple platforms: newspapers, online job boards, LinkedIn, everything.
You should be on top of all sources of media to learn from other companies on how they are hiring top talent.
5. Don’t Stop Searching for New Hires
Always stay on the lookout, even if you are not actively looking to fill a position. It’s always great to hire people who show spectacular skills or drive to work. You will be able to find work for them or at least keep their resumes with you so that you can pull them out later, when you really need to fill a position. Staying on the lookout also keeps you updated on what the hiring scene looks like at any point of time.
The most important thing to remember for SMEs trying to hire talent is that the cost of hiring and then firing an employee is too high to go through the process multiple times. It makes sense to spend time, develop a program and go through the recruiting process deliberately in order to be efficient.
If you want to learn more awesome tips to help your business, feel free to subscribe below. Get fresh tips weekly, straight to your inbox!
Payroll periods are generally categorized into 4 types:
Monthly: Payroll is generated and usually paid out on a monthly basis. It occurs 12 times a year
Semi-monthly: Payroll is generated twice a month and paid out either on the 1st and 15th of the month, or 15th and 30th of the month. It occurs 24 times a month.
Bi-weekly: Generated and paid out every two weeks, bi-weekly payroll sounds a lot like semi-monthly but runs 26 times a year. We’ll go through the differences further into the post.
Weekly: Payroll is generated and paid out once a week, leading to 52 cycles a year.
Type of Business
Why are there so many different payroll periods? Depending on the type of business, employees and employers find it easier to keep tabs on over time, social security contributions and erratic work schedules if the payroll period is shorter than the usual one month period.
Generally, as a business owner or a payroll head at your business, you generate reports monthly so it seems practical to generate payroll on a monthly basis. However, this may not be suitable to employees, especially in the construction, F&B or retail business where work is valued on an hourly basis.
Type of Employees
Frequency of payroll depends on the type of employees in your business. Usually, full time employees are open to monthly salaries because they have a stable income.
However, part time workers with erratic schedules prefer a shorter pay period so they can manage their finances better. Since hourly workers are most prevalent in industries like F&B, retail and BPOs, markets that we work with very closely, we know that employees favour biweekly or even weekly pay in order to stabilize their finances.
For example, if an employee works 50 hours one week and 10 the next, she might want to be paid weekly in order to cushion the next week’s dip in work.
Costs of Generating Payroll
As a business owner, you also need to track how much it costs to pay all your employees, Many payroll vendors charge on the frequency of payroll generation, in which case, monthly payroll makes sense. But, if the costs are not too high, it may be prudent to generate payroll more often.
It is easier to calculate over time over a shorter pay period. You are less likely to make mistakes. Another cost that is important to look into is the opportunity cost of calculating social security deductions more frequently.
Usually, contributions are calculated monthly, so it is definitely a hassle breaking it down to a semi-monthly, bi-weekly or weekly basis. The most error-prone would be bi-weekly, with 26 weeks to account for where payroll may be generated twice or even thrice a month.
Finally, the frequency of payroll generation depends on a set of factors: the share of employees working part time versus full time, the costs of generating payroll and the kind of business that you own.
Weighing the costs and benefits and communicating with employees on what suits them best are the first steps to take before settling on a pay period. Do let us know what kind of pay period has worked best for your business!
As a new business owner, it can be tough to figure out what you need to prioritize to generate revenue and profits. If you are a chef owning a restaurant for the first time, and with no business experience, this can be a lot harder.
Luckily, we have some tips for you to refer to when it comes to dealing with finances. So let’s dig in!
1. Product costing
This is essential because you cannot run a business in a sustainable manner without knowing what your products cost. You need a break down of what each product is made up of and how much it costs to get it from your suppliers. This includes material, labour and overheads.
With the information about costs, you need to find your breakeven point: where revenue covers all costs (Revenue – Costs = 0). This is the minimum revenue you need to run the business.
2. Maintain a record of expenses
This is a good practice that is easier said than done. All too often, we start the year enthusiastically, taking not of expenses and filing them meticulously to find ourselves a month later struggling to keep up with our expense records.
It is easier with some help. Apps like Expensify or Mint help you keep track of your accounts, expenses and income. If you are a small business owner, these apps are a good place to start.
Of course, as you grow bigger, you will have to move to accounting software that can keep up with the growth of your business.
3. Understand your seasonal cashflows
This is imperative if you own a retail store or a restaurant. It ties back to points one and two. During the year, your sales will not be static. It will depend on factors like when people get their wages or special festivals and holidays. Sales could change on a monthly, or quarterly basis.
Most seasonal changes are calculated quarterly. This is important to monitor because you will have to manage inventory accordingly. It also helps in setting prices based on expected demand.
4. Inventory management
Like we mentioned in the previous point, seasonality affects inventory. A small business owner should keep close track of inventory in relation to seasonality because inventory costs can run up to exorbitant amounts despite the fact that it can be managed.
TradeGecko is an app that can help you with that. The cool thing about this app is that it gives you real time data on your phone. You can access your inventory data from anywhere in the world with a few clicks.
Whether you are in Singapore, the Philippines or anywhere in the world, these tips are important to know as a business owner. Keep in mind that delegating traditional business practices to apps is a great idea because it frees up time for you to focus on your core business.
Also, keeping up with technology doesn’t just make you efficient, it prepares you for the inevitable conversion to tech-based apps that all business will have to make at some point.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that we are a time, attendance, and payroll solution that meets your company’s needs. That’s true.
But let’s move away from that for a while and let’s look deeper into what PayrollHero truly is.
You see, PayrollHero is a cool app that lets you clock in to work with a selfie, and generate payroll with just a few clicks. That’s one of our biggest selling points, and one of the biggest reasons why our clients love us.
But that’s not why our product is genuinely enjoyed by some of the best companies in the Philippines and Singapore.
The real reason why our product is valuable to your business is because we save you time.
Time Management Redefined
Beyond the #selfie clock ins, facial recognition, leave management feature, and many more, what PayrollHero wants more than anything is to give you back the time you lose from outdated time, attendance, and payroll methods.
One of our clients, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines, shared their experience on how PayrollHero makes their payroll processes faster and more efficient.
Here’s a snippet from CBTL’s CEO Walden Chu:
“We wanted a payroll solution that was cloud based and built for the Philippine business environment, PayrollHero was exactly what we were looking for and took our payroll processing time for 700 employees from 16 days to 5 minutes” – Walden Chu, CEO, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines
That’s 144 working hours (or more, due to OT) brought down to just 5 minutes. I don’t know about you, but that’s A LOT of time saved.
And that’s not all… The time that our ridiculously efficient product saves results into a world of other benefits for businesses.
Time Saved Results to Happier Employees
Because time, attendance, and payroll becomes easier to do, employees who act as primary stewards of these processes are taken a huge load off of their shoulders.
It’s not a secret that HR staff, payroll administrators, and accounting / finance employees are the ones that are most affected by the hassles of traditional payroll processes.
With PayrollHero, these employees can relax and focus on other important aspects of their work such as recruiting and employee engagement (for HR), and internal audit / accounting for those in Finance.
The system was not made to replace these employees, but rather, to help them become more efficient and less stressed with the rigours of traditional payroll. A more streamlined, easy, and hassle-free payroll solution can make these employees less stressed and happier at work.
Happy Employees are Good for Business
It has long been proven that happy employees are the best brand ambassadors you can ever have.
The happier your employees are, the more energized and motivated they are to work; and those little things eventually add up. Your customers will notice how happy and engaged your employees are, and this in return, causes them to love your brand even more.
Word of mouth referral goes a long way in growing your business. So the happier your employees are, the more customers you will attract. It’s a domino effect that you can take advantage of.
Of course, making employees happy isn’t just done to boost your profits. As an employer, it’s important to always put a premium to your employees’ happiness.
With PayrollHero’s selfie clock in, we are able to help your employees start the work day with a smile.
Not only do employees start the work day with a smile, they also clock out happily as they get ready to come home to their loved ones.
The overall mood of employees skyrocket, and because of this, their personal lives improve as well.
Right Person. Right Place. Right Time.
Not only does PayrollHero save you time; we also save you money.
Biometrics and time cards for time and attendance can be tricky. For one, it can easily be gamed by dishonest employees. There’s the case of buddy punching and ghost employees that is pretty much prevalent in the Philippines.
Take a look at how much money you can lose just because of buddy punching:
Even if you only have 1 buddy punching employee (which is very unlikely), you’ll be losing P4,000 a year! Now, in most cases, for companies with a very unreliable time and attendance process, buddy punching is more common.
If you had 500 employees, and 10 of them are regular buddy punchers, you could lose as much as P40,000 a year.
With PayrollHero, you are LITERALLY free from buddy punchers because our system makes sure that the right person clocks in at the right place, at the right time.
If you’ve made it this far down, then I can only assume that you are considering PayrollHero for your business. Whether you are running a restaurant in the Philippines, or a retail store in Singapore; or even any business in Asia, there’s just so much PayrollHero can offer for you.
Handling time, attendance, and payroll for your business will never be the same once you go for PayrollHero.
It’s time to make a positive change for your business. Let us help you save money, and most importantly, save precious time for you and your employees.