Day-to-day responsibilities of a payroll service provider

Lady doing manual calculations

Being a payroll provider isn’t easy. Running payroll can be time-consuming, complicated, and involves plenty of legal requirements. 

Let’s first find out what the day-to-day responsibilities of payroll providers are, and how it differs for a provider who uses manual calculations versus automated calculations. 

What do payroll service providers do on a daily basis?

Payroll providers don’t just do basic payroll calculations. Full-service payroll providers can do just about everything — from calculating pay, benefits and reimbursements to deducting taxes, filing relevant taxes, keeping payroll records and more. 

Alternatively, they can also help businesses out partially, taking on the more complex calculations and leaving the rest to be done in-house, depending on the business’ needs and budget. 

Here are some of their day-to-day capabilities: 

Payroll processing

This involves calculating the salaries, benefits and reimbursements of all employees based on statutory requirements, alongside monthly CPF and SDL contribution amounts as well as taxes and other deductions. It ensures that businesses remain compliant and that their employees are paid accurately, and on time. 

New hire processing

When businesses hire new employees, payroll providers will have to determine the pay frequency of the new hire, as well as verify that they have all the information needed to process the employee’s first paycheck. 

The salary that new hires receive will be different for their first week or month of employment (depending on their pay frequency), and they will only be paid for the number of hours or days they have worked. Payroll providers will have to calculate and double-check their compensation amount for the first time, as it’s likely to be a one-off special amount different in the weeks or months to come. 

Resignation or termination processing

If an employee has resigned or been terminated, payroll providers will have to remove them from the payroll accordingly, once their notice period has ended. They will also need to complete their final salary calculations and prepare their final payslip, taking into account the encashment of outstanding annual leave and more, if applicable. 

Payslip preparation and record keeping

In Singapore, companies are required to provide itemised payslips to employees under the Employment Act to avoid future payroll disputes. This provides both employers and employees with clear visibility over an employee’s take home wages, inclusive of any necessary deductions. 

Payroll providers are responsible for preparing and distributing these payslips to all employees on behalf of the organisation. They are also required to keep records of these itemised payslips for current and former employees. 

Submission of IR8A forms

It is mandatory for businesses to submit Form IR8A to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to report their employee income, on 1st March every year. 

Payroll providers will have to submit these forms to IRAS on behalf of the organisation, manually or electronically through the Auto-Inclusion Scheme

Electronic submission for maternity, paternity and child care claims

For employees eligible for government-paid maternity, paternity and childcare leave, employers will have to submit their claims for reimbursement online via the Government-Paid Leave Portal. Payroll providers can submit these claims on behalf of organisations to facilitate the claims process.

Payroll reporting

If the company requires insights in order to make strategic decisions, payroll providers can pull all kinds of reports to reflect that data. They may be required to create reports such as:

  • CPF Lodgement Report;
  • Pay Slip Report;
  • Pay Run Inclusions Report;
  • Expense Reimbursements Report;
  • Leave Balances Report;
  • Leave Liability Report; and
  • Pay Run Audit Report.

Compliance expertise 

Payroll providers are consistently up-to-date and informed on legislative changes. They spend time making sure they understand the changes and incorporate them into their calculations. 

Manual payroll day vs digital payroll day

Now that we know what the day-to-day responsibilities of a payroll provider are, what would it look like with the use of a cloud payroll solution and without? Let’s have a look at it, side-by-side.

Traditional payroll provider Digital payroll provider
9am: You start the day by sorting through a bunch of email requests from clients, prioritising and addressing the most urgent issues.

10am: There’s a couple of new hires that need to be onboarded for client A. Their personal information must be manually added into the system, and needs to be double checked to ensure that it has been keyed correctly. You enter their pay frequency, salary details, bank details and more accordingly.

11am: You need to prepare an employee’s final payslip for client B. You do the manual calculations, double checking their last CPF contributions, any outstanding claims, remaining annual leave days and more.

12pm: You take a well deserved lunch break — half the day is gone after only completing a few tasks.

1pm: You need to onboard a new business to your company. You have to manually input all the employee details provided by this client into your internal system.

2pm: Client C wants a report of all the expense reimbursements for the past year. You start gathering information on employee claims, sorting through paperwork and entering details on a spreadsheet.

3.30pm: An employee from Client B flags that there’s an error in their payslip — you pull up their employee file to do recalculations. After editing their payslip, you send them the updated copy via email.

4pm: You need to create itemised payslips for all employees under client D for their pay run. You check through the salary numbers and relevant deductions for each employee before finalising each payslip.

5pm: It’s the end of your work day! You’ve completed as much as possible.
9am: You start the day by accessing the partner dashboard and get an overview of activities, tasks, issues and warnings that need to be actioned across your client base.

10am: New hires for client A have already pre-filled and submitted their personal information via the platform, you do a quick double check to make sure that they filled in all relevant fields.

10.30am: You need to process an employee termination mid-month for client B, so the system runs the calculations for you based on their standard work week. You double check the numbers and process their payslip. You go to their employee file in the system and click the ‘terminate’ button to mark them as inactive, so they will no longer be included in pay runs.

11am: You need to add a new business to your brand. You go to the partner dashboard to create that new business, and import employee details in bulk by importing data via .csv files. You apply a bulk update — copying employee portal settings from client A and applying it to your new client.

11.30am: You take some time to analyse upcoming trends and prepare for your client meeting later in the afternoon, where you’ll be advising your client on how they can expand their business further.

12pm: You take a well deserved lunch break. A report pack is scheduled to be sent out to all your 20 clients — no action is needed.

1pm: You want to complete some bulk pay run activities. You bulk create pay runs based on your status list for those upcoming, so you don’t have to go into each business individually. You tick ‘Select all’ and the ‘bulk create pay run’ button to kickstart the process.

1.10pm: You bulk finalise pay runs from those currently 'in progress' via the status list, so you don’t have to go into each business individually. The pay runs are now marked ‘complete’ with a few clicks.

1.30pm: There are pay run activities that cannot be completed because of certain issues, appearing with an ‘error’ status. You open the context panel to review what the issues are. It does not require further action, so you bulk dismiss these activities.

2pm: You generate CPF Lodgement Reports for completed pay runs — they are easily exported in PDF as well as FTP formats for fuss-free and quick submission to the CPF website.

2.30pm: You pull a roster vs timesheet report in just a few clicks, so you can compare rostered hours against hours worked. This provides visibility and helps you with financial reporting as you work out your client’s budget and costs.

3pm: It’s time for an internal meeting. You and your team analyse how your clients have been performing and what value added services they have found really beneficial. You also use this time to strategize with your team on how you can help the firm acquire more clients, grow revenue, and improve on any processes.

4pm: You have a client meeting — now’s the time to pull out the information you’ve prepared earlier regarding upcoming trends and how your client can expand their business.

5pm: It’s the end of your work day! You’ve had such a productive time completing both administrative tasks and strategic work.

Seamless payroll processes for you and your clients

Can you spot the vast differences between the manual payroll provider and the payroll provider who’s a cloud software user?  There are so many benefits you can enjoy from using cloud payroll software — the above scenarios are just barely skimming the surface. Think massive time savings, greater efficiency and productivity, increased capacity for strategic work and more. 

With KeyPay, you can run payroll effortlessly and accurately for all your clients, and enjoy full visibility and transparency over the process as it runs in the background of day-to-day work. 

Say goodbye to manual calculations, and hello to payroll automation instead. With a one-off setup, your pay runs, CPF calculations, timesheet imports, report distribution and more can be scheduled to run automatically. Forget paperwork, manual data entry or different sources of truth. Our centralised platform means that everything is exactly where it needs to be, helping you and your clients run payroll accurately every time. 

You’ll be glad to know that KeyPay also integrates with Xero and other industry-leading accounting software, so you can keep your clients' data as the single source of truth between platforms. 

We offer bespoke pricing for accounting and outsourced payroll bureau businesses. To learn more about (and start crunching the numbers on) how KeyPay can help you generate more profit, talk to one of our team members

Carissa Ng

Content Marketing Specialist (SEA)

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