The Impact of Payroll Errors

2/8/18 3:10 PM

When it comes to payroll, perfection is hoped for but rarely achieved. This is especially true with large companies. Even organizations that perform in the top tier of their industries don’t get payroll 100 percent correct. In fact, top-performing companies have an average payroll error rate of 0.7 percent per pay period — only five points less than the peer average of 1.2 percent. But that relatively small difference makes a significant difference on the bottom line. The span of five points amounts to a cost of $22,695 in annual payroll for every 100 employees, based on the average national weekly earnings rate of $907.82.13. (*1)

There are other far-reaching implications as well:

11% Employees who are less than certain that payroll withholding and the net amount of their paycheck are correct each payday (*2)

67% Employees who would find it difficult to meet current financial obligations if their next paycheck was delayed for a week (*3)

25% The most common payroll inquiries are about employee payslips (*4)

49% U.S. workers who will start a new job search after experiencing only two problems with their paychecks (*5)

Payroll errors can undermine the entire employee experience

Improving the employee experience — ultimately to increase employee engagement — has become a major focus of many businesses. It’s one key reason organizations are making significant investments in benefit plans, rewards and recognition programs, physical work spaces, scheduling, and other work-life areas. Yet many payroll professionals are still burdened with manual processes and outdated technology. For example, an estimated 29 percent of payroll professionals spend the equivalent of at least one FTE a week on manual, duplicated data entry. (*6)

It’s ironic, because just one payroll error has the potential to encourage top talent to seek new employment, undoing a company’s tireless work to build an engaged workforce. Two payroll errors will drive nearly half of all employees to start looking for a new job elsewhere.

how to reduce payroll error article

 

*1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release (Sept. 1, 2017), Table B-3, found at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t19.htm.

*2 Ibid.

*3 Ibid.

*4 Mercer LLC, Virginia McMorrow, Mercer Payroll Benchmarking Survey 2015, Payroll Operations Country Survey United States (2016), at 39.

*5 Based on findings from “The $100,000 Bill” survey by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, conducted by The Future Workplace, July 10-14, 2017, among 812 U.S. HR and payroll leaders.

*6 Based on findings from “The $100,000 Bill” survey by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, conducted by The Future Workplace, July 10-14, 2017, among 812 U.S. HR and payroll leaders.

 

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