Payroll Costs Are Rising—But Paychecks Are Only Part of the Story

Are you getting the complete picture of your in-house payroll costs these days? 

No one will dispute a retailer’s year-over-year payroll costs keep rising. In 2018, the average grocery cashier brings in $15 an hour—or more than $30,000 a year, if full-time and salaried—not to mention the costs of employer-paid benefits. States are raising their minimum wage requirements, one after another. And on top of that, the lowest unemployment rate we’ve seen in years is pressuring retailers to increase wages to stay competitive in the labor market.

But these are just the “obvious” costs associated with payroll, the numbers you see inflating over time when you run your weekly payroll. In reality, it’s the “hidden” costs of payroll that can sneak up on you and cause the biggest pain—especially if you process your payroll in-house.

Time is money. So is knowledge and reliability.

It may sound like a worn-out recording, but time really does translate to money. Gathering data from timesheets or time clocks, entering it accurately into the payroll system, calculating benefits and withholding taxes—the list of details goes on—is tedious and time-consuming. And as your business grows and your staff grows to handle it, so does the amount of time and people required to handle the payroll processing, week after week.

What happens when your payroll person calls in sick when it’s time to run payroll? Or worse, when they decide it is time to retire or take another job? While retailers employ multiple cashiers or stockers, most retail stores don’t have the luxury of having a spare payroll person on staff. But, to maintain employee satisfaction, paychecks must go out on time.

Then there’s taxes and ever-changing regulations. A retail payroll analyst wears many hats, but should tax accountant be one of them? Messing up an employee’s withholding is bad enough, but filing late or incorrect returns with the IRS can cost you a bundle. Keeping abreast of federal, state and local regulations is critical, but it doesn’t come cheap. If you want to stay compliant, you’d best factor in the cost of a few training courses each year, for one of more of your staff.

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Technology, equipment and supplies aren’t cheap, either.

Those are just a few often-overlooked costs associated with payroll, but the infrastructure side shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated, either.

When employees think “payday,” they immediately think of a paycheck, even if they’d rather not ever deal with a paper check. Retailers that still print paper checks must purchase and maintain the printers, as well as the software, ink or toner cartridges, check stock and other supplies required for this activity. Those who don’t want to mess with printing checks—and who does?—have to set up electronic connections to a direct deposit service. And yet there are still a few employees for whom direct deposit isn’t an option—making it impossible to completely eliminate the cost of paper checks.

As if these non-wage costs aren’t enough to give you a headache, your staff also expects online access to their payroll information, 24/7. If you’re still processing payroll in-house, you can add a healthy chunk to your IT and web team’s budgets, so they can store and present this information on demand. And don’t forget all the security measures you’ll need to put in place, too.

Eliminate “hidden” costs with payroll outsourcing.

Of course, these are just a few of the budgetary headaches an in-house payroll process can cause. As our interactive infographic reveals, a professional payroll provider like TRUNO TimeForge Payroll makes all your payroll costs transparent and predictable.

Ready to get your payroll costs under control? Check out our infographic to see how TRUNO TimeForge can insulate you from the hidden costs of in-house payroll processing.

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