With the help of this article you will decide which payroll system to choose, the benefits of different systems and some other tips.
How to Avoid Payroll Mistakes
How to Avoid Payroll Mistakes

The real solution to accurate, cost-effective and efficient payroll processing is to put new technologies to work for you. Put away manual calculations and timecards forever by installing a workforce management system. Workforce management systems consist of a digital time clock or other collection device (hand-held organizers, computers, etc.) and sophisticated time and attendance software.

As employees swipe their ID badges through the digital time clock (or use their finger tips on biometric time clocks), in/out punches are recorded automatically in the system's computer which can be located in another office hundreds of feet away. The software then calculates the payroll, updates employee accruals, taxes, insurance, and automatically detects missed and duplicate punches. Using a good time and attendance system, a payroll clerk can process an error-free payroll in a matter of minutes.

Why companies are implementing a workforce management system:
• Payroll preparation time is reduced up to 80%.
• Eliminates timecards and manual calculations.
• Attendance data is transferred automatically to payroll.
• Eliminates costly paycheck errors.
• Automatically calculates hours, benefit accruals, sick or personal hours, paid and unpaid leave,
• Vacations, absentee reason codes and tax liabilities.
• Provides immediate access to current employee history and hours.
• Employee data always available
• Provides an audit trail, time and attendance records.
• Automatically applies all payroll rules and policies.
• Missed punches and other exceptions can be corrected immediately.
• Reduces tardiness.
• Eliminates retro-reporting.
• Allows quick retrieval and compilation of job and task cost.

A time management system provides lots of information at the first request. At any time, know who’s present or absent, or who is approaching overtime. No more looking through timecards to figure out who was working or missing. Put an end to timecard disputes. Payroll rules are applied uniformly across all employees.

The data from time management systems can also be used to generate management reports. Firms can even use time management systems for job costing, which means recording the time it takes a person to complete a certain task. By analyzing job costing across employees or departments, a firm can clear up the true costs of some job.

Currently, the organization's human resources and payroll may be two distinct functional areas, each with their own data gathering, processes, data input, and files. A time management system allows the integration of these two areas and for the distribution of critical information throughout management.

A time management system eliminates running around at the last minute before payroll is due, trying to reconcile incomplete and unreadable timecards. This reduces voiding incorrect checks and issuing manual replacement checks. 

Choosing the right time management system 
Time management systems are more complex than standard time clocks, and there are many competing systems available on the market. They may seem similar, but not every time system will be right fitting every company. When considering a system, there are several key questions to ask:
• Is it easy to install, use, maintain, and upgrade?
• Does it provide a wide variety of reports?
• Will it interface with your company’s payroll or accounting program?
• Can it track and calculate pay changes by task/department?
• Can it track and calculate multiple pay rates for one employee?
• Is the system flexible and scalable?
• Does the manufacturer have a proven track record of customer support?

Also think what types of reports you need. You will also need to ensure you choose a system that can grow with your company.