Spend Less Time and Money on Your Payroll With These 8 Strategies


Payday is a day that employees often look forward to, yet it often brings stress and complexity for employers due to the intricate compliance requirements of the Holidays Act 2003. In this blog, we’ll share eight tips and strategies to streamline your payroll process, making it faster, more cost-effective, and headache-free. 

Tip 1: Automate Your Payroll Processes with an Online Payroll System

Let’s face it, minimizing human intervention in payroll can dramatically cut down on errors and prevent those last-minute scrambles to meet filing deadlines. By automating, you simplify your payroll tasks each pay period, ensuring everything runs like clockwork.

A good online payroll system equips you with all the necessary tools for efficient management. It takes care of everything from calculating wages, PAYE, and KiwiSaver contributions to handling ACC earners’ levy and student loan deductions. These are crucial for ensuring each pay run is accurate and compliant.

What’s more, the right system will automatically take care of payday filings. It should electronically send the Employment Information (EI) report to the IRD each payday, detailing pay and deductions for each employee. With automation, you can say goodbye to the hassle of late IRD filing fees— that’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Tip 2: Integrate Your Payroll with Other Business Systems

To streamline your payroll and save valuable time, consider how well your payroll processes mesh with your other business operations. Opting for a payroll system that seamlessly integrates with your existing systems can significantly reduce manual efforts.

Modern online payroll systems offer extensive capabilities to connect with various other systems, ensuring smoother payroll operations. These systems typically integrate with time management tools, automating timesheet entries and eliminating the need for manual data entry. They also sync with accounting systems to manage all payments, whether they’re related to the IRD or employee wages.

Integration can come in two forms:

  • Data Import and Export: This allows for easy data transfer between compatible systems.
    • For instance, time management software can simplify timesheet processes to just a few clicks. Employees enter their hours, and the system generates a file that’s automatically integrated into the payroll system. Similarly, payroll information can be exported to accounting systems to reconcile payments effortlessly.

  • API Integrations: These enable systems to communicate directly, automating data input with just a click.
    • Taking it a step further, API development allows for direct system-to-system communication. For example, with Crystal Payroll’s API integration with Xero, just a single click can transfer all necessary data for a pay period directly to Xero for reconciliation.

Tip 3: Stay Online with Cloud-Based Payroll Solutions

Cloud-based payroll software offers functionalities that surpass those of offline systems. These online platforms store all data securely in the cloud, eliminating concerns about physical storage devices which can be lost or damaged. With your data securely in the cloud, you won’t have to worry about data loss, corruption, or being confined to a single device.

Moreover, an online system enables remote access from any device, offers real-time updates, and conducts automatic backups. These features greatly enhance convenience, allowing you to manage payroll from anywhere, at any time. Say goodbye to waiting until you’re back in the office to wrap up your payroll tasks

Tip 4: Opt for employee inputted timesheets

Including employees in the payroll process with their managers ensures a smoother payday for everyone. This strategy empowers your team members to actively participate by entering their own timesheets, leave requests, and even allowances directly into your payroll system. You’ll also reduce the risk of errors associated with manual data entry.

By allowing employees to input their information directly, you are simplifying the approval process. Managers or employers simply review and approve the submissions, ensuring everything is accurate. Employee submitted timesheets make payroll processes as straightforward as possible for both you and your team.

Make sure to leverage features available in your payroll software. Crystal Payroll’s Timesheets functionality, for example, lets employees manage their timesheets and leave requests, submit expenses, and access essential documents like payslips and leave records—all conveniently from their mobile devices.

Tip 5: Stay Informed About Payroll Legislation Changes

New Zealand payroll can be tough to stay on top of, especially if you’re in an industry with specific employment regulations such as the horticultural industry with their RSE regulations. With frequent updates made to legislation such as changes to minimum wage and student loan deductions, it’s challenging to make sure that your payroll is fully compliant at all times.

There are often times where employers can make costly mistakes and pay employees incorrectly due to the stringent rules that the holidays act binds on employers – this is called non-compliance. Being non-compliant can come with serious consequences ranging from penalty fines to, in more serious cases, going to court for not following legislation correctly. 

To stay informed on important payroll changes, it’s good to follow industry leaders on social media or sign up to payroll newsletters. That way, you can keep up with what is happening in the industry.

At Crystal Payroll, when we hear of any major change within employment law and legislation, the change will be implemented into our system as soon as possible. We also regularly post on our channels to keep everyone informed on the latest payroll updates or provide free payroll resources on our blog to keep you in the know.

Tip 6: Regularly Review and Audit Your Payroll Processes

While many businesses aim to cut costs by choosing the most economical payroll system available, they often overlook the greatest expenses – unnoticed payroll errors! Regular reviews and audits of your payroll processes are essential to ensure efficiency and correctness. This often overlooked step can save time and reduce costs by minimizing errors before they become problematic.

It’s good practice to conduct your own checks even when using an automated payroll system. Reviewing detailed reports after each pay run can significantly aid in verifying accuracy. One effective tool is the Payroll Variance Report, which compares employee payments and leave entitlements between the current and previous periods. This comparison helps quickly identify any changes in payments and easily help to point out where mistakes may be.

With Crystal Payroll, generating a Payroll Variance Report is straightforward with just one click. Double checking with this report before disbursing any funds to employees only takes a few extra minutes, but can save you a lot more time and money that comes with making payroll mistakes.

Tip 7: Educate and Empower Payroll Personnel with Payroll Courses

Investing in proper education on payroll practices and legislation can be very worthwhile for many who need to deal with payroll on a regular basis. Misinterpreting payroll rules, particularly the complex Holidays Act 2003, is common among employers and employees alike, leading to compliance issues and errors.

During a speech to the Auckland Business Chamber, Hon. Brooke van Velden, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, emphasized, “The problems with the Holidays Act have been experienced so widely, most employers would have found themselves non-compliant at some point in time.”

The complexities of the Holidays Act 2003 make payroll confusing for many. This confusion over legislation and often how to use the software itself to align with legislation results in time-consuming and costly errors. Businesses should consider enrolling payroll personnel in courses to improve their understanding of payroll legislation and software.

If your payroll software provider doesn’t offer training, ensure they provide reliable customer support to address your questions. It’s essential to have access to help and resources so you never feel stuck or overwhelmed.

For Crystal Payroll users who are wanting to enhance your payroll software and legislation knowledge, you can enroll in our new Advisors Certification Programme. This course teaches how to use our advanced payroll tools to help significantly cut time and cost on payroll. It also covers legislation topics to ensure you know how to keep compliant.

Tip 8: Outsource Your Payroll to Experts

When payroll demands become overwhelming, outsourcing can be a game-changer. According to B2B Reviews, 61% of companies outsource some or all of their payroll processing. Business owners find this valuable for multiple reasons:

  • Focus on Core Business: 57% report that outsourcing allows them to concentrate on their core business activities.
  • Improve Service Quality: 31% notice better quality of service.
  • Accuracy and Efficiency: 77% of HR leaders who outsource payroll functions found that their payroll became more accurate and efficient, reducing the risk of payroll tax penalties by 4.3%.

With Crystal Payroll we offer a completely outsourced option. You can easily record employee hours using time management software while our experienced payroll team manages the rest of the payroll process. From timesheet processing to paying staff and the IRD, we’ve got you covered.

By relying on payroll experts, you minimize costly errors, reduce compliance risks, and free up valuable time for strategic business activities. It’s particularly beneficial for small businesses that want to focus on growth, or rapidly expanding companies with evolving payroll needs.


By adhering to any of these eight strategies, you’ll be well on your way to reducing errors, ensuring compliance, and making payroll less stressful. From automation and integration to employee involvement and outsourcing, these tips will help you save valuable time and money while focusing on your core business activities.

Crystal Payroll is here to support you every step of the way with advanced software and dedicated expertise. Whether you’re looking to automate payroll, improve compliance, or seek training and support, our team is ready to provide solutions tailored to your needs.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes and should not be considered as financial or legal advice. Always consult with professionals for tailored guidance.

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