Payroll Errors: 3 Expert Tips to Avoid Them at All Costs

Woman stressing over payroll errors

Every successful, error-free payroll run is the reflection of a robust payroll system, consolidated in order to prevent errors.


After all, payroll is a tricky process, one that is most difficult to get right, considering the many odds that payroll teams must face: large volumes of data, regular changes in data such as the number leaves taken and overtime hours worked, compliance to the changing local and regional laws – not to mention the time imperative. Often submerged in data and under pressure, payroll teams make mistakes, an inevitable occurrence. But while your company cannot prevent all mistakes, you can set up safety nets in the form of processes and protocols to ensure that mistakes are harder to make and can be caught in time before they affect an employee’s pay and eventually the company’s reputation.


Here are our 3 expert tips for a more accurate payroll experience:

Switch from a manual to an automated payroll system

A manual payroll system is a breeding ground for human error, especially when a company employs a large number of workers. The sheer volume of data, when coupled with the need for compliance with local law and a non-negotiable deadline, is enough to set a payroll team back. In the case of global payroll, the process becomes infinitely more challenging, owing to the need for compliance with local laws, which differ from country to country. Besides, it is likely that the data your team receives will be in different languages and formats, and necessitate payment in various currencies.

The solution then is to switch to an automated payroll system which will both streamline the payroll process and ensure data accuracy.

For instance, a payroll system can alert a payroll executive if data is missing or has been input in an incorrect field, all before any critical date has passed. On top of calculating salaries, commissions, bonuses, taxes and benefits, an automated payroll system can more effectively manage different types of payroll schedules and types of workers: from full-time and part-time employees to independent contractors.

Why switch to an automated payroll system?

While an automated payroll system may at first appear to be the costlier choice, many unfortunate companies have found, at their own expense, that payroll mistakes and the ensuing fines make for an even more significant expense. Not to mention the invaluable loss of trust in the company and the latter’s tarnished public image.

Use one central payroll system

When running global payroll processes, switching between platforms and software for different countries is a recipe for disaster.


Indeed, if you decide to switch from a manual to an automated payroll, you may still experience data errors if each country uses a different software – not to mention the time-consuming nature of the task. The payroll team will still need to compare the data to see overall payroll expenditures and that makes the evaluation process more complex than it ought to be.


Rather, having one centralized, globally-adopted payroll system is the more practical choice, and one that significantly reduces data errors.


With a centralized payroll system, a payroll executive can create a rule (for example in terms of additional benefits) for all the countries present on the global payroll sheet and the software will simply implement it and the new rule will be in effect instantly.

Use employee self-service whenever possible

Offering employees the ability to take care of certain aspects of the payroll process (for example inputting their taken leaves during one given month) will quite naturally lessen the burden on the payroll team, effectively reducing errors.

For instance, employees can submit leave reports, expense reports, and attendance records, which are processed by the system immediately after filing. The payroll administrator will then simply need to confirm the reports’ accuracy. This simplified process helps feed data into the payroll system, all the while lessening the payroll team’s workload, resulting in more accurate data and fewer if no errors at all.

Employee self-service can also help workers feel more invested in their work and in the company they work with. They can also use the platform as a way to check how many hours they have worked during a certain period or how many leaves they are able to use for one particular time period, making self-service a useful tool for employees as well as for the company.

How Africa HR Solutions can help your business

Setting up and running your own global payroll system is a costly endeavor, and one that requires time and intensive staff training as well. More often than not, it is the least profitable course of action for your company. Africa HR Solutions offers reliable global payroll services for a fraction of the cost of setting up and running your in-house global payroll system. Trusted by over 300 international companies, we have been helping organizations much like yours to thrive on the African continent for over 12 years.


Ready to get to the next level of global payroll? Contact our team now.

Table of Contents

We offer expert insights for an error-free payroll in Africa

Contact us now to find out more about our extensive range of payroll solutions for businesses seeking a compliant expansion across the African continent.