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How Churches Can Overcome Payroll and HR Technology Gaps
Originally published in CO+OP Magazine
Churches and ministries are familiar with adapting to changing situations. A recent example is churches who have conducted virtual sermons to support their congregations in remaining healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Churches do a wonderful job of keeping the best interests of their members at heart during times of change. It’s equally important to take care of those who run the day-to-day operations of faith-based organizations.
One of the best ways religious organizations can care for their employees during a transitionary period is through payroll and HR technology. To do this, churches must first identify the inefficiencies in their current solution. In this article, church leaders will learn how to identify payroll and HR technology challenges in their existing systems. They will also learn how to improve their employees’ experience while working for the church by closing those gaps.
Common Payroll and HR Technology Gaps
You may have experienced payroll and HR technology gaps without even realizing it. Some of these gaps could include:
Limited employee visibility and access to information like current benefit plans.
The inefficiency of managing employee data, such as wage rates and tax deductions, in multiple systems.
A disconnect between your payroll and accounting information, causing duplicate data entry or incorrect reporting.
If you’ve experienced any of these challenges, then you have gaps in your payroll and HR technology. This means your church could be exposed to potential monetary losses due to compliance fines imposed by the IRS, inaccurate employee information, and diminished employee experience.
Overcoming Payroll and HR Technology Gaps
While these technology gaps may be challenging, adopting a unified payroll and HR platform will allow you to automate your ministry’s payroll and HR processes, and create a more engaging employee experience. Here are some examples of how you can close your church’s payroll and HR technology gaps
Self-service applications provide a streamlined way to share information and create autonomy among your employees. It’s important for church staff to have access to payroll and HR information from any device, no matter where they’re serving. Empower your staff with visibility to the following information:
Benefits enrollment details to confirm accuracy and coverage.
Timecard information and the status of PTO requests.
Tax forms for employees who were furloughed, let go, or rehired.
Self-service apps allow ministries to communicate with their employees and volunteers using alerts and newsfeeds. When managing remote employees or multiple campuses, self-service communication tools keep your church staff and volunteers engaged.
Integrations With Church Financials
The relationship between payroll and finance data is especially important for ministries, as salaries are primarily self-funded by the church. Integrating your ministry’s finance system with your payroll solution ensures information is pulled from the proper fund allocations. Unifying payroll and finance data provides visibility into budget reports so churches know exactly how money is being distributed.
Wages and deductions are accurately pulled from your payroll solution and reflected in the accounting system to provide better insight into your church’s financials. Leaders have better visibility into the allocation of budget funds because the data is accurate. This allows them to make informed decisions about the church’s future and invest dollars back into their ministry.
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In the event of a crisis or national emergency, cloud-based paperless payroll lets you remotely pay your employees by direct deposit, or paycard, regardless of where your employees are located. Timely paychecks keep employees happy, and paperless payroll reduces printing costs associated with physical checks.
You can take this a step further by eliminating paper timesheets and time cards. When time tracking data is housed in the same database as payroll data, employees are paid accurately and on time. This also saves church HR managers from correcting payroll errors after processing and issuing off-cycle paychecks.
Whether managing your church staff remotely or across multiple campuses, they need access to important documents like employee handbooks and benefits information. Online document management makes it easy for ministries to store congregational and employee-specific paperwork in a central location for better visibility.
Another important aspect of document management is tracking employee and volunteer signatures. Payroll and HR technology provides the ability to electronically sign documents, like updated church policies or time cards, ensuring acknowledgment and compliance.
Leveraging Technology in the New Normal
By identifying and correcting gaps in payroll and HR technology, churches can become better stewards of their finances by driving down costs and putting more funds into the congregation’s mission.
Employees and volunteers are satisfied with the flexibility and ease-of-use, while the organization becomes more resilient and cost-efficient. As the workplace becomes more fluid, ministries using an all-in-one payroll and HR platform can easily adapt to whatever the future holds.
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