Payroll is open to error!

First published: 3/7/22

Last Modified: 3/7/22, 2:34 PM

Even a small error in payroll can have a big impact upon the employee… or employer… or both.


1 little number out of place

Wrong details used in a calculation

A deadline missed

A check box not ticked

A piece of legislation forgotten…

… and… uh oh… you’ve gone and done it…

You’ve made an error


Even a small error in payroll can have a big impact upon the employee… or employer… or both.


Now… everything can be fixed.  But it might hurt a little in the process.  Best to make sure you have robust procedures in place to help prevent errors happening in the first place.


Errors can happen for a number of reasons…

  • Poor quality of data provided
  • Rushing to meet a deadline
  • Too much manual entry
  • Misunderstandings – between employee and employer, or employer and 3rd party
  • Not remembering to complete all the tasks necessary


But don’t worry there’s also a number of things you can do to help prevent errors from happening…


You can use CPR for payroll:

C             -              Checklist

There are a number of tasks to complete when processing payroll, such as; adding new starts, processing leavers, updating addresses/bank details/employee rates, check if anyone needs to be auto-enrolled into the pension, submitting the FPS, submitting an EPS if required, uploading the pension schedule, and so on.  A Checklist is simply a list of all the tasks that need to be completed for the payroll, in the order they need to be completed in, and that can be ticked off as they’re completed, so you know exactly what’s left to do and no task gets missed.

P             -              Pocket

Not everything you receive for processing through the payroll needs to be actioned straight away.  Sometimes you can receive things that need to be processed next month, or maybe a few months down the line.  There’s a high potential for these items to be lost or forgotten about.  One way to help with this is to create what I call a ‘Pocket’.  The information is put into the Pocket when received, then before processing each pay run you check the Pocket to see what needs to be included in that pay run.  The Pocket can be simply a plastic polypocket, or a folder where everything relating to the payroll is kept.  Historically, I used a polypocket (hence the name ‘Pocket’), but now I use a folder in our email inbox as most things are electronic these days.  Always looking to save on paper too…help the environment!

R             -              Reconciling

Using Excel spreadsheets and, importing and exporting from your payroll software allows you to reconcile the data that’s in the payroll software, with what data you’ve received for processing to ensure no inputting errors, or that the system hasn’t calculated anything additional that you might not have been aware of.  All data that you’re entering should be checked.  Inputting errors are one of the most common errors in payroll.  When dealing with a lot of numbers, hours, it can be easy for your line of view to go a bit skewiff or a number to be transposed.  Reducing the amount of manual entering for the payroll also help with this.


In addition, a Payroll Calendar can help.  It details the deadlines for the payroll, and can help keep you on track so that you don’t miss a deadline.  Also, documenting your payroll process helps everyone know what needs to be done and how to do it, which saves time and errors.


There are many different little things you can add to your payroll process to help tighten it up and reduce the chances of an error occurring.  The above is just a few of my suggestions to help you on your way to a simpler payroll process.



Chanonry Payroll Solutions Ltd


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