Payroll impacts many areas of a business in a thousand small ways, with the most important being to pay employees accurately and on time. Payroll is rarely contacted when things go right; no ‘way to go!’ every two weeks when pay is delivered on time, and few praises of gratitude are shared during Year-End when T4s are received issue-free.

But when things go wrong: time. stands. still.

Last weekend, a story was published about a large-scale payroll error for part-time Air Canada employees. As cited by CityNews, there was a discrepancy between how much they were paying their part-time employees versus their full-time employees. Their intent was to provide a wage increase for full-time workers hired after a specific date, but instead, they increased wages for all workers. Once the mistake was identified, part-time workers received an email stating that they had: “identified an error in the system that may have resulted in a higher hourly rate. They have made the necessary corrections and effective July 24, 2022, the pay rate will be adjusted to $16.60/hr [the lower rate].”

This is definitely one of the worst-case scenarios. Not only was there an error, but it was an error that actually cost the company a lot of money and meant they were going to have to scale back pay to their employees. But the reality is that this is just one example, albeit a big one, of the types of errors and risks that payroll teams navigate each day.

We understand that mistakes can happen, but when you have the right software partner there are certain checks and balances you can implement to ensure that you are always paying the right employees, the right amount, at the right time.

5 ways Avanti can help you avoid payroll errors

When it comes down to it, making sure you're familiar with all the capabilities of your payroll software can ensure you've mitigated risk as much as possible. We spoke with our clients and product experts and summarized some of the key features within our software that help them ensure they're getting payroll right.

Custom Reporting

When leveraged properly, reporting can be a crucial tool in your tool belt. It allows you to compare data before and after significant changes to ensure accuracy. So let’s say you wanted to increase wages for a specific employee type hired after a specific date — you could easily create a filtered report so you have an accurate listing of employees who were supposed to get an increase. In order to ensure everything was correct, you could cross-reference the report, before and after the change was done. Within Avanti, we have a very sophisticated, but easy-to-use report designer that helps you pull custom information at the drop of a hat. We try to make it as easy as possible for users to have access to critical data points to ensure that these types of errors are mitigated.

Rate Grids

When dealing with complex workforces our clients find that employing Rate Grids can be extremely beneficial, especially when dealing with unionized pay scales. For example, you can set up multiple rate grids, i.e. one for your part-time employees and one for your full-time employees. That way, when you need to make a change to one or the other you just increase the rate on a certain Rate Grid, without having to manually divide between worker-type. Plus, once a mass rate change is done, an audit report can be pulled to show which employees were changed as a second check.

Avanti software report screen example

Templated Reports

Taking that extra step after payroll is processed to ensure everything went off without a hitch is always a smart move. Our clients have the option to leverage our nearly 175+ templated reports. One of the most helpful is our Net Pay Comparison report which showcases variance amounts in pay runs. Once a big change is made, running this quick pre-built report would show the payroll team that there was a large variance for a specific unintended group and they'd be able to roll back immediately (at no extra cost). In addition to our Net Pay Comparison, other helpful reports for error mitigation are:

  • Payroll Register
  • Payroll Summary
  • Rate Increase Reports
  • Audit Logs

Sandbox Environment

When you’re making a big purchase, like buying a car, you usually want to “try before you buy” right? Well, why should payroll be any different? With Avanti, we have a sandbox environment to test and experiment with before processing a final pay run. When making large-scale updates, our clients swear by the ability to “play before they pay.” Each sandbox environment mimics their live instance of Avanti so clients are able to test and launch updates to ensure everything is firing properly before pushing them to a production database. This helps eliminate any pre-payroll run anxiety and helps build confidence within payroll teams.

Knowledgeable Partner

Our clients often have to handle everything with teams of just one or two folks. Our Client Care team is there for you to resolve any issues you may experience with your software with minimal impact or disruption to your day. Every Client Care team member has a background in payroll, client care, human resources, finance, or communications, and each team member holds or is working towards Canadian Payroll Association certifications.

Additional Reading Links

Put your mind at ease on payday

With Avanti’s flexible in-house solution, you can run your payroll accurately and confidently. With smoother processes, automated workflows, and a supported team—we’ve got you. Avanti helps you bring it all together to make your workdays a breeze. 300+ Canadian companies use Avanti every day. See why.

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