Can Shift Scheduling Software Speed Up Payroll Processes?

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 01/08/2022
shift scheduling payroll

Slow payroll processes can cause a lot of harm to businesses. In this article, we want to talk to finance directors and business owners about how can they potentially speed it up through shift scheduling software.  It will be particularly relevant to readers who are implementing a shift-working approach. 




There is nothing more frustrating than putting in hours of work, delivering correct timesheets on time, submitting expense claims with relevant receipts attached… And not being paid on time. Delays in processing wages of hourly workers, as well as reimbursing their expenses, are direct results of a slow payroll. It brings frustration to the staff, kills their motivation and can downright drive them into quitting. As a cherry on top, the slow payroll process isn’t immune to errors to - it can still end up paying the employee less than what they’ve earned. Or, adding an additional lash on the business’ finances - more. 

If this sounds like a chaotic situation you wouldn’t like to find yourself in, it’s time to learn about preventative solutions. And if you already have bitter experiences caused by slow payroll procedures, you are already actively seeking them. This is what this article is about - learning to address and prevent payroll-induced nightmares by improving the process. 

Slow Payroll Processes Damage the Business

The payroll process is among the key procedures every business needs to have in place. More than that, they need to have it running smoothly and flawlessly, or else they’d be subjected to a plethora of legal issues. From paying employees to calculating taxes, the payroll is filled with details one needs to take into consideration, which often leads to longer processing times and potential delays. Taking the time, however, doesn’t mean there’s no room for error… So, can your business really afford a slow and still mistake-prone payroll? 

The simple answer is no. Not only can inefficient payroll hurt you from a legal standpoint, but this may become the root of your problems with the staff. In particular, this may damage employee retention as no one likes waiting for their paycheck. Or find out that were mistakes within it. A slower process would also mean you can’t scale effectively as to shoulder more workload, you will likely need to hire more staff. More employees on the payroll will be putting more strain on the accounting, and potentially extending the payroll processing time only further. In other words, this is one of the procedures that lay at the very foundation of the business: getting it wrong will affect plenty of other areas and prevent you from progressing. 

Address the Issue with Automation

The best way to address the deadweight that is an ineffective process is by handing it over to automation solutions. There are multiple benefits to that. First of all, this will mean the task won’t need to be done manually anymore, which is a huge advantage for the continuously busy accounting department. Secondly, this will reduce the possibility of human error. Finally, it will reduce the time of the process to sometimes literal seconds, all the while delivering new in-depth insights for future optimisation. 

Shift Scheduling, Timesheets and Accounting Solutions

The most effective businesses work as well-oiled machines. This means that not only do they have effective processes in place, but they also have all the departments aligned. It is often perceived as a challenge, mainly because customer-facing and back office teams don’t share many procedures in common. This means they are often dealing with different sorts of tasks, therefore are rarely included in one another’s workflows. This type of department siloing, however, leads to a lot of data lost without being put in different contexts, further leading to missed opportunities. 

Software integrations are what allow modern companies to easily build processes and workflows that connect different departments and let them access one another’s data. For example, by connecting a shift scheduling tool, a timesheet solution and an accounting platform via integrations, you can give the payroll processing time a massive boost. Simply put, shift schedules will be built in accordance with the timesheet data, showing how many hours the employee still has to work. Timesheets solution can then also calculate any additional rates such as overtime, expenses, etc. And instead of tasking the accounting with going through it on their own - it’s easily exported straight into the payroll software with just a click.

Central Document Storage for Easier Management

To further increase visibility between the parts of the company that don’t normally work together, centralised document storage would be greatly beneficial. We can use the same software setup from above. Everyone’s life would be a whole lot easier if there was one platform containing information such as past schedules, submitted timesheets, expense claims, invoices, reports and others. 

It would be particularly beneficial for the accountants who occasionally need to double-check a lot of documented facts. For example, if they suspect a mistake in the payroll, it will be easier for them to pull easily accessible files themselves than chasing the person who may have them via emails. Another advantage would be audits - these always run much smoother when everything is nicely organised at the same location. 

Benefits of Automated Shift Scheduling 

The above-described functionality of a shift scheduling tool offers massive help in building quicker payroll procedures. However, these are not the only useful features the solution offers to the accounting and other non-customer-facing departments. While it is naturally perceived to be a tool aimed at actual shift workers and the management, it doesn’t mean the entire company can’t benefit from it.

Compliance and Reduced Error Rate 

It may at first sound odd, but a scheduling tool can help your business stay compliant. Especially if you combine it with other solutions like holiday management software or timesheets. When working in tandem (or if all functions exist within the same tool), this helps you stay on top of employee management-related compliances. For example, the software won’t give hours to an employee who’s been working past their weekly/monthly workable hour limit. Additionally, it will be considerate of factors such as minimum holiday entitlement. 

Not only does it help you to stay out of the hot water without much effort on your behalf, but it also guards you against making mistakes in relation to these. For example, when last-second time-off requests are handled via emails or calls, they can be easily lost or forgotten, skewing your data. When processed through a designated platform, they are recorded and help you deal with potential inconvenience they bring in advance. 

Easier Reporting

Reporting, similarly to payroll, is another vital process every business must have in place. It allows you to track the process your company is making, compare your results to previous periods and identify what are the strengths and weaknesses of your strategy. From department-siloed reports and individual worker performance reports to giant annual company reports, this is your way to access and analyse data. 

The problem is that similarly to payroll, it can be very time-consuming when done manually. Especially as volumes of metrics and the number of reports required grow. Pulling data from different sources to cram them into one centralised document is a long process when done manually. Typos that happen can then entirely ruin the outcome of the analysis, leading to bad decision-making. And, depending on the size and complexity of the report, it can take up to months to complete. However, when you’re using an integrated tech stack, all your data will be collected and put in a visual analysis for you. That includes crucial data collected by a scheduling tool, of course. 

It’s Time to Embrace Digital Transformation

Business digitisation is a rapid process that’s taking over the world. It cannot be stopped and the longer you postpone your business from undergoing it, the more difficult it will be for you to compete. Digital transformation is evergreen as it constantly collects data you can then act upon - and your actions will result in a new type of data. In other words, there’s no limit to optimisation, and that’s why every business needs to begin its journey as soon as it can.

Becoming Data-Driven

We live in the era of data overload and businesses that are not utilising it are bound to fall behind. However, collecting data alone isn’t enough - you also need to be able to segment, visualise and analyse it for it to be useful. Problem is, it’s humanely impossible to do all that, especially when dealing with the volumes of information we are exposed to today. And this is why we need automation.

Correct and relevant data can skyrocket your business’s growth if put to the right action. Basing your business on the numbers collected through automated processes, be this patching a hole in a strategy or jumping the new opportunity is what makes your company data-driven. Instead of guessing what you should do next, you have data to guide you in the right direction. There is no other way to achieve that other than embracing digitisation and digital transformation. 


There are several pillar processes that are the cornerstone of every business - one of them being payroll. However, despite its important role, it’s also often very complex, prone to mistakes and time-consuming. Both errors and delays can cost your company a lot, not from just a financial standpoint but also in regards to lost trust, client dissatisfaction and low employee retention. But there are ways to improve in all these regards. 

Although shift scheduling software is a tool mostly utilised by client-facing departments, it’s also immensely useful to back office staff. If you get your hands on a solution that’s integrating with other tools your business has, it can significantly reduce the time payroll processing normally takes. Digital transformation and a data-driven approach are what businesses of today need as it enables different departments to reach alignment through automated streamlined workflows. Missing on the opportunity to adopt them now will give your competitors an upper hand.

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