How to reduce payroll inquiries

Payroll departments spend a great deal of time answering employee questions about their pay.  Though most questions are simple enoughto answer, when they are multiplied by the number of employees in the company, the aggregate amount of time spent on responses can be quite high.

If the payroll staff can compile a list of the most commonly asked questions by employees, it would not be an especially long list – perhaps just twenty or so questions for a basic payroll system, and maybe twice that amount if they also handle benefits through the payroll system.  Given the high proportion of questions dealing with a limited number of issues, this is an ideal area in which to create answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and post them on a company intranet site.  You then direct employees to the FAQs list, which leaves the payroll staff with just the more complex questions to answer.  Sample FAQs are as follows:

  • Question: If I am on direct deposit, at what time of day on pay day will my pay be deposited in my checking account?

Answer: Your pay will be available in your checking account as of 8 a.m. on pay day.

  • If pay day falls on a weekend, when am I paid?

Answer: If the pay day falls on a weekend, you will be paid as of the first business day prior to that weekend.

  • Can I get an advance on my next paycheck?

Answer: No.  The company policy is to never issue pay advances under any circumstances.

  • If I resign from the company, when will I be paid my final paycheck?

Answer: If you voluntarily leave the company, you will be paid as part of the next regularly scheduled payroll.

  • How much unused vacation time can I roll forward into next year?

Answer: You can roll 40 hours forward.  For exceptional cases, you must apply to your department manager for a waiver.

Though these FAQs can also be listed in the employee manual, employees do not always refer to that document.  By also presenting them on the intranet site (which employee tend to access more frequently, especially if it is a rich, multi-function site), there is a much greater chance that employees will access the FAQs instead of the payroll staff.