COVID-19 Impact On Payroll And Payroll Fraud

Posted on May 13, 2020
Written By QX Global Group

COVID-19 Impact On Payroll And Payroll Fraud

Covid-19 has created an entirely new type of challenge for the government, businesses, and the public. The lockdown and restrictions laid down by the authorities created new work paradigms at scales that were rarely seen before. Many tech giants allowed a significant percentage of their employees to work from home. But that was for entirely different reasons.

In the current pandemic, many companies are forced to close their offices while many have found ways to allow and equip their employees to work from home. While this may seem to be an innovative way to not just deal with the current crisis but also to become future-ready, you should expect certain implications on payroll. This scenario also creates possibilities for payroll fraud.

Remote Payroll Operation

The first challenge that businesses are going to face is the question of operating their payrolls remotely. This will require your payroll and HR employees to access your systems from their homes. In normal circumstances, you would be looking at the centralized and efficiency-focused benefits of cloud-based solutions and digital workflows. However, in the current situation, you would really want to appreciate the remote capabilities of these technologies.

Such technologies can help your business in so many ways:

  • Your payroll processes will no longer have to depend on local and human interactions.
  • Data and documents are stored securely and centrally. All authorized team members have access at any time or anywhere.
  • You can use digital means for distributing payments and pay slips to employees.

However, the challenge that many employers are facing is the lack of full digitization of their payroll environment. The current crisis means that you should take the steps to do so.

Challenge of Sick Leaves & Staff Shortages

As the number of Covid-19 cases increases, more people are going to apply for sick leave. Everyone may not be infected by the virus. Many employees may need family leaves to take care of a loved one who may be sick or in quarantine. As an employer, you will have to find alternatives or some solutions to handle their duties. If your primary payroll owner is not available, it can be difficult finding a local backup in this current crisis.

Since payrolls are country-specific, it can be a challenge to have a global team member handle your payrolls in a different country. If your company’s payroll platforms and processes are standardized, this can become simpler. This can mean:

  • Same basic steps are taken
  • Same tools are used
  • Payroll data collection and comparison processes are the same

If this is the case, it will become easier to have other team members take care of your payroll. So when you standardize the tools and processes across your entire organization, it can help in addressing payroll challenges that can arise in times of crises like these.

Payroll Frauds

With significant payroll challenges arising during this difficult time, it is important to beware of potential payroll frauds. This is a challenge in itself and it can create significant threats to your business.

Some of the steps you may take to prevent these frauds in your organization are listed below:

  • Monitor payroll reports: This crisis has created an atmosphere of relaxed controls, increasing the risks of fraud. Make sure to monitor the payroll reports closely.
  • Assign Separate Tasks: Assign different payroll tasks to different employees. For example, a separate employee can be assigned to make changes to payroll reports than the one processing the payroll.
  • Auditing: Regular audits to reconcile payroll can help identify cases of fraud.

These are difficult times for businesses of all sizes. It is important that you take the right steps to address the payroll challenges your company is facing. With the government announcing many stimulus packages, especially for employers that continue to retain and support their employees, you cannot afford to take your payroll processes lightly.

QXAS is helping clients for COVID-19 stimulus package. Book a free consultation now to know how can you avail these benefits

Originally published May 13, 2020 12:05:32, updated Jan 18 2022


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