PKF’s offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi provide payroll services to several local and international clients with employee strength ranging from 2 employees to 1,000+ employees.
PKF uses dedicated payroll software (the â€œSoftwareâ€) which enables it to meet the service requirements of its clients efficiently and in time, every time. The Software has features which prevent repetitive work, is flexible and can be customized to suit the requirements of individual clients. It is cloud-based and hence precludes the need to maintain hardware in-house and all the accompanying issues, of security, access, backup and confidentiality (all data is encrypted and stored). The database is maintained at two separate geographical locations and is synced in real time thus ensuring that data is available 99.99% of the time and is secure from geographic disruption. The setup of the payroll for a client commences with the basic data input, either manually or imported through an Excel/CSV format. This import facility is a great feature as the clientâ€™s payroll data, which is maintained generally in MS Excel, can be easily imported into the Software without the user having to undertake tedious data entry work which could result in duplication, errors and delays.
The functionalities built into the Software are not restricted to just payroll but extend to significant aspects of the Human Resource (HR) function. So in addition to capturing the basic payroll data such as basic pay, housing, travel, communication and other allowances etc., the Software also permits recording of the date of joining, issue and expiry of the employment visa, number of dependents, complete history of the employee in terms of promotion, transfer, increments etc.
The Software will also generate and forward email reminders for renewal of visas, driving licences, payment of rent, and school and club fees and other similar employee deadlines so that no major milestones are missed. It also provides for recording any assets the Company may have given to its employees on joining, such as laptop computers, mobile phones, vehicles, etc., and reminds the HR department to recover these assets when an employee is leaving the organisation.
The Software also tracks leave entitlement, leave availed and balance leave to the credit of the employee. It also facilitates the process of obtaining online approvals from different divisions to enable an employee to proceed on leave. Thus, once a user name and password is provided to an employee, the employee can log-in and check the leave to his or her credit, apply for leave online, which gets escalated to the immediate manager who receives intimation by email that the employee has applied for leave. The manager can then approve or disapprove or suggest a change in the requested leave period which again is relayed to the employee. Once the leave is approved the necessary records are updated. This makes the process entirely paperless and does not hold up a leave decision because the superior is not in the office or cannot sign a piece of paper and makes the process so much simpler and efficient, besides making an HR Manager’s job less stressful.
Other features include provision for employees to log-in and view their pay-slips, and print and submit this to a third party, such as a bank or an insurance company, or an embassy or consulate without having to rely on the HR Department.
The Software can generate several standard reports which are built in as a standard template. This ensures that the required reports are available to the HR and payroll team in each month or period. Some of the illustrative standard reports include:
- Monthly payroll report including listing of employees with breakdown of salary and total payment with relevant accounting codes.
- Provision for end-of-service benefits for the month and cumulative.
- Leave availed by employees during the month
- Employees who have joined or left the organisation
- Movement in the status of the employee including increments, promotions etc.
- Summarised journal entries for the month’s payroll for import into the accounting records.
In addition to the standard reports above, it is also possible to generate customised reports as the developer of the Software owns the source code and is able to make the necessary modifications to capture necessary data for generating customised reports. This ability of the Software to generate customised reports is critical to PKF for meeting the multiple reporting requirements of its clients. So for example, if the variance in the payroll as compared to the previous month is to be reported, the Software is able to generate such a report. The Software can also be integrated with other time and attendance solutions such as biometric attendance devices. This however may require some additional coding.
The Software is able to handle multiple companies and the access to each of the companies can be controlled and user rights provided for each major module of the Software. So a CEO or CFO may be given all pervasive rights to get access to all modules, whereas a junior employee in the HR division can be granted limited rights to only enter non-financial details of a new employee and sensitive information can be withheld. This ensures that confidential data is protected at all times.
(This article is compiled by Mr. Chaitanya G. Kirtikar, Manager, Offshore and Free Zone Services.)