Small Business Help

Living Paycheck to Paycheck Leaves No Room for Payroll Errors

Joseph Patterson | September 4, 2018

The importance of getting payroll right every time

In May, the United Nations issued a report to the Human Rights Council on poverty in the United States. Based on extensive research by Special Reporter Philip Alston conducted in December of last year, the mission found that around “40 million U.S. citizens live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty.” Since then, several studies have been conducted on the state of poverty in America. A report by The Urban Institute, for example, was released this August and found that around 40 percent of Americans are struggling to pay for food and other basic needs. For many US citizens living on the margins of society and working hard to make ends meet, receiving an inaccurate or late paycheck could be the last straw.QuickBooks Payroll commissioned a survey of 1,000 U.S. employees over the age of 18 to find out how they usually spend their paycheck, the emotion getting that paycheck brings, and how long their money lasts after payday.* To determine the importance of a regular paycheck, the survey also asked respondents if they’ve ever received a paycheck with errors. Surprisingly, 1 in 4 employees says they’ve received a paycheck with errors, and an even more surprising 1 in 6 said they’d quit their job over a single inaccurate paycheck.  For business owners and administrators, this statistic should be alarming. As a large portion of the workforce struggles to stay above the poverty line, those mistakes could be a problem that sends them looking for different opportunities. If employee retention is important to you, and especially if you hire hourly, part-time, or low-income workers, making sure payroll is out on time every time is critical to your business and the livelihood of your employees. One business can’t solve the world's problems. And with our country’s unemployment at a recent low, many people are thankful simply to be employed. But as we look forward, businesses large and small will have to think harder about the welfare of their teams, and how to make sure they are getting paid fairly every time. As it stands, one paycheck with an incorrect number on the dollar amount line could be the difference between fed and not fed. To be sure you’re employees are getting every penny they deserve, it’s critical to automate your time tracking, reports, and payroll process to reduce the likelihood of human error.
*Methodology: In 2018, QuickBooks Payroll commissioned Pollfish to survey 1,000 employees (age 18+) from businesses throughout the US about their payday experiences. 
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