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How Payroll Savvy are you?

Payroll and all of its facets is often high on the pharmacy owner’s headache list. Awards, timesheets, rostering and payroll cycles are all critical factors to a pharmacy’s bottom line and incredibly important to get right. Stuff it up, and you could face major financial setbacks or even more seriously, legal ramifications. Sticking your head in the sand simply ain’t gonna cut the mustard – but luckily, we’re here to make sure you keep on the straight and narrow when it comes to keeping your payroll processing ducks in a row. Here are four things to look out for – and where automation is your friend! In this example we’ve used a pharmacy – that’s my area of expertise! – but you can apply these principles across many industries.

Payroll cycles

Paying staff weekly or fortnightly means that twice a year, there are months that have five payroll days (weekly) or three payroll days (fortnightly). As an owner, it’s profoundly important you should know when these months are, so you can plan for them from a cashflow perspective. If you don’t plan ahead, you could find yourself short changed and empty of pocket when going to buy stock or worse, cough up and pay your hard-working staff.

Look ahead 12-months and determine your three payroll periods (if you’re paying fortnightly) and set up reminders in your calendar in advance. This way you can anticipate ahead of time and make allowances for the hit, such as focusing on reducing stock purchases for that month.

Time clocking

It sparks incredulity that many pharmacies are still manually clocking on and off. Not only does this allow for a lot of human error when employees enter their hours – most often accidently, but sometimes deliberately – but it’s a waste of valuable time for the pharmacy owner when wading through hours at payroll time, checking for discrepancies.

You may think that five minutes here or there is not going to amount to much, but you’d be amazed at what adds up over a year when you have numerous employees! If you’re paying 10 employees five minutes extra a day, at $20 an hour, that’s an additional $17,500 a year! No small change.

Jumping on the automated time-capture train is critical here. There are a number of processes available, such as fingerprint scanners for clocking on and off which, when fully integrated in your payroll system, removes all the leg work for pharmacy owners. When the data is automatically linked to your employee’s timesheet and then to payroll, the need to hover over and micromanage pharmacy workers is slashed – meaning more time for the important stuff.


Managers everywhere rejoice – manual timesheets are a thing of the past! Just like with your time clocking process, timesheets can be automated, ensuring less room for human error. This means you can also set the bar and expectations when it comes to business regulations automatically, like overtime. No longer do you have to pore over ambiguous timesheets and clarify with team members when they’ve put down overtime. Instead, an alert will notify you that there has been an exception – and you can make a judgement call from there.

Managing Awards

It’s nightmare number one – getting your employee’s Award wrong and quickly marking up a large payroll debt – or getting a call from an industry body. The Award system can be incredibly complicated, changing regularly from year to year. Once again, updating your systems to include automation is a step in the right direction to ensure you do the right thing by your staff and by the law. If in doubt, give us a buzz – we’re good at this stuff!

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