The Risk Of Payroll Fraud Is Real

October 15, 2017

Broadly defined, payroll fraud is the theft of cash from a business via the payroll processing system. Contrary to popular belief, payroll fraud is a widespread issue that is not defeated by technology. Rather, technology is the main perpetrator of payroll frauds.

With the rapid advancements in technology today, payroll frauds these days go beyond a case whereby an employee requests for a cash advancement and fails to pay back the company. In fact, payroll crimes have evolved alongside technology, becoming more stealth and difficult to nab.

Based on a 2016 study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), it revealed that payroll fraud and cheque tampering are the two most common fraud cases out of 2,400 instances of fraud globally. Moreover, cheque tampering is considered the most costly type of fraud case, with companies incurring a median cost of approximately USD158,000 per instance! Additionally, the study also reported that the occurrence of cheque tampering and payroll fraud were twice as common in small organisations as opposed to large organisations.

Related reading: Using Technology for other HR Functions Besides Payroll

However, payroll fraud can take any form – from creating a ghost employee to photographing cheques with a smartphone for deposit purposes. Moreover, organisations of all sizes are susceptible to the various types of payroll fraud. This could ultimately result in hefty revenue losses, sky-high legal fees, reputation damage and in worst cases, closure of a business.

Nevertheless, there are various strategies that can be implemented to combat payroll fraud. Here are some ways that can help to prevent and detect payroll fraud.

1. Payroll analytics reports

Engaging a payroll outsourcing vendor to help generate audit and payroll analytics report can assist in spotting any fraudulent activity and ghost employees. For instance, it can help to identify any duplicate employees or analyse monthly overtime pay or employee claims.

2. Direct salary deposits through a vendor

Most small businesses might still be issuing traditional salary cheques to employees. Disbursing salary to employees through a vendor might mitigate risks of unapproved or unauthorised wire transfers. While it might impose additional costs to the organisation, it could help reduce the number of hefty losses due to payroll frauds in the long run.

3. Beef up security on the payroll system

Employees in the payroll department should impose strict security and password protocols. Access to the payroll department should be controlled and printers as well as copiers should be kept in secured areas. Similarly, organisations that engage a payroll vendor should reach out to find out about their payroll system security protocols as well.

As mentioned, all companies are prone to payroll fraud, from both internal and external sources. As the payroll schemes continue to evolve, organisations should always be on the ball to defend against fraudulent activity by understanding the potential weaknesses within their payroll processes or systems. That way, organisations can always be one step ahead in preventing opportunities for these perpetrators to commit payroll crimes.

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This is a guest post from RenQun Huang at Gpayroll
Want to read more articles related to payroll, HR & technology? Visit us at Gpayroll

3 Gigantic Signs You’re a Cruel Boss and How to Change It

October 10, 2017

Let me set this straight. It’s not your employees; it’s YOU. The problem is with YOU, the boss!

I bet you swore to yourself that when the time comes where you’re already the boss, you will do things in a different manner. Let’s face it. We have so many things in mind that we want to do when we’re already the one managing people. And luckily, that time came in your life – you’re already the boss.

Of course, no one started their career wanting to be a monstrous boss. You perhaps even planned to reward the set of people who perform well or to rent a whole beach resort for your company’s founding anniversary.

But how can you even make all your plans possible when the phone rings every single minute, emails are popping now and then, and clients are threatening to cancel the deal with you? Can you still maintain your cool even when every single thing that’s happening in the workplace seems to push your buttons?

With all that’s going on, do you even have the energy and most importantly the time to think about implementing all of the plans you have for the company and think about how to be  a compassionate boss?

I know you would probably tell us this: “Imagine how hard it is to balance everything – the success of the company, the employees’ jobs, which includes those that complain about their jobs and those you want to fire, and retaining the clients?”

But if you agree with the things written above, congratulations, you just turned out to be the person you promised yourself you would never be.

A perfect job is not only about a competitive salary package or doing what you’re passionate about, but it also has to have a peaceful working environment and a boss that understands his employees.

However, not all companies have this overall complete package. Whether we admit it or not, this will affect our employees’ attitude towards work and may even make our employees want to quit their jobs.

So, in this article, we gathered three signs of being a horrible boss and how to correct it. Check this out and do a self-assessment afterward.

1. You’re scaring everyone (even the delivery boy from the courier).

You’ve seen these things in the movies or TV. You know, when everyone laughs so much at your joke that even you think it’s stupid. Also, do you notice that whenever you pass through the hallway, everyone stops talking and goes back to their cubicles even if they’re discussing the marketing plan they’ll present to you a little moment from now?

Stop being clueless! If this happens frequently, then you just turned out to be the horrible boss you had despised before you became a person who manages people.

What you have to do is to assure your employees that you’re a very approachable person. There are bad days, for sure, but make them understand that whenever you go through these days, they can still come freely inside your office if they need clarifications or have suggestions.

2. You noticed that the workers in the company are busier whenever you are around.

You’ll surely see this when you’re checking the CCTV. Some employees may be gathering in a circle and laughing, and when you go out to check them, they seem to go back to their desks and pretend that they’re busy. Sometimes, you also notice that they are already making huge decisions without consulting you first.

They don’t think you’re incompetent. Of course, you wouldn’t be a boss without your skills. They are just scared of asking questions since you’re a horrible boss. What do you expect? Do you expect that they would still approach you even if your mood swings are just as horrifying as you are?

What you can do is to try making small talk with your employees. Build relationships with them. If you have time, join them for lunch. Or better yet, treat your whole team to lunch and dinner. Show appreciation for their hard work. Show them that you value everything they’ve done for the entire team.

You can also stage a team building exercise where you can bond with your employees. A team building exercise is a good way to build trust within the team. Another way is to go into a huddle on Monday mornings and check in your employees. Ask them about their weekend activities. It’s a good way to prep them for the grind ahead. Or you could do it on Fridays, after a tiring week of work. Treat your employees to a dinner or night out to unwind and cool down.

By creating such opportunities for interaction, you’re creating a personal connection with them. This makes it easy for them to open up to you and see you as a friendly and approachable manager.

3. You’re threatening your employees, and you think it’s motivation.

Telling your employee that if you lose this client, you’ll fire him, or telling them that if any employee arrives late (for the first time) will merit a 3-day suspension without pay, is not a good way of motivating your employee. If you do these acts, then guess what, you just became “that” boss.

Motivation comes in different forms. It may be either a bonus, commission, paid vacation leave or even a commendation. One concrete example is to give them constant feedback, be it good or encouraging or critical. Either way, an employee will know which aspect of his work he or she needs to improve.

Acknowledging your employee’s achievements is also a potent moral-booster. Don’t hesitate to congratulate your employee whenever he or she does something good that benefits the whole team and the company. Let your employees know that you appreciate and value the things they have done for you, the team and the company.

Related reading: 5 ways to incentivise employees without burning a hole in your pocket

Don’t forget the power of communication. Good communication is everything. It’s the first step towards transparency and a harmonious work relationship with your employees. For instance, you can greet your employees every morning or bid them goodbye after work. It will show that you’re a boss who knows his or her way around people.

What’s best is to use the other forms of motivation just like those mentioned above. Choosing the latter will not only scare your employees. In some instances, it may also damage their passion for their job, and worse, they might quit. Losing people is never good.

Takeaway

Becoming a boss is never easy, and no one said it is. You’ve got a wide array of responsibilities, and you need to play different roles: a boss, a friend, a shock absorber, a HR personnel, and sometimes a guidance counselor.

Aside from that, you also have to think about the future of the company, the jobs of your employees, and the business of your clients. But instead of taking it as an opportunity to scold and scare everyone in the office, why not take it as a challenge to be the boss you’ve always dreamed of becoming?

Be the person who clears away tension in the workplace, not the one starting it.

 

Author Bio

This is a guest post submitted by Patrick Panuncillon, and edited by Dragon Law.

The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.

As an entrepreneur, Patrick Panuncillon has years of experience in SEO campaign management and he’s the heart and brain of LinkVista Digital Inc., a digital marketing and online solutions company in the Philippines. He also has an excellent track record in entrepreneurship. Patrick handled several campaigns for local and international companies. He also loves to help and guide young people to become effective leaders in their field.

Using Technology For Other HR Functions Besides Payroll

October 8, 2017

Unsurprisingly, most people think that HR technology simply means enhancing payroll with technological tools. With the buzz around Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) or cloud-based payroll, there is no denying that technology has certainly streamlined and enhance payroll processes by leaps and bounds. However, there are other numerous HR functions that actually adopt technological tools to help optimise operations and improve efficiency. Here are other HR functions besides payroll whereby technology have a significant impact on.

Recruitment

Before the internet, recruiters have to rely on print publications such as newspapers or job flyers to advertise and get prospects for open positions. With the rise of networking applications such as LinkedIn and JobStreet, this is has certainly made recruiting much more effective. Not only does it help recruiters to reach out to a wider pool of candidates, it helps them narrow down to specific talents pools for the various job positions as well.

Related reading: Optimise your hiring process: A guide for small businesses

Data Storage and Retrieval

Given the number of employees that HR has to handle, it is expected that there would be a considerable amount of paperwork involved. Moreover, the HR department also have to keep most of these paperwork on file for a considerable period of time. Thanks to cloud-based applications, there is no longer the problem of “lack of storage space”. Technology has made it extremely easy for HR professionals to store large amounts of employees’ data online and easily retrieve this information whenever possible. Moreover, with the advancements in cyber security, the HR department can easily set up a strong online security system to prevent other employees from snooping around to gain access to these confidential information.

Training

Information technology has made it possible for HR professionals to train new and existing employees in a more efficient manner. The ability to access company information and training materials from remote locations eliminates the need for HR trainers to travel down just for a one hour session explaining the company’s HR policies. Moreover, the option of virtual classrooms makes it easier for the HR professional to train a large number of employees quickly and assess their progress through computerized testing programs as well.

Related reading: 5 top tips for onboarding new hires

Performance Management

Enhanced performance management is another by-product of technological improvements in the HR space. A formal employee review every half a year is fast becoming obsolete. HR professionals are now using software to assess employee performance and collect real-time employee feedback for the betterment of the company. Additionally, there are various software programs that allow HR professionals to analyse employee performance on a more granular level using metrics. This then helps the HR department to determine if employees are meeting the performance standards.

With properly deployed technology within the HR department, companies can reap the benefits of improved efficiency and lower costs. Additionally, it is key for employees to also equip themselves with the necessary technological skills in order to thrive in the digital age that we now live in. With a proper technology strategy within the HR department, it can in turn help the company to stay solvent in the tech-drive future.

Claim your free trial. Start drafting legal documents with Dragon Law today.

This is a guest post from RenQun Huang at Gpayroll
Want to read more articles related to payroll, HR & technology? Visit us at Gpayroll

Optimise your hiring process: A guide for small businesses

October 3, 2017

As a small business owner, the process of selecting and hiring new recruits can be both exhilarating and stressful. Every hiring decision that you make incurs time and resources, and you will only be able to see a return on your investment further down the line. The challenges that small business owners face in the hiring process include a lack of in-house human resources (HR) expertise as well as difficulty in identifying and communicating the uniqueness of your business and gaining access to top talent. Here, we give top tips for optimising your hiring process in order to maximise your ability to select the right talent despite limited resources.

1. Determine whether you need an employee or a freelancer  

Whenever you need to recruit someone to fulfil a set of tasks and responsibilities, first think about whether you really require a full-time employee to fill the role. It may be the case that hiring an independent contractor (otherwise known as a freelancer) may offer greater flexibility and better meet the needs of your business, for instance by providing an independent opinion or giving you access to a wider network and cheaper resources. There is also the option of converting a freelancer to a full-time hire if you like the work produced. Here are some factors to consider when determining whether to hire a full-timer or engage a freelancer:

  • Cost. Given that freelancers may not be entitled to certain statutory benefits (e.g. insurance), engaging a freelancer for a fixed-term project may help you save on costs (e.g. office space).
  • Risk. Engaging freelancers may reduce your risk as an employee since they may not have the right to statutory benefits and are easier to terminate and replace if the engagement is not working out.
  • Quality. As freelancers do projects for a range of clients, they typically come with more experience and strive to put in their best work in order to maintain the relationship.
  • Global Reach. If the work can be done remotely, engaging a freelancer gives you access to more options, especially if you want someone with a specific skillset, background or prior experience.
  • Availability. Compared to freelancers who may be working for a range of clients at any given point in time, employees are committed to be available on your schedule and you can manage their workload accordingly.
  • Relationship Building. If the nature of the role is one that involves building and maintaining a client base, having someone who knows your company inside out and can leverage that knowledge to your advantage is beneficial.
  • Training and Supervision. If the role is one that has long lead time for training and requires oversight, it might be better to recruit a full-time employee whose progress you will be able to monitor on a day-to-day basis.
  • Commitment. A full-time employee is more likely to feel a greater degree of commitment to your company and therefore be more motivated to add to the bottom line.

Adapted from Recruiterbox

It is also important to be aware of the different rights and obligations your business has depending on whether you hire an employee or an independent contractor. The Employment Contract you sign with your employee establishes an employment relationship and creates a legal duty that your business has towards the employee.

In contrast, you will sign a Consultancy Agreement when engaging a freelancer, and this should make clear that there is no employment relationship created.

2. Tap into job portals to find potential candidates

Job portals that allow business owners to advertise their positions allow you to reach a wide audience and help you shortlist applicants for the next stage of the hiring process. In Singapore, apart from Jobs Bank, which is a free government-run platform managed by the Workforce Development Agency, there are a whole host of other job portals that you can check out. In Hong Kong, there is Jobs DB and Career Times.

Related reading: 4 platforms to source freelancers in Australia & New Zealand

Source: Upwork

There are also a number of online platforms for freelancers with the increasing popularity of freelancing among millennials. As a small business owner, you can capitalise on this trend by leveraging portals such as Freelancer and Upwork. These allow you to link up with freelancers with the relevant skills and affordable rates, and evaluate them over a number of assignments.

3. Build a compelling case for your company

Whether or not it is an employer’s market, your potential recruits are evaluating you just as much as you are evaluating them throughout the recruitment process. It is thus essential to clearly set up and articulate the requirements of the role and why your company is an attractive proposition. The key component of this is job descriptions. According to a Wall Street Journal article, job descriptions that read like laundry lists of requirements and qualifications may alienate jobseekers. Apart from setting out what your company expects from the candidate, including also what your company can do for potential employees may help you attract higher quality candidates. Insert statements such as “We seek to provide employees with constructive feedback to foster their career growth,” and “You will have many opportunities to collaborate with talented people” when advertising the opportunity.

Additionally, keep in mind that job seekers are scrolling through a ton of job opportunities. It is therefore necessary for you to showcase what is unique about your company in order to be memorable for applicants. You can do so by sharing examples of recent media coverage or stating upfront your benefits package. If you don’t want to benefits packages to be the focus, emphasise your unique company culture, whether this is the collaborative work environment or opportunity to gain exposure to a range of tasks.

Related reading: 5 Ways to Incentivise Employees Without Burning a Hole In Your Pocket

Many potential applicants will also head over to your website to learn more about what your company does and what the role entails, so make sure that you have a website that is accessible, presentable and easy to navigate. Give potential applicants an idea of what it would be like to work at your company, for instance by including a Careers section or putting up profiles of team members they might work with.

4. Build a rigorous screening process  

Having shortlisted applicants and reviewed their CVs, the next step is to put them through a rigorous screening process that enables you to sift out the candidates with the right skills who are a good fit for your company. While some elements such as the face-to-face interview are staples of the hiring process, many companies still have some way to go in maximising the value of the hiring process. When conducting interviews, ensure that you focus on soft skills as much as technical competence, as other factors – coachability, emotional intelligence, temperament and motivation – are equally important for employee success.

Apart from interviews, it is key to establish other steps in the screening process to ensure that you have investigated every candidate thoroughly. Here are some tips for how to develop a more effective screening process:

  1. Review a candidate’s CV critically. For instance, look out for gaps in employment, and ask your candidate about this. This could be an opportunity to learn more about your candidate’s priorities and assess whether he is a good fit for your company.
  2. Check with references. If possible, do a reference check across different levels, including direct reports, peers and managers, as each person will give a different view of the candidate’s work ethic and work product.
  3. Evaluate personal portfolios. Ask candidates for a portfolio of highlights, and see whether they are able to articulate their success and how they achieved it with quantifiable information.

Adapted from Entrepreneur

As mentioned previously, candidates are assessing you as much as they are assessing them. Give prospective employees a chance to ask you questions, as this will allow them to determine whether your company is a right fit. It is crucial to give a realistic picture of the work environment in your company, as a mismatch in expectations may cause your employee disappointment later on if you choose to recruit him or her. In short, be generous with information and make the hiring process an experience and not just a process.

5. Leverage on digital trends & social media

According to a survey by MIT and Deloitte, people want to work for digitally enabled organisations. Businesses have to stay ahead of the curve in order to retain employees and attract new hires. Make sure that your career site is mobile-friendly, as many individuals use their smartphone in some way for their job search, whether this is browsing job listings, filling out online job applications and creating a resume or cover letter.

Source: JobsDB

Just as the Internet is a platform for potential applicants to access job opportunities and learn more about your company’s track record, use the Internet as a resource for your company to find out more about your potential hires as well. Do a quick background check to see what comes up about that person online and on social media platforms. If the candidate has posted professional blog posts or a portfolio online, this could serve as an additional avenue of skills assessment.

6. Leverage on software solutions to keep up with employment regulations

Throughout the hiring process, make sure that you are aware of the evolving regulatory requirements in order to ensure that your business remains compliant. For instance, amendments to the Employment Act in Singapore last year imposed additional requirements on employers, including issuing key employment terms (KETs) and itemised payslips and maintaining detailed employment records. Changes to employment laws in New Zealand made earlier this year also modified the requirements for trial periods in Individual Employment Agreements (IEAs), among other changes.

Want the lowdown on what legislation you have to comply with when hiring employees? Download our free eBook on Employment:

Singapore version      Hong Kong version

With employment legislation constantly evolving, it can be a challenge to stay up to date. Using online legal software such as Dragon Law would simplify the process as you will be able to select from a library of legal contracts, policies and forms that cover the different HR processes, generate contracts that are legally compliant and send them to your employees for signing and online storage. This allows you to:-

  • Protect your business by laying out clear expectations and legal obligations between employer and employee;
  • Speed up your HR processes by gaining access to a host of contracts, policies and forms that you can tailor to your needs; and
  • Stay up to date with legal changes in the HR field as our employment contracts, policies and forms are reviewed and approved by qualified lawyers.

Claim your free trial. Start drafting legal documents with Dragon Law today.

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