Presenting your very own – Santa Claus!

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Ho ho ho! It’s that time of the year again!

Time to deck the halls with reindeers and stockings, candles and candy canes, wreaths, and snow globes on the mantel.

With Christmas just around the corner, let’s talk about a legend who is often associated with Christmas and is widely believed to be fictional; but whom I believe is as real as can ever be – Santa Claus! Wait, are you asking me “Is Santa Claus real?”? Well, read on! What if I told you, that when someone drew-up the protocols for this all-important role in every organization, they possibly thought of Mr. Claus!.

Generally depicted as a white-bearded jolly man in a red and white attire, Santa Claus is a fabled character originating from the western culture dating back to the 16th century; an old man who brings gifts to obedient well-behaved children on Christmas Eve. Santa is said to be residing in the North Pole, making toys with the help of his elves for children far and near, receiving letters from them asking for Christmas gifts. On Christmas Eve, Santa rides across the world in his sleigh, dropping gifts through the chimney of every well-behaved child.

Payroll professionals, the world over, work day-in and day-out to ensure employees are paid accurately and on time. Why is that important? Well, imagine receiving your gifts a week after Christmas. A nightmare indeed!! That’s how vital the payday is to an employee too. Here is a couple of routine but crucial responsibilities of a payroll professional that are similar to the duties of Santa Claus.

– Keeping track of whether or not children have been well-behaved throughout the year

Payroll specialists will receive HR inputs, time and absence data and other essential inputs via manual upload or integration with the HRIS. They must maintain proper payroll processing protocols and records by gathering and calculating data to process payroll for a particular month. Although manual upload of employee data is possible, establishing an integrated ecosystem that includes HRIS, time & attendance, and payroll software intertwined is a much sought-after method today. It eliminates the need for manual intervention and is booboo-proof in itself.

– Deciding which toy to present to whom

Calculating wages and applicable deductions based on each employee’s attendance, timesheet, and overtime records is another crucial responsibility of the modern-day Santa. Once the data is received, depending on whether they are “well-behaved or not,” they compute employees’ pay based on time records, benefits, etc., and deduct the deductibles.

– Dropping the Christmas gifts down the chimney

Last but not least, there’s the task of actually delivering the gifts to the kids. The payroll professional is responsible for processing the company’s payroll every pay period and disbursing wages via the issuance of paper checks or direct transfers to employees’ bank accounts – today’s “chimneys where Santa can drop his gifts”! Besides this, the payroll specialists need to ensure that earning summaries are issued, and that payroll reports are ready and available for record-keeping purposes and managerial review. I’m guessing Santa might have some post-delivery responsibilities too!

We’ve all been through a lot these past two years, and one needs to learn to find joy and happiness in the smallest things. Seeing that little happiness in the “salary is credited” message is one. So do you agree that we have a Santa in our offices? So this Christmas season, how about you express your appreciation to that tireless Santa in your organization who processes your payroll.

And here’s a bonus for all the Payroll Santa Clauses out there – if you want to catch up on some training on how to equip yourself better to be a Payroll Santa, register now for an impactful Global Payroll Breakthrough Summit – Payroll Beyond Borders 2022. Until then, keep spreading joy to your employees just the way you always do! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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