20 Tips for Making Your Payroll Process More Efficient

A smooth-running operation for payroll processing reduces a significant amount of stress at a staffing agency. If you’re a Lone Oak & TempWorks client, you benefit from having an ATS with time-saving payroll tricks and a team of experts ready to support you. 

The Lone Oak team of payroll processing experts compiled a list of top time-saving payroll hacks to help staffing firms complete each week as efficiently as possible.

1. Keyboard Shortcuts 

Know your keyboard shortcuts! This is a great tool that’s underutilized and saves time. Here are a few examples. Press Alt + I to quickly jump to time entry. When in time entry, press Alt + C to create a duplicate timecard for the selected employee. Use + to do a quick search for employees. Use * to do a quick search for customers. 

2. Time Entry Sort Feature 

In time entry, make sure to leverage the sort feature to make timecard linking more efficient. If you right-click on the title bar, you can add/remove areas to sort. When timecards are sent in, they are sorted in many ways, such as by customer, department, branch, PO, job title, etc. When you sort your time entry screen to mirror the way the timecards are sent in, it makes timecard linking much easier and saves you time. 

3. Time Entry Search Filters 

When you search for something in time entry, change the filter from “starts with” to “contains.” It makes finding data much easier. 

4. Timecard Linker 

Use the timecard linker feature to help automate billing and create a more thorough auditing process. During the time entry process, the timecard linker allows timecard images to be linked to specific transactions, which can be included with the emailed invoice or printed with the invoice during the invoice run process. 

5. Toggle Filter 

When entering time or linking timecards, make sure to leverage the toggle filter for “hide zero hours” and “show billable only”.  The “hide zero hours” toggle filter allows you to hide any timecards that do not have hours entered. This is helpful if there are assignments that haven’t been closed in the software. When you create timecards from open assignments, there would be an unused timecard in time entry. The “show billable only” toggle filter removes timecards that had hours entered, but no bill rate. This is helpful when you have internal staff; there would be no timecard to link because there is no invoice to generate. In other words, there would be no invoice to fund/timecard to link to that payroll. 

6. Favorite Reports 

The full report list can be intimidating. Make sure to utilize the Reports > My Favorites section with pertinent reports. 

7. Incomplete Transactions 

Take advantage of the “Incomplete Transactions” screen. This allows you to see what is left for you to finish. 

8. Assignment End Dates 

Make sure to add an end date on assignments to keep time entry clean. A clean time entry prevents the wrong employee from being paid, the wrong assignment from being used, and typically means the system loads quicker. 

9. A/R Statement Reports 

When you run A/R Statement reports directly from the customer profile reports tab, this excludes other customers and makes it easy to send statements and collection follow-ups. 

10. Transaction History 

When you go to Pay History > Transaction History, you can see everything on one screen, including time entered, checks, invoice number and more. 

11. Gross Up Calculator 

Use the gross up calculator for bonus pay. For example, it’s Christmas time and you want to pay your staff $100 bonuses. This means you want the net amount to be $100, not the gross amount. All your employees have elected for different withholding amounts. The gross up calculator will create timecards for the employee, then you enter the desired net amount. The gross up calculator will determine what the gross needs to be based on $100 net amount for that employee. 

These are just a few quick life hacks from our team of experts at Lone Oak Payroll to help you with your weekly payroll processing routine. If you have any questions about our team’s tips or if you’re looking for payroll processing services for your staffing agency, please contact us today for more information or helpful suggestions!


12. Wild Card Searches

When you need to search for a customer or contact, but only know part of the name or ID, use the % to utilize the wild card option. For example, if you know the customer name has the word ‘truck’ in the title but can’t remember the full name, you can search for ‘%truck’ to see all customers that have truck in the name.


13. Tab Stops

Utilize tab stops to quickly key in time more efficiently and effectively. Tab stops are columns in your time entry dashboard that are selected with a check box. You can also customize which columns display in your time entry dashboard by right-clicking on the column header.


14. Uncheck “Show Linked Timecards”

If you use the timecard linker, use the toggle filter to uncheck Show Linked Timecards. This will show only timecards that haven’t been linked so you know which timecards you have left to link.


15. Verify Mode in Timecard Linker

Use the checkmark icon to use the verify mode in timecard linker. This takes the total hours entered in time entry and allows you to link more than one timecard to add up to the total hours.


16. Read-Only Window

If you use the “View this page in a separate window” button, it creates a read-only window to make it easy to compare two screens of information. 


17. Quick Pay Invoices

Use the Quick Pay section to save time when posting payments. If you have a group of checks from a client that includes the invoice number on the check, you can apply payments in quick succession with the Quick Pay feature. 


18. Reason Code for Reporting

To help with reporting, make sure to enter a Reason Code when posting adjustment payment batches. For accounting purposes, a Reason Code can help determine how much was written off versus paid. 


19. Adjustments Tab

If an employee’s adjustment needs to be modified for just one week, you can use the adjustments tab and select the override icon to make a one-time adjustment instead of deactivating reoccurring adjustments. 


20. Outsource Your Payroll

When you outsource your payroll, your team is better positioned to focus on growing your business. To help staffing firms take the headache out of back office processes, Lone Oak provides services such as payroll processing, payroll tax processing, collections, and more.  


If you have any questions about our team’s tips, or if you’re looking for payroll processing services for your staffing agency, reach out today.