How to Get Started with Paperless Payroll

There are many benefits to using a paperless payroll solution, including business advantages such as increased security and peace of mind. For instance, physical paper payroll records, documents, and forms can be damaged or destroyed, but online payroll records are kept safe and can be accessed at any place at any time. 

Why Businesses Should Get Started with Paperless Payroll

Here are just a few other ways, aside from keeping records safe, in which paperless payroll solutions can benefit a business

Environmentally Friendly

As more companies seek ways to reduce their carbon footprint with green initiatives, implementing paperless payroll is an effective and easy way to conserve natural resources. Paperless solutions reduce paper, it's in the name!

Businesses Save Money

Paperless payroll comes with tremendous cost savings. Research from the American Payroll Association (APA) found that businesses can save between $2.87 and $3.15 per payroll run by paying employees electronically. Businesses can save another $1.20 by providing pay stubs online, the research found.

Streamlines Tax Processes and Compliance

Paperless payroll systems can protect a business (and save companies even more money) by streamlining tax reporting while keeping an eye on compliance. 

Paperless systems ensure employers pay and file their company's taxes on time. Paperless payroll programs file all local, state, and federal taxes automatically, so business owners no longer have to remember to send in forms or make payments.

Managers can take it a step further as well by combining paperless payroll solutions with payroll and tax services for even easier business management. 

Other Advantages of Paperless Payroll Solutions

Other advantages of paperless payroll include increased efficiency, reliability, accessibility, self-service, and much more. 

Increased Efficiency

Businesses save time that would have otherwise been spent preparing checks, delivering checks to employees, resolving lost and undelivered checks, fixing check-cashing problems, and handling fraud issues. With paperless payroll platforms, employees can log in and resolve questions and issues themselves.

Simply put, paperless payroll allows employers to focus on what is really important for their business, as opposed to repetitive and hypnotic tasks. 


With a payroll solution, business owners can ensure they pay employees on time, regardless of holidays or unexpected events – such as bad weather or natural disasters. Employees will know they'll be paid on time and when so that they may budget accordingly.

Accessibility and Self-Service

By going the paperless route, managers gain convenient access to employee payroll data either online or via mobile device, should questions arise after hours. Employees also have access to their payroll data – including direct deposit information, pay stubs, and W-2s.


Storing three years' worth of paper payroll records per employee can lead to a lot of wasted space, and hours spent establishing and maintaining an organized filing system. Most paperless payroll services provide digital storage of all records, and continued access to employee records whenever needed.

How to Get Started with Paperless Payroll Solutions

Before going completely paperless, companies must first ensure their state allows for it. Some states may require employers to offer paper checks as a payment option, while other states mandate that employees have the ability to opt-out of online paystub delivery.

Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that all employees first consent to receive their W-2 forms online. Employees who don't agree must receive a paper copy.

Businesses that are looking to make the switch to paperless payroll should follow the following steps for a smooth and easy transition. Of course, contacting a payroll provider directly can help.

Ensure Workers Can Use an Employee Self-Service (ESS)

An ESS portal or software package can be a hub for exchanging all payment and paid time-off information between employees and management.

Should something go wrong, ESS will enable clear communication about these matters between you and your employees. There won't be a need for managers to sign paper requests. ESS will also provide W-2s to your employees quickly. 

Introduce Direct Deposit or Pay Cards

More than 93% of employees in the United States now receive their payments via direct deposit. Aside from the need to stay up to date with current technology, direct deposit payments are faster than issuing paper checks. 

Pay cards and direct deposit go hand in hand with ESS. Once employees are trained in their new ESS software, they'll be better equipped to take care of their direct deposit and pay card payments as they arrive in their accounts. Consequently, employees will feel a greater sense of gratification because of the increased speed with which they are now being paid.

Create Automatic Email Reports

Automatic emails will keep the payroll department, HR staff, and other employees in the loop throughout the payment process. This will save paper that previously would have been wasted distributing reports long after payments were issued.

Using automatic email reports will ensure that information is up to date and that payment is monitored in real-time. Executives and managers will also have access to the reports, which will bolster companywide communication. 

Import Employee Hours

Importing employees' hours not only saves time in the long run but also reduces the chances of errors.

The easiest way to set up an hour-logging system is to use digital timecards that your employees can use to punch in and out of work, instead of using unnecessary amounts of paper. Businesses can take it a step further with paperless time and labor management solutions as well. 

Final Thoughts on Going Paperless

Reducing time and errors will save your company money – money that can be better used to make companywide improvements. Consequently, making your payroll system more efficient will increase your company's return on investment. 

Businesses looking to get started with paperless payroll will want to search out a paperless payroll company in there area. New York businesses looking to get started may want to find a New York Payroll Service, like EBC HCM, to get started.

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