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Annual Payroll Survey Reveals Interesting Worker Perspectives

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Every year, the National Payroll Week initiative sponsors a ‘Getting Paid in America’ survey to gauge what workers know and believe about payroll. And every year, the survey yields some very interesting results. This year is no exception. The 2017 survey offers employers a glimpse into what their workers are thinking.

For example, one of the survey questions asked whether employees would rather receive a larger tax refund every spring or get a smaller refund in exchange for having more money in their weekly paychecks. The majority of respondents chose to receive more weekly pay.

Another question asked whether the federal minimum wage should be raised. Respondents overwhelmingly answered in the affirmative. Unfortunately, the question did not explain what the federal minimum wage is. It is unclear whether respondents know that the federal minimum wage can be superseded by state minimum wage laws. Be that as it may, there were a couple of questions asked in the 2017 survey that relate directly to online payroll.

Employee Payroll Portal

BenefitMall, a Dallas company offering payroll and benefits administration services, offers clients online payroll solutions that include employee portals. Such portals give employees direct access to their own payroll data by way of an online account that can be accessed with a computer or mobile device. Employee portals are often used as a way to entice employers to go with outsourced payroll solutions.

The 2017 ‘Getting Paid in America’ survey indicates that more than 80% of U.S. workers have access to their payroll data via an online portal. This is a fairly impressive number. By implication, it suggests that the vast majority of employers are either working with an online solution provider like BenefitMall or using an in-house software solution that includes online access for employees.

Survey respondents also indicated that their preferred choices for accessing payroll data are desktop and laptop computers. Just over 53% said they prefer a desktop computer at work while 18.6% indicated a laptop as their preferred device. Surprisingly, smartphone access came in third place at 12.54%.

These numbers make it clear that employees will access their payroll data at work if given the opportunity to do so. It is all the more reason for employers to adopt an online solution that includes a self-service portal.

How Employees Are Paid

One final statistic worth mentioning deals with how employees are paid. As recently as the late 1990s and early 2000s, a fair number of U.S. workers were still being paid with paper checks. This is still an option just over 4% of the working population chooses, but direct deposit is the runaway winner. More than 93% of the survey respondents indicated being paid by way of direct deposit.

The availability of direct deposit options is yet another reason to outsource payroll. A provider like BenefitMall can ensure direct deposit transactions are made on schedule just as long as the employer makes sure to fund the appropriate account prior to the end of the payroll cycle. Allowing a payroll provider to handle direct deposit transactions alleviates the employer from having to think about it with every pay cycle.

The annual ‘Getting Paid in America’ survey is a great tool for understanding how America’s employees perceive payroll. Employers can use data from the survey to get a clearer understanding of how they make payroll better for their workers. As for the 2017 survey, it offers plenty of reasons from companies to consider taking payroll out of the HR department and putting it in the hands of a third-party solution provider.


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