Payroll Disaster Recovery
The trials of 2020 have shown us that so many uncontrollable factors – pandemic, fire, floods, data security breaches – can lead to total a shut down for your agency. The best way for your business to recover from a disaster is to prepare for it. At Horizon, we believe it is critical to outline a detailed plan to get things up and running following a disaster.
One key business component that can often get overlooked during disaster planning is Payroll. It is critical, and in some cases legally required, to ensure that you and your employees are still compensated for hours worked during a disaster. We have highlighted some tips to consider when developing a comprehensive Payroll Disaster Recovery Plan.
- Identify critical processes and create plans.
- Determine the full scope of your payroll process in detail. It is important to consider which parts of your process could be affected by various types of disaster, and who the responsible parties are for each process. A natural disaster may prevent your Payroll Manager from physically accessing your office, whereas a data security breach may leave them unable to access your payroll system.
- Prepare your staff.
- It is important to make sure there are backup personnel that are adequately trained in all steps of your Payroll process. Horizon Helpdesk is available to help with completing the steps in Horizon Payroll software, but there are other key factors to payroll. Ensure a secure protocol for accessing passwords for bank uploads and federal and state reporting sites. We also recommend training backup personnel on your timecard entry processes. It is important for staff to know particulars on employees such as which code and GL accounts are used for different assignments.
- Enact alternative Payroll options.
- Banks are designed to open quickly and stay operational during times of disaster. They will most likely be functional before many other types of businesses. Although, the functionality may be limited, and employees may have a difficult time getting paper checks processed. Additionally, physical checks could be destroyed if you’re dealing with a fire, flood, or other weather-related disaster. Direct Deposit options allow you to bypass the time it would take to order and issue new checks. Options to Consider: Direct Deposit, Paycards
- Provide reliable access to earnings information.
- Especially during an emergency, employees will want to know the amount of pay they should be expecting and when it will be available. We suggest implementing a digital platform for employees to view paystubs and any other payroll information online at any time. Options to Consider: Horizon Document Viewer
- Implement redundant data backups.
- In today’s world, data can be just as important to our operations as the physical buildings that house our businesses. We highly recommend having both a physical (tape) and cloud-based backup. If your sole backup is on tape, it could be destroyed in a disaster. If your sole backup is to a server on your network, a virus could potentially wipeout your only option for restoration. Most importantly, practice your restoration. Make sure your backups are operating properly, and that the data can be successfully downloaded. Options to Consider: Nordic Cloud Backup, Carbonite, Symantec Antivirus
When developing a comprehensive disaster plan, we strongly recommend identifying which team members will be responsible for the different action items during disaster and recovery. Make sure your plan is available in a central location that all parties have access to in the event of a disaster. We suggest including detailed procedure outlines, keeping contact information up to date, and reviewing plans on a quarterly basis to ensure for the smoothest execution.
Horizon Financials Team – May 2021