What is a Payroll Portal?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A payroll portal is an electronic interface that can be used by both employers and employees to interact with payroll information. It is usually designed to be presented either online or in an internal network, allowing people to access payroll information at any time. Generic payroll portals are available from a number of companies that design software and interfaces for managing payroll and accounts. Companies can also build their own if they need custom features or special services that are not available in basic programs.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

To access a payroll portal, people must enter an identification and password. Names or unique numbers may be used for identification and while random passwords are typically assigned at account creation, people can also change their passwords and this is recommended for security. Once accepted by the system, the user is provided with an interface that can be navigated to access various types of information.

Typically a payroll portal provides paystub records along with tax information. People can look up and print out old paystubs, compare paystubs, and verify that the information recorded for prior pay periods is correct. Tax forms, including income declarations and disclosures of benefits, can also be accessed through the portal. Archives of materials from previous years are also available for convenience.

Employers that offer benefits can allow employees to enroll in benefits programs through the portal or to make changes to their accounts. Employees can select the amount of contributions into various benefits problems, set up electronic funds transfers for their payments, and update information such as their addresses and contact information. This cuts down on work for benefits administrators, as employees can use the payroll portal directly rather than having to contact someone to make these changes.

Forms and documentation can also be provided through the portal. Memos, notices, and employee manuals may be published in a payroll portal to ensure that people will see them. This ensures that employees receive information in a timely fashion and it cuts down on waste. Using electronic means for communication reduces the amount of paper needed by an office and can also enhance security, as confidential materials are less likely to be left out in public areas when employees are not provided with hard copies.

The cost of a payroll portal varies. Some packages include installation of the software along with maintenance and updates. Others require people to pay extra for services like upgrades to the system. When comparing systems, people may want to think about features, flexibility, and pricing.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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