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FocusOn – Key controls – Payroll

The payroll cycle broadly covers seven key functions:

  • Hiring employees
  • Authorising payroll rates and deductions etc.
  • Time and attendance recording
  • Processing payroll
  • Payment of payroll
  • Remittance of various payroll taxes (PAYG/ Payroll Tax)
  • Preparation of payroll tax returns (i.e. BAS)

Payroll related costs commonly represent a significant part of the total costs of any business. The payments made are usually large and therefore present a set of unique risks.

Ensuring that you have adequate internal control in this area is imperative.

Key Controls

Some questions to consider in evaluating controls in the payroll cycle are:

  • Is proper segregation of incompatible duties maintained (i.e. bank signatory is separate from person processing payroll)?
  • Are access controls in place?

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