Business Continuity Tip of the Month   -  December 2009

Put their money where your mouth is

The business impact analysis often highlights the criticality of the payroll process and, funnily enough, not many people disagree with this. After all, we all like to know that we’re going to get paid each month or week, whatever else might be happening around us.

And the good news is that the solution, in the event of the normal infrastructure supporting the payroll process being unavailable, is usually relatively straightforward – just call the bank and ask them to re-run last month’s payroll, then correct any anomalies later. Sound familiar? So simple – what could possibly go wrong?

So almost everyone agrees that the business continuity plan for payroll is a piece of cake. Why, then, does no one ever test it? Perhaps we’re not so confident after all. Perhaps we’re worried that it won’t actually prove to be quite so simple; that our assumptions might not hold water; that something will go horribly wrong and staff won’t get paid on time. Which means that they will, understandably, be a tad upset.

But surely staff will be delighted to know that there’s a plan in place to ensure that they’ll get paid no matter what, and that the process is tested to ensure it works.

Admittedly you might have a glitch or two when you first try it. But, as with all business continuity exercising and testing, it’s far better to find out now than when you’re in the throes of a crisis. To mitigate any potential problems, you could just do it a bit earlier than the normal payroll run to allow time to correct any glitches. Then if it does all go swimmingly people will get paid a day or two early – and they can’t possibly be upset at that.

So go on, put your (or rather your employees’) money where your mouth is, and test the payroll continuity plan that everyone says is so easy.



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