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Recently, a large number of underpayment cases pinning the blame on payroll issues have made media headlines. First, we had George Calombaris’ restaurant group, then it was the Rockpool Group, and more recently, Woolworths admitted it underpaid its staff an estimated $300 million.

Now, there are a couple of points that these cases should raise for business owners.

Payroll is not easy. Payroll is not as simple as entering data into an accounting program and hitting finalise.

But when errors happen, it is not because of the accounting software. Errors happen because someone has input information somewhere along the process incorrectly.

There is usually always a human element — whether that is reviewing timesheets, entering timesheets, setting up staff in the system with pay rates attached, whether or not it is using an external program and pushing that data through to an accounting system, physically paying staff,or anything in between.

Somewhere along the line, there is a human element. Well, there should be.

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