As of January 2021 small businesses have the opportunity to upgrade their HR and payroll technology thanks to the latest COVID-19 Relief Bill (the “Relief Bill”). The latest Relief Bill gives small businesses (fewer than 300 employees) access to new loans and the ability to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) forgiveness. Giving small businesses the chance to improve their HR and payroll departments who may be struggling with outdated software and manual processing issues. Affording small business the technology they require to maintain records, issue reports and comply with state and federal regulations.
Before January 2021, sixty percent of the funds from the PPP loans were meant to cover payroll costs to keep employees on the payroll. Now as of January 2021 the new Relief Bill states that forty percent of the funds can be used to cover costs for HR and payroll software. “Covered operational expenditure includes payment for software or cloud computing service that facilitates business operations, processing, payment and tracking of payroll expenses, human resources….”  There are a few things to consider when using the COVID-19 Relief Bill for cloud readiness HR.
Is Your Current HR system Meeting the Needs of Today’s HR/Payroll Demands?
The recent pandemic has exposed many gaps in the world of business, however many of these gaps can be addressed with cloud ready HR:
- Support a fully remote or hybrid workforce
- Access real-time data on salary, time and attendance for PPP applications and forgiveness
- React to rapidly evolving changes in budget, headcount, hiring, layoffs, furloughs, governmental changes, new sick leave policies and more
- Engage distributed teams
- Remain compliant with new regulations
- Maintain HR tech uptime without manual intervention
“The trend toward all-things digital has been building for over a decade now but we could have never imagined how a global event like the pandemic would accelerate the need for digital readiness, particularly in the small business segment,” said James Norwood, chief marketing and strategy officer at isolved, a leading HCM software company.
“Digital transformation amid a downturn is actually quite common because it’s a way to accelerate projects that were already planned or to acquire the internal buy-in from stakeholders who may have resisted before. The need for an intelligently connected HCM system simply cannot be ignored any longer. What the new COVID-19 Relief Bill provides is a way for companies to make up for lost time and with government help. This could smooth the way to purchase decisions for HCM software currently under review.”
Did Your Current HR/Payroll System Meet the Needs for the PPP Loan Application and Loan Forgiveness Program?
Ask yourself these questions to assess if your HCM measured up?
- Were you able to pull reports on salary, hours, total headcount, and revenue?
- Were you able to use your HCM system to help ensure you were compliant with the PPP and other new rules like the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
- Were you able to provide self-service payroll, time and attendance, onboarding and offboarding?
This new Relief Bill gives companies a rare opportunity to upgrade their business infrastructure with a cloud based HCM solution which will have lasting benefits for years to come.
In order to comply with the Relief Bill’s regulations, it may be helpful to consult legal and tax advice to make sure you adhere to the strict parameters for the application and the repayment. Small businesses can find support with PEOs, HCM service providers to better understand regulatory requirements and ensure compliance. (COVID-19 Relief Bill; p. 2,046)
Exploring this unique opportunity to update your HR and payroll process may be a silver lining of COVID. Who knows what lies ahead? Having your HR and payroll process updated and readied with a digital infrastructure will give you a foundation to meet any HCM challenges that lie ahead.
For more information on modernizing your HCM contact firstname.lastname@example.org. AAP is a human capital management company specializing in payroll, HR, benefits and time that serves businesses, large and small, from coast to coast.
Note: Please seek proper legal advice.
Source: isolved Blog; “If Not Now, When? Using the COVID-19 Relief Bill for Cloud Readiness in HR”; 2/2/2021
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