Top 10 payroll components

Payroll is essentially defined as a combination of a list of qualified employees, eligible for payment, and the total amount that the employer has to pay his employees. It is a critical step in reimbursing employees for the time and work they put in for the organization.

Usually handled by the HR department, the payroll has to be detailed and accurately marked up according to the local laws. Any mistakes within the payroll can result in non-compliance and monetary fines as levied by the regulatory bodies.

The payroll record needs to be maintained throughout the tenure of the organization to keep track of the business’s finances. 

Unfortunately, the payroll process can get convoluted due to the sheer number of moving parts involved. Add to it the fact that half the payroll teams don’t track important KPIs. 

This article will shed some light on the primary components of payroll in India.

1.Employee Information – This is the first step of payroll which involves collecting all the necessary information about your employee’s finances. Before an employee is fully onboarded, they need to fill out the requisite forms as necessitated by governing laws and company policies. Some companies also track attendance data, working hours, and mid-year salary revision data, amongst other inputs. This data needs to be collated and digitized for secure storage. 

2.Pay Policy – This is the company’s internal payment policy and is subject to local laws. Companies have more freedom while designing these rules and regulations. Different companies tend to have varying policies regarding overtime pay, attendance policies, leaves, benefits, and allowances. 

These policies need to be defined and detailed in the employee handbooks. It is the company’s responsibility to make sure that every employee is aware of these policies and how they can benefit from them. 

3. Basic Salary – The basic pay can vary between 35% to 65% of an employee’s total CTC, which is the base pay that remains fixed throughout the employee’s tenure at the organization. Many factors influence the base pay. 

 The primary one is the designation and hierarchical position of the employee. 

 Secondary factors include added responsibilities and fixed commissions. This amount is fully taxable. 

4. Allowances – These are additional payments made by the company to the employee during their job in addition to other benefits. Allowances can vary from company to company and are reliant on the designation of the employee. A higher ranked worker is bound to have a higher allowance package. Jobs that involve extensive travelling and relocation can also translate to higher allowances. Not every allowance is created equal. While some are taxable others are exempt from taxes.

There are many types of allowances involved in a company’s payroll, which are included in the CTC. Some prime examples are dearness allowance, rent allowance, conveyance allowance, medical allowance, travel allowance, family allowance, and books and periodicals allowance. 

5. Deductions – Deductions refer to the amount that is removed from an employee’s paycheck every month. These deductions can be divided into two broad categories – voluntary and involuntary. 

Involuntary deductions include taxes, garnishments, and withholdings. On the other hand, voluntary deductions can be health benefits, stock options, insurance premiums, and investment premiums. 

6. Gross Salary – This is the total cost incurred to the company to employ someone. The gross salary or CTC is the employee’s wage before any deductions are made. It includes, within itself, all the deductibles mentioned above. Additionally, some employers also contribute to the benefits and retirement schemes of the workers. This component is also factored in when calculating gross salary. 

7. Net Salary – Net salary of an employee is the amount payable after all the deductions have been made, which is the salary that the employee takes home irrespective of their role or position in the company. The net salary can vary according to the employee’s deductibles. For instance, If they choose to take part in their company’s optional investment plan, then their net salary will be lower. 

8. Ad-Hoc Pay – Ad-Hoc pay is generally dependent on the company’s policies. This category includes any extra benefits that are occasionally doled out to employees such as bonuses, incentives, festival advances, leave encashments, and wage advances. 

9. Tax Deducted at Source – TDS refers to the method of direct taxation where the employer deducts the tax money from the monthly salary of the employee. Once an employee starts earning enough to become part of the tax slab, s/he is liable to pay TDS. The employer needs to maintain strict records of the TDS being deducted every month to avoid being fined. 

10. Perquisites – These fringe benefits are available to high ranking employees based on their designation and role within the company. Benefits such as rent-free living, company vehicle, medical policy, insurance premiums, and travel expenses are part of this component. 

The monetary value of these components is added to the total income of the employee and is fully taxable.

Payroll can be a challenging process for organizations. There are several guidelines and laws involved that need to be met. Moreover, payroll also requires cross-channel communication between multiple departments.

Hence, it is necessary to remain abreast of all the payroll components and their impact on an employee’s salary.