Process Docs: The More Detailed, the Better

For every business activity, there is a process for completing that activity. It is important to have documents that detail all of these processes. If one person gets sick or goes on vacation, or even leaves the company, there should be a process that anyone can follow to get the work done that has been left. Business doesn’t stop when one person isn’t there. However, the process should be as detailed as possible to completely lay out all the steps for anyone to complete that task. For example, what if a payroll process only said:

  1. Gather employee information
  2. Enter information
  3. Gather and total employee time card
  4. Enter information
  5. Submit

This wouldn’t provide much direction for someone to just jump in and complete a payroll cycle. An effective process document would detail all the sub-steps that make up these steps. For example, for step one above “Gather Employee Information” there would be details explaining that “information” includes:

  1. An employee W-4
  2. Direct Deposit Information
  3. Employment Agreement, including hire date, pay rate, commission rate (if any), and benefits

For “Enter Information” it would detail what information needs to be entered and where to find it in all the documents that you have gathered from the employee. It would be even more effective if there were screen shots displaying each step. There are other details that you should probably include in that step, such as department tags for employees. You would have to include how to determine which department a new employee belongs, the class of employee, and which items to use. All of this is information you need to set up a new employee that may not be included in the information given to you. If it wasn’t explained, someone new would not know where to find the information without doing some research.

The purpose of having a process document is to ensure a smooth transition from one person to another. There will always be little quirks for every business, but the more detailed you can get in your process documents the smoother any transition will be. This is also helps minimize unproductive time during a transition. Every business wants to maximize productivity, and detailed process documents are a very useful tool to meet that goal. TGG Accounting can help. We regularly set up process for our clients. Call us today.

Written by:
Ashley Peth
TGG Accounting

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