Let’s talk about SALK Let’s talk about SALK

Let’s talk about SALK
16 Jan 2018

By Zennie Sjölund, divisional director payroll, Srf konsulterna

Since 2010, the Swedish organisation Srf konsulterna, has made an extensive effort to enhance the role of the payroll administrator. During these years, a certification has been established and last year a code of conduct and payroll processes were launched, SALK

The use of SALK

Working in the field of payroll is challenging and exciting, but not always easy.

In Sweden, for example, legislation, collective tie-agreement and individual agreements for the employees have big impact on the payroll process. However, 2016 is a year of change - 470 out of nearly 600 different collective tie-agreements are to be renegotiated, effecting more than 90% of the Swedish population. The retroactive processing of payroll is last in the chain and employees are more than eager to see the results of the negotiation on the payslip.

The payroll administrator is expected to process back pay within a shorter notice period. It is very important to get this right, but sometimes ‘right’ is a grey area, when what is actually agreed might not be so clear. The payroll administrator has to make a decision, based on the known information and calculation basis. Delayed processing of pay reviews, leading to major retroactive processing is one of the areas when SALK regulations come into their own.

SALK’s construction

SALK is the framework for quality payroll administration services and is divided into 10 base requirements, with regulations and implementation instructions and, where appropriate, examples and references.

SALK divides the payroll process into various stages, ranging from objectives and responsibilities to performance, reporting and completion. The purpose of the standard is to establish a high quality of conduct in payroll administration services. A standard cannot express every single good payroll administration practice that can be implemented universally and cover every situation and circumstance that a payroll consultant may encounter in a payroll project. Certified payroll consultants can use the standard as a framework and reference point. In Sweden, there are already software suppliers that have implemented the SALK process in their product.

The 10 basic SALK requirements

• For the payroll administration to be efficient, the business must be well organised, have routines and guidelines that clearly express how these requirements can be satisfied.
• Prerequisites for the payroll consultant to acquire the competences necessary to meet the requirements and needs of the company management.
• An employment agreement and job description defining scope, duties and division of responsibilities confirmed in writing by both parties.
• The responsibilities of the payroll consultant must be clearly defined.
• The process planning must be frequently updated and based on the company management’s needs.
• The payroll consultant needs to gather and spread information (knowledge) that can have an impact on or improve the company.
• The payroll consultant is expected to perform payroll procedure in accordance with the requirements of applicable laws, regulations, SALK and SRF’s rules on professional ethics.
• The payroll consultant should document the work with a focus on important information. • The right information should be reported to the right recipient at the right time.
• Rules for professional ethics and a duty of confidentiality when dealing with third parties.

Regulations and implementation instructions are divided into six chapters with a variety of content on the payroll process, from how to run payroll in compliance with laws and regulations to reporting income statements, focusing on how and when the data will be registered and processed and the outcome of payroll.

SALK has received a very positive response by the Swedish payroll industry and is one step further towards quality assurance and standardising Swedish payroll. SALK will be updated on an annual basis from 2017 and further on.

 

Zennie Sjölund is divisional director payroll, Srf konsulterna, Sweden’s association for accounting and payroll consultants formed in 1936. Srf konsulterna run projects to ensure quality payroll by promoting change for effective and modern payroll processes, developing professional skills in the payroll area, certification for professionals and a code of conduct for payroll processes (SALK).

By Zennie Sjölund, divisional director payroll, Srf konsulterna

Since 2010, the Swedish organisation Srf konsulterna, has made an extensive effort to enhance the role of the payroll administrator. During these years, a certification has been established and last year a code of conduct and payroll processes were launched, SALK

The use of SALK

Working in the field of payroll is challenging and exciting, but not always easy.

In Sweden, for example, legislation, collective tie-agreement and individual agreements for the employees have big impact on the payroll process. However, 2016 is a year of change - 470 out of nearly 600 different collective tie-agreements are to be renegotiated, effecting more than 90% of the Swedish population. The retroactive processing of payroll is last in the chain and employees are more than eager to see the results of the negotiation on the payslip.

The payroll administrator is expected to process back pay within a shorter notice period. It is very important to get this right, but sometimes ‘right’ is a grey area, when what is actually agreed might not be so clear. The payroll administrator has to make a decision, based on the known information and calculation basis. Delayed processing of pay reviews, leading to major retroactive processing is one of the areas when SALK regulations come into their own.

SALK’s construction

SALK is the framework for quality payroll administration services and is divided into 10 base requirements, with regulations and implementation instructions and, where appropriate, examples and references.

SALK divides the payroll process into various stages, ranging from objectives and responsibilities to performance, reporting and completion. The purpose of the standard is to establish a high quality of conduct in payroll administration services. A standard cannot express every single good payroll administration practice that can be implemented universally and cover every situation and circumstance that a payroll consultant may encounter in a payroll project. Certified payroll consultants can use the standard as a framework and reference point. In Sweden, there are already software suppliers that have implemented the SALK process in their product.

The 10 basic SALK requirements

• For the payroll administration to be efficient, the business must be well organised, have routines and guidelines that clearly express how these requirements can be satisfied.
• Prerequisites for the payroll consultant to acquire the competences necessary to meet the requirements and needs of the company management.
• An employment agreement and job description defining scope, duties and division of responsibilities confirmed in writing by both parties.
• The responsibilities of the payroll consultant must be clearly defined.
• The process planning must be frequently updated and based on the company management’s needs.
• The payroll consultant needs to gather and spread information (knowledge) that can have an impact on or improve the company.
• The payroll consultant is expected to perform payroll procedure in accordance with the requirements of applicable laws, regulations, SALK and SRF’s rules on professional ethics.
• The payroll consultant should document the work with a focus on important information. • The right information should be reported to the right recipient at the right time.
• Rules for professional ethics and a duty of confidentiality when dealing with third parties.

Regulations and implementation instructions are divided into six chapters with a variety of content on the payroll process, from how to run payroll in compliance with laws and regulations to reporting income statements, focusing on how and when the data will be registered and processed and the outcome of payroll.

SALK has received a very positive response by the Swedish payroll industry and is one step further towards quality assurance and standardising Swedish payroll. SALK will be updated on an annual basis from 2017 and further on.

 

Zennie Sjölund is divisional director payroll, Srf konsulterna, Sweden’s association for accounting and payroll consultants formed in 1936. Srf konsulterna run projects to ensure quality payroll by promoting change for effective and modern payroll processes, developing professional skills in the payroll area, certification for professionals and a code of conduct for payroll processes (SALK).