My Small Business Story: How Float Improved Business Operations through Simpler and Faster Payroll
We’re introducing ‘My Small Business Story’!
It’s a monthly content series where we chat with small business owners and operations personnel to discuss how they improve their business operations and scale by taking advantage of technology. We discuss every aspect of the growth of their operations, from faster payroll, easier employee information management, and simpler vendor payments to stress-free tax filing.
For our first edition, we chat with Float’s Operations Specialist Priscilla Kpobi. She handles HR, Customer Reports, Administration, etc., for Float across Nigeria and Ghana.
Float has been operating from Nigeria since 2019, meeting the credit needs of businesses.
As a business, Float’s mission is to become the financial powerhouse for businesses, not only in Africa but globally. The business is doing this by providing much-needed credit, especially to Small and Medium Enterprises. Float is also building the necessary tools that these businesses would need to manage their finances and scale eventually.
Let’s talk about the Float team’s operations. How many people do you have in your team?
We have about 30 people on our team.
So, how did you handle monthly Payroll for your people in the past?
It was very manual. At the very beginning, we were doing deposits for every single employee. Well, to be fair, at the time, we were not as big as we are now. We had to carry out deposits for every single employee, and individual transfers for every single employee to their individual banks from our company’s bank. It was very manual.
So let’s build a scenario. At the time, what was the number of employees you had to run payroll manually for?
To be honest, it’s hard to remember our staff strength before we started using Cadana. You know, we have been at different stages. We have been at stages where we were less than 10, we have been at a stage where we were 20 on the team. I don’t remember the exact number but we were less than 20, for sure.
What was that process like?
So, we would have to make a transfer to every single employee. So you take employee A, if they use a different bank, we have to make a transfer from our company’s bank to that bank, to employee b, c and d, etcetera. So, for every employee, we had to make a single transfer.
That must have been a lot of work?
It was. Definitely.
Did you use a lot of excel sheets?
Yes. We had excel sheets for tracking employee information, payroll and the rest.
So, let’s say it's payday and you had to pay your employees, how long would it take you to pay your team?
Hmmm. So, we had to make payments separately for Ghana and then, separately for Nigeria. I would estimate the time spent to be maybe about an hour sitting down to send payments to every single person. Maybe like an hour and 30 minutes to run payroll for both countries.
Now that you’re using Cadana, how long does it take to get all of that done and out of the way?
I’d say 15 minutes. Actually, that’s a lot. It’s less than that. I’d say 10 minutes or less because our employee information is all already on the system. All I have to do is just run payroll, review to make sure the figures are right, and then make sure every employee is captured especially if a new employee has just joined the team. If there was an employee who isn’t on-boarded or captured in the system yet, I have to make sure that is captured and then, once I crosscheck all the information, I hit submit. It gets approved. All that can happen in less than ten minutes.
Can you say that the faster Payroll has increased your company’s productivity and freed up time for you to focus on other tasks?
Definitely. Because once you run it, you’re good.
Before now, when doing individual transfers, anything could happen. Maybe somebody’s money doesn’t reflect. With the banking system in Ghana which is still growing and developing, some transactions are still carried out manually. If you’re sending from one bank to a different bank, anything could happen along the line. But since we started using Cadana, even if somebody’s salary didn’t reflect or there’s a challenge, all I have to do is reach out to Cadana and let them know and they follow up to give me feedback; so I don’t have to keep checking by myself to see that everyone has received payment and all of that.
Away from Payroll, has your team explored other features on Cadana? What would they be?
Personally, I have been meaning to. I do want to use them but I always forget, you know work comes in the way, or life comes in the way and I just forget. But, I know some of my colleagues have been using Instant Pay, that’s EWA (Earned Wage Access). One of my colleagues did win a prize (for emerging as one of the top Instant Pay users) last year, he used to say that it was really good. He liked EWA very much and I know EWA has been helpful to some of my colleagues. Personally, I haven't tried it yet. But, yeah hopefully I can try it soon, not just EWA, I want to try the option of saving in USD.
What other features does Float take advantage of as well to help your business?
With payroll, Cadana also helps us with the taxes and pension remittance. Cadana just helps us to make those payments. I mean, we were doing all these things separately, we had to do individual transfers for payroll and we had to make payment for taxes by going to the tax offices and all of that; now within like 10 - 15 minutes; for both Nigeria and Ghana, we can have all of that done. That’s a lot of time saved.
Of all these features, which features would you say have greatly improved your business the most?
Payroll. It’s payroll definitely. It just helps me to manage things because aside from running payroll right, you have seamless onboarding of new teammates. When a new teammate joins, you obviously have to capture that person’s information; you can just have all that information on Cadana, for easy access anytime you need it. So, it basically helps me keep track of everybody in the company. It also helps me keep accurate track of payroll activity, anytime I want to remember when payroll was run last, I just have to go to the app and check the payroll activity from that time.
Yeah so it’s all easy and quick access to employee information; all the time. If I need to crosscheck an employee’s bank account information, confirm their names, confirm their SSNIT, it’s all on Cadana. I just have to log in and then check. So yeah, I like it. It makes work easy for me.
So, would you recommend this easier and faster payroll system to a friend, a business owner perhaps?
Yeah! Definitely. What we were doing before, was that we were running payroll twice a month at first because we had some employees that wanted to be paid every two weeks. So, we had to run payroll twice.
But, when we introduced Instant Pay (EWA), I didn’t see the need for that anymore, because if you want your salary, you can just go on and access it yourself. At any point in time, you can access your salary, so it just took that particular burden off me as well because now I don’t have to run payroll twice and they can access their salary at any point in time.
Check our blog every month for a new “My Small Business Story”.