It is very critical for a large organization, with offices spread across the United States to run an effective payroll system. Payroll can be defined as “the process by which an employer pays an employee for work performed” (Roos, 2012). This process should, above all other things, keep all recorded data for employees.
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This data should include, among other things, the employees’ taxes, union membership and pension plan (Roos, 2012; Mohammed, 2012). The program should also be able to calculate their pay, number of hours billed by an employee the month and year (Mohammed, 2007). More over the system should contain the employees’ deductions such as of the union membership fees, pension plan and taxes. And even more critical, the software should be able to calculate gross as well as net pay of the employee (Roos, 2012).
For all these to be successful there is a need to have software that will accept crucial employee data such as their name, identification number, union membership and pension plan. There are several kinds of software that can be used to create such a payroll. However, Visual Basic that runs on computers installed with the .NET Framework or wide access network, will build an impeccable payroll program.
The whole program can be categorized into several main components. These are payroll records, employee data, and rates. Below is a graphic representation of the payroll system.
This table shows how a payroll system works. It has all the aspects of a desirable architecture for Payroll system. It has the add component on employees, add component on the payroll; it has hours worked, federal dues and so forth. (Reprinted with permission from Mohammed et al 2007)
Using Visual Basic to build a payroll system has several advantages. The main advantage is the fact that Visual Basic uses XML which is a highly “platform independent format for storing data” (Mohammed, 2007). All the employees’ data will get saved and written into an XML file. The XML file will then store an employee’s data in a very secure and independent manner.
Actually, storage of all the employees’ data is done at the XML. This also includes each of the employees’ monthly payroll data (Mohammed, 2007; Infonetics, 2012). Indeed, the system also utilizes an additional XML file whose main objective is to store current rates for the employee. In this XML file, for the employee data to be filed it has to be serialized. Thus, for one to get data from this file, it has to first be “deserialized” before being used.
This software will compute the employee as per his or her own rate and deductions specifications (Mohammed, 2007). The software also allows for the addition of new employees as there is no limit to the total number of employees that the list can hold. An employee’s data can always be modified. It can also be deleted from the list, even in case of death, resignation and so forth.
However, in as much as the payroll system is efficient, it also has its possible pitfalls. These pitfalls can breed serious ethical issues with regard to this architecture. The first, and most common to such architectures, is computer bugs (Mohammed, 2007). A viral bug can be introduced in the system and create unimaginable damage. It can, for example, be multiplying taxes by a certain factor or reducing an employee’s net pay.
The system can also be a victim of cyber-attack. Cyber-attacks have become very common especially with financial transaction going digital. However, using object-oriented principles will go a long way in fixing the problem of bugs (Mohammed, 2007). Thus the bugs found will be corrected after the software update. The system also needs strong firewalls to safeguard it against any potential cyber-attacks. Passwords should be hard to decipher and should be accorded only to trustworthy people.
Creating a payroll system whose end is the reception of a monthly or weekly pay by an employee is possible with Visual Basic. Not only will the employee get his or her net pay, he will also get a pay-slip print out. Such payroll architecture is enabled by Visual Basic software that stores the employees’ data on XML. This software will store and update the employees’ pension plan, union membership fees, taxes and calculate their salaries. The system will also take into account the number of hours, billed by an employee, the month and year. It is done while the system will be doing this with regard to the employee’s specifications. The system might be vulnerable to such pitfalls as computer bugs and hacking. However, when sufficient caution is taken, such as creating strong firewalls and regularly updating the software - these pitfalls can be prevented. There is also a need to have an alternative backup just in case anything goes wrong.