We’ve Hired 37,000 Security Contractors for the Sochi Olympics, Now What?

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The 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia, and the event has already proven itself to be the most expensive Winter Olympic Games of all time. According to CNN, the 17-day event will cost Russia at least $50 billion. In fact, Russia spent $8.7 billion just to build a new railway in preparation for the Games, which is more than the total cost of the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver.

In addition to costing a great deal of money, the 2014 Olympics will require an impressive number of employees, including event staff, cashiers, vendors, waiters, bartenders and more. For example, the games will employ 37,000 people for security purposes alone. Managing payroll issues such as attendance, hours worked, and overtime for this event will be a massive undertaking.

Potential Issues

Many of the businesses involved in the 2014 Winter Olympics have taken on additional employees to handle the demands of this large scale event. All of their employees, including those who were on the payroll prior to this event, will be working more hours than usual before and during the Olympics. This will lead to more paychecks, more overtime, and a higher likelihood for mistakes, delays, and other problems in the business’ payroll department.

Along with unintentional mistakes, the addition of so many new employees make businesses more vulnerable to payroll fraud. Without so much confusion and extra work monopolizing the attention of the payroll department, unscrupulous employees may be tempted to pad their time cards, and employees working in the payroll department may be able to get away with stealing money from the company.

Finally, businesses that are not accustomed to dealing with such demanding payroll needs may find themselves falling behind. When a business falls behind in payroll processing, employees will not receive their checks on time and payroll taxes may not be paid by the appropriate deadline.

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Dealing with Large Scale Payroll Operations

To prevent the problems associated with increased working hours and the addition of so many employees to the payroll at one time, businesses must find ways to prepare their payroll departments in advance. Businesses can prepare by expanding the number of employees working in the payroll department, upgrading their payroll processing software and equipment, or even outsourcing payroll to a third-party provider.

Adding Employees

Adding employees to the payroll staff allows a business to distribute smaller workloads to each employee, which reduces the potential for errors and delays. However, because new employees must learn the business’s process before they can operate effectively, adding them immediately before a large event could be problematic. Likewise, after the event is over, the business is unlikely to need so many people in the payroll department, which means that extra employees must be hired on a temporary basis.

Upgrading Software and Equipment

Upgrading to new payroll software and equipment can help a business manage large scale payroll needs by improving the accuracy and efficiency of the business’s payroll process. For example, purchasing or upgrading equipment that monitors time and attendance may prevent employees from taking advantage of the confusion surrounding the event. These machines also eliminate some of the work usually performed by current members of the payroll staff, thus allowing them to spend more time on other tasks related to the event.

Outsourcing

For businesses that do not want to hire additional payroll staff or invest in new equipment, temporarily outsourcing expanded payroll needs to a third-party provider is a viable option. When payroll operations are outsourced, the business can rely on the provider to complete all of the additional work. However, businesses that select this approach must make sure the provider they choose is trustworthy and capable of handling the demands of the job.

Without taking the proper precautions, handling payroll for a large event like the 2014 Olympics is likely to be difficult and time-consuming for the businesses involved. However, by preparing in advance for large-scale payroll demands, businesses can reduce the chances of errors, delays, and other related problems.

If you missed the first two parts in this series, check them out:
1 – Sochi Olympics Security & Regulations Will Complicate Logistics
2 – Managing Assets for the Most Expensive Olympic Event to Date

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Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter