Getting your first paycheck from a new job is exciting. Before you get too eager to go out and spend it, take this opportunity to double-check it for any problems sooner rather than later. Photo by Andy Nguyen.
As business site Inc. points out, the first paycheck after you start a new job -- or get a new position or the company makes a major change to how they handle payroll -- is the perfect time to spot errors. Not only is this the time when errors are most likely to happen, but by spotting them now you can save yourself a ton of hassle later on:
You'd be surprised, but HR people and Payroll people are actually human and make mistakes from time to time. Make sure the rate you are paid is the same rate as in your offer letter. If it's not, bring it to their attention the very same day-even if it's for more. Why? Because if it's for more than your offer letter says, they can require you to pay it back. If it's for less, you're being (accidentally) cheated. It's very easy to fix a paycheck error on one paycheck. It's not so easy when you don't notice until you get your tax documents next year, or even late. Yes, people sometimes don't notice errors for years and it's a huge mess by then.
Don't just check your salary, either. Inc. also suggests checking your deductions as well. If part of your paycheck is taken out monthly for benefits like your superannuation or health insurance, make sure those deductions are present and accurate. If they're not, you may end up having to wait months to sign up for your benefits if you don't spot the mistake until later.