Dealing with your payroll can be a tricky, time-consuming task. Making the decision to use software can help you automate the process, saving you both time and money.
However, finding the right payroll solution means considering several factors that can affect your success. Taking each of these elements into account helps you choose a great payroll service.
As a small business owner, you need to be careful with costs. The pricing of payroll software can vary depending on the number of employees you have and extras you might want to buy. Make sure you know exactly what you’re going to pay before you invest in a solution, as you’ll have to pay extra if you need any features in future.
Many payroll solution options tie you into a contract, which is important to keep in mind. There might be additional charges for software support but these might be mitigated by the benefits, such as guidance through legalisation chances and help around key dates such as payroll year end.
Ease of use
To maximise productivity, you need software that’s simple to set up and use so you’re not slowed down through having to learn the ins and outs of the solution.
Lots of payroll software offers customer service at different levels, from online support to 24/7 telephone access. You’ll need to find a payroll solution that offers effective support at the level you need it.
If there’s an option to take a free trial, you should take advantage of this opportunity as it’s an obligation-free way to test drive your payroll solution. Get a feel for how it works and manage your payroll over the course of the trial, completely free.
When you’re dealing with finance, security is a must. Your payroll solution needs to have guaranteed security, as well as the ability to back up and restore data if it becomes corrupted.
Software should be encrypted and insured so you can trust that your information is in safe hands.
Online vs desktop
Some payroll solutions are cloud-based, which usually carry subscription costs, but can be used anywhere and automatically back up your data. Cloud-based payroll software is ideal if you run a business remotely or you’re always on the go.
Other solutions are desktop-based and can be used without an internet connection. You may pay an initial flat rate and pay for future upgrades, or via monthly subscription.
Any payroll solution needs features that cater for your company’s needs. Some features to look out for include:
A system that automatically sends online payslips cuts down on manual work, saves on printing costs and keeps employees happy.
Select different pay periods, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.
Revenue Online Services
Make online, legislation-compliant submissions to Revenue Online Services to avoid manual work-arounds.
Get a detailed look at your payroll data so you can make better business decisions.
Time and attendance
Track hours worked and get better visibility with attendance-tracking functionality, which is available with some payroll software.
Final thoughts on picking the perfect payroll solution
Choosing the right payroll solution will help to save you a lot of time when it comes to running your business and paying your staff on time.
Take the time to consider your requirements, follow the tips above during this process and select the right software to help you keep on top of your payroll.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.
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