Payroll software has advanced tremendously over the years, making it easier than ever to manage payroll for your small business. Nowadays, you can easily find payroll software that suits the needs of your specific company.
However, finding the right payroll software can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to look or what to ask. This guide will provide you with some helpful information on how to evaluate payroll software for your small business so that you can make an informed decision on which software is best for your needs.
Evaluating the Best Systems
Before you start shopping for payroll software, there are some important things to consider. First, you should think about how many employees your business has and their pay frequencies (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.). How much does each employee earn? Are there any different types of compensation (like bonuses or commissions)? If so, these will need to be taken into account. Finally, ask yourself what you want out of a payroll solution. Is it the price that's most important? Ease of use? Advanced features? There are options for all budgets and needs.
1) Startup Costs
Typically, payroll software isn’t going to cost you much in startup costs. You may need a simple laptop or desktop computer, but beyond that, you shouldn’t have to shell out much cash when it comes to setting up your payroll services. That said, there are some features that you will want to consider adding later on once your business has grown and expanded. Easy-to-use payroll software can even integrate with digital applications so that staff members get paid via direct deposit through electronic bank transfer systems. This ensures reliable payments while also cutting down on costly checks and extra fees associated with them.
2) Employee Count
One of the first questions to ask is how many employees your business will have. That will help determine if you’ll need a desktop version or online version of payroll software since each has its own limitations based on how many employees you have. The average small business with two to three employees uses a desktop payroll system, although some businesses with one employee prefer an online solution. At 20 or more employees, consider an enterprise-level software suite that can handle anything from basic payroll to employee health care management and 401(k) plans.
3) Reporting Features
One of the most important tasks you can do as a small business owner is to ensure that your employees are paid on time. If you're using only manual payroll methods, you're probably wasting time each month trying to make sure everything's in order for each paycheck. When you use software with automated report generation, it'll save hours every month and help keep your business running smoothly. Make sure to choose a provider that offers automated reports for both labor costs and labor hours per week/month/quarter. This will give you quick access to information about employee performance as well as areas where efficiency could be improved. As an added bonus, employers often need only minimal training to learn how to use payroll software – so it can pay for itself quickly through lower staff turnover and reduced time spent training new hires.
4) Support Requirements
Some payroll solutions offer live customer support. These services are often available around-the-clock, which can be invaluable if you’re in a time crunch and need to find answers immediately. Customer support is one way to make sure you’re always moving forward with your payroll solution—not struggling with it. Live help is especially helpful if you have a lot of questions about using your software. Having someone who knows what they’re talking about at your fingertips can save time and hassle in the long run, helping you get back to running your business instead of dealing with a payroll software problem.
5) Online Reviews from Customers
Another thing you should do is look at other people’s reviews. There are plenty of review sites for software, including free ones like Capterra, where you can find information about real-world experiences with payroll systems. The more information you have about how well (or poorly) a particular software system works, the better chance you have of picking one that suits your business needs and is user-friendly. In addition to online feedback from customers, ask your colleagues if they’ve used any payroll softwares themselves and what their thoughts were on them. They might be able to offer valuable insights into what worked—and didn’t work—for them when evaluating a system for their own businesses.