Using specialized software to manage the payroll for your business enables you to have more control and flexibility for your business’s needs. Most payroll software comes with the same set of basic features, as well as a variety of special options to fulfill the specific needs of your business.
In order to narrow down your software options, you need to figure out your company’s payroll needs. Do you want to keep detailed employee records? Do you have both salaried and hourly employees? Do your employees want to enroll in direct deposit? The answers to these questions will help you determine which software features are necessary for your business to function.
The most basic function of any payroll software is to generate and print employee paychecks, detailed reports, documents and returns. In addition, the software normally includes a variety of functions to help you manage your employees, payroll, and general accounts.
- Employee management: Payroll software can help you track employee payroll history including sick time, paid time off, vacation time and salary history. It can also include details regarding employee performance, reviews and goals, as well as store personal data and emergency contact information.
- Payroll software should enable you to transfer payroll and tax information to the general business account ledger.
Always check the software details. Don’t assume that every program includes all of these features. Make sure you are getting the features you need to run your business and help it grow.
Payroll systems come with a variety of different features for your company, but you have to be sure they are features that your company needs and can use.
- Compatibility: Make sure your payroll software is compatible with your operating system and any other software you use for your business, including your general ledger and HR software. With just one click you should be able to find all the information you need.
- Ease of use: In order to work effectively, your software should be easy for you and your employees to use. If possible, test out the software before you commit to a purchase. Some companies may offer free live demonstrations of their software; if not, thoroughly investigate the screen shots displayed on the box to examine the user interface.
- Online functionality: Your payroll software may allow you to host information on the internet, allowing employees to view their pay information online at home. Other software gives employees limited access on the company intranet; find out which option is best for your employees.
Things to Look Out For
Along with basic and optional features, you should also be aware of your payroll software’s hidden risks. You want your software to be secure as well as up-to-date with relevant tax and legal codes.
- Data security: Because your payroll software will contain personal information about your employees and your business, it is imperative you keep that data secure. Online payroll access should be on an encrypted page with an https connection. Offsite storage of data should be on multiple redundant servers.
- Payroll software comes complete with tax tables to compute your company and your employee’s tax responsibility. Be aware that these tables are updated yearly with new information related to taxation and superannuation. Some companies may charge a fee to keep this information current.
The right payroll software can streamline the accounting and payroll process for your company while affording you greater control and flexibility than outsourcing the process to an accounting firm. If you want to manage your company’s payroll on site, be aware of the needs of your business and investigate your options thoroughly to find the best software that works for you.
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