A smooth payroll process can have a huge impact on business success. After all, payroll is in charge of ensuring your employees get paid. If they don’t, they won’t be happy nor productive. As a small business, you don’t often have the resources to compete with big businesses offering hefty salaries. You want to ensure your employees know they get paid on time, fairly and for the work they do.
If you look for online payroll software, you’ll end up finding a lot of options. There are lots of companies offering a variety of products. But as a small business, you don’t have the same budget to shop around as big business. Can you still find a good payroll system that works for your company? The answer is yes, absolutely! You just have to know what to look for and make sure you consider your options carefully before you make the purchase.
The most important payroll features
Lots of vendors offer payroll software. Not only are there plenty of products, but a lot of these software options also have a variety of features to consider. As a small business, you want to pay attention to these features. If you’re not careful, you may end up paying for things you don’t need or not get the features that would help your business.
While the right features will always depend on the business, there are some payroll functionalities you do want to have no matter what. The most important payroll features include:
1. Tax filing
Taxation is a significant thing for any small business. Getting it right matters because a lot of your expenses can go into taxes. You’ll often face hefty fines if you don’t follow the right tax rules. It’s imperative to get this right. It will save you both money and time.
Payroll taxes are among the top tax expenses your business has. Calculating them separate from your payroll software can be time-consuming. You want to look for online payroll software that includes tax compliance, especially on a local level. The required tax and tax payment rules can very a lot from region to region. By having tax filing built into the software, you could end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
2. Employment law compliance
You also need to pay attention to compliance management. Employment laws vary and change regularly. Staying on top of all the rules and regulations can be tough for a small business. Your HR department might be small and you simply don’t have the resources. Knowing how holiday pay is calculated, how to deal with employee health insurance and the like can be draining.
Employment law compliance updates your payroll automatically. You don’t have to worry too much about keeping up with the law. The software can make sure you follow the rules. The best program will alert you to changes and guide you through the necessary adjustments.
3. Direct deposit
Different companies have different ways of paying their clients. The most preferred method is to do it through a direct deposit. This means the money goes straight from your business bank account to the employees’ bank account. It is safe, fast and often the most efficient. Banks can sometimes charge setup fees to create direct deposits but some payroll vendors can cover the costs for you. Compare different options and make sure you have the option to make direct deposits and without huge additional costs.
4. Employee self-service
Employee self-service or ESS can be a great benefit. Not only will it make your life easier, but also benefit your employees. In fact, employees appreciate the ability to complete HR-related tasks. What does ESS look like in action? With the implementation, your employees can update their contact information or view the salary information without going through you or the HR department. They get direct access to the system. The employee enjoys a level of autonomy and you remove the burden to manage every single detail off your shoulders.
5. Cloud access and scalability
You should also consider opting for online payroll software in the cloud. Cloud-based solutions are better for small businesses because of the access and security they give you. Your information will be on secure servers away from your physical business location. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on internal security. Cloud systems also make it easier to access the information no matter where you are. This is especially important in a world where remote working is becoming the norm.
The cloud also offers the benefit of scalability. Your small business’ payroll needs might be much smaller now than they will be in ten years. As your business grows, you want your payroll to grow with you. You don’t want to have to invest in new software every time you hire new people.
How to find online payroll software
The above are the most important features you need to look for in your payroll software. You can find lots of options from different vendors. The most important thing is to compare and shop around. You should look for payroll software online with the above features in mind. See if you can test the software with a free demo. This can give a good idea of how the product works in action. Some vendors even let you trial the product for a certain amount of time before committing to a purchase.
When it comes to the cost of payroll software, you want to be mindful of your budget. Features and functionality should always come first. But you shouldn’t commit to software you can’t afford. It’s always worth balancing your budget with what you need from the software. The good thing is that when you opt for a cloud-based system, you can often tailor the product to your needs. This way you’ll only end up paying for things you are actually using.