Payroll plays a crucial role in the smooth operation of any business, particularly when it comes to compensating employees. Fortunately, the digital revolution has greatly streamlined various aspects of payroll management and distribution.
If you’re still on the lookout for the perfect payroll software for your business or department, you’re in the right spot. This article will guide you through the process of choosing payroll software that aligns with your business needs, covering all the crucial considerations to keep in mind during the selection process.
So let’s get started.
What Payroll Software Features Are Essential for Your Needs?
The initial step in selecting the ideal payroll solution is understanding the features you require. While payroll software offers a multitude of capabilities, there are key essentials to consider when evaluating these systems.
Whether you’re in search of payroll software for a small business or a large corporation, there are some non-negotiable features to be mindful of:
1. Payroll Processing
The paramount feature to look for is an efficient payroll processing system. This feature automates payroll computation, tax deductions, and benefits, among other crucial tasks. It’s no secret that these responsibilities can be time-consuming for business owners and human resource professionals. Opting for a system with extensive automation capabilities can significantly enhance the efficiency of your payroll processing activities.
Select a payroll processing system that offers a broad range of automation, enabling you to streamline operations and concentrate on your core business activities.
2. Time and Attendance Tracking
If your organization monitors employee work hours and compensates accordingly, it’s advisable to opt for a payroll system that includes a built-in time tracking feature. This allows employees to log their work hours on a single dashboard, with the system recording and calculating wages seamlessly.
Time and attendance tracking software can offer advanced features to enhance work validation. One such feature is a geo-location lock, ensuring that employees can only clock in when they are within a specific location. This helps prevent instances where employees might attempt to log in from different locations.
3. Direct Deposit
Undoubtedly, one of the pivotal components of a payroll system is the payment disbursement process. In the United States, 93% of employees receive their salaries through direct deposit.
It is essential to have a system capable of facilitating direct deposits to your employees’ bank accounts. Additionally, some systems offer the flexibility to disburse payments to multiple bank branches, eliminating the need for employees to open an account with a specific bank upon joining your organization.
Third-party integrations in your payroll software play a crucial role in streamlining your payroll, HR, and finance systems. Notably, your payroll system should seamlessly integrate with accounting software, the way CheckMark Payroll Software integrates with CheckMark MultiLedger, eliminating the need for manual entry of payroll data after disbursement.
Other beneficial integrations with your payroll software can include connections to:
- Human resource information systems
- Time tracking software
- Benefits management systems
- Project management software
- Sales and CRM software
7 Tips to Find the Right Payroll Software
Selecting the appropriate payroll software is pivotal to the entire process. Making the right choice from the outset helps you avoid the hassle and costs associated with switching providers later on.
To guide you in finding the ideal payroll software for your business, here are some useful tips to get you started.
1. Determine Your Needs
In evaluating a list of payroll services, prioritize the features you require the most. The previously discussed features should serve as your baseline, but additional functionalities may further enhance your payroll systems.
Some common supplementary features to consider include:
- Tax compliance
- Employee self-service
- Payslip generation
- Mobile service
- Performance management
- Employee onboarding
- And more
2. Consider Your Organization Size
The size of your organization significantly impacts the type of payroll system that best suits your needs. Payroll requirements for small businesses differ significantly from those of large enterprises. Therefore, it’s crucial to take your organization’s size into consideration.
For small businesses, opting for a system that charges based on each disbursement or usage may be a cost-effective starting point. This approach helps manage expenses efficiently.
On the other hand, large businesses may find value in adopting an enterprise-level plan with robust payroll management software. Additionally, it’s important to address the approval process for direct deposits. Having two or three designated individuals approve direct deposits before salary disbursement helps mitigate the risk of internal theft, ensuring a secure payroll process.
3. Look for User-friendly Dashboards
User experience encompasses the overall satisfaction derived from using a system, considering aspects like navigation, task completion steps, layout, and design. For many, including your HR staff, user-friendliness can be a decisive factor. Complex and challenging-to-use systems may result in an underutilized project.
For example, CheckMark Payroll Software stands out for its user-friendly dashboard, making navigation and use hassle-free. Investing in a product with an enhanced user experience can yield various benefits, including time savings and stress reduction. When evaluating payroll software options, prioritize those with intuitive and user-friendly dashboards for a smoother and more efficient experience.
4. Keep Customer Support in Mind
Issues can arise with your payroll system, as is the case with any system. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a system that offers robust customer support to assist you when needed.
At a minimum, your chosen system should provide email support. Ideally, having access to chat support or phone support, if available, can further enhance your support experience. This becomes especially beneficial when dealing with urgent concerns such as payment holds or financing problems. Prioritize payroll software options with reliable and responsive customer support channels for a smoother overall experience.
5. Go for a Demo or Free Trial
As the saying goes, “To see is to believe,” and if you approach system selection skeptically, that’s entirely valid. In fact, having reservations about a system can be a wise approach. To address those reservations, consider opting for a demo or free trial initially.
If available, schedule a discovery call with a company representative. Alternatively, choose a system that offers a free trial, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. It’s important to note that a free trial provides an opportunity to thoroughly explore the system, so make the most of it by testing out as many features as possible during that period.
For instance, CheckMark Payroll Software provides a 60-day free trial, allowing you to add your company, add employees, and run up to 4 payrolls to experience the system comprehensively.
6. Data Security and Privacy
Payroll, dealing with financial matters, requires a system that prioritizes maximum security and privacy. One fundamental aspect is encryption, ensuring your business is shielded from potential cyber threats and attacks.
Additionally, internal measures within your business play a crucial role in safeguarding information and finances. Secure your passwords and avoid storing them in easily accessible locations like shared documents or storage facilities. Utilizing a password-sharing system, if necessary, adds an extra layer of protection.
Opting for desktop-based payroll software for Mac or Windows systems contributes to the safety and security of your data. These systems are designed to provide a secure environment for managing payroll, enhancing overall confidentiality and protection.
7. Categorize Your Manpower According to Work Arrangements
Recognize that not all staff members operate under the same arrangements. Your workforce may include regular employees as well as freelance contributors, especially if your organization runs events. For instance, on-call staff members, such as event hosts, organizers, set-up teams, and technicians, may be compensated for each event they contribute to.
Your payroll system needs to accommodate these diverse work arrangements. Tailor your disbursement schedules accordingly, keeping in mind that many companies operate on a biweekly payroll cycle.
For managing event-related compensation efficiently, consider integrating event management software into your payroll system. This software aids in tracking upcoming events and facilitates timely payments to event suppliers. Explore a variety of event management software products to find one that aligns with your specific needs.