Pros and Cons of Payroll Software vs Payroll Services

Payroll Software vs Payroll Services

Choosing between Payroll Software vs Payroll Services can be a daunting decision for any business owner. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your business’s unique needs and budget before making a decision.

Payroll Software is an automated system that helps businesses manage and process their payroll in-house. It typically involves purchasing a software license and setting up the system on your own computer or server. The software allows you to input employee data, track hours worked, calculate taxes, generate pay stubs, and file payroll taxes. With payroll software, you have complete control over the payroll process, and you can customize the software to fit your business’s specific needs.

On the other hand, Payroll Services involve outsourcing your payroll to a third-party provider. These services take care of everything from payroll processing and tax filing to issuing paychecks and handling compliance issues. Payroll services can be a convenient option for businesses that want to save time and reduce the risk of errors or noncompliance issues. They also offer access to a team of payroll professionals who can answer your questions and provide guidance on complex payroll issues.

Payroll Software vs Payroll Services

When it comes to choosing between Payroll Software vs Payroll Services, there are several factors to consider. Payroll Software is often the more affordable option, especially for small businesses with a limited budget. It also offers greater flexibility and control over the payroll process, which can be important for businesses with unique payroll needs. On the other hand, Payroll Services offer convenience and peace of mind, as they take care of all aspects of payroll processing and compliance. However, payroll services can be more expensive than payroll software, and you may have less control over the payroll process.

Payroll Software Pros:

Total Control

Having complete control over the nuances of running payroll, paying employees, and payroll taxes, and creating reports is a game-changer. When you have full control over your payroll, you can make decisions quickly and efficiently, without having to rely on third-party service providers.


One of the biggest advantages of having control over payroll operations is the cost savings. In most cases, it’s usually less expensive to manage payroll in-house than it is to hire a payroll service provider. This is because you’re not paying for the extra services that come with outsourcing, such as data entry, tax filing, and other administrative tasks.

Time Saver

Another major benefit of having payroll software is the amount of time you’ll save. Manually running payroll is a tedious and time-consuming process, but with payroll software, you can automate many of the tasks that are involved in the payroll process. This means you can focus on more important tasks, such as strategic planning, employee management, and overall business operations.

Safe & Secure

Data security is another important consideration when it comes to payroll software. With DIY payroll software, you can ensure that your payroll data is kept safe and secure. You can implement robust security measures such as encryption, firewalls, and two-factor authentication to protect your sensitive data. This is especially important when it comes to payroll, as payroll information contains sensitive employee data, including social security numbers, salaries, and other personal information.

Easy Data Access

Finally, having payroll software provides you with more data and insights. With easy access to any and all payroll reports at any time, you can analyze trends and patterns, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions. This information can be used to improve overall business operations, employee engagement, and financial management.

Payroll Software Cons:

Time and Efficiency

One of the biggest drawbacks of using payroll software is the amount of time and effort it takes to run payroll. Even with the help of automated systems, running payroll in-house can be a complex and time-consuming process. Mistakes can happen, and fixing errors can take a lot of hours, especially for businesses with larger payrolls. But with CheckMark Payroll Software at your side, you can trust our software for efficiency and accuracy and spend your time focusing on other important aspects of running the business, such as customer service, product development, and marketing.

Staff and Manpower

Another disadvantage of in-house payroll is the amount of staff and manpower required to run it effectively. Small businesses with limited resources may struggle to keep up with the demands of payroll processing, which could lead to mistakes and inaccuracies. In addition, larger businesses with more complex payroll needs may require a team of dedicated payroll professionals to ensure everything runs smoothly. CheckMark Payroll is so simple and intuitive, even a non-accountant can process payrolls.

Errors and Penalties

In-house payroll processing carries a higher risk of errors and inaccuracies than outsourcing to a payroll service. Mistakes can lead to incorrect tax filings, which could result in penalties from the IRS. Additionally, payroll regulations are complex and can be difficult to navigate, even for experienced professionals. Outsourcing payroll to a dedicated service can ensure that all payroll tax filings are accurate and compliant with federal and state regulations. However, CheckMark Payroll Software is managed by CPAs and payroll experts, and we release important tax alerts and patches year-round to ensure our customers are using the latest tax tables for their payroll and tax filings.

Up-front Investment

One of the biggest drawbacks of payroll software is the upfront investment required to implement it. Some payroll software comes with a hefty price tag and hidden charges for additional companies, additional employees, direct deposit, etc., which can be difficult for small businesses to justify. These costs should be carefully considered when evaluating the overall cost of implementing a payroll software solution. CheckMark Payroll comes at one low annual price and the most beautiful part is that there are no hidden charges or prices.

Learning Curve

Finally, one of the biggest challenges of implementing payroll software is the learning curve. DIY software can be complex and may require extensive training to use effectively. This can be particularly challenging for small business owners who may not have the time or resources to devote to training. But CheckMark Payroll is super-easy and super-intuitive, even a non-accountant can process payrolls with ease and accuracy.

Payroll Service Pro

  • Time Savings – You save a lot of time in comparison to manual methods and payroll software.
  • No Staff Needed– Payroll services open up more time for employees to focus on other areas of your business.
  • Cost-Effective– Payroll Services are cost-effective for many companies after you add up the software costs and the staff costs to run it. But the costs will increase as your employee size increases, you will often end up paying thousands of dollars every month.
  • Accuracy Guaranteed– Payroll services often guarantee the accuracy of their payroll processing which reduces your liability for mistakes.

Payroll Service Cons

  • High Cost– Payroll Services cost more than payroll software.
  • Less Nimble– You don’t have access to as much data as you want when you want it.
  • Less Control– you sign up for a service with set offerings.
  • Data Risk – Although companies put a lot of effort into data security, it is more at risk when outsourcing.
  • High Initial Cost– Set-up costs for services can be expensive.
If you are going back and forth between Payroll Software and Payroll Services, give us a call at 970-225-0522 and we are happy to help you with that decision! Ultimately, the decision between Payroll Software vs Payroll Services will depend on your business’s unique needs and budget.