Your company has unique payroll needs and considerations and you need to select a payroll software that meets those requirements. There are multiple good HR and payroll management solutions available which make the buying decision more challenging. To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, we provide a list of important services and features to look for in the ideal payroll platform.
Number of Users and Branches
For how many branches and users do you need to provide payroll software? This information is essential because you need to buy licenses for the needed number of units and users. Similarly, if you select an on-premise system, you need to buy a license to permit multiple users to utilize it.
Number of Staff Members
This number should be easy to know but not if you have seasonal employees. You also need to account for leavers because their records should be maintained in the payroll platform till year-end to generate required reports. A lot of payroll tools are priced and divided by the number of employees, so this figure is important while researching vendors.
Payroll Types and Frequencies
What are the pay periods of your staff? Are they monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly? Are all personnel remunerated in the same way or do some get weekly wages and others monthly?
Do you need to pay monthly or hourly salaries, or a mixture of both? Select a tool that caters to your payroll types and frequencies. You should also consider the calculation of staff holidays which can be difficult to do manually and needs an automated payroll package.
If you need to print and distribute payslips, what type of stationery do you use (customized, standard, or plain paper)? Calculate the costs of each type so you can opt for the most affordable. Other expenses are for envelopes and postage. The modern method is to send payslips by email and your payroll software should allow this.
Some companies wish to assess their payroll expenses across different units. Others delegate payroll expenses to various cost centers in the firm. Select a product that offers the analysis level you need and also enables you to quickly and easily generate insightful reports on key metrics.
Your payroll system should allow your firm to comply with standard payroll regulations as well as industry-specific laws that may be needed in your state. For example, the payroll tool may need to be used to cater to the requirements of the Construction Workers Pension Scheme.
The payroll software should be able to integrate smoothly with your HR, accounting, employee database, biometric, clock-in, and other systems as well as spreadsheets from which you wish to import data. Check with the vendor to learn what import or integration features are offered by the solution.
Have you utilized any payroll tools previously during training courses or employment? Were their features useful and can be applied to your current needs? A familiar and effective product can make your decision easier and help you get a jump-start while implementing it. If the system was not good enough, you’ll know the type of software to avoid.
Cloud-based complete payroll solutions allow you to manage payroll from any place, anytime, on any internet-ready device. Plus, you can pay a monthly subscription fee to the vendor and spread your software cost over time. This means you can avoid the large upfront investment needed to buy an on-premise system.
You can make a shortlist of good tools and use the free trial of each product to check whether the features fit your needs. This allows you to test each software’s capabilities before spending your money. The free trials give you the opportunity to select and buy the best payroll product available for your requirements.
Growing companies need to constantly hire new employees and process payroll for them. Therefore, the payroll software should be scalable to meet your increasing demands. Your payroll processing needs may be limited now but may arise in the future and you need to prepare for it by investing in a scalable platform.
Your business is certain to have specific demands based on the industry it is in. For instance, sales and marketing units need to have a system that presents functions for bonuses or rewards. Restaurants and hospitality businesses need a payroll tool that includes tips in the compensation calculation.
Data Conversion Tools
If your company is currently using other software products then select a payroll solution that can properly migrate and convert data from them. This will help to eliminate the loss of historical data.
Support and Training
Does the vendor offer good support and training? Is the software easy to use for lay employees? Select a provider that offers both onsite and online training to help your company gain maximum value from the investment. You should be able to contact the vendor’s support team round the clock on multiple convenient channels.
What is the price of the basic edition and do add-on features cost extra? If your needs are simple, you can use the standard edition of the software. For advanced functions that you think are worthwhile, don’t fret about spending more.
Employee Self-Service Tools
A staff self-service portal can empower your personnel to manage their payroll information on their own. They can view and update their information anytime which saves a lot of time for your HR executives. Plus, your employees can spot any payroll errors and notify the concerned managers about them for fast rectification. The portal should also allow your staff to download important payroll-related documents like tax worksheets, payslips, and others.
Your company needs to protect its confidential payroll data from hackers and criminals. To facilitate this, the payroll software should offer role-based access and user permissions. This will allow only authorized users to access sensitive private and business information.
To sum up, settle for a payroll system that meets the main needs of ease of use, convenience, and budget. Don’t go for the most well-known product in the category because it may turn out to be too complicated for your users and drain their efforts and time. Rather, plump for the tool that offers the best user experience and gives the needed results.