Which Factors Should Employers Consider Before Choosing Right Payroll Software?

In today’s fast paced startup ecosystem, a meticulous approach is must for running a company – be it small or large. In light of this, companies that carry even slightest of HR and payroll mistakes can throw their entire business off the track. Therefore, it is crucial for business owners to invest in a right payroll solution so that they can easily handle and manage their employees’ records appropriately.

If you are an employer and have not yet decided which type of software will be best for your business, you need to go through certain considerations before choosing one. Sometimes it can become a daunting challenge for you to select the best payroll management software that can cover all of your business needs. Not anymore! We have researched and formulated some important factors that will help you find the best payroll software for your firm.

Here are these tips:

  1. What are your primary business goals?

To begin with, you need to first underline your primary business goals in order narrow down your options. Rather than indulging in a temptation for a long wish list, just focus on your company-wide goals and determine which ones are of greater priority for you. Since you are presumably not among one of Fortune 500 companies, there is no point in going after heavy sophisticated software that will require extra skill-set to handle. You can rather opt for cloud-based payroll platforms that are more affordable and specialize to include your unique needs. It is very important for you to consider your payroll requirements as well.

  1. What features are you getting?

Relevant features are what make your payroll software an ideal one for you. So ensure that the provider is capable of delivering or addressing all the services that you desire. In addition to the basic features, check whether you are getting additional features. However, tons of features might go unused, which in turn could reflect in the cost, so a most relevant solution will address your key requirements. Whether it is streamlining payroll or keeping a time track on employees, the payroll software should ensure accuracies along with quick redress of discrepancies. In addition to these features, you need to find out whether:

  • This software has current tax information of your state or locality? If not, does it have flexibility to add local tax info?
  • It includes pre-tax and/or post-tax deductions? For example, from the 2016-17 income year in Australia, the small business company tax rate has been reduced to 27.5%
  • It supports your payroll period like daily, weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly? 
  • It prints the necessary forms using your payroll data, e.g. Form 1040, Form 940 etc.?


  1. Does it offer support and customer service?

When it comes to using (read buying) software solutions that are meant for addressing important aspects of your business, you have to regularly communicate with the provider since the software might not work perfectly all the time. Your payroll solution, for one, is one such critical aspect of your business, so it is important that the support is available to you in case you experience any issues with it. The customer service may range from phone support, email support or on-site support, so you can choose according to your own convenience. However, it is better if you choose a service that provides local support, which in turn will greatly benefit you to maximize your investment.

  1. Can you use the payroll software as recruitment and staffing solution?

This is the age of versatility and multitasking, and if software wears many hats simultaneously, you have better chances of cruising ahead. Being an employer, you also have to perform time to time recruitment process, which can be costly and time consuming. Moreover, it requires a really tedious process to select a right candidate who will work towards your company’s growth and success. Therefore, if your payroll software can perform this function also, that’s two thumbs up for you. There are many payroll systems that also act as comprehensive back-office function for recruitment and staffing. These functions may include tracking applicant information, email invoicing, CIS payroll support, timesheets, etc.

  1. Seamless integration

It is always a beneficial proposition for you when your payroll software seamlessly integrates with your existing system. That way you can simplify other tasks or make good use of other resources. For an instance, you can link your payroll systems (usually handled by HR team) with accounting software that your finance team uses. As a result, you will have a greater control and efficiency because both teams will be working on the same data. So having all the information in the loop of relevant teams means that data can be utilized in better way. Furthermore, the same data can be cross referenced with other data to compile analytics that can be used for improvements.

  1. Database security and backup

Since payroll is associated with the information about salaries, finances and taxes of your employees, it becomes a paramount importance for you to make it secure from any possible breach. In case such an unfortunate incident occurs and someone gains access to this valuable information, which could result into a possible misuse in the future. Also the software provider should be trustworthy, which you can check out by its security certificates. Make sure the provider is using high security encryption to secure employee information. Not just that, sometimes the data might get corrupted or lost because of something went wrong. In such situations, you need to secure all your data by having a back-up or a restore feature.

  1. Total cost of ownership (TCO)

As a matter of fact, purchasing a payroll solution is not only limited to license and implementation charges, there could be some underlying costs that need to be carefully looked into. A recent PwC study breaks the costs structure of payroll and administration in following way:

  • System installation (one time cost)
  • System upgrade (periodic costs)
  • Direct labor costs (for support staff)
  • Direct non-labor costs (extra-facilities)
  • Outsourcing costs
  • System maintenance costs

Therefore, this breakdown of hidden costs (which, by the way, is prevalent in many organizations) will help you get a better understanding of the costs that you are going to bear. This will be pertinent for you to eventually which software to choose and which one to leave.

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