How to Choose the Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses

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For an owner or manager of a small business, finance is one of the most important considerations for the business to flourish. While the majority of financial considerations are purely internal, payroll is a matter in which all members of a business have a personal stake. Payroll is also the largest single expense for most companies, so it is important that it is accurate and efficient.

When examining payroll systems, owners and managers of small businesses need to take their needs fully into account.

Advantages of payroll software

Small companies usually have to work with fewer employees who perform several tasks compared to larger companies. While it may seem easy to do payroll with fewer employees, the reality is that payroll can still take hours and mistakes can cost a small business more than they are worth in penalties. Payroll software can help alleviate these problems and help a new company maintain a trusted image.

Accuracy guarantees for payroll software ease the worry

Most payroll software programs come with accuracy guarantees that give you a reassuring feeling of security. Payroll software is regularly tested and reviewed by experts, ensuring the highest level of accuracy in compensation and tax reporting. If there is a problem, the provider will generally help to resolve the issue.

Paycheck options fit the needs

Small businesses can work better with direct deposit or with paper paychecks. The option of direct deposit can prevent bottlenecks on payday at the place of business, but the ability to issue paper paychecks with just a few clicks can also be convenient. Payroll software providers often offer options that allow employers or even employees to choose their preference.

Software simplifies tax returns for small businesses

Filing tax returns can be difficult if done manually. Payroll software comes standard with tax tables, automatic calculators, support for deductions and customization options. These options make it easy to calculate taxes or have them calculated automatically, but they also help small businesses ensure that key people are familiar with the requirements and policies.

Once taxes are calculated, payroll software can help small businesses submit and file the required reports. This level of assistance can save small businesses time and frustration while ensuring that taxes are filed correctly. As everything can usually be filed online, there is no messy paperwork to organise and then deal with.

Payroll software Mobile accessibility improves the experience

Employees generally expect to have some form of mobile access to their pay slips. However, many small companies do not offer this option, so payroll software that allows employees to view their own paychecks and information can enhance their experience. This could serve as a competitive advantage when recruiting employees and provide existing employees with more content.

It could also improve the user experience for the accountant, manager, HR professional or owner responsible for payroll. Mobile options for managers enable payroll to be run from a mobile device, so payroll never has to be delayed because a meeting is overrun or other external commitments intervene.

Could be more affordable

Payroll software can be cheaper than an accountant or an external payroll company. Payroll software companies can charge a flat rate or per employee. This allows small businesses to choose the structure and pricing that best suits their needs and budget.

Some small companies do not deal with payroll software because they think it is too expensive or because they are not sure if the time savings will pay off the investment. However, payroll software for small businesses can be more affordable than expected and can also exceed expectations for functionality and efficiency. For most small businesses, it is worth investigating payroll software.

Evaluate business needs

No small business is like any other. Therefore, each company benefits from different characteristics that reflect the uniqueness of the company. Tailor-made payroll software for small businesses has a significant impact on a company because it allows for the simplicity and ease of payroll functions.

When evaluating a company in terms of payroll needs, there are some general guidelines and "checkpoints" to consider. Based on these standard considerations, companies can be confident that they have found the best payroll software for small businesses.

When selecting payroll software for small businesses, companies should consider factors such as;
  • The size of the company, which is reflected in the time and resources required
    the available budget, which can easily be used for payroll accounting
  • Level of comfort and familiarity with legal and regulatory payroll considerations

Consider functions of the accounting software

Tax registration
Regardless of the size of a company, one of the most complex aspects of payroll accounting is the accurate documentation and administration of taxes. Federal, state and local tax rules and regulations are constantly changing. It is imperative to ensure that small businesses comply with these regulations to avoid costly penalties and other financial losses.

Small business payroll software that provides tax filing capabilities can help owners and managers reduce the complexity of managing deductions and tax filings.

Employee self-service portal

An employee self-service portal allows employees to manage their personal payroll data with a few simple clicks. This streamlines the data management process by eliminating the need for back and forth communication between employees and their employers or HR professionals when managing and reviewing personal information.

A self-service portal for payroll software for small businesses should include information such as payroll, paid time off and W2 forms. Mobile accessibility of employee portals can also be a consideration.

Direct deposit

In today's business world, direct deposit leads to a dramatic rationalization of the process for all parties involved. In fact, direct deposit is increasingly considered the "norm".

From the employee's perspective, paper checks are often an inconvenience. With paper cheques, an employee has to make a separate trip to the bank outside working hours and may have to wait before the funds become available.

From an employer's perspective, paper checks hinder productivity because managers must take the time to physically hand each employee a check.

Eliminating paper checks saves time, effort and resources for both employers and their employees. Direct deposit is a key feature to look out for in small business payroll software.

HR Integration

Payroll software for small businesses with human resources (HR) integration can offer significant benefits. The benefits of HR integration are universal: streamlining communication and organization between departments and ultimately reducing time, resources and often costs. Less paperwork, automatic updating and report consolidation are the main benefits.

Small companies may consider integration with other systems, such as accounting software. Integrating other systems with the payroll process can help reduce or eliminate certain errors that can occur when juggling information between different departments. Purchasing a system designed for integration can also help to improve the quality of analysis by allowing cross-referencing of information from the different solutions for decision making.

Evaluate costs versus functionality

When choosing a payroll accounting solution, cost is a major factor for most small businesses. However, choosing the cheapest product available may not be the best option. The cheaper the payroll solution, the more manual work the system requires in most cases.

Payroll solutions that cost a little more can save money in the long run. Greater accuracy can save money on payroll, tax and compliance errors and possibly penalties for those errors. Companies can also save on labor costs by automating aspects of the payroll process.  In addition, HR professionals and managers no longer need to manually enter data or export data from one system to another.

Consultation with stakeholders

Before choosing a payroll software solution, business owners or managers should regularly consult with the people who will actually use the software. This can be done after a preliminary investigation has been conducted and a shortlist of possible solutions has been created.

Stakeholders can gain insights that can help narrow down the shortlist. They may also become more enthusiastic about using the new solution, knowing that they have played a crucial role in the selection process.

Save time and money

The implementation of HRIS software, which stands for Human Resource Information System, can save a small company a lot of money and time. For example, an HRIS helps a small company by reducing errors, automating payroll and a variety of other things. HRIS software enables a small company to manage all its HR tasks in one system, which makes for a much more efficient and cost-effective HR workflow.

More convenient access

Since many HRIS software solutions are web-based, they allow users to access the system wherever they can access the Internet whenever they have the opportunity. Managing HR projects will be incredibly easy if you can schedule 20 minutes of work on a Sunday afternoon when you have a free appointment.

Makes HR simply

Your HR tasks are all organized in a simple HRIS software suite, making it incredibly easy to find everything you are looking for. Cluttered desks will become a thing of the past, making your work and life much easier.

Enables automation

The included automation technology allows you to activate user-defined and preset automation programs. You will be able to automatically check for compliance issues and policy changes, giving you peace of mind that business is always done.

Analyzes data and generates reports

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of HR software is its ability to create data-driven reports. Using the data entered into the system, you can quickly create reports and forecasts that allow you to compare yourself with the competition and find ways to focus on reducing costs.

Eliminates fraud

Research shows that a typical small business loses more than 5% of its total turnover through employee abuse and fraud. These violations may include falsification of wages and hours or a number of other fraudulent claims. By automating tasks such as recording hours and payroll, you reduce the opportunities for fraudulent activity and make it easier to identify those that are damaging the business.

Reduces human error

Another leading source of unnecessary business costs is human error. By providing an automated system for processing HR tasks, you reduce the likelihood of typical errors such as double entries and give employees the opportunity to check their work for errors that may have been entered incorrectly the first time.

Adds convenience

HRIS software also increases the comfort of front-line staff, allowing them to access and update their information whenever it is most convenient for them. It also provides employees with an easy way to access payroll information such as tax information, previous checks or direct deposits.

Increases opportunities for managers

By streamlining day-to-day HR tasks, HRIS software allows your employees to focus on tasks that strengthen their leadership skills, such as management training and special projects. Not only will you empower them to do their jobs better, but you will also prepare them to play a greater role in your small business as it grows.

Protects the environment

An HRIS software system also helps your company reduce paper - a very simple way to start the green movement of your company. Not only do you save trees, but you also save a lot of money on paper, printers and ink, which are constantly being bought to produce printed reports.

Looking for a new payroll system?

IceHrm is a human resource management system which has so many features including payroll management system. IceHrm payroll management system does the following;

Store employee salary details with and group into salary components

  • Calculate various deductions
  • Include overtime payments into employee salary slips depending on the number of hours
  • Add salary components based on attendance sheets
  • Allow employees to download payslips

You can download IceHrm here for test purposes.

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