Did your small business recently start hiring employees? Then you’re probably realizing how time-consuming it is to manage payroll.
Are you finding frequent errors in your calculations? Are your employees concerned because they’re not getting paid on time? That’s a problem, and it could cause your business to suffer.
Your energy should be spent communicating with clients and managing your team. Technology can’t do those things for you. It can, however, take the pressure off payroll.
Before you start searching for a service, there are some things you should keep in mind. Here’s how to get the most out of your payroll software:
1. Think through your company’s needs.
Not all software is created the same. That’s why there are so many different options.
Before you pick a service, there are some key questions to ask yourself:
- How many employees do you have?
- Do you work with contractors?
- What’s your budget?
- How important are usability and customer support?
Look for options specifically made for small businesses, such as OnPay. OnPay’s payroll software lets you pay traditional employees as well as contractors, and a flat monthly rate simplifies software budgeting. White-glove setup avoids snags from the start.
2. Insist on direct deposit.
We live in an era of “now.” Employees want access to their money when they want access to their money.
Make sure the software you select allows direct deposit. Even across a dozen employees, the time costs of paper checks add up. A Bank of America study suggests every business check costs between $4 and $20, factoring in “soft” costs.
Direct deposit is seamless, as well as more secure. Checks can be lost, cashed at bad times, and copied or altered for fraudulent reasons.
3. Check for tax features.
Taxes are one of the most time-consuming parts of payroll. If you’re searching for payroll software, make sure it can generate and file federal and state taxes. For flexibility, choose one that allows for quarterly and annual payments.
SurePayroll offers full-service plans. Not only will this software pay your employees, but it’ll also handle taxes for you. Furthermore, SurePayroll includes a tax-calculation guarantee. If they make a mistake on your taxes, they’ll deal with the IRS.
4. Consider the cost.
The true cost of some payroll software can be tough to discern. Most payroll services offer a base account, which includes basic features. Depending on your needs, this might be enough for your business. But if you’re looking for advanced features, you might need to spend a little more.
Keep in mind that some services charge a fee based on how often you run payroll and the number of workers you’re paying. Others assess fees for things like tax filings.
When you’re assessing options, look for a software that allows unlimited payroll so you can pay employees as often as you’d like. Always ask to see examples of how fees play out for companies of different sizes.
5. Look for HR features.
Why track your employee’s PTO or sick days when a payroll program can do it for you?
Automation and self-service save time. Make sure your payroll tool lets employees submit time-off requests for your approval. Check whether they have a space for an organizational chart and roster. In-app messaging and document storage are handy features to have as well.
6. Make sure systems work together.
If you’re new to managing a business, you might not understand the importance of integrations. Integrations pull information between software programs so you aren’t copying, pasting, and checking your work all day.
Review the other business software you’re using. For example, if you use QuickBooks for bookkeeping, why not also use QuickBooks for payroll? This way, you won’t have to move data from one platform to the other.
7. Decide on employee access.
Granting employees access to your payroll software is a good idea. It’ll save you from having to enter their information, which can be time-consuming. Plus, it minimizes your liability: You don’t want to be the one to lose a passport or a Social Security card.
Make sure employees can create their own profile, and ask about data security. Employees should be able to view their pay stubs, attendance records, and tax forms without worrying about it falling into the wrong hands.
When it comes to payroll software, do your homework. You don’t want to spend money on something that doesn’t make sense for your business. Choose well: Payroll software is one of the smartest investments a small business can make.