Payroll Software: Which System is Best for My Small Business

June 29, 2023・7 mins read
Payroll Software: Which System is Best for My Small Business

What is payroll software? The standard answer is that payroll software automates, manages and creates reports on payments to regular or contracted employees. Another way of putting it is that payroll software can help with headaches for business owners.

The best payroll software helps businesses from large to small create an efficient and integrated system that helps maintain compliance with regulations and requirements governing pay and payroll taxes in any state and can help to reduce overall costs for the company.

Choosing the right payroll service for your small business, whether it's on-site or cloud-based, is incredibly important and can maximize your company's benefits. In this article, we'll consider factors to consider when selecting payroll software, the benefits of automating the payroll process and more.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Payroll Software

There are a few important factors to consider when selecting a new payroll software for your company. You want to find payroll solutions that offer the services you need, fit your budget and provide a user-friendly interface.

Company size and budget

First, consider your company’s size and budget and payroll software cost. Are you a small business with five to 10 employees looking for a simple, easy-to-use interface? You might have a smaller budget and want software that just supports payroll processing and direct deposit.

Or are you a larger company with 30 to 60 employees and are looking for a more comprehensive service? You might have a larger budget and can afford a full-service payroll system. This can include comprehensive payroll reports, as well as the ability to process payroll, to meet your company’s needs.

User-friendliness and support

An easy-to-navigate system is important for employees and business owners alike. The less time spent learning or struggling with a clunky interface, the better.

Take the time to test different payroll software options to see if they are easy to use and effective. Software with a mobile app is a popular choice, making it accessible to all employees.

Integration with existing systems

If your company already uses software for employee benefits, training or other HR services, make sure that the payroll software solutions you consider are compatible with these systems.

An integrated system can be more efficient and effective, reducing time and money spent on unnecessary functions. It also allows for consistent cohesion across all work systems, which helps keep employees engaged in productive work.

Required features

Does your small business need help with payroll taxes, which includes calculating, withholding and tax filing? Is it important to provide self-service options to employees?

It may be stating the obvious, but it's important to find software that provides all the services you need. Examine your current payroll processes. Then ask: What is lacking? What is missing altogether? Are there features that I am not aware of that could really help my business? And what will I need in the future? Can this software grow with my small business?

One way to address all these concerns is to go with a full-service payroll system. It might have more features than you need now, but it will have everything you need, such as time tracking, payroll reports or tax filing assistance.

Features of Payroll Software

Here's a way of assessing your needs and looking at what services a system offers. Find the best match for your company by comparing your needs and what different payroll software can provide.

Some of the key features that many small businesses look for include:

  • Employee self-service portals that allow for real-time and remote employee access
  • Unlimited options for running payroll, producing customizable payroll reports, providing physical and digital pay stubs, and, let's not forget, paying employees accurately and on time
  • Automated payroll calculation that manages direct deposits simplifying paydays for employees and the HR team
  • Payroll tax filing and compliance
  • Payroll compliance
  • Attendance and time tracking for employees, as well as benefits administration
  • Seamless integration with existing accounting software
  • Mobile features such as remote accessibility or a cloud-based platform

Types of Payroll Software

There are different formats and types of payroll services. The type you choose depends on your business’ needs and preferences, and the needs of your employees.

On-premise payroll software

With on-premise software, data including Employee information and other workforce data, are stored in a physical location, like a desktop or on-site serve, and access is permitted via desktop applications or web-based user interfaces.

These types of software may have stronger security than cloud-based systems. Because of this, government agencies or medical facilities have historically used on-premise software systems for sensitive or confidential information.

Cloud-based payroll software

Cloud-based online payroll software is entirely digital and accessed via a web-based platform. Data is stored in the cloud or a remote server that can be accessed anywhere via the internet.

This type of payroll platform may be easier to access and can be used anywhere with internet access, making it beneficial for remote work. They are often most conducive to self-service. As a result, however, these servers may be more vulnerable to hacking. Companies that use cloud-based payroll systems should be proactive in properly securing their data.

Open-source payroll software

Open-source software is distributed with its source code, enabling users to modify and distribute it as they wish with the original rights intact. For a tech company, this approach can be particularly compelling, as it makes the payroll software uniquely customizable for its specific needs.

Open-source software is usually also cloud-based, making it easy to customize and use across locations. As with all cloud-based software, it’s important to make sure your payroll data and confidential information are secure with frequent surveillance and an effective cloud security system.

Benefits of Payroll Software

There are many benefits of using payroll software for your business, especially in your small business. These can include:

  • Increase in accurateness and efficiency for both HR teams and employees alike saving time and reducing errors through automated processes and detailed payroll reports
  • Help with payroll compliance for the company
  • Help maintains compliance with regulations and requirements governing payroll at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as improved employee compliance
  • An accessible means to time track and receive payroll reports
  • Better HR data management for everyone, making it simpler to track hours worked and to log employee data

Best Small Business Payroll Software

Small businesses can reap the tangible benefits of automation through the addition of TriNet's payroll services.

Our online payroll services include payroll processing with direct deposit and debiting, plus we make it easy to go paperless with e-pay stubs and electronic W-2 preparation and delivery. You can also view estimated invoices, which are automatically updated as you add employees and make other changes. Our self-service platform also lets your employees enroll in direct deposit, view pay stubs, change their status, view and print W-2s and track paid time off.

Additionally, you can integrate with certain accounting systems, so you can review your payroll in one place. Whether you’re a medium or small business looking for payroll, you have the support of HR professionals who cater to your needs.

When you select the best payroll system for your business, large or small, the benefits will be evident. Contact TriNet today to learn more about outsourcing payroll processing and HR.

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