Payroll Software for My Business: 8 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing One

Payroll Software for My Business: 8 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing One

Choosing A Payroll Software Has Never Been This Easy

If you are here, I assume that you are finally sick and tired of manually preparing payrolls. The headache that comes with it now has you at the edge. You just started entertaining the thought of getting a payroll software and are wondering where to begin.

You are not alone. Many business owners find themselves at crossroads between the time of manual payroll and costs of a software, and then deciding which software is best for their firms.

Here are some questions that will help guide you in your search for the right type of payroll software.

1. What Are the Needs of My Business?

Each business has its own set of challenges that it needs to address. When it comes to payroll management, payroll software has something to offer each business. You will not reap the full benefits of payroll software until you fully understand the needs of your business. Consider the following:

  • The number of employees you have to process payroll for
  • Number of companies you serve (if you run a payroll outsourcing business)
  • How often you pay your employees
  • The mode of payment with which you pay your employees
  • Whether you need to track time and attendance
  • Whether or not your business offers supplemental wages

Once you have answered these questions about your business, you now a starting point on what goals you need a payroll software to accomplish.

2. What Features are a Minimum Requirement for My Software?

Next you should consider the features that come with the software. What abilities does it offer you and your team? And what capabilities do you desire your payroll software to have? The features of payroll software vary from company to company, depending on its price.

Some key features you should consider when choosing a payroll software include:

  • Does it have tax filing capabilities?
  • Is it mobile-friendly?
  • Does it integrate with your timecard?
  • Does it offer your staff a self-service portal?
  • Does it integrate with third-party software that I am already using?

If you believe that your payroll process is more complicated than other businesses, you may have to dig deeper into your pockets to get what you need. If you gathered from your needs review above that your payroll is not too demanding, you have some wriggle room to try out cheaper stuff.

3. How Much Am I Willing To Spend?

You cannot discuss choosing Payroll software without considering price. The cost is one of the most important aspects of purchasing payroll software, as essentially you are “buying back” your or an employee’s time.

You will most probably buy your payroll software as one of two options. Either a desktop software version or a cloud software (SaaS) version. For desktop software, you will have to buy it and install it on your computer. On the other hand, SaaS software is in the cloud, where you pay a yearly or monthly subscription for its services.

Generally speaking, directly installing a payroll software onto your computer requires more technical chops than working in the cloud, particularly if you need your payroll system to integrate with your other systems.

Apart from the sales price, you should also review the costs for the required maintenance and upgrades down the road.

4. What Customer Support Does the Software Offer?

Your journey to getting a custom and efficient payroll software does not end when you buy the software. That is just the beginning.

Calculating people’s pay and taxes is a delicate procedure. One mistake can land you before a federal judge. Hence, any software that you buy should have customer support as a strong foundation. These include quick updates whenever federal rules change and timely notifications on important issues.

Strong customer support also means that somebody should pick up every time you call or have an inquiry. Be wary of any software company that doesn’t offer a direct line to their customer service.

5. How Easy is the Software to Use?

One of the main reasons you and other business owners flock to payroll software is the complexity that comes with processing payroll. You’re looking for a faster, easier solution.

Any payroll software that is so difficult to use that it requires outsourcing to an expert immediately defeats its purpose (especially since you can just hire a company like Avitus Group instead, who provides an expert and hosts the software for you). As you search for payroll software, ensure it is concise and straightforward to use.

Complicated software will not only waste your time but may also lead to mistakes that may cost you and your firm.

6. Does the Software Offer a Free Trial and Warranty?

Are you not quite ready yet to put money down for a Payroll software? Every business owner has their doubts about trying new things – and rightly so as not all solutions are for everyone.

If you are one of these shrewd people, you should consider trying out some software that comes with a free trial. This will give you a sneak peek of what the software is like and what your process would look like with the software to support you. It also shows that the company is confident with the product it puts in the market.

If you happen to put your money down and are not impressed by the product, there are numerous SaaS companies that offer a money back guarantee.

7. How Secure Do I Need My Software to Be?

Your payroll and the details that come with it are some of the most important documents in your office. It comes a close second to that stash of liquid cash in your office safe (lucky guess on that?).

The details that payrolls have can easily break your company if they’re compromised. First and foremost, most employees consider their terms of pay confidential, and a leak would be a breach of trust at the least, if not a breach of contract. Moreover, criminals can use data like social security numbers, student loans, and bank accounts to commit fraud in the name of your business.

Depending on the size and confidentiality that your business requires, security should be a large consideration to make when buying payroll software.

Note that vulnerabilities also exist at any point where your payroll system passes data to or receives data from another system. If you set up integrations with any payroll software, we recommend consulting a cybersecurity expert.

8. What is the Contract and the Terms of Use?

The contract and terms of use are another vital consideration to take when making your choice for Payroll software. Do you lease the software for a month, half a year, or an entire year?

If you are trying out new software, it is highly advisable to lease it for the shortest period in case it doesn’t impress you. If your business hires workers perennially, you should also avoid long term leases. The money you save during off-peak seasons can help you offset some of the overhead later.

For nominally more than the software alone, Avitus Group can provide access to payroll software and manage your payroll on your behalf. For more information about growing your business with us, schedule a time to speak with us about our payroll options and we will be more than willing to help.

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