Managing payroll is a considerable undertaking, which is why finding the right payroll system for your small business can alleviate your business’s pain points, and help get your payroll on track. In narrowing the scope of what’s available, you’ll need to look through the lens of your own business to determine which system will work best for your needs and provide the most value to your company.
Here are some pointers on how to approach the search process:
Outsource vs. Manage In-House
“Realistically, small businesses will have to weigh two options when it comes to payroll,” says Brian Westfall, Senior Market Researcher for payroll software consultancy Software Advice. “They can either choose to outsource payroll to a provider or handle payroll in-house.”
According to Westfall, while outsourcing payroll can result in reduced labor costs and time savings, it decreases a business’s control over the entire process, leading some companies to seek a payroll system through which they can independently manage payroll. “For companies looking to purchase a payroll system, the first thing to do is perform a cost-benefit analysis. When it comes time to purchasing payroll software, businesses should keep in mind a few trends in the industry.”
Trend number one? More payroll systems are becoming web-based, giving companies access to the software through browsers. This allows for flexible payroll management in-the-office, at home, or anywhere else.
Trend number two is enhanced employee access. “Companies should be aware these systems are becoming more employee-centric. This helps eliminate some tedious tasks from the HR department and gives employees access to their personal pay history, bank details, benefits, and timesheet data.”
A popular misconception is that managing payroll in-house as a non-payroll expert exposes your business to a wide margin of error or oversight. In reality, payroll software is user-friendly and offer feature-packed services that make compliance easy. There is typically a care team behind the payroll software that stays up-to-date on changing regulations in order to update the software accordingly and notify clients of changes. Plus, software platforms often provide automatic tax filing, quarterly filing, and year-end filing reporting and hiring (like Fingercheck).
However, if you prefer to put your trust into a payroll provider to handle your company’s payroll, and simply don’t want to manage it in-house, you can use old-school payroll services. However, these services are expensive, and often cater to larger businesses. Instead of solely trusting and relying on one person or provider to oversee your company’s entire payroll, try to implement a system of checks and balances. Remember that you and your team are ultimately responsible for your payroll and any errors that are made.
“Integration with existing platforms such as expense or accounting software is a key factor to consider when looking at different platforms,” says Hannah Munro, Senior Business Technologist of itas. “This can be as simple as making sure the imports are compatible or maybe they may even have a pre-built utility for your existing systems. Not only will this ensure that you are as efficient as possible, but it will also reduce data entry errors and possible mistakes.”
In-house payroll solutions should be able to offer integrations with different expense software. For instance, Fingercheck payroll integrates with major accounting software including Sage 50 (Peachtree), QuickBooks, and QuickBooks Online so that clients can set up a general ledger that exports all their payroll costs directly within their software. This provides a full breakdown of all payroll transactions detail-by-detail per every check.
Employers who prefer to manage the business internally should look for payroll software that offers the best value for money. An all-in-one solution that integrates payroll with HR and Time and Attendance offers increased functionality and reduced clerical labor, resulting in one platform that can be used to manage the entire business.
Traditionalists or those who prefer a hands-off approach when it comes to payroll may prefer outsourcing. For instance, some employers prefer having paper paychecks delivered like clockwork and payroll tabulated by professional providers.
In-house payroll management allows employers to be at the chain of command regarding cost, accuracy, and control. But what about features? As it turns out, online payroll software is packed with features that help relieve owners of the more complex aspects of payroll. Some standard features of Fingercheck payroll include:
- Unlimited payroll runs
- Direct Deposit
- Auto-run payroll
- Automatic deductions
- Automatic reimbursements
- Automated child support payments
- Automatic tax filing
- Digital pay stubs
- Mobile payroll
- Anytime access to software
Payroll providers provide a wide range of payroll services, but pricing can be individual depending upon the provider. It’s the employer’s job to streamline those services so that they fit within their budget.
If you’re looking for the best payroll solution for your company’s needs, it’s important to decide whether you’re looking to run payroll yourself or outsource it to a payroll provider, as both have their own unique advantages and drawbacks.