There are many moving parts in payroll, from time card collection and generating payroll reports to tax compliance and workers’ compensation tasks. As new technological trends usher in the incorporation of fresher concepts, the need for automated payroll systems in businesses grows. You may consider purchasing payroll software to streamline your payroll duties and free up more time in your day for other things. But what are the qualities of payroll systems that you should prioritize while looking for software? Discover the essential payroll features and advantages for your company.

Uncomplicated setup

As a business owner, you are aware of how valuable time is. So why would you want to spend a lot of time configuring software? When looking for payroll software, look for a simple and precise setup.

The following are examples of simplified payroll setup:

  • A simple startup wizard
  • Free payroll setup
  • Importing abilities

Look into the setup options when evaluating payroll management system providers. Do they offer the opportunity to have someone else set up your payroll account for you? How does the process of opening an account with them go? Ask these questions and check our customer testimonials to see what other people say about the setup procedure.

Processing payroll

Payroll processing can be completed quickly with the right software. Most systems have connectivity features, which, depending on your payroll and timekeeping platforms, can connect systems to automatically retrieve hours, pay rates, etc., for processing payroll, making ACH deposits, and printing physical checks. Remember that payroll managers must manually enter the necessary data before processing if your company still utilizes paper time cards or a system that isn’t integrated.

Automatic deposit

The era of cash and paper checks is long gone for many businesses. Most companies prefer direct deposit, and if you’re like most employers, so do your workers. Companies can save hundreds of dollars yearly on supplies and processing fees thanks to direct deposit.

Employees don’t have to worry about missing checks or fraud, and some environmental benefit is also realized. Furthermore, monies are moved directly from company accounts to employee accounts through an Automated Clearing House (ACH). They are accessible immediately, unlike traditional paper checks, which generally have a holding period.

Therefore, consider your direct deposit alternatives when looking at payroll management software. Most payroll firms offer one or more types of direct deposit.

Regarding direct deposit, consider the following:

  • Optional timing (e.g., 4-day)
  • Extra charges
  • Rapid direct deposit possibilities (e.g., 2-day)
  • Direct deposit restrictions

Do not forget to check if the payroll software offers free direct deposit choices. Ask about each provider’s direct deposit cost and associated fees.

Tax calculations and compliance

Dealing with payroll tax withholdings and filings is one of the most challenging aspects of processing payroll. But a payroll management system from Boardroom makes tax calculations and compliance easier. Teams no longer need to calculate the state and federal tax rates for each employee by hand, thanks to automatic computations.

By directly taking employee data from the system and pre-filling the tax deposit information on those forms, the system generates the proper paperwork that is then delivered to the right agency.

Consequently, business owners and payroll teams can stop worrying about missed filing deadlines, fines, penalties, or interest from the government by automating their filing processes. Ensure you verify the details of the whole service offering from the payroll provider. They may not always impose an additional fee for year-end filing.

Payroll reports

The last thing you want is to look for payroll information and not be able to get the required data. Strong, precise, and accessible payroll reports should be another item on your wish list. Find software that provides a choice of reports that you can access with a few clicks rather than rushing to put together reports and gather information.

Check to check if the payroll service provider provides the following reports:

  • Pay details
  • Payroll book
  • Review the payment information.
  • Payroll tax liabilities

Additionally, ensure you can view tax receipts, deposits, and filing reports. Examine your report-breaking options, too (e.g., by an employee). Find out whether there is a method to test the reports to see how they function and appear before you take any action (e.g., free trial).

Optional integrations

You also need to collect timesheets, manage employee files, and perform accounting duties in processing payroll. For this reason, you must have payroll software that easily integrates with other systems and programs.

You may want to incorporate the following:

  • Accounting system
  • Timekeeping and attendance systems
  • Payroll applications
  • Remuneration for employees

Find out which platforms each payroll business integrates with and if there are any extra fees involved. Examine the provider’s software offerings to discover if they extend beyond payroll. That way, you can save all your information in one place and use the same login for all your systems.

Employee self-service

An employee self-service portal is another feature you should search for in payroll software. Employees can edit their personal information, examine their pay stubs, and review benefits information through employee self-service, or ESS.

Employees may also be able to track their time cards, examine their tax reports at the end of the year, and print payroll data (e.g., year-to-date report) with an ESS. Find out if a software company has an employee self-service portal, how much it costs (if anything), and what it can do before buying.

Mobile compatibility

Software titans include capabilities that are supposed to be used on the go, which is understandable in a world where iPhones and Androids dominate. With a mobile-compatible payroll management system, payroll teams can handle payroll and examine reports away from the office. Employees can oversee their personal information, view their pay stubs, and confirm their work hours.

Using a technology that allows for mobile self-service has the extra advantage of relieving HR professionals of the stress of handling paperwork and duties that each employee can operate independently.

The takeaway

Make a list of the essential features you want in a payroll management system to make shopping easier for you.