What is something that employees love but many business owners hate because of all of the administrative headaches it can cause? Payroll, of course!
A company’s payroll department not only has to spend hours tracking and compiling time sheets and time cards, but they must also stay up-to-date with any local, state or federal tax laws and regulations to ensure that the company’s employees are receiving fair pay. Many businesses put all of their payroll tasks in the hands of the accounting department. Others outsource their payroll, get assistance from online-based software, or purchase in-house business software. For large companies and small business owners, payroll software can be helpful in eliminating error, time consuming calculations and completing government tax forms and reports.
No matter what size company you have, many of the payroll software packages out there are very affordable and the tools can be customized to fit any company’s business needs. These packages can be purchased separately or can be bought as part of a HR software system. There are a lot of benefits to implementing payroll software into your company’s structure and it can save a lot of time and money as well.
Benefits of Payroll Software
One benefit of payroll software is the increased speed and accuracy of wage processing. This type of software eliminates manual pay processing, which is usually a painstaking job that requires the accounting staff to perform all payroll calculations and data entry by hand. Using this method of manual payroll leaves room for errors and are quite time-consuming. With payroll software, all an accounting or payroll employee would have to do is enter an employee’s payroll information, such as hourly wage, yearly salary and pay cycle, into the system. Then, the software sets up payments based on the information, and can dole out other recurring payments, such as severance pay and workers’ compensation. Automating this system can help reduce errors on employee paychecks and eliminate any of the stress managers or accounting staff has when it comes to compiling information and time sheets for payday.
Another relief that payroll software brings to organizations is their automatic update of any local, state or federal tax laws. Payroll tax laws are constantly changing as the Internal Revenue Service and the state tax departments update their withholding rules on an annual basis. This headache can be easily eliminated because payroll software has the withholding tax tables embedded in the system. It calculates employee taxes according to the inputted federal and state withholding data, and computes recurring deductions, such as wage garnishments as well as voluntary deductions like insurance and retirement contributions automatically.
A common task for any payroll staff is implementing direct deposit for each worker. Most payroll software has direct deposit tools that helps to reduce live check processing and the manual work that goes into inputting data for each pay period. Direct deposit has many benefits on the employees’ side as well, so having this process implemented into a software package is an extremely beneficial asset. It saves employees time spent depositing their paychecks at banks, eliminates lost and stolen checks, and makes check reconciliation an easier process. Without payroll software, the employer has to write out paychecks on a computer, which is time-consuming and not as error-proof as a software program.
Small Business Payroll
For small business owners who have to take on nearly every function in their company often have to deal with coordinating and organizing all payroll activities. The good news is that many payroll software systems are tailored specifically for small businesses with under 100 employees. Small business payroll is designed to be simple, straightforward and intuitive, and is usually available in many different packages so it can be tailored to the needs of a specific company. Many software packages also come with government forms available for printing, like W-2, 1099, 940 and more so business owners can have the information and documents at hand when needed. Program support is also provided with most software packages so business owners or payroll staff will not be left “in the dark” if they should have any problems or questions about using the product.
Enterprise Payroll Software
Large businesses usually have an entire team dedicated to accounting and payroll, but with several hundred or thousands of hours to compile and paychecks to calculate, payroll software is extremely valuable, and almost essential to any large scale organization. Automation streamlines the process of check writing and helps eliminate the errors of improper calculations, time accrual and pay rates. This feature makes it easy for the accounting and payroll staff to make changes to employee profiles so any adjustments in pay, hours worked or even a change in address or bank information will not disrupt the whole payroll cycle. In just a few clicks, employees can have their information checked and updated, leaving no interruptions in pay.
Many believe that companies should just turn to outsourcing for their payroll needs, as the convenience of having everything taken care of out of the office seems ideal. However, outsourcing payroll often has high costs and the company may have a lack of knowledge about the payroll that it is administering for its clients. Using payroll software in a large corporation over outsourcing the payroll is a good option because it helps to lower costs and is often a safer option, as outsourced companies are usually not as familiar with a company’s policies or methods of pay.
Business Software Training
Companies that are unfamiliar with using payroll software need not be worried about implementing it into their daily routine. Many of the business software that is on the market today comes with the ability to send tests or trials of paychecks or other payroll materials. Before diving head first into payroll solutions software, accounting and payroll staff can practice their new craft be devising payroll campaigns, calculating hours worked, deducting the appropriate taxes and deductions, and administering the pay to the employees and/or their bank accounts.
Some companies also offer free training on their software. This is usually done online in the form of a video or webinar, giving step by step instructions on how to use and properly customize the software package. Training can also take place in person if the software company has several branch locations in the areas in which they provide their services.
Whether you are a business owner looking for software and payroll solutions for a small business, or a large corporation hoping to keep your payroll solutions in-house, a wide variety of payroll software is available to help your business function at its best.