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How the Right Payroll Software Can Save You From a Disaster

Updated: June 18, 2024

Written by

Murad Jaffery

Man happy with payroll software
A payroll software computes, automates and completes key payroll activities such as processing wages, onboarding workforce and calculating taxes. It is a digital solution that replaces the manual processes of completing payroll, thereby eliminating the various challenges peculiar to manual payroll operations. The tricky part of using payroll software is that you can only benefit from it if it is right for your business. Hence, the right payroll software primarily benefits your business in the following way: Time Management If your payroll software isn't right for your business, you'll undoubtedly spend considerable time navigating it or completing operations on it. However, good payroll software should cut down on the time you spend completing payroll operations. After all, time management is one of the core reasons for the mass switch from manual practices to automated systems. When you opt for the right software, you get to save time and pay more attention to other crucial aspects of your business. As an example, Gusto, a leading payroll system, ensures you can run payroll within an average time of 13 minutes.
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Increase in Efficiency and Productivity Whatever technology you utilize in any business operation should increase its efficiency. Automating your payroll process sees to it that your payroll personnel are more productive and your employees motivated to greater efficiency. Cost Saving Using payroll software that is well-suited for your business helps you save costs in the long run. First, you'd be doing away with the cost of funding laborious manual payroll processes. You'll also avoid the losses that come with erroneous payroll processing and non-compliant penalties. Employee Morale Employees are at the core of every company's payroll. As a result, they're usually directly affected by the impact of all payroll operations. However, when you use the right payroll and your processes are error-free and well-suited for your business, you end up with satisfied, well-compensated employees. However, to enjoy the many benefits of payroll software, you must begin by selecting one that is rightly suited for your business. Steps in Selecting the Appropriate Payroll Partner To get the best out of your payroll software, consider certain factors before making a choice. While some of these factors can be negotiated, others are more on the side of necessity and must feature in your choice of a payroll system. Identify the Payroll Needs of Your Business The first step you must take during your search for payroll software is to understand the payroll needs of your business. Identifying these needs begin with knowing:
  • the size of your business and workforce,
  • your contract with your employees and their payment structure,
  • your employee locations
If you run a small-scale business, you'd most likely be talking basic payroll runs like deposits and payment processing, tax filing and reports, and W-2 filing and sending. If you run a medium-scale business, you could have items like 1099 filing and payment, off-cycle payroll, tax withholdings, third-party integrations, and employee benefits. For large businesses, more advanced functions like life insurance, retirement plans, leaves and vacations, and commuter benefits may make the list of your business's essential payroll functions. These factors will ensure that you're paying for payroll functions your business truly needs. Intuitiveness Software intuitiveness is another factor you must consider while choosing payroll software for your business. How easy to use are the software's features? Is the software mobile-friendly? How long will it take you to run the payroll on the software? Another way you can consider software intuitiveness is by understanding for whom the system is built. For example, some payroll solutions can only be used by payroll experts and may require that you hire extra hands before using them. On the other hand, you'll find applications that have been designed in user-specific versions. Each of these versions presents payroll operations in formats that resonate with the users for which they are built. For example, ADP payroll has versions customized for Managers and decision-makers, HR Professionals, Finance Personnel, IT Specialists, C-Suite executive and Payroll Admins. Hence, you can select the version best suited for the experts handling your payroll. In terms of storage, is there a cloud storage option on your chosen software? Or do you need to deploy servers for storage? Data Security Your payroll covers your business's most sensitive data and must be maximally secured. Always ensure that your choice payroll software complies with data security protocols and are duly certified before purchase. Two-point encryption and controlled access/permissions should also constitute the security details of your payroll software. Also, ensure that you're able to receive security updates as often as possible promptly. Cost Cost is probably the factor you expected to appear first on this list. Well, the cost of your payroll software compared to your budget is important. Still, it's safer not to let it be your utmost priority. A software or business solution is so-called because it is supposed to conveniently meet your business needs, even before you start talking costs. As a simple guide, do not be too focused on the basic cost of payroll software that you forget some other really important costs like:
  • The payment structure – per operation, monthly or annual payment.
  • The cost of implementation, set up and staff onboarding.
  • The cost of additional services.
  • The cost of adding a new hire.
  • The cost of hiring a software operator/training employees to use the software.
Customer Support Finally, before you settle for a payroll technology provider, how much support do they offer their users? Or would you rather purchase software for which you'd still have to pay heavily to find your way around? Does your choice provider have 24/7 phone support? Would a dedicated support rep be attached to your business? How promptly do they respond to your inquiries and fix your bugs? You may also need to know if your choice software has features like blogs, tutorials, demos, FAQs and guides to ease your navigation. How Does a Payroll Software Save You from a Disaster? Just as with every other activity, disasters – natural or human-induced – can leave dire consequences on your business. Most of these disasters, like fires, storms and death, cannot be prevented or curtailed. Their impacts may also be unavoidable, but measures such as using the right payroll software can save your business from such disasters. Data Security Prevents Data Privacy breach. The rate of cybercrime has been on an alarming increase, and an increasing number of businesses have had their data privacy breached by cybercriminals and data thieves. It is no telling how much havoc can be wreaked on your business when your payroll data gets into the wrong/unauthorized hands. The right payroll software with up-to-date security features would go a long way to safeguard your business's privacy. The advanced technology deployed in these software ensures that unauthorized entities do not get any form of access to your payroll data. Online Storage to Avert Data Loss Payroll data loss can result in a chain of business problems and must be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, you may never recover business data you lose to inadequate storage practices. And even when you do, it is usually after a tedious, resource-consuming process. Payroll data loss could result from natural disasters like fire, flood or storm in your business premises. This is especially true if you run manual payroll or use physically installed servers without adequate cloud backup. You can also lose your data to employee sabotages – especially when you give an individual exclusive access to your payroll. Excellent payroll software should not only offer online data storage or backup for maximum data safety. It must also provide permission restriction options and access recovery to curb employee data sabotage. Saves the Cost of Hiring New Operators at the Demise or Exit of the Current One When you opt for complicated payroll software that can only be operated by a small category of experts, you set yourself up for disaster. In the event of the exit or demise of that operator, your business may suffer payroll delays and complications until you find a replacement. This factor is usually aggravated if the deceased personnel has exclusive access to your payroll data. However, using intuitive payroll software that does not require hard-to-acquire expertise ensures payroll continuity in the absence of admins and managers. Prompt Support at the Discovery of a Potential Data Loss/Breach In the event that you were moving your company data and you experienced any form of an outage, prompt customer support may spare you data loss. Prompt customer support could also save your payroll data from non-natural disasters like workforce sabotage. And this support undoubtedly makes your choice of payroll software ideal for your business. Cuts Down Your Employee Turnover Rate You may not typically classify voluntary employee turnover as a business disaster, but it is. When you have to run recruitments for a single position multiple times in a year, you'd be expending resources that could have been used to increase your profit and productivity otherwise. Over 82 million employees in the U.S. are affected by payroll errors. And a survey also reveals that about 49% of American employees typically begin to look elsewhere at their second payroll complications. Automating your payroll processes eliminates errors that could demoralize your employees or make them question your financial integrity. In addition, using payroll software that accurately factors benefits and rewards into your payment structure keeps your employees motivated and spares your company reputational damage. Saves Your Business from the Predicaments of Non-Compliance Depending on your business location, most states do not take compliance issues lightly. When your business or employees fail to make appropriate and timely remittances, you may be severely sanctioned. Consequently, the right payroll software does not only pay your workforce promptly. It also processes and sends out their tax deductions as necessary. In the long run, prompt and adequate compliant can reinforce your business reputation and place you in the good books of your government. Conclusion Your business's payroll software makes up a crucial part of your business facilities. But, beyond providing your business convenience during payroll operations, the right payroll software also has the potential to save your business from disasters.

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Murad Jaffery

Murad Jaffery is a chartered accountant specializing in the field of accounting and finance. He has been writing on these areas for nearly a decade, and is also an accounting tutor. He holds master’s degrees in accountancy and English literature. Murad enjoys traveling and reading.