Payroll Software Buyer's Guide
The Best Payroll Software is About More Than Just Compensation
By Alainia Conrad, Market Research Associate
There are several reasons why companies of all sizes need payroll software. Probably the most significant reason is the cost of the workforce, estimated to be as high as 70 percent of operating expenses (according to the Human Capital Management Institute). Another important reason is the complexity of the regulatory system, with hundreds of rules at different levels of government: municipal, state, national and international. Failure to comply with all these regulations may lead to hefty fines or even lawsuits, which can have a negative impact on the financial stability and reputation of the company.
These are the most obvious reasons why companies need payroll software, but there are also a few important reasons that may not be so evident. One of them is the relationship between employee satisfaction and compensation or pay. A recent study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) shows that of all the factors that contribute to job satisfaction, pay and compensation has the most significant gap between importance and satisfaction.
While 61 percent of employees consider pay and compensation to be very important to them, only 26 percent are very satisfied with this aspect of their job. This is not only due to the salaries people are earning, but also how they are being paid and the perks they receive.
- Payroll software allows businesses to adapt to new types of work, such as temporary positions and remote work.
- A payroll system can assist in the management of all financial responsibilities.
- A comprehensive payroll platform will keep your business in line with all relevant laws and regulations.
- Analysis of payroll data provides insight into labor costs, compliance and industry changes.
What This Guide Covers
- Benefits of Payroll Software
- Implementation Goals
- Basic Payroll Software Features & Functionality
- Advanced Payroll Product Features to Consider
- Compare Payroll Services
- Questions to Ask Yourself
- Questions to Ask Vendors
- Related Content
Benefits of Automated Payroll Software
Adapt to New Types of Work
Different ways of working are gaining traction worldwide, for example, temporary and remote work. While some companies have tried to fight these trends and impose work conditions on their employees, this new reality is forcing companies to adapt and be more flexible in regards to how and where their employees work.
Here are some statistics showing why these new types of work are important and why they should not be ignored:
- Temporary work has been around for decades and it currently represents more than a fifth of the total employment in Spain and the Netherlands, in addition to 15 percent or more of total employment in Finland, France and Sweden. While temp jobs represent only 2 percent of total employment in the United States, that number has more than doubled since 1990. Furthermore, one in 10 jobs created since 2009 in the United States are temporary jobs, according to The Economist.
- Remote work is also on the rise, as 91 percent of UK companies employ at least one employee who works from home. The trend will continue with successive generations. Take millennials, for example — the great majority of them would prefer to telecommute 100 percent of the time, according to CIPHR.
Since many employees will soon either work temporarily or outside of the office, it will become very difficult to track what they work on and for how long. In order to address this issue, companies need to trust their employees and provide them with the tools to easily track their work time.
For organic growth, payroll can become a challenge when the company expands into new geographical locations or diversifies its activities. When new business activities require new types of work (temporary, unionized, etc.), companies need to comply with different sets of rules. More complex activities also require more functionality, such as better time tracking.
When it comes to the number of employees, only a big shift like exponential growth can cause real payroll problems. Most of the different types of payroll systems are fairly scalable and able to adapt to the growth of the company. The challenge comes from the fact that growing companies will inevitably invest in HR or HCM solutions that may or may not include payroll functionality.
If the company decides to keep its standalone payroll solution because it covers the company’s specific payroll needs, it should make sure that the solution can be used together with all the systems it needs to integrate with (ERP, HR/HCM, etc.).
Adapting to Technological Advancements
As technology becomes an increasingly important part of our lives, we expect the software we use at work to be as simple as the tools we use in our personal lives, such as social media platforms. This can be a challenge for companies that are trying to keep up with these new expectations, but also keep payroll data secure. Bring your own device (BYOD) is an important challenge for companies since employees tend to use unsecured devices to access company data. This trend extended to mobile apps and is impossible to control, even though some companies have tried to ban mobile devices at work.
Another challenge that companies experience as they grow is the need for integration between payroll software and other solutions. Since many companies in industries like manufacturing and retail continue using on-premise ERP solutions, integration remains important. Even when companies decide to adopt mostly cloud-based software, silos previously created in on-premise software may move to the cloud. While integration between cloud payroll solutions is relatively easy, the more solutions that are used, the more complicated integration gets.
Staying Up-to-Date with Changes in Regulations
One of the main complexities of payroll is that regulations always change. Most of the time, changes are minor. But they can still create problems if companies don’t keep up with the latest rules. Even though they don’t happen very often, major changes can be much more disruptive. An example is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of data protection laws that will affect the European Union. GDPR will impact any company doing business in the EU, as well as any company that processes data collected in the EU.
Ensure Proper Compensation
|At its core, payroll software is exactly what the name implies: software to manage payroll. These platforms handle attendance processing and salary rates to oversee the essential function of paying employees. Payment options make sure compensation is distributed in the way most suitable to the company and their workforce.|
Analyze Payroll Processes and Other Financial Matters
|Business intelligence features provide a data component to corporate payroll services. Companies can use the insights provided by data analysis to make adjustments to salaries, bonuses and other pay-related decisions.|
Provide Employees Access to View and Manage Their Payroll Information
|Self-service capabilities are essential to today’s tech-savvy workforce. Employees want to be able to see their payroll information without asking HR for assistance, saving time across the organization.|
Basic Payroll Software Features & Functionality
Advanced Payroll Product Features to Consider
Online Payroll Services Comparison
Like all software solutions, payroll software isn’t just a tool that companies can simply install and expect it to solve all their problems. First, companies need to understand why they need payroll software and how it fits into their overall business strategy. Second, strategies and processes need to be translated into features and functions that can support them successfully. And finally, the technical infrastructure needs to be implemented in order for payroll applications to be deployed and maintained, ensuring it can seamlessly exchange data with other systems.
These three components of a payroll software selection initiative (strategic, functional and technical) should be implemented together for optimal results. The order in which they are performed also matters since functionality without strategy is meaningless. Technology can vary a lot depending on the functionality it supports.
Since payroll is so important for companies, there are many vendors that offer some kind of payroll software. The main categories of software providers that offer payroll include software companies that focus exclusively on payroll (obviously), HR and HCM vendors that offer it either as a part of or in addition to their solution, and ERP vendors that include a payroll module in their offerings.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What’s wrong with your current payroll system (if you have one)?
- If your business doesn’t currently use payroll software, why are you interested in adopting a system?
- Which features are most important to your organization?
- Will your current infrastructure be responsive to payroll software adoption? If not, what changes should be made in preparation?
- What budget and time constraints do you have?
Questions to Ask Payroll VendorsOnce you have identified your short list of payroll companies, consider asking them the following questions:
- Does the system have mobile capabilities?
- Does the software include analytics functions?
- Is a core HR base included in the platform?
- Is the system scalable?
- Does the system support compliance management and adapt to changing regulations?
Whether you’ve been in business for 25 years or you’re just getting started, RUN Powered by ADP® can help. We’ve spent countless hours — and burned through even more cups of coffee — building a smarter, simpler, and more affordable small business payroll software, tax and HR solution to help you get back to the work that matters most to you.
We built our unmatched software for the SMB market, targeting users in roles ranging from business owners and executive leaders to HR managers and all others who handle payroll and HR management. We serve all industries, but with software that has the comprehensive capabilities to accommodate industry-specific business needs, we specialize in home health, skilled nursing, real estate, professional and financial services, restaurants, and skilled labor, to name a few.
BambooHR is the number one HR software for small and medium sized businesses. BambooHR’s cloud-based system has beautifully designed, intuitive features including an applicant tracking system (ATS), onboarding with electronic signatures, automated time-off tracking, and innovative performance management. This gives HR managers more time for meaningful work. Executives get accurate, timely reports, and employees can self-service their time-off using a convenient mobile app. Clients include many industry leaders like Stance, Soundcloud, and FanDuel among thousands of others in over 80 countries worldwide. Visit bamboohr.com or give us a call to watch a free demo and start a free trial today.
Bring all your HR online, then automate the paperwork. You can connect your current HR systems, or get new ones. Experience a radically better way to manage your business. See why 10,000+ companies turn to Zenefits. One system to manage, analyze, and care for your employees. Employees also receive self-serve accounts, so they can get what they need, when they need it.
After working with more than 250 high-velocity businesses, we have a different viewpoint about the future of HR. It’s not about HR tools, people-first mantras or porting old software to the cloud. This misses the point. Tomorrow’s leaders will operate with a different set of rules that demand a new HR modernization strategy. One that empowers fast-growing and dynamic organizations to run at the new speed of business, see their workforce with new eyes, always know when things are changing, and help make HR the heartbeat of their business ecosystem. SyncHR is a next-gen Human Capital Management (HCM) solution purpose-built to help mid-sized enterprises modernize their HR so they can operate with greater efficiency and velocity.
Namely is the HR, Payroll, and Benefits platform your employees will love. Finally, there’s HR software that employees actually use—built to fit your company culture. Manage all of your HR data in one place, with personalized service to help your company get better, faster. Namely is used by some of the world’s most innovative and exciting companies in media, technology, commerce, and more.
Ultimate Software’s cloud-based UltiPro helps simplify and improve work experiences for employees at every level. Organizations can easily manage global people data and processes with UltiPro and ensure their people feel engaged and productive from day one. With UltiPro, you can deliver personalized recruiting and onboarding experiences, guide employees through important benefits choices, simplify complex payroll computations, efficiently manage time and attendance needs, support continuous performance management and development, and build proactive succession plans for the future. Most importantly, UltiPro’s solutions are supported by powerful business intelligence and reporting to help you drive smarter, people-focused business results.
Oracle HCM Cloud is a complete HR application suite that helps organizations become more strategic and agile with a best-in-class workforce experience. It integrates HR best practices and technology to provide an engaging, informative, and adaptive HR experience throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Oracle HCM Cloud allows organizations to find, develop and retain the best talent, enable collaboration, deliver deep workforce insights, and increase operational efficiency.
One Database - Optimum HRIS is a completely integrated solution with one master database, so you can update employee records once across all applications. No more duplicated entries to maintain!Developed and Supported In-house - Not only is our software developed in-house, we also support it ourselves. With Optimum, you’ll get to know your dedicated, highly trained support representative by name.Flexibility - Our HRIS software is designed to suit your specific needs. We provide web-enabled in-house software for both Windows and IBM i (AS/400, iSeries, and System i) as well as a cloud-based SaaS solution.
Sage Payroll is a cloud-based payroll solution that caters to small and mid-size businesses across various industries, helping them manage their payroll operations. The solution can also be deployed on-premise.
BizRun is cloud-based human resources (HR) software that frees up more time to run your business. We believe that the simpler solution is often the better solution. And, in the power of innovative visual interfaces that create shared understanding and engagement. With BizRun, Managers and employees interact with a living org chart to perform daily HR tasks and view where they fit within the business. Core features include timekeeping, PTO and leave management, centralized employee recordkeeping, photoboard, compensation management, employee supervisor self service and organizational planning. BizRun’s configurable workflow automates the routing, review, and approval of time cards, leave, onboarding and more. In addition, the business can track and manage important training, licensing and certifications information and dates. The application uses role-based security and offers numerous customizations and reporting to administrators. In addition to core HR, BizRun offers an online, cloud-based payroll processing module that is synced with timekeeping providing users with an end-to-end HR suite.BizRun can be accessed on a mobile phone, desktop or tablet and has a subscription-based pricing model that scales by the number of employees.
A unified solution to workforce management for every industry and every role. With APS, you’ll reduce costs, increase productivity, and gain insight into your business that will allow you to make informed, strategic decisions.
Dayforce HCM is a cloud-based application for Payroll Tax, Benefits, Workforce Management, Human Resources, Talent Management, Document Management, and Analytics. As a single application for HCM, Dayforce provides organizations with unprecedented access to real-time data and results across all domains of HCM. With one employee record, one user experience and no interfaces, organizations can find and hire the right people, process pay, manage benefits enrollment, maintain HR records, and schedule staff with work-life balance while managing compliance.
Our completely integrated Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud-based suite of HRMS, Payroll Processing and Time Labor Management solutions, delivers innovation, productivity and control. All this, built within the framework of our proven dedicated service model, ensures our clients can efficiently manage their staff – from recruitment through retirement. Our scalability and flexibility allow us to create a solution that fits your needs today – and will grow with you as your needs change.
Comprehensive, Cloud-Based Human Capital Management Software. Paycom is the only HR technology provider with a single-database, end-to-end product providing solutions for Talent Acquisition, Time and Labor Management, Payroll, Talent Management and HR Management, all in one application.
Workday Human Capital Management is the only application that unifies HR and Talent Management into a single system-of-record. And with embedded analytics, manager and employee self-service, and a user experience unlike any other enterprise application, Workday redefines what it means to manage a global, mobile, and diverse human capital.
Paychex, Inc. is a provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. The Company offers a portfolio of services and products that allows its clients to meet their diverse payroll and human resource needs.
The SuccessFactors HCM Suite includes a complete set of tightly integrated talent management solutions, robust workforce analytics and planning, plus a next generation core HR solution. With over 3600 customers and more than twenty million users in 177 countries, SuccessFactors HCM Software is the most adopted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business software in the world.
Kronos Workforce Central® 8 is ready to help you manage your workforce without limits, regardless of your needs or industry, where you do business, or how you choose to access it. This newly reimagined workforce management solution delivers an unparalleled user experience and depth of functionality, extensive global capabilities, and proven delivery in the cloud.
Criterion's Human Capital Management (HCM) is a user-friendly, intuitive system that provides smoothly integrated Human Resources Benefits, Payroll and Talent Management. Regardless of your role in HR or Payroll, Criterion HCM provides the capabilities needed to effectively manage the entire employee lifecycle. Criterion's human resource management solution significantly reduces the time your HR department spends on administrative tasks and allows them to focus on strategic initiatives that impact the growth of your business. Following HR best practices and incorporating streamlined workflows, the system simplifies the administration of employee benefits and open enrollment, compliance reporting and tracking employee details and events.
With Xero easy to use Payroll Software, customers can organise all their business information in one handy place. Xero payroll not only helps in managing the tasks but also automatically updates your accounts too. Plus, it also provides tools for tracking working hours and approving leave with controlled access for employees
Gusto Payroll Software provides best payroll services to small business, plus worker compensation, 401(K) and HR Tools, making it easy for employers to pay their employees and take care of them. Automatic payroll filings, W-2s, 1099s, unlimited payrolls, and direct deposit come standard. Plus employers get stellar support and expert advice when they need it, by phone, email, or chat
Intuit Payroll is a powerful yet affordable payroll solution that comes in three packages to suit various business needs and budgets. Each package has its limitations except the top tier product, the Full Service Payroll in which all payroll and tax processes are handled by the software. With Intuit Payroll, companies can easily pay their employees on time and accurately without becoming really engrossed in the process.
OnPay Payroll Software is an easy, quick, mobile-friendly system that doesn't require a steep learning curve," according to Entrepreneur's list of the best small business payroll solutions. Pay employees by direct deposit, automate tax payments and filings, and get OnPay's guarantee that filings will be error free. For $36 plus $4 per employee (and no hidden fees), get unlimited pay runs for hourly, salaried, tipped workers, and contractors
Payroll by Wave is a Web-based, best-of-breed payroll platform built with small companies of 10 employees or less in mind. A simple, paperless solution to help pay workers and the government accurately and on-time, setup can be completed in just 10- to 15-minutes
SurePayroll is a leading online payroll service for small businesses nationwide. Personalized support comes from an award-winning U.S.-based customer care team who are available via phone, email and chat. SurePayroll simplifies and guarantees the process, allowing payroll to be filed easily - from anywhere at any time
Patriot Payroll from Patriot Software is an integrated human resource (HR) and payroll management solution that helps to streamline the different processes associated with managing payroll payments and tax submissions. The solution offers tools to maintain payroll records, print checks, establish direct deposits into bank accounts, generate payroll reports and submit state and federal taxes
Square Payroll is a cloud-based payroll solution for small and midsize businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include payment processing, integrated timecards, direct deposits and automated tax filings
Wagepoint is a cloud-based payroll management solution that caters to small businesses helping them to pay their employees or contractors while remaining compliant with IRS regulations. It serves businesses across industries like banking, distribution, healthcare, retail and more. Wagepoint can handle direct deposits, federal, state, and local tax reporting, W2s, W3s, 1099s and online pay stubs. It also offers multi-currency support
Ascentis Payroll is a Web-based, Internet payroll system that allows you to process payroll in real-time, ensuring 100% accuracy, flexibility and control. With live processing and instantaneous auditing, Ascentis Payroll software can reduce payroll processing time by as much as 30%. Real-time synchronization with Ascentis HR, interfacing capabilities with your general ledger and time and attendance systems, and robust reporting addresses critical payroll processing challenges.
BrightPay is an on-premise payroll solution built for small businesses in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Features include flexible payment schedules, customisable additions and deductions and automated HMRC payments, among others. The BrightPay user interface makes payroll simple by giving visual priority to common payroll tasks, such as finalizing and exporting payslips, and showing or hiding various features depending on their relevancy to the user
WebHR is a cloud-based human resource management solution that helps organizations manage their employees' employment lifecycle, from the time they were hired to retirement. The solution merges functionalities provided by human resource and information technology departments in one suite
Fingercheck is the modern workforce solution thats transforming the way small businesses work. Within one powerful HR platform, businesses can easily review and manage hiring, employee onboarding, time tracking, payroll, HR, benefits, and insurance. Fingercheck delivers the tools to simplify and streamline workflow for employees, employers, and everyone in-between
Sage Payroll Full Service manages the complexity surrounding payroll and tax compliance for you, letting small and mid-size businesses focus on their daily operations. You’ll receive a knowledgeable payroll expert dedicated to serving your company and committed to your payroll satisfaction. Have peace of mind knowing your employees are paid accurately and on time, every time!
Marg ERP is a pioneer in Inventory and accounting software and serves more than 21 + different trade segments. Today the company has more than 9 lakh plus users and 8000+ professionals who are ready to help businesses become GST compliant. A comprehensive ERP software solution, Marg ERP has always believed in adding value and sustainability to the ever-changing business environment and is a key player in serving both the SMEs and MSMEs. The payroll software solution has also evolved a lot and has enriched features which manage attendance and leaves with ease helping businesses in a smoother transition into GST.
Open HRMS is an all-inclusive, comprehensive suite of application for managing your Human Resource in the most efficient manner. It is the most advanced open source HR management software application that caters to every human resourcing needs of a business. Open HRMS efficiently and effectively manages the Human Resource Department of an organization, no matter how big or small they are.
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