You should look for key components when shopping for a payroll system, such as self-service, integrations, reporting, and more.
What to look for in a payroll system
Today’s top-performing payroll system operates in the cloud and allows you to manage and run your payroll from anywhere. There are a variety of services available, and we’ve outlined the key components to evaluate as you shop for a payroll system.
Online payroll systems will automatically calculate an employee’s wages each pay period. The system should account for rates, shifts differentials, overtime, taxes, time off, Social Security, Medicare, and other benefit deductions. Also look for a system that has rules you can program to pay out bonuses, commissions, reimbursements, and other wages.
Filing and payroll taxes
Payroll systems can also withhold taxes, and file tax reports to local, state, and federal agencies. They also issue W-2 and 1099 forms at the end of the year.
Look for a system that allows employees to view their own pay stubs, PTO balances, year-end tax forms, plus have them update personal information.
You want a system that integrates with your current HR software, which means changes in personal information, paid time off, and payroll should be updated across all platforms. Some payroll systems offer integrations for time tracking, benefits, and accounting.
A modern payroll system should not only help you manage your current employees, but also offer a structure that helps grow your business and makes hiring and onboarding new employees easy.
Base fees range from $20 to $100 depending on the provider, in addition to charges for each employee or independent contractor you employ. Your payroll solution shouldn’t nickel-and-dime you for off-cycle pay runs, W-2 filings, or any other activities that you need to do to successfully run your business. Look for a clear price with no hidden fees. Ask about contract commitments — you don’t want to be stuck in an annual contract if you feel you can’t make the commitment.
Preview automated pay runs, make changes on the fly, identify and audit changes in the system, and discover new insights into your business to help it run smoothly.
Engaging user experience
A mobile workforce means mobile-friendly software. Allow your employees to easily make changes to their personal information, access their pay history, and request time off, all on-the-go.
Regardless of how simple your payroll product can be, HR issues are complex. Look for a product that offers customer support by phone, email, and live chat, so you’ll always have the help you need.
A good business intelligence feature can give you crucial insight into your workforce. Track compensation and pay changes by team, department, and location. Run custom salary reports by gender, race, and age to help support your diversity and inclusion efforts.
Look for a payroll system that automates the hard stuff and makes you feel confident that you are adhering to the latest tax and labor laws as well as state and local legislation.
Along with keeping you compliant with new and constantly evolving laws, a payroll solution that lives on the cloud will always provide you with the most up-to-date information and will require very little maintenance.