You certainly know what payroll is. You might even know all that is involved in the payroll process. But did you know that payroll software can make the payroll process easier and more efficient for your company?

Check out our insider’s guide to payroll software, including key features you need and real-life business benefits. 

What is payroll software?

Payroll involves more than just signing checks—a lot more. Payroll software manages the tasks of payroll from beginning to end, from calculating wages and filing payroll taxes. This technology allows you to organize and simplify these complex processes to ensure an accurate and timely payroll.

Whether you’re onboarding new employees or maintaining records, some operations need to be repeated each month. Software allows you to keep organized and simplify these complex routines on a routine schedule.

Why not run payroll the old fashioned way?

Even if your business is small, there is a good chance you are already relying on spreadsheets and a hodgepodge of other computer software. Manually entering data is time-consuming for employees, and it’s easy to make mistakes when transferring numbers and doing the same repetitive tasks.

Custom payroll software is a labor-saving solution that removes some of the opportunities for human error in calculation and recordkeeping. When the payroll software is compatible with other HR solutions, the most mundane tasks are done automatically.

Key Features of Payroll Software

Some visual features like custom fonts and friendly color schemes won’t make a big difference for your business. When looking for payroll software, look out for these essentials.

Easy employee onboarding

The best HR software has fast and simple ways to input employee information without repeating the same work multiple times. Move from one step of the process quickly and easily to get new employees off to a great start.

Simple payroll processing

Salaries, taxes, and pay stubs should all be automated. At the end of each pay period, running the numbers should only take one click. Employees can also have easy access to all of this information.

Tax automation

Get fast deductions and updated tax rates. Payroll software should be able to handle all your tax needs, including create W-2 forms and file your taxes by the necessary timeline.

Integrated time and attendance

Track employee hours and convert them into wages by integrating your HR software.

Wage garnishments

Wage garnishments for individual employees can get complicated, almost like an extra round of taxes. Make sure the software you choose can easily handle this extra step.

Employee self-service

It’s easier for everyone when employees can access and update their own information and documents. It’s even better when employee portals are mobile-friendly.

Customer support

There’s still a learning curve for the most user-friendly programs. Make sure you can get real help resolving issues quickly. Nobody wants to get behind on payroll or taxes.

Benefits of Payroll Software

Accurate and on-time payroll

Human errors on payroll can be costly. Compliance with regulations isn’t optional and underpaid employees are going to get upset. Software makes the payroll process more consistent and precise, removing many of the tedious steps where it’s easy to make mistakes.

Simplifies taxes

Accuracy is especially important with taxes. Your software should update the relevant tax tables whenever rates change. Invest in a robust software solution that you can trust to handle local, state, and federal taxes. Calculations and routine payments should be automatic.

Secures payroll data

Data security is no joke. That’s particularly true for the security of payroll data, with personal and financial information about each employee. Employees trust that their bank account numbers, home addresses, social security numbers, and other personal details are safe in your system. 

Integrates easily with other HR software

When you track hours and attendance, you want that data to be accessible for your payroll system. Ideally, you’ll want an HR software provider with several solutions. If you use a patchwork of different companies, you’ll need to make sure the products are compatible.

Saves time and money

How much time does your payroll and HR staff currently spend managing payroll? If the process is automated, your HR team has more time to focus on other projects, like helping individual employees. Mistakes can be expensive to resolve, while software reduces the chance of human errors.

Increases engagement and productivity

After freeing up time, your HR team can engage the other needs of employees. Look for ways to encourage a performance-based and learning-first work culture. Everybody wants to get paid correctly and promptly, so the first step to happy employees should be finding payroll software to manage that priority.