10 Tips for Small Business Owners While Choosing a Payroll Software Provider
If you’re considering payroll software for the first time, the numerous options available on the market today may seem overwhelming. “Will this service meet all of my needs?” “How do I avoid overpaying?” “Will this platform meet all of my company’s specific requirements?” Fortunately, these are all questions you can easily answer for yourself: you’ll just need to do a bit of research! To help you get started, here are ten important questions to ask yourself when choosing your next payroll platform.
- Is the service secure? First and foremost, you need to ensure that any service you may be considering provides top-notch security. This certainly includes numerous cybersecurity measures throughout the digital service, but also includes on-site security as well. The data from companies the payroll provider obtains needs to be stored somewhere, so many companies will have various data centers that require their own protection. You should inquire about both digital and physical security for any payroll software you may be considering.
- What problems will this new system solve? If your current system already worked flawlessly, then you wouldn’t be searching for a new payroll service provider. To ensure you make the most informed decision, you’ll need to hone in on the flaws of your current setup. Is payroll distribution posing the biggest problem? ACA compliance? Once you figure out what needs improvement, then you’ll be able to make an educated choice for your company.
- Does this system offer remote time-tracking solutions? Time card fraud can be costly for your business, and unfortunately, it often isn’t discovered until it’s already happened. Thankfully, payroll software for small businesses often offers a remote clock in/clock out feature directly in the mobile app! Using a system timestamp and the employee’s GPS location, this time-tracking feature ensures that employees are properly compensated for their time on the job while reducing the likelihood of timecard fraud.
- Which services are crucial for your business? Most companies will offer multiple plans for their payroll platform, so you’ll want to refer to step #2 when picking a plan. Some companies will offer flexible plans where you only pay for the features you need, but others limit features by tier. Figure out what plan meets all of your companies requirements, and use that plan pricing when comparing Company A to Company B.
- Can you avoid unnecessary add ons? Continuing on with plan features; do you really need them all? As we mentioned, most companies will limit features by tier, but often less common features will require their own plan, which means separate pricing. This may work to your advantage since features you won’t need all the time (such as legal services) can often be purchased on an “as needed” basis.
- Does the company provide a free trial? Much like a car, it’s important to test the software before making a purchase. Some service providers may only offer sample videos; if that’s the case, we recommend considering a different provider. Other companies will offer live demos, but you should try to find a payroll software provider that offers free trials. This will allow you to test out the software first-hand and see if it will actually meet the needs of your business.
- How will you train employees on the new software? Since the purpose of payroll software for small business owners is to reduce staffing needs, not raise them, you’re probably not expecting to need to train a lot of employees on the new payroll platform. Still, for the staff you retain, they will need to completely familiarize themselves with the new system so they can handle any complications that arise without issue. You will need to set aside time for staff-wide (or company-wide) training using the new payroll software.
- What will the implementation process look like? Before you start using your new system, you’ll need to import all of your existing information into the new system. You’ll also need to train your staff on the new software, and may even need to set up the new payroll distribution system. Consider all of this when establishing an implementation timeline.
- Can this software integrate with your existing setup? Many payroll platform options will allow you to integrate data with your existing systems. This can save you hours of manually copying data, and also will help increase your overall efficiency. Moving forward, you may also want to integrate data with additional systems as well. Ideally, you should aim to run your payroll software as part of a unified system that can be effectively managed from a single interface. For these reasons, you should prioritize systems with integration options over systems without.
- Will you be able to scale your business with this payroll software? Regardless of which payroll software you decide on, it should be able to grow and expand with your business. Unfortunately, some companies will provide you with software that’s only suitable for a business of your current size, but lacks any practical application for larger operations. You should inquire about the number of employees the payroll platform can actually manage, so you’re not caught off guard in the future.
Hopefully, we’ve given you some things to think about when considering your next payroll software. For small business owners, change can be a formidable opponent, but when approached with a level head and a well-thought-out plan, change can be extremely beneficial for your business.