Payroll management can be complicated and taxing, especially for small business owners who must balance other responsibilities. Payroll systems automate payroll tasks like tax withholding, direct deposits and compliance filings to save businesses time and money.
Quality payroll software also offers self-service portals that allow employees to easily access their pay stubs, tax forms and personal information, improving transparency and convenience.
Payroll processing requires a lot of time. It’s a complex task, and mistakes aren’t uncommon. These errors can dig into your profit margin or short employees their paychecks. However, the right payroll software system prevents these miscalculations and helps keep your bottom line healthy.
The best small business payroll services include features that automate the entire process, from input to distribution. Some products also offer same-day direct deposit and access to HR support, so your staffers can get the help they need when needed. They also archive a digital payslip that allows employees to view their payment details on demand.
Other payroll systems allow you to run a payroll from anywhere. This is especially helpful if you have a remote workforce, and it saves you from having to schedule meetings to discuss payroll or manually send checks in the mail. Depending on your needs, you can find systems that handle all aspects of human resources, including performance review guidance and onboarding tools for new hires.
Other critical features of a good payroll system are tax filing services and a time tracking tool that automatically calculates hourly or salaried employee hours. These features help ensure your business pays the correct federal, state and local taxes based on payroll data. It also enables you to avoid penalties for failing to file on time, saving you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Payroll processing is a lot of work, even when employee onboarding goes off without a hitch. It takes time to figure out how much to pay team members, consider break and overtime allowances, and keep on top of tax filings and compliance regulations.
Small business payroll software helps to reduce the stress associated with these tasks by automating some of the processes and providing analytics that help managers make informed decisions about hiring, salary increases, and more. Depending on your chosen solution, it may offer HR add-ons like performance review tools and employee self-service portals.
Basic payroll solutions provide payroll processing functions such as calculating wages, deductions, and taxes. More comprehensive solutions include tax filing and compliance management, which are essential for avoiding penalties and staying compliant with federal and state laws.
Whether your business is growing rapidly or adjusting to new regulations, the right small business payroll software solution can help you stay ahead. Look for a system with features like same-day direct deposit, eliminating the need to distribute paper checks and saving on postage costs. Other essential features include mobile accessibility, allowing employees to submit timesheets and access payslips. Some systems also have in-house time-tracking modules or integrate with third-party applications for more accurate data.
Most categories of business software feature analytics and reporting tools, and payroll systems are no exception. These features let you evaluate how much your business spends on payroll, deductions and taxes. Some tools have pre-built reports that help you track employee totals and absences at a glance, while others allow you to customize datasets and create payroll dashboards for team or department managers.
Payroll solutions also often include mobile apps and web portals that employees use to access their paychecks, tax forms and paid time off balances. They also integrate with many accounting programs for easy data transfer. Look for solutions that offer these perks and other HR add-ons like performance review guidance and employee onboarding tools.
Finally, look for a solution that offers same-day direct deposit options and automatic tax filings backed by tax penalty protection. Ideally, the system will keep digital paper trails of your payments to prevent bank deposit and withdrawal issues.
The best small business payroll software is a reliable tool that helps you confidently run your company. The best solutions streamline your processes to save you time, eliminate mistakes and make it easier for your staff to manage their paychecks. NerdWallet’s top picks for payroll services offer these key features, including live support and online access to past paystubs.
Working with payroll involves a lot of sensitive information. Employees’ details, pay rates, and tax data can all be at risk if they fall into the wrong hands. A good SMB payroll system will have advanced security capabilities. This includes two-factor authentication, secure data storage, and user authorization. This will also make it easier to track changes to accounts and help protect against hacking attempts.
A good payroll system will also have strong compliance features. This includes reducing the likelihood of mistakes when filing taxes and being able to prove the accuracy of payroll records in case of an audit. This can avoid costly fines and penalties.
Some systems also come with HR add-ons that improve ROI, such as performance review guidance and tools for new hires. These can help you hire and retain top talent, improve efficiency, and boost profitability. Other features to look for include self-service portals that allow employees to manage their information and customizable reports that give you insights into critical metrics. A pricing model that provides for an upfront license and monthly fees is another factor to consider when selecting a new tool.