3 things to keep in mind when choosing a payroll software

Updated: Mar 14

Like with most things, there is a difference between a good payroll software and a bad one.

These things might not always be so obvious at first.

You have to know what to look out for.

It can be hard if you've never had to do this before.

That's why we've put together the top three things you need to keep in mind when you're picking a payroll software.

So long as you look for these three things, choosing a payroll software will be a breeze.

1. What do you need your software to do

It sounds simple but every payroll software offers slightly different things.

You need to work out what you need your software to do.

We've created a list of functions that you might look for.

  • Cloud based

  • Ease of use

  • Integration with accounting software

  • Compatibility with a mobile or web app

  • Track and edit leave

  • View/edit/send payslips

  • Add/edit employee details

  • Add/edit overtime

  • Add bonuses

  • Edit pay runs before and after completing

  • Edit superannuation details

  • Produce reports and summaries

  • Edit payment options

Go through these and work out what exactly it is that you need.

Each employer is different so what works for someone, might not necessarily for you.

Once you've worked out what you need, cross-check it with the payroll software that you're looking at.

2. Your budget

It goes without saying that your budget will most likely be the deciding factor between you buying a certain software and you not.

There are a lot of expensive payroll companies whose prices just don't work for small businesses.

Don't fret because there are affordable options out there but it can take a bit of looking to find them and often they aren't a major company.

When looking at a company's pricing, be careful to see what is included in the costs as most of them have hidden costs that you don't always notice upon first glance.

Have a look at what isn't written because those are the things you'll usually need to pay for later.

Also, keep in mind where your business may be in the future. Check what the costs are to upgrade plans or whether you'll need to upgrade at all in the future if your business grows.

Quite often prices jump a lot when you go from the basic subscription to the next option up.

3. STP ready

If you're an Australian small business, you can not ignore this.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has brought out new laws that require ALL Australian small businesses to be using a Single Touch Payroll (STP) ready software by 1 July.

When they say small businesses, they also mean micro-businesses so all businesses with 1-20 employees will be affected by this.

Most payroll software that operates in Australia should be STP compliant.

However, you need to check as you're the one who will be penalised if you're not.

If this is the first, you've heard of this, we recommend checking out our Single Touch Payroll (STP) blog. It goes over pretty much everything you need to know.

There is an option to get an extension with this but to do so, you'll have to fill out a form with the ATO.

The verdict

If you make sure to check for each of these three things, finding a payroll software that works for you should be easy.

If you need help finding software, we recommend trying Payroller.

Payroller has been designed specifically for small businesses to help with the STP changes.

In the meantime, happy Payrolling!

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