Choosing the Right Payroll Programs for Small Business

Automating payroll processes promises saved time and increased efficiency, however, the process of switching may appear daunting, particularly if there is uncertainty about which payroll program is right for the organisation. Understanding the many options available will give decision makers confidence in choosing the right solution for their business.

Payroll software

Tips on how to choose the right payroll software solution:

Examine the business needs

No two small businesses are the same and a business will benefit from features that cater to its unique needs. When choosing payroll software, consider the following factors:

  • The size of the business
  • Time allocated to payroll functions
  • Budget available that can be allocated to payroll processing
  • Level of comfort and familiarity with regulatory and legal payroll considerations

When needs have been clearly outlined, finding the software that fits the business will become significantly easier.

Choose Cloud or On Premise

There are two main types of software to choose from before payroll services are compared: Cloud or On Premise. The one (or combination of both) chosen will depend on the type of business, the way work systems are accessed, and personal preference.

Cloud Software

Cloud software is an overall scalable solution. It provides the ability to access payroll anytime, anywhere, as long as there’s a WiFi connection available which makes it beneficial for those on the go. Since information is stored in the cloud, backing up is not a worry and payroll records can be accessed from more than one device. Cloud software is also highly secure. If a computer crashes or is stolen, valuable information will still be accessible and protected through online login.

On Premise software

On Premise software requires a direct download of the software program onto a computer. Payroll is run on a dedicated computer and WiFi is not needed to run the program, which makes it a good option for those with limited Internet access.

How about the software itself?

Every software package comes with a range of features and it’s tough to determine which ones are actually needed. Here are some essential features to be on the lookout for:

  • Tax filing and compliance: The system should be configured to manage any company or personal tax guidelines
  • Integration with existing HR software: This will enable seamless work processes for HR
  • Accessible by employees: Allows employees to locate pay slips and update details
  • Direct deposit: Permits weekly or monthly wage payments across the team
  • Easy onboarding: Add and remove employees as they join or leave the business
  • Excellent reporting capabilities: Draw actionable insights and export reports for others within the company to view and use

When deciding on the right payroll programs for a business, consider who will be using the software on a daily basis. It pays to check in with these people to find out if there are any additional features they require to better automate payroll processes. In addition to working with the business’ HRMS, a new payroll software should integrate with the accounting, invoicing, and time-tracking systems.


When choosing the right payroll system, it’s important to consider what happens next if someone who shouldn’t have access, gains access to the system. Security is a vitally important aspect for choosing the right payroll system. Ensure that the provider secures employee information, whether that information is encrypted or stored in its original state on an external server.

By automating payroll, administrative weight should be taken off the team. Ensuring the right payroll solution is chosen will take time, but implementing a system that ticks all the boxes from the outset will avoid adding additional work or frustrations to the business.


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