Remember when payroll was processed by hand and tax forms were typed up on a manual typewriter? Well, as you know those days are long gone. Payroll software companies emerged, and software has since evolved into an indispensable tool for companies processing payroll. Instead of calculating deductions by hand, the software does it for you each time payroll runs are calculated. Instead of writing out checks, you simply print them from your computer. And no more worrying about tax calculations since the software computes them for you. Most businesses will attest to the fact that payroll software has made their lives much easier. However, a much more complex issue is finding a system that is right for your business. There is a wide variety of companies that produce and distribute payroll software. Here are some main differences among them, to help you choose the right company and software for your business.
Not all payroll software pricing structures are created equal. Some products seem affordable at the start, but quickly become expensive when you realize you need to purchase additional modules to go along with the software. Before you purchase anything, be sure to ask for a comprehensive quote for the first year, and the year after. Ask your sales representative to include things that are often forgotten: direct deposit, electronic tax filing, multiple state tax calculations, multiple companies, multiple users, support, training, and enhancements. Pricing for software can be complex, and varies greatly among software vendors. It is important to consider your needs at the start and get a comprehensive quote, so there won’t be huge surprises later.
Support and Training
Most payroll software companies provide support for their customers. A wide range of support methods exist, including telephone, e-mail, online, community forums, and more. Training may be provided in live classes in person or via the internet. Some companies provide learning documents and videos on their site for their customers to learn at their own pace; other companies even give the option of onsite training. Think about which method of support and training you prefer, and ask your vendor if they offer that method. Since there is a great variation of support and training options, you will be surprised what some companies offer that others don’t! Be sure to inquire about the cost of these options as well, since some companies include it in one cost, and others charge additional fees.
Software Upgrades and Enhancements
Payroll software companies must keep their products current due to ongoing state and federal tax rate changes, changing payroll regulations, and more. Many software companies also make ongoing improvements to enhance the function of their programs. How can your business get those changes? Some companies charge separately for them, and some include them in one price. Be sure to find out the costs of upgrades and enhancements, since you will need them both at some point. The least you will need for payroll processing are the tax updates, so be sure to get that information ahead of time.
Payroll software companies definitely offer a wide variety of options when it comes to pricing, support and training, upgrades and enhancements. Dig deeper and get the details on these options before purchasing your new Payroll software, so there won’t be surprises as time goes on.