Processing Payroll: Is there a Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Processing your payroll can be time consuming and often, a real headache! Have you taken the time to see what payroll software can do for you?

No matter how big or small a business is hours can be spent managing the financial aspects of the company, including payroll. Payroll particularly can be very time consuming, since there are so many aspects to consider: Full-time hourly employees, part-time hourly employees, seasonal employees, salaried part-time employees and the list goes on. Let’s not forget the vacation pay, bonuses, direct deposit, manual checks, and then there are taxes! No wonder just the mere thought of payday gives you a sharp pain in the head!

Stop for one moment and look at how much money and time you spend processing your payroll. Many businesses still track payroll by spreadsheet and hand-write checks or send their records on to a payroll service. When you process payroll by hand, it isn’t just a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly event; it’s a full time job! Payroll information is ever-changing. There are daily postings, hours worked, vacation and sick pay information, and other employee changes which all must be recorded in the payroll system. That takes a lot of time and effort and really lacks efficiency. Once all of the data is entered, the check writing or direct deposit is the easy part.

Many businesses can save money by streamlining their payroll processing and add that profit to their bottom line by using payroll software.

Here are some things to look for when shopping around for payroll software:

  • Flexibility: In order for you to benefit from payroll software, you will want a system that can be flexible to handle your specific needs. There are many payroll software programs available in the market today. You can find standalone programs to use with your general ledger, or payroll software that fully integrates with an accounting system is even better.
  • Versatile, Easy Setup: The purpose of payroll software is to save you processing time and money. Look for a program that has tools and wizards to help you easily set up your payroll software the right way. Also look for software that gives you the ability to modify the reports you need and gives you the information you require.
  • Options. Options. Options. Choose payroll software that is capable of handling many aspects of payroll reporting, not just collecting information to print a check. For instance; a software that can handle piecework pay, seasonal pay, shift differential pay, hourly pay or even a combination of any of these payment methods. By implementing these key features, you can have the system do the correct calculations for you. This saves considerable time. Also, don’t forget Direct Deposit and Publish Pay Advices. They are great options to have in your payroll software; employees love them!
  • Automated W-2, State and Federal Forms: Processing time and money can be saved if your payroll software offers automated W-2 and State and Federal forms with eFiling. Data from your payroll is automatically added into your required forms for fast eFiling or printing on plain paper. If possible, choose a full-service W-2 and 1099 fulfillment option as an added resource.
  • Experience, Expertise and Customer Care: Take care to look for a payroll software company that is experienced in development and has the expertise to create software that can handle your needs as you grow. Finally, take a look at the support and customer care the product offers. Is there personal attention offered? When you call for telephone support, do you actually talk to a person and not a recorded auto attendant?

See the Light! When all is said and done, remember, the purpose of purchasing payroll software is to utilize the wide range of additional tools that can help your company increase efficiency, reduce costs, access the information you need, and most importantly get your employees paid on time!

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