7 Payroll Systems Features to Add to Your Wishlist

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Payroll Systems

There are many moving parts to payroll. It can be very complicated, from collecting time cards to withholding tax. Consider payroll software to simplify your tasks and give you more time for other tasks. What are the key features of a payroll system? Below is a list of must-have features and benefits for your business.


Features that are essential for a payroll system

Finding the right payroll software for your company can be difficult, especially if it is your first time or you need to become more familiar with other software platforms. Do you need help with the features that payroll management software should have? These seven features should be on your list.


1.      Simple set up

You know that time is precious as a business owner. Why would you spend so much time setting up software? Look for payroll software that is easy to set up.


A simplified payroll setup could be in the form:

  • A simple-to-use startup wizard
  • Setup a free payroll
  • Capabilities for import

Look into the setup options offered by payroll software companies when researching them. Can they set up your payroll account? How easy is it to open an account with them? These questions can be asked, and customer reviews can be viewed to learn more about the setup process.


2.      Tax filings and deposits that are accurate

Payroll tax filings and withholdings are one of the biggest headaches of payroll. You can streamline your payroll by looking for software that does all the filings and deposits.


Software that can handle calculations collects, files, and deposits payroll taxes for you is available.

  • Collects, files, and remits federal, state, or local payroll taxes
  • Do year-end W-2 or W-3 filings need to be made?
  • Can guarantee accurate tax calculations, deposits, filings
  • Are automatic tax updates possible?

You can check to find out what is included in the full-service package of your payroll company. They may not charge additional fees for filing year-end returns in some cases.


You can also choose basic payroll software to avoid going the full-service route. Compare features, costs, reports, and other aspects.


3.      Direct deposit

Direct Deposit is the new standard in workplace management. Many businesses no longer need cash or paper checks. Direct deposit is a preferred method of payment for most employers. Check out your direct deposit options when you're looking for software.


Many payroll companies offer direct deposit options. Here are some examples of direct deposit options:

  • Timing options (e.g., 4-day)
  • Additional fees
  • Expedited direct deposit options (e.g., 2-day)
  • Direct deposit limits

You should also check if there are any direct deposit options available. Ask each provider what their direct deposit fees and costs are.


4.      Payroll reports

A robust, accurate, and accessible payroll report is another feature you should add to your ultimate wishlist.


It's not what you want to do. Instead of spending hours gathering information and putting together reports, look for software that can provide a wide range of reports you can access in just a few clicks.

You should check to see if your payroll provider offers these reports:

  • Payroll details
  • Register for Payroll
  • Check payment detail
  • Payroll tax liabilities
  • Forms W-2, W-3
  • Form 940
  • Form 941

You should also ensure that you have access to reports if you use a full-service payroll company that handles filings and taxes.

  • Collection of taxes
  • Tax deposits
  • Filing taxes

You can also break down reports by the employee. Find out if you can test the reports before making any changes.


5.      Integration options

There are many things you need to do in addition to managing payroll. Payroll software must seamlessly integrate with other software and platforms.


These are some of the things you might want to incorporate with:

  • Software for accounting
  • Software for time and attendance
  • Software for HR
  • Workers' compensation

Ask every payroll company what platforms they integrate with and whether there are additional costs. You should also see what other software they offer besides payroll. This will allow you to keep all your software under one login and all your information in one place.


6.      Self-service for employees

A portal for employee self-service is another feature that payroll software should have (bonus if free!). Employee self-service (ESS) allows employees to view pay slips and review their benefits.


Employees may be able to view their W-2s at the end of the year, track their time cards, and print their payroll information (e.g., year-to-date).


When looking for software, find out if they offer portals, the costs, and their capabilities.


7.      Top-notch support

Excellent support is essential when purchasing payroll software, especially for those new to the industry.


Consider things like the hours of operation, the location of the support team, and how to contact them (email, phone, etc.) when looking into support. Find out if support is free or if you have to pay.


Review the customer's experiences with the support staff to find out. Changing your mind may be a good idea if you find more negative than positive comments about the company's customer support.


Call them to get an idea of their support level and ask questions about payroll software. You can see how easy it is to reach a representative and their expertise level.


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