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How to choose a payroll solution in 2020

Are you tired of the stress that comes with payroll? Find it hard to do STP?

We understand that you don’t have time to make mistakes when paying staff, calculating tax and super, managing leave and staying compliant. Whether you’re an Australian small business owner, payroll manager or accountant, payroll solutions can provide an all-in-one solution that is convenient, quick and digitalised.

These solutions increase the accuracy of payroll through automated calculations, this enables you to pay your employees accurately and on time. They also help you to keep the ATO and your accountant off your back by staying STP compliant.

Solutions that have a mobile app are extremely flexible, you could do payroll waiting for your coffee! Overall, they simplify the process of payroll, so you can focus on your growing business.

Key factors to consider when choosing a payroll solution.

STP Compliance is critical, is your business on track?

It’s already essential that you’re STP compliant. The ATO is threatening to start fining small businesses from July this year. Signing up for STP will save you time. Payroll information is sent to the ATO each pay period, so employee payment summaries will no longer be necessary. Instead, your employees will access their records online through their MyGov portal. Ensure you check the payroll solution is STP compliant as your number one priority. Usually, payroll solutions will advertise STP compliance under features.

Are you on the go?

A mobile app that allows you to create payslips and send STP files anywhere is very useful for business owners on the go. It enables a whole new level of flexibility that keeps up with a busy lifestyle. You can do payroll whilst waiting for your morning coffee, in your Uber or whilst watching the footy. All the information is available at your fingertips within seconds.

Be careful when payroll solutions advertise a mobile app. Most mobile payroll apps do not allow employers to actually create payslips and send STP files. Many are limited to employees viewing payslips, rosters and filling in timesheets. Ensure you check this before subscribing.

Get the right fit for your business size

The number of employees your business has impacts the features you will need in your payroll solution. Smaller business with less than 20 employees may only need a very simple solution that focuses on payroll. To contrast, if you have over 50 employees you may want extra features such as invoicing, timesheets & rostering and HR management. If this is the case, you can rule out the simpler ones and pick a larger solution that can cater to your growing business needs.

Do you prefer talking to someone local for support?

Many questions can arise when doing payroll, not to mention any technical issues you may run into. It’s important that the product you choose has an easy to contact and knowledgeable customer service team. This will save you lots of frustration and anxiety when you run into problems.

Not only is it important that they are competent, it helps if they are Aussie based. Local customer service often can be more responsive and provide more personalised care. If something goes wrong with sending a payslip or you accidently paid the wrong amount, good service is critical.

Is the software easy to use?

Easy to use payroll solutions are simple to set-up and make payroll easy for everyone. They will save you hours down the track compared to other solutions. Some systems were initially built for desktop computers, and haven’t been updated to be user friendly. There’s no point fussing with clunky, confusing and complex systems that in the end makes paying employees a much bigger burden than it should be.

It’s also important to check if they have the features you need. This could include STP compliance, super tracking, holiday and sick leave, bonuses, commissions, deductions, allowances and payroll reporting. 

Beware of free options, you get what you pay for

Free solutions can be good in the short term but there is no guarantee they won’t charge fees down the track. There is also no visibility to what it might cost you if they introduce fees later on, so be cautious. Some free options may seem attractive at first but might lack decent customer support when things don’t go as planned.

There are a wide range of subscription-based payroll solutions that vary in price. It is important to watch out if the payroll solution is paid per employee/month or per pay run/month, as this can get very expensive. Try to look for payroll solutions that have payment plans for “up to” a number of employees and unlimited number of pay runs per month.

Is your sensitive information safe?

It’s important to check that your private business information will be safe as you keep a lot of sensitive information in your payroll software. This can include information such as your bank account details, employees bank details and the business’s financial health.

A few key ways to check the security of a payroll solution are; firstly, you want to check at the top left of the page of your payroll software if there is a lock icon before the web address. This signifies https, ‘s’ meaning secure and that any data you are sending from the web page to the payroll service is encrypted. Secondly, check the privacy policy of the website to see if your payroll service stores this sensitive data as encrypted.

Can you connect with your accountant?

Payroll solutions that can link up with your accountant are useful as it helps keep business transparency and communication channels open. Products that offer this feature saves you time by seamlessly sharing this information.

If you are a larger business it would be important that your payroll software can link up with your invoicing, timesheets, rostering etc. For example, some payroll products will integrate with invoicing and banking products. The more integrated functions it has, the more streamlined your online accounting will be. This is most likely found in the features or partners section on the payroll software’s website.

Is there a free trial available?

There’s nothing worse than feeling trapped in a program you don’t like. Most payroll solutions offer a free trial for 30 days, giving you plenty of time to get used to the website and/or application. The best products will not lock you in to long term contracts and allow your subscription to be month by month.  

Now it’s up to you!

After considering these key factors you should be more confident in deciding which payroll solution is right for your business.

If you’re looking for an easy solution for your small business that you can manage from your mobile or computer, try our solution Easy Payslip!  We’re based in Australia and our app and website is specifically designed for Australian small business owners.

You can give us a call on 02 8084 9222 if you have any questions and we’d be happy to chat.

Or feel free to go ahead and sign up for a free trial on our app or website.