Business Payroll Software: Five Must-Have Features

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Payroll is a fact of life for all but the smallest of businesses. Any business that has employees has a payroll. And any business that has a payroll needs a way to calculate and process pay checks for its employees. Business payroll software can help you complete this often tedious task faster and more accurately than manual payroll preparation. But to get the most from your software investment the software you select must have these five features.

Automatic Tax Withholding Calculations

Calculating net pay, federal withholding tax, Social Security tax, Medicare, state and local payroll taxes and other payroll deductions is probably the most time-intensive part of preparing payroll. Your software should relieve you of this drudgery by automatically calculating all of these figures for you. Your software should also provide the most up to date tax tables to ensure the accuracy of the calculations.

Printing Checks

Your business payroll software should offer you the choice of using pre-printed checks (often provided by the software maker) or using your own checks. While using pre-printed checks is often the simplest option, most businesses prefer the flexibility of knowing they can use their own checks too. More details here

Direct Deposit

These days, even the most basic business payroll software offerings provide the option of  processing payroll electronically. Your payroll may include printed checks now, but more and more employees are requesting the convenience of direct deposit. Also, if payroll software offers an electronic processing option, it’s a good sign that the software company is keeping up with technological advances.

Flexible Reporting

All payroll software provides some form of standard reporting. No two businesses are alike though, so it’s critical that your payroll software provide you with payroll information the way you need it. For example, you may need to track payroll information for office employees separately from your sales force. Your business payroll software should allow you to set up different employee categories so that you can find the information you need quickly and easily.

Technical Support

No software is perfect. And no software user is perfect. You will have questions. You will run into problems. That’s why you must have access to technical support. Be clear from the outset about the cost of technical support. And be sure that you can access technical support when you’re most likely to need it.

If you can place a checkmark next to each of these five features for a specific piece of business payroll software, you know you’re off to a good start in your search. If, on the other hand, any software you’re considering does not offer one or more of these features, cross it off your list immediately. There are too many solid business payroll software options available for you to waste your time and money on a program that doesn’t even provide the basics. See more here:

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