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Payroll—it’s one word that can cause even the most seasoned business owners anxiety. Whether you’re dealing with payroll tax complexities or ensuring you comply with the latest labor regulations, managing payroll can feel like navigating a maze.
But don’t worry! The right payroll software can make the daunting task of payroll management significantly simpler and stress-free.
So, what features should you look for in your payroll software to ensure it’s the right fit for your small business?
Based on working with hundreds of clients, we think every small business needs to have the following nine features in their payroll software.
Having software that’s user-friendly and intuitive is crucial. You don’t want to spend hours trying to figure out where to input data or how to process payments.
A clean, well-designed dashboard can save precious time and make the process less daunting.
In our digital age, having the ability to manage payroll on the go is essential. Whether you’re traveling for work or in a meeting, accessing your payroll data anytime, anywhere ensures you’re always on top of payroll matters, no matter where you are.
Modern payroll solutions often come with self-service portals where employees can enter time and access pay stubs, tax documents, and other personal details.
Self-service features foster transparency — essential in today’s workplace — and reduce the administration burden on you or your payroll team, as employees can answer questions or make certain updates themselves.
Your business uses other software solutions, from accounting software, like QuickBooks, to HR tools. Seamlessly integrating your payroll software with these other systems can save you from manual data entry, reducing errors and streamlining processes.
Integrations with your accounting software also give you real-time insight into cash flow, supporting business decisions like hiring additional team members or reducing staff hours.
This is where many small business owners feel the pinch. Keeping up with ever-changing tax laws and rates can be overwhelming, especially if you have a remote team working across multiple jurisdictions.
Your ideal payroll management software should automatically calculate deductions, employee benefits and tax withholdings based on the employee’s location.
Modern platforms (such as the payroll platform, Gusto) also offer tax filing features, ensuring your 1099s, W-2s and payroll tax filings are filed on time with the necessary federal and state agencies.
With employment laws and tax regulations changing frequently, it’s easy to miss an update. That’s why it’s a benefit when your payroll software provides real-time alerts for any changes, ensuring you’re always compliant and reducing the risk of penalties.
For small business owners, data is gold. Payroll reports can offer insights into labor costs, overtime patterns, and other vital metrics. Opt for software that provides comprehensive payroll reporting options, allowing you to make more informed business decisions.
Even with the best software, there comes a time when you need assistance. Reliable customer support via live chat, email or phone can make all the difference. Read reviews from other customers to see what they say about customer support.
Additionally, consider platforms that offer training or tutorials — it’s a sign they’re invested in helping you succeed.
As your business grows, your payroll needs evolve. Investing in a payroll system that scales with you means you won’t need to switch platforms in a few years.
Look for software that offers additional features or add-on modules you can subscribe to as your business expands.
As a small business owner, you know every minute is valuable. By selecting a solution equipped with these essential payroll software features, you save time and ensure accuracy, compliance and efficiency in one of the most critical aspects of your business. We absolutey love the payroll platform, Gusto.
Remember, payroll isn’t just about paying salaries and wages — it’s also about building trust with employees and keeping your business running smoothly. If you need help selecting payroll software or a payroll provider, contact NewWay Accounting. With the right guidance and tools, even the most impenetrable maze can become a walk in the park.
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