Choosing the right payroll software for your business can be confusing and frustrating, especially when you don’t know what to look for or where to find it. To make this process easier, we’ve created this guide to help you choose the right payroll software based on what you need from it and how your business currently operates. After reading this guide, you’ll have all the information necessary to figure out which payroll software best fits your business needs.
1) Assess your Business Needs
Be honest with yourself when thinking about what type of payroll software will be most beneficial for your business. Do you need robust features like tax and retirement calculators, or is a more bare-bones solution sufficient? Think about how many employees you’ll have and if their needs (like direct deposit) will necessitate special payroll programs. Will you need regular support or do you trust yourself enough to handle issues on your own? There are a lot of considerations when looking at your payroll solution; take some time upfront and think about what will work best for your company.
2) Consider which features are most important to you
If you’re only trying to do payroll once a month, your needs are likely different than if you’re running payroll for multiple employees every week. It may be worthwhile to explore multiple software options and find out which has all of your must-have features before making a final decision. As with other business purchases, it can also be beneficial to speak with other small business owners about their experiences. You should also ask for a demo or walk through from each vendor so that you can see how everything will work in real life.
3) Take Advantage of Free Trial Periods
Many online payroll solutions offer a free trial period, so be sure to take advantage of these. You can start using their software immediately, even though you may have an account that isn’t actually being billed yet. A benefit of free trials is that they allow you time to get used to how their platform works before you have something live and running on your business account. Free trials are also great if you aren’t completely convinced of a solution—you don’t have any financial risk in trying out their service. Lastly, if you want some guidance through your free trial, contact customer support—many companies will help with getting started or troubleshooting issues for people using their platform during trial periods.
4) Ensure That your Payroll Provider is Accountable
The first thing you should look for when choosing a payroll provider is whether or not they are accountable. Look at how much experience your potential company has, their reputation in your industry, and testimonials from past customers. Make sure that you choose a company that stands behind their work and will be there if issues arise. The best companies are willing to take responsibility for any errors they make. Find out what kind of service level agreement (SLA) they offer, as well as their refund policies before making a final decision. You don’t want to end up with an online payroll software product that doesn’t meet your needs and is difficult for you to get help with when you need it most.
5.) See online reviews of the product
If you’re a startup or a small business owner, chances are you don’t have a big budget. So when it comes time to buy a payroll software product, free trial versions can be appealing—and may help you get going for little cost. However, before downloading, be sure to see what others have had to say about it online. Read customer reviews and comments from other users so that you can judge how easy it is for new people to get started with your product of choice. Keep in mind that some products do have limits on specific features during their free trial version; if a feature is important to your business, verify whether or not it will be available in your evaluation period.