An essential part of running your business, payroll software assists with the administration of employee salaries, adherence to financial regulations and helping your teams at every step of the way.

Choosing to deploy a software solution for payroll work brings a huge net positive to your business by using a suite of connected tools to take the sting out from repetitious tasks. Using a digital payroll solution can provide a wide range of benefits to your company due to its status as a unified set of tools that tackle many of the complex problems that professionals face in the marketplace.

As a result you can reduce errors, drive for efficiency and benefit from a value-add where it matters most.

Why is it so useful?

When it comes to choosing the right tool for your company, settling on a payroll platform positions you to draw down benefits in the present and the future.

As soon as a new system is deployed, you can instantly start taking advantage of the improved efficiencies that a software solution introduces.

That includes significant options for automating or improving on arduous payroll tasks, eliminating errors and ensuring staff and contractors are always paid on time. It can involve using validation to push compliance and ensure effort and resource are expended only where they are needed.

In the long term any reliable system will be fully customisable, growing and evolving as your professional practice changes.

Other elements such as reporting, or cloud data storage provide full sight of your professional work to date – letting you plan ahead while remaining nimble enough to respond to immediate challenges.

What should you look for?

When it comes to settling on the right payroll software for your business, it’s critical you select a provider that contains some, if not all, of the following elements:

Automatic content generation: Being able to construct templated documents allows you to save time with quickly generated payroll slips via email. That can expand to other areas of the system such as carrying out complex calculations or actions that are unique to your business. It can also reduce the workload for team members, ensuring new documents are fully compatible and free of error.

You should ask your provider what automation elements their system has, and to what degree can it be customised.

In-depth reporting: Being able to acquire a live overview of your payroll actions allows to control your payroll work with ease. These should be pre-generated on the system or be flexible enough to customise and save reports as needed or permit you extract key information for review. That should also extend to regular notifications about actions undertaken on the system, giving you full transparency of payment processes.

You should ask your provider what reporting functionality their system has, and how it works.

Regular updates: Deploying a system that is fit-for-purpose is essential and having access to regular updates is a must. That can be as simple as system improvements for bug fixes or as in-depth as tax tables to ensure that any and all calculations are being made correctly. Issues can then be addressed quickly and legislation, such as GDPR, is fully adhered to.

You should ask your provider what kind of updates are deployed on their system, and what form they take.

Payment handling: While being able to accommodate every payment type may be unrealistic, it’s essential your chosen platform allows team members to handle conventional documents. That can include P45 and P60 forms along with any bespoke documents your business model requires. 

You should ask your provider what document types can be generated, and what scope there is to customise them.

White label functionality: While it’s important to ensure a system is technically compliant, checking it can be visually customised is essential. Being able to white label a product allows you to integrate your branding into any correspondence or payroll documents, adding an essential level of confidence and professionalism.

You should ask your provider how the system can be visually customised, and what a payroll document looks like.

High flexibility: When it comes to generating payroll documents, it’s essential your system handles any key digital document types. That can include exporting in CSV or XERO file types, DOCX, PDF and more. That guarantees full compliance, ensuring the system can meet technical demands using a solid API.

You should ask your provider what files the software can accommodate or generate and how it integrates with your existing system.

Continued care: Even the best software solution in the world can run into problems. If issues emerge, it’s important to know there is somebody to contact that can help by providing the technical and material support you need. Before agreeing to any contract, always check how and when assistance is given.

You should ask your provider what support they offer, and what materials are available to help you with troubleshooting issues.

What next?

If you are currently struggling with your payroll practice, our team at Practical Software can help.

With many years’ experience operating in the sector, we are on hand to help ensure that you and your teams enjoy the highest possible standards of professional practice through 2020 and beyond.