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10 Should-Have Payroll Software program Options for Startups

As a startup, managing your funds in-house generally is a difficult activity, particularly on the subject of payroll administration. Time monitoring, taxes, withholdings, W-2s, and spreadsheet paperwork — significantly in distant work environments — should not solely difficult, but it surely’s additionally considerably time-consuming. On high of operating the proper payroll calculations, you should additionally handle various worker advantages, bills, PTO, and efficiency bonuses, all whereas double- and triple-checking your work to make sure the whole lot is correct. 

It’s information entry in its least gratifying kind. In truth, 49% of small enterprise house owners are annoyed by the problems of the payroll course of. Whether or not it’s you operating payroll or an accounting worker, the time you spend on these duties is far more invaluable when it’s directed at customer support, worker tradition, enterprise analytics, and enterprise progress efforts. So why not let payroll software program do the heavy lifting for you?

To streamline the method and keep away from errors, startups ought to think about using payroll software program to automate rote duties and home their monetary data. With quite a few payroll platforms and payroll suppliers on the market, selecting one of the best one to your startup might be overwhelming. On this article, we’ll focus on 10 must-have options each startup ought to search for when deciding on a payroll system.

1. Proactive onboarding and ease of use

Relating to onboarding, it’s essential to prioritize accuracy and compliance proactively moderately than reacting to errors with velocity. When coping with payroll, it’s important for people to put accuracy above timeliness.

When speaking to a potential supplier, ask them what the setup course of seems like. What sort of technical sources will it require, if any? Is it easy and simple? 

Prioritize software program options which have:

  • A transparent setup and onboarding course of
  • A user-friendly interface
  • An intuitive navigation
  • Simple-to-understand directions

For those who request an illustration, ask them to stroll you thru the setup course of as effectively so you’ll be able to see it firsthand earlier than you decide. 

2. Automated tax calculation

Most employers in the USA (U.S.) should pay Federal Insurance coverage Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. These deductions embody federal, state, and native taxes, in addition to social safety and Medicare taxes. These tax necessities can turn out to be cumbersome as a result of various cities, states, and international locations the place staff might stay. Add earnings brackets, part-time vs. full-time staff, and 1099 contractors to the combo, and the complexity grows.

Discover a payroll software program supplier that may routinely calculate these deductions in addition to any voluntary deductions like 401k, HSA, or charitable contributions. It’s going to take lots of mind-numbing brainwork off your plate, aid you keep away from expensive errors, and make sure that your staff are paid precisely and in a well timed method.

3. Worker self-service

One of many advantages of payroll software program is that your HR administrator doesn’t must be the purpose individual for requests for W-2s, advantages info, or salary-related questions. With an worker self-service portal, everybody in your group can entry their pay stubs and alter their private info on-line. 

This protects you and your HR admin a great deal of time that was spent

  • Answering emails and cellphone calls
  • Searching via a number of methods to search out a solution
  • Digging via stacks of paper or submitting cupboards

This payroll characteristic is a must have to your administrative group who’ve higher-value duties to deal with and staff who want fast solutions and quick access to their info.

4. On-line payroll stories

The info you acquire throughout the enterprise is just helpful should you can simply entry and use it. In case you are nonetheless aggregating information from a number of spreadsheets and methods to run stories, you’ll need a software program answer that removes this effort and provides you a real-time, birds-eye view of your payroll. 

The software program you finally select ought to generate on-line stories that may be personalized and exported. This characteristic can assist you retain observe of your payroll bills and determine the place to chop labor prices. 

5. Integration with time and attendance software program

To take advantage of your software program funding, streamline your time and payroll processes with a complete worker time monitoring system. This helps you:

  • Achieve enhanced visibility into workforce traits.
  • Successfully handle prices. 
  • Simplify duties akin to time without work administration, vacation monitoring, accruals, absences, and scheduling. 
  • Expertise a major enchancment in payroll effectivity.

As you’ll be able to see, integrating payroll and time can considerably enhance payroll runs, and assist contribute in direction of making bookkeeping extra environment friendly. 

6. Cellular entry

Cell phone and pill utilization are via the roof — over 86% of the world’s inhabitants now makes use of a smartphone. Even should you aren’t satisfied you want it now, a payroll platform that provides cellular entry can be important to your startup because it grows within the coming years. And as you’re software program choices, you’ll need a platform that may scale along with your group.

With cellular entry, staff can entry their private info, pay stubs, PTO balances, and extra from their smartphones or tablets. This characteristic is effective to your whole group however particularly handy for workers who work remotely or are incessantly on the go.

If this characteristic appears negotiable, suppose once more: it’ll make a major distinction down the street.

7. Safe information storage

From worker social safety numbers to checking account numbers to tax filings, payroll software program homes a mass of vital, delicate info. This info should be protected for the sake of your staff, your enterprise, and your personal authorized legal responsibility.

As you’re trying to find the correct answer, ask detailed questions in regards to the safety of every software and its infrastructure. Your chosen platform ought to retailer worker information securely by:

  • Utilizing information encryption
  • Complying with trade requirements akin to SOC 2, PCI, and HIPAA
  • Providing consumer authorization/multi-factor authentication
  • Requiring passwords to observe stringent protocols
  • Having SSAE 18 Sort II certification

8. Automated updates

Respected software program suppliers perceive the significance (and problem) of preserving software program up to date and can automate this course of so you’re at all times on the most recent model. Automated updates guarantee that you’ve the most recent safety patches, the most recent and biggest options, and a decrease frequency of downtime.

Be sure you choose a supplier that additionally updates software program performance based mostly on altering authorities rules. Compliance is a transferring goal that’s as advanced as it’s mandatory. Payroll software program that makes it simple will free you of lots of pointless stress and fear.

9. Direct deposit

This may go with out saying, but it surely’s nonetheless price saying: Payroll software program ought to provide direct deposit capabilities. This fundamental payroll characteristic can prevent time and sources by eliminating the necessity for paper checks. It additionally builds belief along with your workforce as a result of they know their paycheck gained’t get misplaced within the mail, positioned on their desk after they’re gone for the day, or unintentionally left in another person’s fingers. 

It additionally removes the additional step of touring to the financial institution to make a deposit — which implies much less effort in your half to exchange and reprint misplaced paychecks. An added worth to direct deposit is offering your staff with the choices to obtain their earned wages early, by way of on-demand pay. Startup companies ought to take into account this add-on to direct deposit as it could successfully retain staff all through the journey to attain success.

10. Tax submitting companies

Your chosen payroll software program ought to provide tax submitting companies, together with the submitting of federal, state, and native payroll taxes. As an alternative of managing various tax charges, deductions, exemptions, compliance necessities, and tax kinds, you’ll be able to let the platform do the leg work — you simply must evaluation and submit.

This characteristic saves a major period of time, but it surely additionally helps you cut back errors, keep away from expensive penalties for late or inaccurate tax filings, and really feel assured that you simply haven’t missed something vital.

The right way to Know Which is Proper for You

When evaluating the worth and advantages of various software program instruments, it’s important to think about what’s most vital for your enterprise. Take this high 10 checklist, for instance, and ask your self: Which of those options is the very best precedence? Which of them will unencumber essentially the most time for me and my staff? 

Then take into account what extra performance you may like. Doc your highest precedence wants and examine them towards the options every supplier affords.

Additionally, you’ll want to ask different startups and small enterprise house owners what payroll platform they advocate. Your colleagues may need direct expertise that may let you know which platforms to pursue and which of them to keep away from.

After narrowing down your selections, you’ll want to take a tour of the software program to verify it’s a good match for your enterprise.

Evaluating The Choices

That will help you additional, we’ve compiled a comparability of 5 in style payroll software program suppliers, based mostly on our analysis and the insights from our associates at G2.


PrimePay Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll

Paychex Flex


ADP Workforce Now

Ease of Setup






Ease of Use






High quality of Assist






Direct Deposit






Tax Calculation






Automated Tax Cost




Characteristic Not Accessible

Characteristic Not Accessible

Cellular Worker Self-Service






On-line Payroll Reporting & Dashboards






*Be aware: The info within the above chart is topic to alter based mostly on G2 opinions.

*Chart Sources: G2 Comparability (QuickBooks), G2 Comparability (ADP Workforce Now)

Nonetheless undecided?

For those who’re nonetheless undecided which payroll platform to decide on, take into account talking with certainly one of our payroll professionals at PrimePay who can assist you choose one of the best payroll software program that fits your enterprise wants.

Get in Contact

For those who’re prepared to begin streamlining your payroll processes and save money and time, contact us right now to study extra about our payroll companies. We provide a wide range of payroll options designed for startups, from full-service payroll to on-line payroll, together with easy-to-use software program, automated tax calculations, and wonderful buyer help. Allow us to aid you take your enterprise to the following stage with our top-notch payroll options.

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