Choosing payroll software can be quite a daunting task if you are not already conversant with the payroll process. That is one of the main problems that business owners find with payroll, it is all so complicated and time consuming.
One easy way of choosing payroll software is to let someone else do the task for you, unless you really have a need to understand the complexities of tax, national insurance, statutory sick, maternity and paternity pay, then it really is a good idea to wash your hands of the subject completely, outsource your payroll function and let the choice of payroll software be left to those who understand the issues in more detail, the payroll services companies.
However, there is of course the hardcore few who feel the need to understand every aspect of their company, unfortunately these are the people who tend to wear so many hats that they end up not wearing any that fit.
If you are a business owner and really feel the need to understand payroll up to a point whereby you are competent to choose the actual software that you are going to operate then this article, may assist you.
However, it is written from the perspective that a process that is critical to your business, but is not the main product of your business, then it is best left to people who know what they are doing and spend your time on more useful things like growing your business.
However, there are those who will not accept advice, for those of you who follow this path, here are the things to look for.
Popularity, just because a particular piece of software is popular and is advertised everywhere you look do not instantly think that it is the best, very rarely do market leaders have the best product, they may have the best marketing, or the best sales team, but rarely do they have the best product. This is most certainly true in the payroll software market in the United Kingdom.
Before the solicitors get involved, the views in this article are entirely my own based on my 20 years plus experience of payroll services and payroll software in the UK.
When choosing payroll software for your business the overriding consideration should be ease of use. This is not ease of use for your accountant or your book keeper that has only ever worked on one software product, it is ease of use for you the business owner and the member of staff within your business that you select to use the software and take overall responsibility for the payroll.
Remember that there is more to payroll software than just producing a payslip, it needs to provide you with the reports that are necessary to pay your staff, it should provide reports for your accountant to use and it should keep up to date records of your staff details. Payroll stops for no man (nor woman) as such, whoever has responsibility for the payroll software should have a fully trained understudy who can step in at a moment's notice to cover illness, holiday or departure.
Once again we get back to the same issue, even if your software is easy to use, produces the required reports, keeps the details of your staff up to date, processes the payroll accurately, etc,etc. Is this what you are in business for? If you are a payroll services company then probably yes, if you are anything other than a payroll services company then most definitely no.
Forget about choosing payroll software, put your efforts into finding a competent payroll services company that offers all the benefits that you have identified and takes full responsibility for the entire payroll process, choosing payroll software is then not a problem for you at all as it is someone else's problem.
A problem given away is a problem solved.