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How to Choose the Right Online Payroll Software for Your Business

A small to medium-sized business owner’s guide to payroll automation


As your business grows, so does your workforce—and your HR responsibilities. If you’re still running payroll manually, you’re probably spending a lot of time on tedious, repeatable tasks instead of focusing on meaningful work that supports business success. Not only does this waste your staff’s time and energy, but any human error could also put you at risk of committing compliance violations or impacting employee morale and satisfaction.


If you’re struggling to keep up with payroll tasks as your human capital increases, automating these processes with online payroll software can help improve efficiency and reduce headaches.


What is payroll automation, and what are the benefits?


Payroll automation refers to software that automatically handles payroll functions in order to simplify the process of paying employees on time, accurately, and in compliance with state and federal regulations. These days payroll services are usually online, cloud-based solutions, making it even easier for organizations with remote workers or fully dispersed teams to efficiently manage payroll functions.


Automating payroll processes offers numerous benefits, including:


  • Saving time by eliminating busywork


Automation eliminates the extensive (but necessary) work of calculating withholdings and deductions, processing direct deposits, generating reports, filing taxes, and more. Plus, you can generate multiple reports to help manage your payroll budget at the touch of a button.


  • Reducing instances of human error and oversight


No one likes to get paid late or inaccurately—and in today’s tight labor market with high employee turnover, you simply can’t afford paycheck errors that might drive skilled workers away. It also helps to avoid wage-and-hour complaints and lawsuits that might result from repeated pay discrepancies.


  • Keeping payroll information secure and up to date


Implementing payroll software allows you to safeguard sensitive employee data, while also ensuring compliance with relevant laws thanks to automatic compliance updates.


  • Optimizing payroll processes and streamlining HR workflows


Online payroll services offer integrations with dozens of other applications so you can synchronize payroll with other HR functions like timekeeping, benefits administration, and new-hire onboarding.


  • Offering employee self-service capabilities


Take even more tedious tasks off your team’s plate by enabling employees to handle functions such as retrieving their paycheck information, updating their own payroll forms, entering time off requests, and accessing employee onboarding and training documents.


Even though online payroll software is an investment, it ultimately saves on costs by significantly boosting efficiency and reducing your compliance risk.


How to choose the right payroll solution for your business


There are many payroll automation services specifically designed to serve small businesses. Popular platforms include Gusto, Rippling, QuickBooks Online Payroll, and RUN by ADP, or even ADP’s Roll mobile payroll app. Our trusted payroll partner is Hill Country Payroll, a comprehensive cloud-based solution for human capital management needs.


But with so many online payroll software options available on the market today, how do you choose which is right for your business? Aspects like pricepoint, flexibility and individual features will differ, so it’s important to assess the finer details of each solution and determine how they fit the unique needs of your business.


Here are a few guidelines to help make your decision.


  • Features - Can you manage PTO, workers' comp admin, garnishment payments, etc.?


  • Ease of use - Is the system simple and streamlined?


  • Cost - Is a long-term contract required, and are payments due monthly or by pay period?


  • Reputation - Is the service provider recommended?


  • Integrations - Will it integrate with your current HR and accounting systems?


  • Support - Is there a dedicated support representative?


  • Employee Self-Service - Can employees log in to view pay stubs and tax forms?


Based on your answers, narrow down your choices to the top three contenders and make your decision from there. The important thing is to partner with a company you can trust and ensure they offer all the features you need to optimize your payroll processes.


Ready to automate your payroll with HR technology? We have solutions for that.


With so many options, it’s critical to partner with an HR expert who can assess your needs and identify the right online payroll software for your business. Through our Payroll Software Services, our team of experienced HR Advisors will get to know your business, recommend the best solution, and even handle the process of implementation. We’re here to support your success!

Click here to schedule a free consultation.


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