The Top 10 Features Your Payroll Software Should Have
Updated: Nov 29
We’re committed to finding solutions to the challenges companies and businesses face in the growing landscape of digital and Fintech technologies here at Invatechs. One of the most crucial services any company needs to have running efficiently is its payroll software because one that is inefficient can cost you time, money and resources – we even wrote a whole blog-post dedicated to the common mistakes that crop up in payroll software, we’d highly recommend checking it out!
So, what features should be integrated into your payroll software? How do you know what to look for from a vendor? What features do you need to ensure high standards of compliance, data protection and accuracy whilst saving you money? We’re going to cover all of that and more in this article and introduce you to Invatechs’ own powerful and adaptable payroll software and what it can do for you.
PAYROLL – THE BASICS
Your payroll software is the mechanism that automates the process of paying your employees; whether they’re part-time, full-time or on a flexible contract. The basic features of any payroll software will include deductions for things like tax payments, National Insurance contributions and pension payments from your employees’ wages. Beyond the basics, there are more essential features you’ll need in your payroll software to keep up with current standards and demands. This includes features like data protection (such as password-protection for your staff, an encryption database and restricted user access to employee records) and a scalable software that can adapt to the growth of your business. Whilst companies across every industry and sector now make use of an automated payroll software - as opposed to a manual payment process delivered by HR - not all payroll softwares are created equally, and mistakes can still persist that accumulate costs down the line. If your software doesn’t have effective time-tracking integration capabilities - logging and recording your employees working hours – you’ll soon run into issues concerning the correct pay. You can even take this feature one step further and ensure it’s integrated with your accounting software, allowing any transaction to enter into your general ledger, aggregating wages into the rest of your finance operations.
There are a lot of features that add up to make a great payroll software package and you can often get them in one bundle, but with a wide, competitive market of vendors offering software capabilities, it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve compiled 10 features we think every payroll software should have that cover everything from cloud compatibly to easy user experience.
INVATECHS' TOP 10 PAYROLL SOFTWARE FEATURES
Mobile App Option
A mobile app is a great way to put all the information your employee needs straight into their hands; one that allows them to access their payslips, holiday entitlement and any updates and notifications they need to see, particularly in wake of changing Covid-19 updates and policies. You’ll share a common portal to assess wage payments and any discrepancies concerning hours your staff have worked. A mobile app is one of the most effective ways you can aggregate all the information your employees need into one space.
Tax Filing and Management Capabilities
In the United States, around one in three small businesses will spend over an estimated 40 hours every year filing and calculating their federal taxes. If you’re a small business completing taxes by yourself without any payroll software, it can be a time-consuming endeavour that allows for mistakes that can leave you susceptible to auditing and fines. That’s why it’s always best to find a payroll software with tax filing and management capabilities, one that can effectively store and share your information and then calculate your employees’ tax contributions and deductions. If you have an international remote workforce, you’ll also need to consider finding a vendor that offers multi-country and multi-state tax filing capabilities.
Advance Time Attendance Integration
Whether your workforce is based at a location, like an office space, or they’re working remotely, a software that can automatically track attendance and hours that have been worked is the easiest solution. Manual time cards are becoming a thing of the past, and the capabilities for attendance keeping go beyond just punching in and out. Some systems can alert employees when they forget to clock in/out of their shift or when they’re entering into overtime hours. Job tracking can monitor how long employees have worked on a certain project and geotechnology can determine an employee’s location, restricting where they can and cannot clock in/out. The model you’re looking for and what kind of time attendance capabilities you need will depend on the scale of your team and workload; if all you need is a basic clocking in/out system you’ll find it at a cheaper price, but a software with a biometric clock and geotechnology capabilities will accrue a higher price point.
Customisation capabilities in payroll software can become particularly important as a means of adjusting to the scale and management of your operations. Customisable templates and parameters can allow you to customise reports, payslips and design template. SRS (or Software Requirements Specification) is an essential starting point to determine what features you’ll want and need in your payroll software - from scheduling when payslips will be sent out to their look and design. Customisation features also allow you to determine who has the authority to access the payroll software, its accounts information and its online interface within your management and workforce.
Flexible and Dynamic Distribution Options
If you oversee a large operation or multiple businesses you’ll need a model that can fulfil the diversity of your staffing models or organisational structures. You’ll want a software that can manage your payroll on a local and international level, across branches and divisions, whilst overseeing and paying all of your employees; whether they’re freelancers, full-time or part-time. Payroll software that’s used across large operations will need to be able to manage and consolidate payroll data across multiple systems, be able to provide multi-language and currency features and be able to track payroll costs across centres, countries and business units. This probably won’t apply to small businesses, but a large scale business or one with an international workforce will need to have a payroll software that can accommodate these flexible and dynamic distribution options.
A cloud-compatible payroll software is one of the best ways to ensure a high level of data protection and security, easy access for your and your employees and the best model for remote working. A cloud-based system allows you to store your data and programs on a remote system and portal, it’ll provide the means for your employees to do things such as download their payslips and submit their time attendance and download reports. A cloud-based system is one of the best options you have to integrate all the information between you and your employees into one platform. Furthermore, Cloud data is highly protected, as it proactively identifies risks and mitigates them. As more and more sensitive data is being shared online, organisations continue to make solutions that can monitor and protect that data, whilst providing visibility into user activity. Storing information on external hard-drives and on paper can become a thing of the past with all the information you need to be saved on the cloud.
Your payroll software provides one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re following compliance. With compliance management features included in your software, it can automatically update itself with any necessary legal changes and checks, making sure that any payroll data or tax information meets the latest employment law and statutory requirements. That’s why it’s imperative you find a vendor that can provide solutions for regulations and local legislations. Your software should automate updates and provide alerts for any entires made that were non-compliant, any reports that are due, and missing information that is required all the while giving you the ability to retrieve sensitive information quickly and simply.
Reporting and Analytics
Your reporting and analytics features give you the best opportunity to check in on the efficiency of your system. Your reports can tell you about errors that are reoccurring, time attendance, the rates of accuracy in your payroll systems as well as where, how and why you’re paying your employees. This will be particularly important for you and your finance team when it comes to completing audits and assessments.
Manual calculations and data entires can allow for inaccurate and poor payroll calculations that will impact all of your finances from tax filing to paying your employees. Payroll software is so sophisticated that (provided all the relevant and up to date information is logged in the system) it automates payroll calculations, shrinking the margin of error in the process that’s usually created from human intervention. Say goodbye to those excel spreadsheets.
With all of these features installed, the software should require minimal manual intervention. Payroll processing maybe not be available until the payroll period is finished, giving the software a small window of time to distribute pay and payslips. That’s why your software has to have low processing time, a high level of accuracy and be able to run smoothly across all of your systems with efficient automation. This will be one of the biggest tests of the software once it’s up and running, and where you’ll need to have good lines of communication with your vendor in case anything goes wrong.
WHERE TO GO NEXT?
By now you can probably see the wide variety of features vendors can offer with their payroll software, and just how important these features are to ensure compliance, accuracy and efficiency. When you’re deciding who to go with you need to make sure it’s a vendor ready to guide you through every corner, button and screen of the software. End-to-end technology consulting is one of the best ways to make sure your end product meets all of your standards and goals with the best functionality.
At Invatechs, we’ve created payroll software and solutions that have served thousands of employees and their companies. We work from the ground up with thorough research into you and your company’s needs, with a goal of cost-efficiency and error-free performance. We can create the software from scratch or integrate with a third-party or your existing software.
We were tasked with creating a simple, cloud-based accounting and payroll software for GP and primary care practises in the UK. We were able to create software that could integrate with HMRC, pensions and schemes and some of the most popular accountancy software tools with our collaboration and consultation. Just like the best cloud-based payroll software, we provided an easy system for GP and primary care practises to use wherever they are, with compliance management features maintaining high standards of security with such sensitive data.
Navigating everything you do and don’t need in your software can be tricky. If you’re looking for a payroll application – whether it’s made from scratch or integrated into your third-party software – we’re ready. We’ll transform your idea into the product you’re looking for. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to find out more.