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10 Should-Have Payroll Software program Options for Startups

As a startup, managing your funds in-house is usually a difficult process, particularly with regards to payroll administration. Time monitoring, taxes, withholdings, W-2s, and spreadsheet paperwork — significantly in distant work environments — are usually not solely difficult, nevertheless it’s additionally considerably time-consuming. On high of working the right 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 knowledge entry in its least pleasurable kind. In truth, 49% of small enterprise homeowners are pissed off by the problems of the payroll course of. Whether or not it’s you working payroll or an accounting worker, the time you spend on these duties is far more precious 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 information. With quite a few payroll platforms and payroll suppliers on the market, selecting the very best one in your startup could 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

On the subject of onboarding, it’s essential to prioritize accuracy and compliance proactively quite than reacting to errors with velocity. When coping with payroll, it’s important for people to position accuracy above timeliness.

When speaking to a potential supplier, ask them what the setup course of seems to be like. What sort of technical assets 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
  • Straightforward-to-understand directions

In the event you request an illustration, ask them to stroll you thru the setup course of as effectively so you possibly can see it firsthand earlier than you decide. 

2. Automated tax calculation

Most employers in america (U.S.) should pay Federal Insurance coverage Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. These deductions embrace 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 workers could dwell. Add revenue brackets, part-time vs. full-time workers, 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 can take lots of mind-numbing brainwork off your plate, enable you to keep away from expensive errors, and be sure that your workers 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 particular person 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
  • Looking by way of a number of methods to search out a solution
  • Digging by way of stacks of paper or submitting cupboards

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

4. On-line payroll studies

The information you acquire throughout the enterprise is barely helpful in case you can simply entry and use it. If you’re nonetheless aggregating knowledge from a number of spreadsheets and methods to run studies, you’ll desire a software program resolution that removes this effort and offers you a real-time, birds-eye view of your payroll. 

The software program you finally select ought to generate on-line studies that may be custom-made and exported. This characteristic might help you retain monitor of your payroll bills and determine the place to chop labor prices. 

5. Integration with time and attendance software program

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

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

As you possibly can see, integrating payroll and time can considerably enhance payroll runs, and assist contribute in the direction of making bookkeeping extra environment friendly. 

6. Cellular entry

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

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

If this characteristic appears negotiable, suppose once more: it should make a major distinction down the highway.

7. Safe knowledge 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 have to be protected for the sake of your workers, your enterprise, and your individual authorized legal responsibility.

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

  • Utilizing knowledge encryption
  • Complying with trade requirements corresponding to SOC 2, PCI, and HIPAA
  • Providing consumer authorization/multi-factor authentication
  • Requiring passwords to comply with stringent protocols
  • Having SSAE 18 Kind II certification

8. Automated updates

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

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

9. Direct deposit

This would possibly go with out saying, nevertheless it’s nonetheless value saying: Payroll software program ought to provide direct deposit capabilities. This fundamental payroll characteristic can prevent time and assets by eliminating the necessity for paper checks. It additionally builds belief together with your workforce as a result of they know their paycheck received’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 workers with the choices to obtain their earned wages early, through on-demand pay. Startup companies ought to think about this add-on to direct deposit as it may successfully retain workers all through the journey to realize 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 possibly can let the platform do the leg work — you simply must overview and submit.

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

The 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 record, for instance, and ask your self: Which of those options is the very best precedence? Which of them will liberate essentially the most time for me and my workers? 

Then think about what extra performance you would possibly like. Doc your highest precedence wants and examine them towards the options every supplier gives.

Additionally, remember to ask different startups and small enterprise homeowners what payroll platform they suggest. Your colleagues may need direct expertise that may inform you which platforms to pursue and which of them to keep away from.

After narrowing down your decisions, remember to take a tour of the software program to ensure it’s a good match for your enterprise.

Evaluating The Choices

That will help you additional, we’ve compiled a comparability of 5 fashionable 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 Help






Direct Deposit






Tax Calculation






Automated Tax Fee




Characteristic Not Out there

Characteristic Not Out there

Cellular Worker Self-Service






On-line Payroll Reporting & Dashboards






*Word: The information within the above chart is topic to vary based mostly on G2 critiques.

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

Nonetheless unsure?

In the event you’re nonetheless unsure which payroll platform to decide on, think about talking with considered one of our payroll professionals at PrimePay who might help you choose the very best payroll software program that fits your enterprise wants.

Get in Contact

In the event you’re prepared to begin streamlining your payroll processes and save money and time, contact us at present 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 glorious buyer assist. Allow us to enable you to take your enterprise to the following stage with our top-notch payroll options.

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