Payroll Software

Payroll Software

One of the biggest decision a new or established business or Payroll Manager has to make, at some point, is selecting payroll software for their company. With so many choices available, research and analysis must be conducted before you purchase a payroll program. Beyond the basic functionality of tracking time and attendance, vacation and leaves of absence, serious thought has to be given to federal and state mandated payroll guidelines for your State. Among the features you may have to consider are federal and state tax tables, built in tax calculations for dependent deductions, W-2s, 1099s, and special payments, for overtime and bonus compensation. In addition, Social Security, Medicare, Child support payments, and if offered by your State Unemployment/Disability deductions, maybe required functions the payroll program should perform. Another option to consider is direct deposit. Not only is it a great way to push paperless paychecks but it benefits the employer, employee, and the environment.

No matter the size, small, medium or large organizations will need to select the best payroll program to ensure they can easily extrapolate, analyze and prepare cost accounting and payroll reports. While some of the payroll software or vendor services can be expensive, the payroll program you select should pay for itself in a short period of time. You should be able to measure the cost within months of purchase. According to a study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, (Pwc), on average, employers spend $16 to process a single payroll check. Companies with 1,000 to 4,999 employees paid an average of $20 per check. Pricewaterhouse Coopers discovered that 71 percent of the cost went for labor while software, maintenance and materials accounted for less than one-third of the total cost.

Although there is no one size fits all payroll software for all companies, there are a few programs and outsourcing payroll services that rank high in addressing the needs of small, medium and large businesses. The following is a brief summary of payroll programs you may want to consider for your business:

Small companies - According to there are several payroll programs that received excellent ratings for their compensation capabilities, including calculating taxes, direct deposits, W-2s and establishing a pay schedule. Listed among the ten most affordable, user- friendly, payroll software for small companies are Sage Peachtree Complete ($199), QuickPro ($183.96) and Simply Accounting ($189.00).

Medium companies - Mid-size business can perform the service in-house or contract with companies that specialize in cost-saving, streamlining payroll services. According to HR Magazine, Ultimate Software has been ranked #1 for two-consecutive years, by the Great Places to Work Institute. Among the HR services offered by Ultimate is Saas, software as a service, which allows businesses to share the software but keep control of the data. All hardware and payroll software updates are managed by Ultimate. Two other payroll vendors you may want to research are CentrePoint and Intuit. Both are noted for their successful track record of streamlining payroll processing and offer their clients the option of standardizing or customizing some of their payroll codes...

Large companies - These organizations have moved toward integrated and self-service to give employees access to W-2s, past and present health benefits, 401K reports, and salary history data. To address their challenges and diverse needs, PeopleSoft, ADP and Paychex offer some of the best holistic HR and payroll solutions to companies with worksites in the United States and globally.

Finally, whether you need a payroll program for a start-up company, business merger or global expansion, finding the right fit, is like shopping for a car, you have to test drive the product before you purchase.

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'Whether you need a payroll program for a start-up company, business merger or global expansion, finding the right fit, is like shopping for a car, you have to test drive the product before you purchase.'