Updating Your Payroll System

By | January 26, 2012

An effective payroll system may be the most important function that a business does in terms of the company’s human resources. Obviously, the pay check is the reason most people work. But there is a lot of work associated with calculating those pay checks and it is important to everyone involved for the system to be accurate and legal. Payroll systems are generally the same, but many payrolls can be different based on the size of the company or the number of records that are maintained by the payroll department. Payroll is normally a subset of the human resources department, but may also include other bookkeeping duties.

The most cost-efficient and effective manner of maintaining an accurate payroll system is to invest in a good payroll software program. There are many different types on the market that can be accessed online. Many payroll software services offer full service office suites that handle all duties associated with proper payroll maintenance, up to and including full human resources department operations software. It is well worth the invested time it takes to review any potential payroll software package before making a final decision or purchase.

Freeware systems abound on the internet and may be acceptable for a smaller business. The question is always reliability with anything free, especially free software. It may be effective for a certain period of time, but the serious business owner cannot be unaccountable for something as critical as calculating salaries. Efficient business operation means solid business practices. The investment in a highly effective software program will always pay dividends.

Price ranges on potential software packages start very inexpensive. A good investigation of any paid software service would probably reveal other packages that are more versatile in a similar reasonable range. Software packages can be targeted for the smaller company or more comprehensive for the larger concern and still be as effective in either scenario. It is important to have a good working assessment of what is needed for the situation and dynamic of the company.

A solid payroll software program will have several key elements. It will primarily feature flexible time entry and processing and should be direct deposit capable. Other prime characteristics are implemented standard and custom deduction codes for employees on different earning scales. Other typical operational capacities are electronic tax filing and 401 investment retirement plan records, along with maintaining year-to-date earnings records for each pay period.

Most professional payroll software programs will come as shareware, unless the program is purchased as a compact disc. In the event that shareware is used, it is important to choose a reputable company with considerable experience in providing office shareware. Many software companies also offer a range of other office functions that make office management a more streamlined process, improving centralisation of the company.

Individual software for specific functions can also be found online and range from standard time and attendance programs to full ledger and payroll accounting. A group of individual software applications could possibly work for a business that only needed simple payroll records and functions, but the full-service packages will be better for those with a long-term business plan that may eventually grow in numbers of employees and employment contracts.

The time and money saved by utilising internet technology as a central part of any business operation cannot be understated. The old days of hand recording hours worked are clearly a thing of the past for any business owner who is computer literate, which is practically everyone is this technology driven economy. Accurate records have never been as important as they are today and it all begins with good accountability in the payroll department.

About the Guest Post Author: James Bentham is a UK blogger writing on behalf of Ceridian, who provide payroll solutions to businesses of all scales. He specialises in business and technology topics and enjoys writing about music in his spare time.