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How to evaluate payroll software for small business

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At your workplace, one of the greatest challenges you may face is purchasing software best suited for your business. Buying or replacing payroll software can be one of the most challenging decisions you’ve got to make. Now, whether you’re the CXO, the HR personnel or the finance personnel at your organization, you do have a say in the matter. You must evaluate multiple payroll software in India before you shortlist your top three choices or finalize the one you’re going to buy.

Due to the presence of the legacy method of processing payroll on Excel along with improper planning and time constraints, please don’t end up buying a payroll software for small business without an unbiased evaluation.

You should ask the following important questions when evaluating a potential payroll software solution provider:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How many clients use the software as of today? Who are they?
  • What size businesses does the company serve?
  • Can you get client references?
  • Is unlimited telephone support offered?
  • Is 24x7 self-service support by website offered?
  • What is the standard policy for providing software updates, upgrades and enhancements?
  • What is the average response rate of a technical support call?
  • Does the company stay consistently up to date on all statutory compliances?
  • How, when and where is user training provided?

So go ahead, take time out to evaluate payroll software in India.

The top 6 parameters to evaluate a payroll software in India

1. Domain expertise: Payroll is probably your company’s largest expense. And it is certainly the most visible business process to your employees. There is no room for error when it comes to providing employees with their payslips. When choosing the best payroll software, it’s important to select a payroll solutions provider that has a proven track record in offering an excellent product and responsive support. 

2. Integrated HR and payroll information and capabilities: HR (on-boarding through exit), payroll and reimbursements functions have tremendous overlap, and sharing the data ensures that all modules of a payroll software are in sync and uses the most recent and accurate data.
There are many benefits to having integrated HR capabilities with your payroll software, including:

  • No duplicate data entry
  • Less paperwork
  • Integrated reporting

3. Payroll automation with Employee Self Service (ESS) portal: Automating payroll processes with its outputs such as payslips and tax calculations published on ESS disperses routine tasks back to the employees. With ESS, they can:

  • View and download their payslips
  • Create, edit and submit their income tax plans
  • Apply for leaves and attendance regularizations
  • Raise trouble tickets for any department via the Help Desk 

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4. Is the payroll software for small business on the cloud?: As part of your evaluation, you'll want to choose between on-premise software and cloud-based software. With Web-based HR & payroll software, you purchase a suitable plan based on your requirements to implement, maintain and support your software using the their investment in cloud servers, networks and IT professionals. In return for what is normally an employee or admin-based subscription fee, you own the data and they own the payroll software. You have a predictable monthly outlay for your payroll system at a lower price than that of a payroll service provider, and you have control over payroll-related data. The risk of downtime is dramatically slashed with hosted providers penalized for non-compliance with their Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Implementation and rollout is faster, as you don't need to spend on your IT infrastructure. Also, you (as administrators) and your employees can access the payroll software remotely. From anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to worry about accessing the payroll software only from your office desk!

Your IT department doesn't need to add servers or infrastructure to support an expanded headcount. Nor does it need to add any resources to maintain or upgrade the payroll software.

5. The Support team: The most important question is accessibility of technical support. Check the hours of operation for technical support and the method the payroll software company uses for handling support calls.

Will you speak directly to a support technician? Do you have to use a menu system? What is the anticipated response time for support? Can you email them your queries? Are videos available? Is live chat present?

6. Implementation methodology: In many cases, payroll software companies in India will gather your requirements, vanish for a few weeks and come back with a few days or weeks remaining for testing and final configuration. But, the best payroll software companies should be able to get an environment ready for implementation and testing much sooner, which gives you more time to test and configure.

Apart from all these important parameters, the best payroll software should have:

  • Automatic payroll and tax calculations based on customizable salary structure and components selected
  • Direct publishing/ mass mailing of letters to selected employee(s), such as proof of address letter, confirmation letter, increment letter, experience letter, salary certificate, etc.
  • Real-time tracking of each employee's leave and attendance information
  • HR, payroll, compliances, and CXO business reports for analysis and decision-making
  • Ability to import and export from Excel to automate, streamline and ensure accuracy
  • User-friendly UI to improve user adoption

Conclusion
Remember that a payroll software is more than just a database used to store payroll calculations.

You are purchasing a software expected to do accurate payroll and tax calculations based on complex formulae, generate reports to be filed and produce reports.

Due to the complexity of payroll, the purchasing of payroll software requires extreme attention to detail. The software must satisfy your company’s particular needs now and in the future.

Remember that your employees don't care what you use to process payroll as long as their salary is credited on time every month without errors!

But you do care.
After all, selecting the payroll software in India that is tailormade to your requirements can save you time as well as money! Make sure that the software you choose allows you to do more with the same or fewer HR/payroll staff at your disposal!

 Give greytHR a try!

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