Feature guidelines to help businesses choose the best cloud-based payroll software.
A casual surf through a browser to check for any automated payroll software will throw up more than a dozen results. Each of them will provide a whole lot of features and possibilities. The benefits of automated payroll systems are varied. While some are good at pricing, others are good at other attributes. Some could be relevant to your organization, while what you need may not be available. There are many pros and cons which could confuse the buyer and possibly procrastinate the buying decision indefinitely.
How can one help the buyer to make up his/her mind? The best and easiest way is to help the buyer to evaluate what features are essential in the cloud-based payroll software system and the one that fits the organization's requirements.
Ability to accept salary input data from automated file transfer protocols (SFTP) from other HR systems such as recruitment, salary changes, and onboarding portals. Automated payroll processing should contain cross-verification reports to ensure the data received should match the data in source files or systems to ensure that no data is missed out
Ability to validate inputs such as joining bonuses, relocation allowances, or other allowances are in line with HR policies if they are appropriately approved, and eligibility is automatically checked. A comprehensive online checklist to ensure all data inputs have been received
Once the inputs are verified, pay computations happen in the system where gross pay and net pay is generated. The next step is to create the bank file containing the list of employees with their respective net pays. The system should have the ability to create an automated file transfer protocol to sync up with the bank's systems to transfer data automatically, from where the same is transferred to employee's bank accounts directly without any manual intervention.
Post the salary credit in the employee bank accounts; the next step is to automatically and securely receive their payslips in their email accounts. This is an integral part of communication to ensure employees know what and how much is paid to them
Automated statutory remittance/filing
Once employee payments are made, the next obligation is to ensure statutory remittances and returns are filed on time as per the specified timelines and formats of government departments. The software should automatically link up with respective systems of statutory bodies to transfer data, funds, and returns without any errors
While most software generates the accounting entries to record the payroll costs in the books of accounts, the automated solution should be able to post the entries in the company's accounting systems automatically. Data so posted must match the data with the month's pay register
Now that the disbursements to both employees and statutory bodies are complete, the next step is to generate Management reports. The system should have the ability to create MIS packs each month containing a set of standard reports and analysis and share it with authorized personnel either by providing access for online viewing of the data or mailing it to their respective email ids.
Employee Self Service (ESS) / Manager Self Service (MSS)
One of the most liked portals in any software is the ESS or MSS portals. It is a personalized portal of each employee within the payroll application. They will be able to view their profile, personal data, payslips, tax forms, and any of their information. The portals can be linked to their leave and attendance systems to view their leave balances or apply for leaves or overtime. The requests will get automatically routed to their respective managers for action. The entire flow of transactions is captured and recorded in the process.
Similarly, income tax declarations, tax proofs, expense / medical claims, etc. can be submitted by an employee in the portal. The Manager can view it to approve it, post which it gets routed as an input to payroll for further processing.
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