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May 2020

25

How to Choose the Right Payroll Software for Your Accountancy Practice

It can be challenging to settle on the right payroll software for your business when there is so much to choose from. Here are some key points we feel must be considered when looking for excellent payroll software:

  • Batch processing - For an accountancy firm, batch processing is a must. The time-saving involved in running payroll procedures in a batch cannot be understated. 
  • Pricing - Pricing is a crucial factor to consider. The price doesn't have to be "cheap", but it should certainly be reflective of the value of the product. If it's also affordable on top of that, bonus. 
  • Delegating work - What if your payroll software allowed your employees to log in directly to it and request things like annual leave, or to access their payroll data? And what if employees could access a "self-service" section of the payroll software where they could download their payslips? The more your payroll software can delegate work, the more time you'll have on your hands. And time is money.
  • Auto-enrollment - Under the new pension laws, finding a pension scheme that matches all the required criteria can be challenging. Great payroll software should facilitate this procedure, integrating with NEST to provide easy auto-enrolment into qualifying pension schemes. 
  • Connects to accounting software - Your payroll software should connect to your cloud accounting software such as QuickBooks, FreeAgent, Xero and others. This way, the payroll journal is reflected in your accounts. 
  • Excellent support - Excellent support could be said to be the make or break of high-grade payroll software. Too many software companies have come onto the scene blazing, only to fail because their support was not good enough. Support should be handled by knowledgeable people who understand the product and can also communicate clearly with potentially frustrated clients. 
  • Secure - Security of payroll data is crucial to stay in compliance with data privacy laws. Saving payroll data on the cloud might be "convenient", but it also means that anybody with access to your password can access all your staff's personal data. The choice between cloud-based software and desktop software is always won hands-down by desktop software. 
  • Recognition - The HMRC should recognise the payroll software. Failing to use HMRC-recognised software might lead to you having to run the payroll entirely manually! There are strict rules for running payroll, and plenty to remember. If the HMRC has not recognised a payroll software, be wary. 
  • AwardsAwards are not vital when choosing payroll software, but they certainly make the choice sweeter! Awards from external bodies show that the software company has achieved standards higher than its peers, and that these standards have been independently verified. The more prestigious the award, and the more often it has been won, the better chances you have that the software will deliver more than what you need. Awards also prove that the team behind the software knows what it's doing. 
  • Always getting better - The best payroll software should get better every year. This not only adds value to your business but also inspires confidence in the company behind it. It shows that the product is continuously being worked on, that it is not stagnant. If the product is continually improving, your ROI as far as that software goes will also improve.

Written by Guest Blogger: Pearl Chartered Accountants