What is It?
Online payroll is only available on the internet. Your payroll is processed via a secure Internet connection when you access a login to a user software application. Your data is stored in the cloud or on servers provided by your payroll software provider. You can perform all necessary payroll functions, including:
- Keeping track of employee tax information
- Helping employees view and update their benefits, retirement, or insurance information
- Handling special payment circumstances legally and correctly, including disability, employment and family leave
- Tracking paid time off (PTO) and attendance information
- Administering and collecting various important human resources forms
- Send an important quarterly reports or key data sets to select groups
- Running payroll, printing paychecks, and running necessary payroll reports for W2s, 940s, 941s, and 944s.
There’s a small monthly fee related to using online payroll software; it’s usually the equivalent of or less than the cost of traditional downloadable payroll software.
What to Look for with Online Payroll Software
As a business owner, you may be able to pay your employees consistently; however, it’s more challenging to track the right paperwork, pull reports, or handle special circumstances. With medium-sized businesses, it’s often one person’s dedicated job to handle payroll or part-time workers. It’s even more challenging for small businesses; the process is generally very time-consuming, and owners frequently struggle to keep up.
Preparing payroll requires training, time, money, and accuracy, which is why many businesses turn to online payroll companies. Because payroll data is the most confidential data in any organization, in the past, it made sense to manage it manually. However, times have changed, along with technology. Over a period of time, the payroll procedure can become a time-consuming headache for nearly anyone. Therefore, investing in cloud-based payroll technology can help you automate your payroll and help you grow your business, based on the time saved.
When shopping for online software, as a business startup or when running a small or medium-sized business, think about what parts of your business will require additional software or services support and what areas you think you’ll be able to handle on your own. You’ll need to consider everything from back office operations to the success of your sales force. Therefore, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of why you should invest in payroll software when you only have a handful of hourly employees or when you primarily employ contractors on an as-needed basis.
Then, too, if you’re planning to expand your business, again a payroll software solution can play a crucial role in strengthening its foundation. Choosing the proper payroll system can be determined by assessing the needs of your organization.
Keep in mind a few main points while selecting your payroll management software, such as the size of your company, the requirements of your organization, and your budget. An automated payroll system requires no manual effort. A payroll software solution can calculate deductions, like national insurance and tax, and can also integrate with a time-tracking system.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the payroll process is a no brainer, because, as your business grows, the payroll process can become even more complex and challenging to manage. Remember: there’s NO room for error
Payroll is not the place to cut corners. Accuracy is critical when it comes to paying your employees. You’ve looked long and hard to find good employees who support your business. If you’re late in paying them or short them on their pay, not only will you incur legal consequences, fines and penalties, but you’ll risk losing their loyalty and trust. Then, too, as your business grows and you add more new employees, your payroll process will become more complex and no longer will be the simple process it once was.
Here are important considerations to keep in mind related to online payroll:
- For a payroll solution to truly prove its value, it must have reliable, on-time payroll processing that’s easy to use. Then, too, your payroll software needs to grow with you and go beyond the basics. You need to keep in mind not only salaries and wages, but also tracking bonuses, deductions and more. And the software needs to have an easy-to-navigate interface that you, the employer, and your employees, can use.
- With the help of employee calendars, you can manage employee sick leave, overtime, and days absent. Payroll management software will provide you with detailed information, such as how long the employee is out, how many leaves they have taken, etc. Planning becomes much easier with payroll software.
- Make sure your payroll software can handle payments to both your contract workers and vendors, in addition to handling employee hourly wages, salaries, and other employee compensation.
- Check to see if your payroll software can handle automatic benefit deductions and tax withholdings. And it needs to be able to document this information to your employees in a way that they can easily understand.
- Can your online software handle multiple pay options, including splitting direct deposit across multiple bank accounts? Features like this can help your employees gain trust in your business. Plus, it’s a good idea to send payday emails and easy-to-understand breakdowns to your employees to help personalize their pay experience, without adding extra work to your HR resources.
- To maintain compliance with federal and state employment laws, in all likelihood, you’ll need some help from your payroll software. Navigating these government regulations isn’t easy. For example, for the 2018 fiscal year, the IRS assessed 4.9 million in civil penalties related to employment taxes, all due to issues pertaining to accuracy, delinquency, failure to pay, and more. In dollars and cents, this amounted to more than $29.3 billion in penalties. Ouch! Can you afford to incur the potential risk of these kinds of tax fines or penalties in your small business?
If not, then your payroll software should be able to calculate, withhold, and pay federal, state, and local payroll taxes accurately. Plus, make sure it can file quarterly reports and generate year-end forms like W-2s and 1099s. These can be life savers for you and your business. When it comes to business taxes, the more preparation you do can mean more money saved and less time wasted.
- An automated payroll software easily calculates the withholding tax for every employee, based on data entry, thus, lowering the risk for payroll tax errors.
- You have the peace of mind that your payroll data is secure. Payroll software can protect your personal information from potential threats (cybersecurity, among others). It helps to amend privacy notices, ensuring that they comply with any new or updated regulations.
- If you use different systems to collect your data, such as attendance, leave, and other employee information, this can be a tedious process, causing you to continuously switch between systems to configure. When using online payroll software, all important inputs will be auto updated when needed. This saves time and avoids manual data entry work.
- An ideal online payroll software solution has multiple features, business policies, and rules based on the needs of the specific business. With a single click, every employee’s payroll gets processed and pay slips get published immediately. Important inputs for employees, including attendance data, salary structure, LOP information, etc. is automatically updated.
When you run into a snag, particularly when it comes to online payroll, naturally, you’ll want to be able to reach live customer support 24/7. Even if you’re equipped with the best payroll tools available, there’s nothing more reassuring than having live human support for backup. What’s better than that support being available around the clock? You don’t have to wait for the business to open the next business day to resolve a problem. This takes the stress off of resolving potential issues when your time and energy could instead focus on running and growing your business. Then, too, before deciding on an online software, find out what others are saying about the customer support they receive.
To quickly recap, is it worth the effort of using an online payroll service? Do your employees have easy access to it or does it cause more questions or add more work to your already overloaded administrative team? Do your employees still go to HR to get payroll-related answers? If so, then your payroll software isn’t delivering on everything it should. Look for a solution that provides easy access to your employees. They should be able to log in and have access to everything they need, from digital pay stubs, to benefits breakdowns, to year-end tax forms. They must also be able to update their personal information, including bank account information and withholdings, and navigate through their pay stubs hassle free.
ASAP Payroll Service can help you get set up with online payroll services. You’ll get everything you need to run payroll for your small business, including HR benefits that can help negotiate mixed workforces (e.g., W2 employees and independent contractors). ASAP Payroll will also work with the IRS on your behalf if any tax issues come up. Plus, it’s easy to add on services like employee health, dental, workers’ compensation, and retirement plans. Contact ASAP Payroll Service today at (317) 887-2727 or visit the website at: www.asappayroll.com for more information.