SIX Facts You Need to Know About Payroll Tax Software
Which payroll tax software is best for your business?
Analyzing different payroll tax software programs can be nerve-wracking. There may very well be features you will fail to realize you need until problems arise. Others have more options that you will not use compared to those you will, overwhelming your senses and wasting the time of accounting professionals at tax time. Setting programs up can be frustrating as well. Many products struggle to do a decent job straight out of the box but excel once tweaked for performance with your business. Which program is the right one?
Answer the following questions to get the most from any payroll software you purchase:
1. Is this program scalable?
Patriot Pay is one of the most popular payroll tax software programs available for smaller outfits. Business owners particularly love the ease with which it calculates and files state and federal taxes. If you never expected to grow past 50 employees, it would be just about perfect. Unfortunately, it is also a wonderful example of the limitations increased needs often bring. If a software program is not scalable – if it cannot grow with your business – you may want to seriously reconsider.
2. Will it be compatible with my business software?
It is unfortunate there are so many wonderful payroll programs out there with no ties to big accounting programs, like QuickBooks. Such kinds of products can be easy for payroll to use, but relying on them can make other parts of accounting a nightmare. Do yourself a favor and keep compatibility in mind from day one.
3. Can I use this program alone or is it just an add-on?
QuickBooks: Enhanced Payroll for Accounts may be simple and easy to integrate in with the rest of your business software, but you’ll need to have QuickBooks up and running to give it a go. Add-ons make sense in many areas of business software, and they are quite popular. Some can be run alone or in-tandem with parent programs, while others can only be run at the same time.
4. Is this a software purchase or a monthly (or annual) subscription?
With the rise of web-based business solutions, subscriptions delivered monthly or yearly have become quite popular. Cloud-based programs in particular have drawn the attention of business owners looking to save money. Updates can happen faster, so can patches to software issues. It is assumed that they will be of better value. Unfortunately, this has not turned out to be the case for every business.
5. Can this go mobile?
If you do not spend much time in the office, you might be concerned about completing your accounting tasks on the road. Many of the top payroll programs have mobile capabilities. Some are limited to reading and sharing reports, while others offer complete software functionality when away from your desk. A number of apps available only by tablet, smartphone or other mobile device have also been fine-tuned to provide payroll tax processing without any secondary support.
6. Is my data secure?
Payroll information needs to be kept under lock and key. Your employees need to know their addresses are safe in the system, right along with their social security numbers, their bank account numbers and their daily schedules. Ascentis Payroll is a web-based stand-alone add-on to Ascentis HR, going above and beyond typical payroll tax software security. Its generous features include firewalls, intrusion detection and AES 256-bit encryption.
The right program for you depends on the size of your company; how and where you do business, and where you expect the future will take you? With the wealth of options available, no business owner has to be left unprepared. Use a quality software program to help you keep payroll organized, or consider hiring a PEO to help you select resources and tweak them to your company’s needs.
Email your payroll tax software questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.