Payroll is a key business function that takes a lot of time and scrutiny to get right. Whoever handles payroll for your business is under pressure to ensure it’s done accurately, or risk a host of problems if a mistake gets made.

The tradeoff, though, is that all the time spent on payroll prevents you or your staff from focusing on other important tasks, especially if the person handling payroll has other responsibilities too. Well over half (63%) of small business owners underestimate the amount of time payroll can take to process, which is anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on the number of employees you have. If that’s where the bulk of your or your staff’s effort is going, what are you leaving undone as a result, and what business goals are falling by the wayside?

The payroll methods you use can make or break your business. We’ll talk about why manual methods aren’t the way to go . . . and technology is, as well as what to look for in a payroll technology provider.

Why you need a new system

To process payroll, you need a comprehensive system in place to track and manage employee hours, handle deductions, and, of course, deliver payment to employees. But if your system is a manual one, things can get messy fast. 

Payroll is already a time- and resource-intensive process, and when your business is growing and you have multiple employees to pay, the complexity increases. Information is harder to track down and harder to know if it’s accurate — especially if you’re tracking employee-related information in a separate system that doesn’t integrate with your payroll process.

It doesn’t end there. You also have to do the research to make sure you’re complying with federal and state tax laws so that you can deduct the correct amount of taxes from each paycheck. And you need to make sure you’re monitoring year-to-date expenses and paid time off (PTO) payouts, as well as any pre-tax benefits.  

All told, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially as you’re trying to manage the rest of your business. And it’s even easier to make costly errors. Given these challenges, you can see where this is going: Implementing a newer, more efficient system can simplify the process, taking much of the burden and worry off your shoulders and saving you serious time.  

But, why payroll technology?

The short answer is automation. Payroll technology automates the steps required to execute payroll correctly. It keeps track of all your paid staff and automatically calculates the proper amount each employee should be paid per pay period based on the number of hours worked. The system also accurately calculates any overtime, and then delivers paychecks as expected. 

One of the biggest benefits of automated payroll software is how taxes are handled. The system calculates and deducts the correct taxes from employee paychecks so you don’t have to worry about calculating them yourself or filing incorrect employee wage information. And since nearly 70% of small business owners say that payroll taxes are a significant burden for them, anything to make this function easier offers a huge advantage.

There are also significant advantages for your employees. A good payroll technology system features an online portal where employees can review their own payment details like pay stubs, tax deductions, and 401(k) withdrawals, as well as make updates to their data. Employees can access the system via their desktop or mobile device, anytime and from anywhere, empowering them to take charge and look up their own information without needing an administrator to intervene.

Overall, payroll technology supports your business by: 

  • Simplifying and streamlining the complex process of payroll

  • Automating each step in the process to save time and ensure accuracy 

  • Centralizing key information in a single platform to make it easy for staff and employees to access

  • Freeing you up to focus on high-value tasks, strategies, and goals

What to look for in a payroll technology provider

There are a lot of payroll solutions on the market today and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your business. You can cut through the noise and competition by looking for a payroll and HR technology provider that offers, at a high level:

This helps ensure that the platform can be set up to meet your unique business needs and that you’ll get the service and support you expect from your investment.

For more information about how to evaluate technology providers and a set of guidelines to follow, download the eBook.

Give your business a boost with a payroll solution

You and your staff shouldn’t have to burn countless hours grappling with the complex nature of payroll, worrying whether the information is accurate, and risking errors or delays in payment. When you can reduce administrative burden and increase the accuracy and efficiency of your payroll process, you're primed for business growth. 

You can make your business — instead of break it — with an automated payroll and HR technology solution that saves time, ensures accuracy and empowers staff and employees alike. And when payroll runs smoothly, you can put more effort into taking your business to the next level.

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