Choosing the Best Payroll Software for Your Business

Choosing the Best Payroll Software for Your Business
Payroll software can feel a bit overwhelming. Learn about the 5 key areas to review when you’re comparing payroll providers.
by Meredith Galante Dec 02, 2021 — 5 min read
Choosing the Best Payroll Software for Your Business

You’ve already decided that your business can benefit from a payroll service. And why wouldn’t you? Payroll software helps you save time so you can get back to running and growing your business.

But when you start to research your options for full-service payroll, the list of core software features, services, and add-ons can feel a bit overwhelming. And it’s hard to know what you should be focusing on to make a decision. So we’ve put together a list of five key areas to review when you’re comparing payroll service providers.

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1. Your business needs

Before you can compare your payroll software options, you need to have a clear idea of what your business needs from a full-service payroll provider. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Use your answers to these questions to guide you through the rest of the criteria you need to evaluate before you choose payroll software for your small business.

2. Payroll features

Whether a payroll service’s features are must-haves or nice-to-haves is really dependent on your answers to the questions above. But there are some features you should definitely be on the lookout for from any small business payroll service.

3. Cost of payroll software

The cost of payroll software is dependent on both the service you choose and the needs of your business. On the low end, it might cost you somewhere in the $20 to $30 range; on the high end, you could pay several hundred dollars per month.

Most payroll services don’t just charge a flat fee each month. Instead they charge for both the use of the software and the features you take advantage of. They may also charge differently depending on whether you’re paying employees or independent contractors. So when you’re evaluating pricing for payroll software, here’s what you should look for:

This list is not exhaustive, but rather a jumping-off point to review the costs of working with any small business payroll provider. You need to ask a lot of questions so you aren’t caught off guard by hidden fees.

4. Support

Many payroll companies provide resources to help small businesses get onboarded with their payroll services. Many have email and phone support in case you have a time-sensitive payroll issue. But sometimes this support comes with a cost. Ask about these costs up front so you can budget accordingly.

5. Ease of use

As important as paying your staff is, payroll should be almost a “set-it-and-forget-it” task, after the initial setup of entering an employee into the system.

You shouldn’t have to be an accountant to understand how to use payroll, and your software should also be easy enough for all your employees to use, if necessary. Square makes it possible for small businesses to pay employees and contractors in a few clicks. In addition, we allow you to automate payroll so you never miss a pay run.

When you turn on Square Automatic Payroll, we automatically import timecards, calculate salaries and deductions, and run payroll for you each pay period. Before each payroll run, you get an email confirming what your employees will be paid and have until the end of the day to cancel or make any changes as needed. Then you can just sit back and relax.

Meredith Galante
Meredith Galante is a freelancer writer based in New York City. She's been writing for Square since 2017 where she's covered everything from the best software for restaurants to use to maximize profit, minimum wage laws across the country, and tips for entrepreneurs to maximize their impact.


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