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8 Payroll Software Features Every Business Owner Should Get

Michael Pignatelli
Last Updated on September 28, 2023

The payroll process is not as easy as releasing payments to your employees. You have to collect their time cards, note deductions and reimbursements, and handle their tax obligations. Fortunately for business owners, payroll systems exist to make the process simpler.

There are several payroll software options you can choose from, and each have different features that can help with the payroll process. But which ones are worth investing in? We'll list some of the best features of a payroll system businesses should utilize.

Time Tracking Feature

One of the essential features of payroll software is a time-tracking feature. Most businesses pay their employees based on the hours they work. So keeping accurate track of the time your people work will allow you to pay them properly.

Furthermore, automated time tracking eliminates the error from the manual process. It also gives the payroll team the confidence that the recorded time is valid since no one outside the administration can alter the time in the system.

Easy Setup

Every minute spent running a business is precious, so don't waste it on a payroll system that's hard to set up and too technical to understand. Before investing in payroll software, always look for the setup options.

Here are some things you should check.

  • Does the payroll system come with an easy to understand and detailed instruction manual?
  • Does the payroll solution provide demonstration videos to help with your setup?
  • Is there customer service ready to answer your questions when you need help with the software?

It would also help to see customer reviews to assess if the software suits your needs. Furthermore, take advantage of payroll systems with free trial features. This way, you can closely examine the software, from installation to its features.

Tax Filing Feature

One of the reasons why you should get payroll management software is to make the tax filing process more convenient. The HR and accounting departments know that handling taxes in payroll is one of the most tedious tasks, and this payroll feature will streamline your payroll processes further.

In general, you want a payroll system that can calculate, file, collect, and deposit payroll taxes on your business's behalf. Here are other payroll system features to look for regarding taxes.

  • Collecting, filing, and remitting local, state, and federal payroll taxes.
  • Able to do year-end W2 and W3 filing.
  • Automatic tax updates.
  • Guarantees accurate tax calculations and timely deposits and filing.

Expense Management Feature

If your business includes reimbursable employee expenses, then this payroll feature is a must-have. These payroll solutions can automate expense reports and payment processes. This will save business owners time and ensure that reimbursements are paid on a schedule.

The expense management feature also provides document management so you can store all receipts and proofs of reimbursement to ensure you release the correct payment to your employees. You can access them easily when you need to check them.


Direct Deposit Payroll Software Feature

One of the most crucial features of payroll is direct deposit. Gone are the days when businesses paid through cash and cheques. Direct deposit is quicker and easier to process, which takes a load of work from the payroll team.

Here are some configurations your direct deposit feature should have.

  • Timing options (e.g., deposit pay on a biweekly schedule)
  • Expedite direct deposit options

Make sure also to check the additional fees that come with direct deposits. Fees may vary depending on the payroll provider. The lower the fees, the better it is for your business.

Payroll Reports

The reporting feature is a must-have payroll software feature for automated payroll software options. The last thing you want to do when you need information is to look through a mountain of paper and assemble them to create a report. It's time-consuming and impractical. Find a software that will help you generate different reports.

Here are some necessary reports your payroll software should provide.

  • Payroll details
  • Payroll tax liabilities
  • Forms W2 and W3
  • Form 940
  • Form 941
  • Tax reports

You also can check for breakdowns. For example, can you make reports for individual employees? Can you make summary reports? The more reports the software can generate, the easier it will be for business owners like you.

Employee Self-Service

Two benefits come with self-service functions. First, it allows your employees access to change necessary payroll data like bank account numbers and addresses. Second, it allows your employees to see their available leave credits and access reports such as W2 and pay slips.

Although this feature allows employees access, they cannot change anything, such as time and pay rate.

Integration Options

Payroll processing consists of several tasks. It would be helpful to integrate other software into your payroll system. Integration will streamline the whole payroll process and make it seamless and accurate.

Here are some integrations you should consider.

  • Time and attendance software
  • Accounting software
  • HR software
  • Worker compensation tools

Make sure to explore different payroll providers. Others will ask for fees to integrate other software with theirs. Some software options can also do all the accounting tasks with a more expensive subscription plan, but they are worth considering.

Advantages of Payroll Management Software

Even with the surge of different business software, many business owners are still reluctant to get a subscription. It may look like an unnecessary expense for a small business, but investing in software greatly benefits your business operations. 

What are the advantages of a payroll software?

  • Everything Automated: Using spreadsheets opens your payroll process to costly mistakes. Manual DIY processes may be free, but the time you spend to do them could be spent better on other aspects that cater to your business's growth.
  • Accurate Calculations: The last thing you want is your employee to get the wrong compensation. If they are under-compensated, it affects the administration's credibility. When you overcompensate, it sets back your budget.
  • Tax Compliance Management: Employees rely on the HR department to manage taxes regarding their payroll. Payroll software allows easy access to essential tax documents to guarantee compliance.
  • Automatic Alerts: Workflow notification is an excellent benefit of payroll software. It alerts the HR team of any data error in the payroll process before it rolls so you can fix it before it can cause damage.
payroll reports 

Unloop: Your Online Payroll Services Solution

If the payroll process is too much for you, let professionals handle it. Unloop offers ecommerce and small business payroll services for stress-free payroll processing. Here's what we can do for your business.

  • Payroll Done for You: Let us know when to run your payroll, and we'll take it from there. We can guarantee that your employees will receive their accurate pay on time.
  • Cloud-Based Payroll Software: We’ll link your business to a cloud-based payroll and benefits management software to handle your payroll processes better.
  • Generate Year-End Returns: With just a few clicks, you can quickly generate year-end tax returns so your employees can file their taxes correctly.
  • Payroll Tax Filing: Worry less about filing taxes since everything is automated. When the tax period comes, all you need to do is to click a button, and we’ll handle it for you..

Managing payroll is part of running a business. As your business grows, the more employees you need, and the more you need to pay. At one point or another, getting software or a professional service is a viable choice. We hope these outstanding features help you choose a suitable payroll software for your business’s needs.
If you need professional help, Unloop offers other accounting services such as bookkeeping, accounts payable, forecasting, and taxes. Talk to our experts and book a discovery call with us today.

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About unloop

Unloop is the first and only accounting firm exclusively servicing ecommerce and inventory businesses in the US and Canada. With the power of people and technology, our team dives deep into COGS and inventory accounting. You are paired with a dedicated bookkeeping team that prepares accurate financial statements, financial forecasts, and can also pay bills or run payroll for you. Come tax time, everything is organized and ready to go, so you don't need to worry. Book a call with an ecommerce accountant today to learn more.