For any small business owners, managing a payroll has a tendency to end up becoming much more complicated and tedious than it needs to be. Payroll software for small businessbecome important to save times and make your life easy.
Very few people have the patience and research skills necessary to manually calculate and organize the paychecks of all of their employees. The latest tax laws must always be checked for updates and changes, and any mistake made in these calculations can cost your business more money at tax reporting time. Given the risks and time-consuming tasks involved with managing a payroll on your own, it’s obvious why most small businesses prefer to use professional payroll software to make their lives easier and ensure that their calculations are accurate. Here we’ll explore the benefits of payroll software, some of the best payroll software options, and the possibility of free payroll software.
What is Payroll Software?
Payroll software tracks and manages all of the employee labor statistics you need to record and track over time, in order to generate your own paychecks and other reports for tax purposes. Generally all that is needed in most payroll programs is for you to enter the hours that each employee has worked and their tax deduction information. All of the other applicable tax witholding charges will be automatically calculated to create their paycheck quickly for you, saving a great deal of time. Good payroll software programs often link to your timesheet programs, so the hours each employee has worked can be automatically transferred into the payroll application for calculating their paychecks.
The Best Payroll Software for Small Business:
Due to the wide variety of payroll software for small business programs available today, it’s important to examine what the most important features are to look for when selecting the best payroll software for your small business.
Experts suggest that you focus on these criteria to narrow your search:
- Choose intuitive programs that are easy to use, requiring minimal training to understand.
- Make sure there are reliable sources of support, either by phone or through online chats, in order to help you should there be any problems setting up or running your payroll program.
- Select a program that also offers instant reports to help you make better decisions about managing your employees, and to help your small business become more profitable.
Based on the above criteria, there are some excellent accounting programs available that offer these payroll functions as well, so you can accomplish all of your small business tasks smoothly within the same program. One of the highest ranked payroll and accounting softwares available today is Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting. This program covers virtually all small business accounting needs, such as invoicing, printing legal tax documents, paying vendors, and more. The 2012 edition of Sage Peachtree has new features like a vendor management center to further organize and track all of your supplier’s details, and a system check to prevent and correct software issues.
Another common favorite accounting program with full payroll management capacity is Quickbooks Pro. It offers nearly all of the same great features as Sage Peachtree, but without as much inventory tracking and monitoring features. As far as payroll mamangment is concerned, this software offers many key elements such as direct deposit employee paychecks, tax form printing, and automatic calculations of all payroll taxes for you, and some of these services do require a monthly fee. It has additional features that may prove useful to your business, like customer snapshot reports of their most purchased products or services, and all of the customer’s balances due as well. Quickbooks Pro is considered by many to have the best payroll functions out of any other accounting software program available.
Many people also prefer to use an accounting program called Bookkeeper. One of the biggest advantages of this software is that it’s significantly cheaper than Sage Peachtree and Quickbooks Pro, which is a big advantage for small businesses that often don’t have a lot of extra money to spend. The payroll features are fully functional and easy to use, but direct deposit paychecks aren’t supported.
AccountEdge 2011 is also an accounting program worth considering. It can synchronize with some mobile devices such as the iPad for greater accessibility options, which can be a major advantage for some busy business professionals. You can enter timesheets into their payroll applications, and this software supports both Macintosh and PC computers. AccountEdge allows you to print your own checks and paystubs, and has a very intuitive overall payroll system that makes it easy to learn. In terms of its payroll functions alone, it’s equal to Sage Peachtree and Quickbooks Pro. In terms of using it to track orders shipped and other inventory features, it has a little less to offer.
Is Free Online Payroll Software Available?
The options of truly “free” payroll software available for download are slim, and generally don’t offer support if you encounter problems. These programs should be used at your own risk, and it’s highly recommended that you double-check their calculations to ensure they have been based on the most up to date information before relying on them for your payroll calculations.
Some reliable payroll programs such as Intuit Online Payroll may offer a free 30 day trial period so you can see for yourself how helpful it can be to your small business. Other similar online payroll programs sometimes have offered even up to six months of free trial periods, but not beyond that.
There are free tools you can download to help you create your own payroll, but they are primarily payroll calculators only. A good example is at www.paycheckcity.com, offering free downloads of standard payroll calculators for your computer, Android phone, or iPhone. This website also has a free W-4 form assistant application, and a symmetry tax engine calculator to figure out tax witholding charges from an employee paycheck. A great site for payroll software for small business.