When it comes to choosing the best payroll solution for your small business, it can often feel like an overwhelming task. Unless you have payroll experience, the process can seem intimidating, stressful and time-consuming. If you want to focus your time on running your business, rather than administering payroll or even worse, tracking money owed with complicated spreadsheets and manual processes, then you’re making the right choice. But it’s important you find the payroll solution to fit your situation. Here are some highlights of the important qualities and factors that your payroll solution should contain:

1. User-Friendly and Ease of Use

Changing from a paper-based payroll system or “in-house software” over to a more advanced payroll system should not require an extensive learning curve or time-consuming training sessions. Your small business needs access to software that offers a simple solution that doesn’t require you to take classes to implement.

2. Simple and Effective Setup

It’s important that the right payroll solution offers both a simple and effective setup. It should offer easy conversion of any historic details needed and provide assistance options if you need a pro to help you.

3. Security

Payroll handles some of the most sensitive information your business has:bank account details, social security records, salary figures, etc. As such, properly securing this data is of the utmost importance. Failing to do so could make your business liable for harsh penalties. Therefore, when it comes to choosing payroll software for small business, security is an important aspect. A cloud-based solution with good user management controls provides you with better security than keeping the information on your own computer.

4. Features

Several important features are listed below, and you should ensure your payroll solution includes these:

– Direct Deposit
When funds go directly into your employees’ bank accounts, it brings convenience and speed, alongside a lower risk of fraud, global deforestation and lost checks.

– Tax Compliant
When you pay yourself or your employees, there are a variety of payroll taxes that need to be considered. These include social security, income tax, Medicare, plus state and sometimes local taxes. A good payroll solution will help you to automate this function by deducting, reporting the amount, and managing the remittance process for you to each tax authority. If your payroll provider deposits taxes for you, then this eliminates stress about late payments or mistakes. Your payroll provider has you covered.

– Several Income Types
The best payroll solution should allow for a variety of different incomes including commissions, holiday pay, expense reimbursements, bonuses and any other benefits which are taxable.

– Variety of Deduction Types
It’s important your payroll software also has the ability to deduct costs such as dental, vision, medical and life insurance.

– E-File W-2s & W3s to SSA
A good payroll solution will take care of the E-filing of W2s & W3s to the SSA and various states. This is a necessity, especially as your small business grows.

5. IRS Compliant

It’s very important that your preferred payroll system is integrated with the latest IRS taxes and taxes for all 50 states at local, federal and state level. These should be made available to you as soon as they are released. This ensures you are always up to date and minimizes any risk of mistakes being made with compliance.

6. Affordable

For many small business owners, the final criteria of who they choose for payroll is the cost. Don’t scrimp, but make sure your payroll provider’s pricing structure and services is completely transparent, so you know exactly what it’s going to cost you, based on how many employees you have and the services you select.

7. Support

When you use a payroll system, you have control over your payroll. However, it’s important you don’t feel alone if you need help or assistance. A company that offers a strong support network will help you feel more comfortable and confident with running your payroll. Fortunately, many payroll systems offer customer support in one form or other. Depending on your business needs and requirements, you might factor in the type and level of support you will receive when deciding on payroll software for your small business. When choosing that level of support, you will want to search for a US-based support team who are knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. It’s important that they are accessible both through email and phone and that they respond in a timely manner.