Payroll Software – friend or foe?

There’s no doubt that modern technology has been a great help in simplifying calculations and automating processes.  But as the saying goes: There are two sides to every coin. On one side of the coin, payroll software provides a greater efficiency and a reduction in the likelihood of errors – this is a good thing, since a handful of particular errors can lead to hefty fines from Revenue.

On the other side of that coin are some well-documented shortcomings of payroll software, which include the expense of purchase, support and on-going maintenance contracts for the systems and the time and resources needed to train and update staff to use the programs. But there are many other considerations.

Payroll software has some other interesting limitations that often are not considered when businesses map out the “ifs” and “hows” of implementing a program into operation, including:

* Human Input / Manual Intervention – the output from a payroll system depends on the programming within the system, the information that is inserted and the processing capabilities of the system.  The machine can only operate within the parameters set and regularly requires the intervention of the user to ensure that the individual circumstances and exceptions to the rules are adhered to.  The skills, experience and training of the individual responsible has a direct bearing on the output and is due to the persons ability to intervene as necessary.

* Constant Archiving – Mountains of information are collected with each payroll cycle, and most payroll software programs are designed to keep up. But, that information needs to be archived continuously and stored securely and confidentially. In a busy operation, setting aside this particular slice of time in a workday can become a slight hassle and also requires safe, secure storage space.

* Limited Access – In most instances, payroll software is loaded onto one computer and that data can only be accessed from that machine. This can be a hassle, especially if the payroll processing computer goes off the rails. The result could be that whole payroll process goes with it, which can cause headaches throughout the business.  And if that machine is managed by one individual who for whatever reason, is unavailable, then the task of completing payroll on-time becomes more challenging.

* Added Weight to Overhead – Implementing payroll software may also call for a full-time employee to take on the responsibilities of doing payroll in-house. With an added employee comes the cost of an additional salary and benefits. Also to be considered is the cost of technical support when the inevitable software glitches occur.

Payroll processing software programs have their limitations, but they also have their benefits. Its imperative to find the right software to meet specific payroll requirements.  When considering the software options, it’s important to keep in mind that not all payroll software programs are made the same, so they don’t all have the same shortcomings. Finding the best fit for a business means identifying the payroll software that offers the most benefits with the least amount of limitations and the skillset and experience of the operator. Alternatively, it’s worth considering the option of outsourcing the payroll function to a reputable payroll outsource provider such as Paycheck Plus, an award winning payroll company catering for Small & Medium companies with employees in Ireland and the UK.  For more information on their tailored payroll services, call +353 (0) 1640 1889 today.