What Are Payroll Programs?
If you’re a business owner, you have probably heard of at least some different payroll programs. And likely have a basic understanding of what they entail. To clarify, payroll programs, or payroll software, are computer programs used to manage the process of calculating. And issuing payments to employees of a business. In an effort to make the payment process more streamlined. Payroll programs automate payment calculations, tax withholdings and even direct deposits for a company’s whole staff. These programs help many companies’ accounting teams immensely by reducing the risk of errors. And automating otherwise time-consuming tasks.
Payroll Programs in Detail
Payroll programs are designed to satisfy many important tasks, most notably calculating the wages for several different types of workers. For example, some companies pay their employees an hourly wage, while other employees receive a yearly salary. In addition, many employees work under different wage conditions. Which may include their tax withholdings, wage garnishment, company insurance premiums, retirement, overtime and much more. A well-developed payroll program can account for all of these details. And produce correctly calculated wages each pay period, for each employee.
For employee convenience, payroll programs can also deposit paychecks directly into the employee’s bank account. Should the employee’s financial institution charge a fee for direct deposit, payroll programs can also issue physical paychecks.
Payroll Self-Service Features
In many cases, payroll programs offer employees certain self-service features made accessible via their employee account. From this self-service platform, employees can view tax information, change deduction information, print or download paychecks, or simply view income information.
Some of the more advanced self-service portals offer specialized features for human resources and IT departments. This way, payroll reports can be calculated, pay period dates can be changed and different employer and employee data can be generated in a report and analyzed to check for errors or budgeting purposes.
A payroll program’s level of complexity will depend upon the features it offers and the type of company it is designed to serve. For example, some payroll software allows for account access on the company premises alone, meaning employees can either view or change their payroll information using a company computer or with the help of an HR staff member. This type of program is most valuable for companies that handle overwhelming amounts of sensitive information.
Other payroll programs have a Cloud system, meaning employees have the ability to access their account portals either through their home PCs, a company computer, their mobile phone or via the assistance of an HR staff member. This type of program, while being more convenient for users, usually requires more security measures to keep company information private.
Payroll programs take a lot of the time-consuming tasks surrounding payroll by hand out of the equation. Many business owners choose to use payroll software because they know that doing the job manually is tedious and costly and may lead to costly errors. The software offered through payroll programs can perform much of the payroll process on its own, effectively saving accounting personnel and business owners time, while performing a highly efficient job calculating totals.
While it’s a good idea to have accounting staff double-check the work calculated by the program. Many business owners find payroll software to be an excellent feature that provides correct payroll information each time it is used. While it might be worth quickly reviewing a program’s works for the occasional error, payroll software frees up time your accounting team can dedicate to other important tasks more essential to your company’s health.