9 Things You Need to Do Before Using Payroll Software

9 Things You Need to Do Before Using Payroll Software

Welcome back, we are here with 9 major things that need to be done or decided before opting for any payroll software. If you are a new employer or are not much aware of the payroll software, we are here with a few things that you must know. 

1. Match requirements with software features

  • Before selecting, purchasing, and starting to use the payroll software, one must check whether the software meets the requirements of the business or not. One must check what the software can do as if the requirements of the business are not met, the softwares will be useless. The common features of payroll software include form printing, payroll tax filing and deposits, mobile compatibility, employee access, tracking time and attendance of employees, and much more. You can opt for alternatives and get the one that fits best as per your needs. 

2. Entering previous records 

  • The new users using payroll software for the first time might not have the past data of payroll. But if you are using the software for the second time, you must enter the previous data in the payroll software. This helps the software to calculate the taxes and deductions automatically from the wages. 
  • It is suggested to select the payment period from before depending on the company’s cash flow. It can be weekly, monthly, or so on. One can also change the payment period if it is changed. Also, the payment periods are different for different types of employees. For instance, the employees need to be paid monthly whereas the freelancers need to be paid on daily basis or bi-weekly. Hence this information needs to be updated regularly. 

3. Collecting provider’s past reviews and business data

  • Before finalizing any software it is important to check all the services provided by the provider and also the reviews of its users. One must check the legality of the provider to make sure that they get appropriate software. The past users must be asked whether the provider had offered complete software or had asked for extra expenses and also whether he has provided after-sales support or not. 
  • It is suggested to gather all the company data at first as any payroll software requires complete information before getting started. One must fill in the business’s legal name, address, DBA, legal data, incomes, payments and much more. Hence before using the payroll software, one must register the business with the state or authorized by the country’s company law. 

4. Enter employee details 

  • Before setting up the payroll software, one must enter all the employee information in the software. The employee information includes all the major data such as name, address, social security number, tax fillings, payouts, wage deductions and much more. As all the data is stored in the software, it can be easily accessed whenever required. All the employee information will be found on form W-4. Whenever a new employee is hired, all his details must be included in the software. As an employer, the W-4 form is to be maintained especially for the payroll processes. 

5. Take care of deadlines and taxes

  • There are several types of taxes that have to be paid. Being the company person, you have to withhold the income taxes from the wages. The company needs to contribute to unemployment taxes, social security, Medicare as well as the employer contribution from the company side or the wages of employees. 
  • When taxes are considered, each state has a different rate as well as a set of taxes that have to be paid. Before moving to the payroll software, it becomes important to verify the tax rates. While setting up the payroll software, one has to enter the tax rates for the federal and state taxes, Medicare tax, security tax and others if applicable. 
  • 7 Ways To Find The Best Payroll Software For Your Business

6. Deciding payment period 

  • While setting the payroll software, one also needs to set up the payment period. It is generally the term or time showing how frequently the employees are paid. These payment periods can be different from employee to employee and can be daily, weekly, monthly, or project-based. If you have old workers, you can continue with the decided pay period but if you are getting new employees, you need to decide the appropriate period and make sure that all the employees get compensated equally. Some states have their laws regarding paying employees, hence it must also be considered. 

7. Maker checker feature 

  • The maker checker is an important feature that is a part of payroll software. Here this feature requires that every transaction must be completed by two side parties – makers and checkers. The maker needs to pass the entry and ask for payment whereas the checker needs to approve and pass forward the same. 
  • For instance, it can be stated that the payroll gets calculated by the maker, authorized by the checker and lastly gets paid to the employees. This mechanism helps to have proper control over the system and helps to reduce the possibility of errors and mistakes. 

8. Formulate wages 

  • One needs to enter the formulas to calculate the wages of employees in the software. For every employee, the hourly rate or monthly pay of salary stay different and hence one also needs to include each employee’s calculation details such as whether he should be exempt or nonexempt from the overtime payment. 
  • It should also be decided whether the employees get tips or not. The restaurant or hospitality employees usually tend to receive tips. It must also be entered whether the employees are paid a commission or not and every minute detail must be stored in the software as every payment is taxable. 

9. Solving financial problems 

  • It is suggested that the payroll software that is selected must help in managing compliance and finance-related issues. The software must help by providing access to every detail if any financial issue is faced or any employee faces taxation issues. 


These were 9 major things that one needed to do before using any payroll software. One must follow specific requirements as if the selected software doesn’t work well it will be useless for the organization. 

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