Payroll Software

A guide for small business owners

by Marsha Sigman

Your small business is growing and you may be concerned about what your options are for processing payroll. If you are not utilizing accounting software currently in your business and records are kept manually, then small business payroll software is the answer.

Payroll processing and record keeping is one of the most important aspects of any business and must be handled accurately. If it is not then the penalties that can be filed against your company could close you forever. You want to find a solution for payroll that is accurate but easy to comprehend without taking up too much of your valuable time.

Beware the companies that advertise free payroll software. This does not exist. What does is a free trial offer to many of these services. You can take advantage of this but be sure that the services offered are what you're looking for. Saving money is important to any company but a quality payroll solution is vital.

There are several options to choose from. If your company uses time clocks, you can purchase payroll time clock software. However, it is not recommended to purchase this for a small business. It can be much higher in cost and, with a small number of employees, you may want to go with an option that better suits your business needs and budget.

Payroll accounting software can be purchased online and downloaded to your computer. It can be accessed immediately and payroll checks can be printed from your personal printer. A good payroll software package will keep records to help you manage your books, but the most basic feature of this software is the payroll calculator. Most payroll calculators ask for the employee's gross salary, the pay period type, the state where they work and their federal tax filing status (i.e., single or married). From this information, the software will automatically calculate the employee's gross pay, deductions and net pay. If you keep a manual check registry then this software will give you the correct amount to handwrite the payroll checks.

The best payroll software on the market today is the Intuit Online Payroll Service. You can process your payroll online anywhere at any time. Simply input employee's hours or salary and this service will calculate the current payroll taxes and any deductions. You can print the payroll checks from your printer or use their direct deposit feature and have payroll checks directly deposited into employee's bank accounts.

The Intuit Online Payroll will also keep track of all federal and state taxes. They contact you when a payment is due and calculate how much you owe. You can write a check or use their E-pay service at no extra charge. They will keep records and pre-fill all forms so you just print, sign, and mail at tax time.

This service will deliver all the key elements for your payroll needs, mainly accuracy and convenience. The Intuit Online Payroll Service also offers a free 3-month trial so you can be sure what you are paying for is exactly the right option for your company.

There are several companies that offer payroll solutions, take your time and evaluate your needs so you can make an informed decision on what best suits your company.

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