Payroll Solutions For your Business

Discover the three ways to pay your employees. Learn how payroll managers use payroll software to track hours and ensure employees are paid on time.

Every business needs a system to manage their payroll. Businesses use payroll to determine all their employees are paid the appropriate wages on time. Payroll also creates an important paper trail for businesses. It shows how much the business pays employees each year, which is important information when paying taxes and reporting expenses. Another use of payroll is creating a record of when your employees worked and for how long.

Some business employ a payroll manager, while others assign payroll tasks to the HR department. Over the years, payroll has become a largely automated task, thanks to various payroll software. This replaced the old system, which involved manually tracking time cards. While the software handles the data, it is still reliant on a payroll manager to oversee the process and make sure all the information is correctly inputted into the system.

Paying Employees

The payroll manager is also responsible for ensuring all employees are paid on time. There are three common methods of paying employees, checks, direct deposit and pay cards. Which option you use partially depends on the size of your business, as well as personal preference.

Checks used to be the most common way of paying employees. Businesses preferred using checks because it created an easy paper trail. It was also convenient to pay employees, since it does not require the employees to have a bank account. The downside is, checks must either be hand-delivered or sent through the mail. This is not a big deal for smaller businesses, but it became time consuming for larger businesses. It was also inconvenient for some employees, since they had to find the time to cash the check. It is also possible to lose the check before you are able to cash it in.

Checks were largely phased out in favor of another option, direct deposit. Direct deposit allows the payroll manager to directly transfer funds into your bank account. Payroll software allows you to automate the process, ensuring employees are paid on a regular schedule. Most banks do not charge any additional fees for direct deposit, so it is convenient for both employees and employers. Payroll software also tracks the payments, creating a digital paper trail.

One of the downsides of direct deposit is it can take some time to initially set up the payments. Employees must also have an eligible bank account. Some banks also place a delay on when the funds are released, which can be inconvenient for employees. Because these are all issues with the bank, there is only so much your employer can do.

The final option is using a pre-paid debit card, known as a pay card. The biggest benefit of pay cards is speed, with the funds instantly transferring onto the card. Employees are not required to have a bank account, but they must use an ATM to access their money. This is one of the downsides, as many ATMs charge a small fee every time you withdraw money. It can also be a hassle to transfer the money from the card into a checking or bank account.

Gusto

Gusto is a payroll program intended for both small and midsize businesses. It is highly praised by payroll managers because it also includes other HR features. In addition to tracking working hours, it also records paid time off, when applicable. There are four separate tiers, with each tier offering more benefits. Even the most basic tier includes unlimited payroll runs and the ability to generate reports. All the tiers also track and file for federal, state and local taxes.

All the plans offer direct deposit, but the time it takes to deposit funds varies based on the account. The lowest tier takes a few days, while the top tier offers next-day deposit. It is one of the most affordable payroll programs, with a basic account starting at $19 a month as of writing, and the top tier plan costing $39 each month.

Paychex Flex

Paycheck Flex is one of the pricier payroll programs, often favored by larger businesses. The lowest tier plan costs $59 each month, with an additional $4 per user. The program offers some of the best reporting features and it also integrates with other workplace programs, like QuickBooks and Xero, as well as many programs to track health insurance. It has an easy-to-use interface and the company offers 24/7 support to all customers.

QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks is best known for their excellent accounting software, but they have many other programs for businesses, including payroll. If your business already uses QuickBooks, you can link your existing account to the payroll program. The interface is similar to the other QuickBooks programs, so it does not take long to learn. There are three tiers of plans, starting at $45 a month and going to $125 each month. Most businesses only need a basic account, with the higher tier plans only offering a few more report generating options and better customer support. No matter what plan, QuickBooks offers some of the fastest direct deposit options.