After all that extensive "shopping" for your payroll software and you have finally narrowed it down the selected few, how do you eventually evaluate which payroll software is best for your company?
Most of the time, these payroll software vendors will grant you a free trial or demo to test out their system. While this is no doubt handy in getting the real feel of the payroll system, it consumes a lot of your valuable time when you have two or three payroll software to play around with.
Instead of spending time trying out figure out every nook and cranny of the system, here are some pointers to help you spend that time wisely and get the most out of your potential payroll software.
Perform your daily payroll tasks
While the salesperson might be promoting you all the "fancy" stuff that the payroll software has, it is important to focus on the basis. After all, you will be using it daily to perform your critical payroll tasks.
Set up a few dummy employees in the system together with the required personal and payroll information. Generate a pay run as per how you would do it monthly. This includes generating pay reports for monthly and hourly-salaried workers, disbursement of pay, tax filing reports and functions etc. This will give you an overall feel of what the payroll software has or lack thereof. Additionally, it allows you to see how easy and quickly it would be to generate pay reports or retrieve the critical pay information.
Ensure that critical functions are in place
What might be key functions to a company might be a bane to another. Before you start testing your payroll software, identify and note down which are the critical functions that your company needs. It could be key payroll functions such as integration with timekeeping systems or automated tax filings etc.
If you are unable to find these functions while evaluating your payroll software, do get your salesperson to demonstrate to your where to find and use these critical functions in relation to your business.
Compliance and security
Security is pertinent when it comes to dealing with employees' data and payroll information. Ensure that your payroll software is up-to-date and have a robust storage system in place. If possible, request for the salesperson to list out the key security protocols in place for you to have a better understanding of the payroll software.
Additionally, ensure that the payroll vendors are continuously improving and upgrading their compliance and security measures. Ask when the last time was they did a user testing on their payroll system - that should give you an idea of the compliance measures that the payroll vendor takes.
Ask questions
Finally, there are bound to be some questions left unanswered as you conduct your payroll software testing. Instead of wasting time scouring the payroll system trying to navigate your way around, simply write them down and send it back to the sales representative for them to answer. A proficient salesperson will respond to your questions timely so that you can get on with your payroll software testing.
Do keep in mind that engaging a payroll software vendor for your company is a huge investment. Make use of these tips to maximise your payroll software testing process. It will also aid you in making a more informed decision when it finally comes down to purchasing the payroll software for the company.

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