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What to look for in HR Payroll software

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


Pay-day is probably the best day of the month for your employees, and the most stressful for you; not only because there's money going out of your business, but because of the administration and pressure to comply with all the tax legislation involved. Using payroll software is a good solution, but how do you choose which package is best for your business.

If you only have a few employees or just prefer to do your payroll in-house, using payroll software can help you implement a relatively simple, cost-effective process that fulfills all legal obligations without taking up hours and hours of your precious time. Getting it right every time can mean the difference between a satisfied employee and a disgruntled, unproductive one.

There are a wide variety of HR software packages that can cost you anything from a few hundred to a few thousand rand. So how do you know which one is the most credible, reliable and appropriate system for your business.

Characteristics of an effective payroll software package

  • The software must be specifically designed for small businesses and easily adapted to meet the needs of your business
  • It should be relatively easy to set up, use and understand - even if your knowledge on the subject is limited. You don't want to be spending days trying to figure it out and get it right
  • It must provide a professional payslip template (with your company branding) that accurately calculates all deductions, such as UIF, PAYE, SDL and so on
  • It should automatically allow access to updates in regulations and legislation regarding remuneration, pension and provident funds, fringe benefits, and Employment Equity, etc.
  • Once set up, it should be able to run automatically, unless you have to make changes and additions to employee's wages/salaries. You should be able to view the payslips electronically before printing them
  • Wages and salaries should be able to be paid in cash, cheque or by electronic transfer
  • Errors must be relatively easy to correct, without having to start all over again. This includes the updating of employee information
  • It should be able to generate IRP5 forms for your employees' year-end tax and provide the information online or on disk for SARS
  • It should be able to produce reports such as the EMP201, PAYE and UIF and any others needed

These are the basic abilities you need to look for in your software packages. It really doesn't have to be as complicated and stressful as you think. Compare systems, prices and the quality of after-care service before you decide which package to buy.

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