Let’s turn it up to 11. Discover our top 11 things to consider when building a world-class payroll software set up for you and your small business. With the latest payroll software, the benefits sing out loud. Are you ready to hear more?

1. Blast off: An introduction to payroll software for small businesses

It doesn’t need to be rocket science. But managing payroll can be a daunting task for small businesses, especially factoring in the complexities of wages, taxes and deductions. However, with advances in payroll software, this previously mistake-prone and time-consuming bag of snakes has become easy-breezy.

Whatever the size of your business, effective payroll software is essential for today’s payroll teams. So, let’s delve into the world of payroll software, exploring its benefits and functionality for small businesses with a specific focus on Australia.

2. A steady base: The basics of payroll software

Rock on! Build from a good foundation. Good payroll software underpins every organisation, so getting it bang on is key — especially for under pressure small businesses. Payroll software consists of a platform or programs which automate payroll team tasks — such as paying staff, working out tax calculations and other deductions, annual reporting and tax returns. Today’s payroll software can enable systematic compliance with tax and employment law by country, so you’re always on the right side of current legislation.

For small businesses, payroll software has even more green ticks. Long gone are manual calculations as right now, for payroll teams, automation is your new best friend. All the while, it helps mitigate errors, provides consistency and keeps your records shipshape.

3. Pick your tools: Choosing the right payroll software

Getting your band together, you need the right instruments. When selecting payroll software for your small business, several factors need to be thought about — especially as financials and resources can be tight — consider the following:

  • Team size and locations
  • Integration capabilities with existing systems
  • Accessibility and user-friendliness
  • Self-service and customer support options
  • Rollout and ongoing budget
  • Compliance with rigorous local employment law

We’re here to help! For businesses in Australia, options like ADP’s Payline and Payforce are the way to go - replace by For businesses in Australia, options like ADP’s  Payline or  Payforce are tailor-made for small business needs. 

4. Rolling out: Implementing payroll software

Let’s get rolling. To optimise efficiency and accuracy, implementing payroll software smoothly is essential. Get going with these best practice starters for ten:

  • Plan it all out: Set objectives and timelines with clear team ownership.
  • Tip-top training: Educate and inform your payroll staff about how it all works.
  • Know your data in detail: Data migration is complicated, so be thorough.
  • Communication: Keep everybody talking, with open lines and open ears.
  • Test and test again: Establish a testing phase before full deployment to troubleshoot any issues.
  • Staggered rollout: Consider a phased approach to minimise disruption to day-to-day operations.
  • Favour feedback: Enable easy feedback, your staff will know what works — or doesn’t.
  • An ongoing journey: Use a continuous improvement programme to regularly review and refine.

5. Live and in action: Real-world applications of payroll software

Keep it real. Payroll software is a brilliant thing for small businesses to streamline their operations and improve efficiency through automation, reduced administration and better insights into day-to-day payroll workings.

ADP payroll software has been a game-changer for these organisations in Australia — and beyond. Find out how these small businesses are thriving using ADP:

  • FUJIFILM Healthcare: The vital medical imaging solutions company’s European payroll was brought together using ADP Celergo.
  • Reynolds Porter Chamberlain: By updating their payroll system to ADP iHCM, this international law firm was able to automate consistency and increase staff satisfaction.
  • Yankee Candle: It came up smelling of roses when this high-street candle brand replaced its old-fashioned payroll with ADP.

Explore more ADP case studies here.

6. Make it easy: Challenges and solutions in payroll software implementation

Small is beautiful. However, such businesses have payroll software concerns that can be distinct from bigger organisations — and the solutions need to be tailored too. Typical situations include:

Resistance to change

  • ✅ Challenge

Employees may resist novel payroll software due to fear of the unknown and need for familiarity.

  • ❌ Solution

Training, training and more training to showcase benefits and ease worries.

Data migration

  • ❌ Challenge

Naturally, transferring data to new payroll software can be tricky — risking errors and loss.

  • ✅ Solution

Allocate ample time, effectively use migration tools and audit as you go.

Software compatibility

  • ❌ Challenge

Integrating the latest payroll software with existing systems can mean compatibility problems.

  • ✅ Solution

Prioritise software with seamless integration, work with your provider and customise integrations, as required.

Lack of resources

  • ❌ Challenge

Small businesses may lack IT expertise or a dedicated person who ‘gets’ integration.

  • ✅ Solution

Consult experts like ADP and consider outsourcing, more training and support works wonders here.

7. The best fit: Customising payroll software for small businesses

Small businesses are unique — with unique needs. Your payroll software must reflect this too. That’s where customisation leads the way, making your payroll work for you and your organisation. Fortunately, ADP’s mix-and-match payroll software options can be adapted to your business priorities, as follows:

Case study: Modernisation

Marketing company Bray Leino needed to replace their laborious paper-based system with a complete payroll overhaul, ADP was happy to oblige.

Case study: Compliance

In the employment sector, Totaljobs has a specific legislative burden to manage. So, compliance and auto-enrolment reliability, for rolling temporary and permanent staff, was their top priority.

Case study: Scalability

Clothing and equipment brand Cotswold Outdoor revolutionised their growing business, safe in the knowledge ADP could keep up with them.

Case study: Cost saving

The mental health charity Sane used ADP Expert to run payroll, saving hours of valuable time and budget.

8. Joined-up thinking: Integration with other small business software

Playing nicely with others is essential for modern payroll rollout. Smaller businesses may well not have the resources for a complete overhaul, so payroll software adaptability and easy integration is vital. For example, sound recording company Holophane’s UK division seamlessly joined up with their US counterparts on ADP, keeping payroll consistent. Whereas, fruity upstarts Innocent Drinks used the web-based ADP system to manage 250 employees across 15 countries, blending disparate systems together across multi-country locations. 

9. Keep it safe: Security and compliance in payroll software

Knowledge is power — and responsibility. Therefore, data security is paramount when it comes to payroll processing. Payroll software should adhere to industry standards for data encryption, secure data storage practice and implement control measures to protect sensitive employee information.

Payroll software must comply with relevant regulations and tax laws in the jurisdictions where businesses operate. In Australia, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) manages all business and individual taxation and deductions for Australia. Alongside complying with the tax side, small businesses must adhere to country-specific legislation which enshrines business practice and protects workers’ rights. Regularly updating payroll software and ongoing compliance checks ensure that businesses remain present and correct, avoiding legal or financial penalties.

10. A nice price: Cost considerations for small businesses

Make your budget work for you. Small businesses may well have budget constraints, due to size and sector they operate in. The needs of a small charity will differ greatly to a massive multinational, along with all sorts in-between.

Usefully, payroll software pricing models vary, with options such as:

  • Subscription-based pricing
  • Per-employee fee
  • One-time licensing cost
  • Bespoke hybrid plans

Therefore, realistically choosing a pricing model that fits with your specific situation is top priority. ADP offers small businesses different models — a purely payroll processing platform or a fully managed HR and payroll package — along with cherry-picking features according to your business needs. Our customers sing the praises of ADP, they look after tiny payroll teams with the same care and commitment as global giants. Big or small, there’s an option for you.

11. The next big thing: Future trends in payroll software for small businesses

Welcome to the now. Today, the future of payroll software for small businesses is being shaped by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain. Keeping on our current trajectory, there are several watch words that are defining the payroll software of the future, with a further shift towards:

  1. Intuition: Accessible and easy to use, whatever your preferences.
  2. Mobile-ready: Payroll in your pocket, not on a desktop.
  3. Predictive analytics: Pattern spotting and pre-empting resource allocation.
  4. Experiential: User experience now leading the way.
  5. Security: Higher level encryption.

With ADP, the future of payroll software is looking brighter than ever. Whether you’re in Britain or down under in Australia, there’s a payroll solution for your small business that’ll rock your world.