Online payroll software encompasses a lot of services. These are some of the most valuable features and services these programs offer.
The primary purpose of these services is to process payroll. This is how your employees are paid. Based on the wage rates you enter and the hours each employee worked, the system automatically calculates how much they should be paid. It takes deductions for each employee into account, such as medical benefits and Social Security.
One big plus of using an online payroll service is that it handles all of your business's payroll tax responsibilities. Based on each paycheck, the software can withhold the required employee taxes. The service then fills out and files the quarterly payroll tax reports and makes the tax payments to the appropriate local, state and federal agencies.
At the end of the year, the software generates the W-2 and 1099 tax forms for each worker. Many payroll companies offer an error-free guarantee. This means that if it makes an error on your taxes, your payroll provider will correct the mistake and pay any fines or interest it incurred.
Each time you hire a new employee, you are required to report that information to the state. Online payroll services can complete those forms for your business and send them to the proper state agencies. Information on the forms includes the employee's name, address and Social Security number, as well as the employer's name, address and Federal Employer Identification Number.
Payroll companies offer multiple ways to pay your employees. The most convenient option is direct deposit. With this method, an employee provides their bank account information, and the payroll software automatically deposits the paycheck into their account on payday.
Another option is paper checks. Some payroll providers offer check stuffing services. They will print the checks, stuff them in envelopes, and then deliver the envelopes to your office to be given directly to employees.
A third option that some payroll services now offer is prepaid debit cards. The money from each paycheck is automatically deposited to each debit card. The employees using the cards then have instant access to the funds.
With online payroll software, you can pay all types of employees. The software can process pay for full- and part-time W-2 employees as well as 1099 contractors, including consultants and freelancers. The software treats both types of employees the same in terms of payment and reporting. All employees are stored in the software; oftentimes, both types of employees can log in to the system to access their records.
Online payroll software can provide businesses with a wide range of payroll reports. These reports can give you better insight into your company and employees. The types of payroll reports that some services offer include payroll registers, contribution reports and payroll tax reports.
A lot of online payroll software includes integrations with programs many businesses already use. These include accounting software, time and attendance systems, and human resources software. These integrations allow the two programs to seamlessly connect – data is automatically shared and transferred between the two. This saves you the time of entering the same information in multiple places.
Each employee has their own login to access the software. The employee portal allows them to review their digital paystubs, access their year-end tax forms and check their time-off balances.
Some payroll services provide mobile access to their software. Some have mobile-friendly websites, while others have a dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android devices, allowing you and your employees to access all the same features wherever you are.
Many payroll services include some level of management for your employees' paid time off. This may mean simply tracking PTO accruals, or it may also offer the ability for employees to request and managers to approve or deny time off.
Some payroll companies include human resources services in their platform. These can include employee onboarding services and tools to create employee handbooks or job templates. Some payroll services even offer on-demand HR consultations.
Online payroll companies offer a variety of customer support options. With some, you have a dedicated support representative assigned to your company. This is your go-to person for any issue that requires a call. Other payroll services just have a general support number that you call for help. Most companies offer customer support Monday through Friday, though a few do have support available over the weekend. In addition to the in-person support you can receive, most online payroll services have extensive resources on their websites such as how-to-guides, FAQs and videos.
In addition to the core payroll functions, many payroll companies offer a litany of other services that you can tack on to your plan. These include workers' compensation insurance, benefits administrations, retirement plans, college savings plans, and time and attendance systems.