4 Steps to Shopping for Quality Payroll Software

At the end of the day, virtually every business requires the use of some sort of payroll software. Whether your business has one employee or thousands, it’s important to have the tools necessary to administer payroll and ensure your business is staying in compliance with tax withholdings. Your method of processing payroll can range from doing it in-house, using a CPA, or by using a payroll provider.

If you’re thinking about shopping around for a new payroll provider, there are a few steps you’ll have to plan out before you get started. Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all package, so you’ll have to look at a number of factors before deciding what software is right for you.

Understand What You’re Looking For

The first step to shopping for payroll is to outline exactly what it is you’re looking for. The increase in popularity for cloud-based payroll software in recent years has been huge in defining what businesses are looking for. This is especially true if you have employees located in various locations, such as a satellite branch or if they work remotely. Once you decide whether to go cloud-based or not, you have to figure out what features you would like your software to include. Many payroll services offer additional features such as Time & Attendance, Applicant Tracking, Onboarding, and Benefits Administration. These features are typically offered as add-ons, so you only have to pay for the pieces of software that you want to use. For a full list of software that Dominion offers, click here.

Define Your Timeline

As you’re probably aware, shopping around for a payroll software isn’t like buying a new pair of socks. That is to say, you don’t simply google a few options and pick one that looks best at a glance. You have to find customer testimonials, watch personalized demos, research what other services are offered, request a detailed quote, etc. Because of this, you’ll want to map out exactly how much time you have before you’re ready to make a switch. When it comes to the installation process, there are two major factors that determine the timeline: the size of your company and how many conversions are occurring at that time. At Dominion, there is a lot of information we have to get ahold of during the installation process, and if we’re taking on a number of clients at once it will slow down the process considerably. That is why it’s important to set a realistic timeline that works for both you and your potential provider. Understanding that making a switch in your payroll process isn’t something that can happen over night, or even in a couple weeks, is another major reason why you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to start shopping around.

Look at Customer Service

The best, most intuitive software in the world is useless in the end if it does not have quality customer service. As you start to look closer at certain providers, look very closely at how quickly their customer service takes to respond. During your personalized demos, ask the presenter to reach out with a faux question and monitor the response time. At Dominion, we pride ourselves on not only the speed of our client solutions team but also their knowledge and amiable nature. This has been one of the biggest contributing factors to our success because again, no matter how great or intuitive our software is, we have to be available at a moment’s notice to answer any questions our clients have if we want to keep them happy.

Narrow Your Options

Once you have a decent idea about what you’re looking for in a payroll software and what your timeline looks like, it’s time to decide on a few services that have what you’re looking for. Hopefully, by this time you have already reached out to a number of potential services and viewed some personalized demos and have some quotes written down. If possible, narrow down your options to three different providers. From there you can compare software usability, customer service, and, of course, price. Be sure to ask questions, not only about the software and usability, but also about the installation process, additional features that are included, and anything else that might come to mind.

Shopping for payroll can be a daunting process, and often times business will stick with what they know because it’s comfortable and it has worked for them so far. However, with technology advancing at the rate it is, there is so much more you can get out of your payroll software than simply distributing paychecks to your employees. If you haven’t shopped around in a while, now is a great time to start looking.

Interested in seeing what Dominion can do for you? Request a demo below!


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