Shopping Payroll? Consider These Factors.

Choosing the right payroll provider isn’t easy. You’re shopping with hopes of staying loyal to the company for a long time so you won’t have to go through this process again. You know the software needs to have the right features to help you simplify your payroll and HR tasks while providing the best customer support. It’s been cold here in West Michigan, specifically 20° in mid-March. Conveniently, you don’t need to go outside to shop for payroll and time and attendance software. You’re able to shop right from your desk, or if you’re feeling fun-- your couch. The following are things you should look for in quality software providers to efficiently handle your payroll and HR processes.


If you’re a small business, the cost is probably a very important factor. Make sure you weigh the benefits with the cost. What is most important to your organization's success and simplifying everyday tasks? Payroll providers offer a lot of different pricing structures, so make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Be careful of hidden costs such as reporting fees or multi-state payroll processing. Transparency is important when it comes to shopping for payroll software, so you have to be sure the businesses you’re looking at working with are completely upfront with all costs. One of the best ways to do this is by shopping locally. Bigger payroll companies may come off as cheaper, but they’re more likely to hit you with hidden fees because, at the end of the day, your business is just a drop in the bucket for them. Family-owned businesses like Dominion are less likely to do this because most of their new business comes from word-of-mouth, so they prioritize transparency above all else.

Payroll and HR Features

Quality payroll software systems track all compensation-related information. They streamline manual processes, mitigate the risk of tax noncompliance, and automatically track tax code changes, saving payroll professionals time and headaches. A good HR software will streamline all the HR systems together, including payroll. They make HR tasks more efficient and save you time and money.

Related Blog: 3 ways to get the most out of your HRM Software

The following features should be included in your software. If they aren’t, consider looking into options that integrate them with a system that does. The more integrated the software features are, the less expensive they’ll be and the less work it will create for you. However, keep in mind that splicing together a bunch of different software platforms can create errors and inconsistencies, so you’re better off finding a payroll software that provides all of the following features on a single-source solution.  

  • Wage Management: Calculate pay type, frequency, bonuses, and withholdings.

  • Leave Management System: Allow your employees to request time off online, whether it is for paid time off, a sick day, etc.

  • Time and Attendance Management: Track employee hours and calculate specialized rates such as overtime and holiday pay.

  • Onboarding: Enable new hires to fill out all of their paperwork online.

  • Employee Self Service Portal: Enable employees to access and manage their personal information such as paychecks, employee direct deposit setup, requesting time off, and punching in/out.

  • Applicant Tracking: Post jobs, customize workflows, analyze built-in analytics, and assign tasks.

  • Benefit Administration Management: Set up open enrollment for your employees to shop for benefits online.

  • Tax Management: Processes federal, state, and local tax, as well as social security, medicare, unemployment, and disability insurance. This includes providing the employer, employees, and contractors with 940, 941, 944, 1099, W-2, W-3, and 1099-MISC forms.

  • Reporting: Uses historical payroll data to generate reports such as quarterly costs. Be aware some companies will charge per report, while others will offer as many as you need, free.

Customer Support

While it is important to have software that syncs all of your products together, you also want to make sure your payroll provider will provide top-notch customer service from the day you become interested in their software and continue throughout the entire partnership. Read reviews on the companies you are comparing and talk to other HR professionals about their experiences. Do they have a chat feature for quick and efficient answers to your questions? Will they respond back in a reasonable time? Aside from the support for problems and questions, you have to make sure you will have help installing your employees with all of their payroll information. You want the transfer to run as smooth as possible for yourself. How often will you see your Account Manager? Do you prefer to see them in person or keep communication over the phone or via email? Will your provider offer the opportunity to meet in person for training? If you’re in Michigan, think about supporting local by considering a payroll provider in Michigan. This can be beneficial if you need your physical paychecks that same day. Having that face-to-face interaction with your payroll provider creates a stronger relationship that will be beneficial for both parties.

Making A Decision

As with any new decision, consider not only your current needs but where you plan to take your company with your goals. When you find a payroll and HR solution you think will work best for your business, run a free trial or demo to test out the features and get an idea of the experience for yourself. A live demo of the software is best so you can ask questions and have answers immediately. Ask questions relevant to your biggest concerns and daily complications that affect running payroll and reviewing your employees time off requests.

Have You Heard of Dominion Systems?

Dominion Systems is a payroll and HR software as a service company based in Grand Rapids, MI. Our software enables organizations to do their payroll, time and attendance, and HR processes on one easy-to-use platform with no dual-entry required. From recruiting to paying to managing your employees, our software features all integrate together. With over 40 years of experience, our in-house developers have created our proprietary software centered around our clients' needs. We provide our online software to clients all over the United States but most are in Michigan due to our office location. With our home office in West Michigan, we also wanted to cater to those local for Detroit payroll processing, so we also have an office in Metro Detroit, specifically in Rochester Hills, MI. Learn more about Dominion’s features at


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