It is remarkable that of the over two million businesses in Australia, many of which are employers, some choose painfully slow methods to pay their staff.
Some business owners avoid accounting software altogether and maintain a manual system or enter a standard memorised entry. Either way requires an external system for timesheets, leave accruals, tax tables and completing compliance forms at the end of the year.
Many businesses using desktop accounting programs calculate payroll with out-of-date tax tables. That is almost like not having any payroll at all. External systems are still required for correct PAYG deductions and year end processes.
Rather than operating a manual payroll system, business owners should ask themselves – how can I better spend my time?
Why is the Cloud a Good Way to Pay?
Smart business owners want the most efficient way to pay their staff. One option is to continue using desktop software and pay a subscription for the latest tax tables, which must be manually installed and updated each year.
Many businesses end up paying a consultant to manage the download and upgrade process to avoid potential complications in the process.
A better option is to use one of several cloud based payroll apps such as KeyPay, Web Payroll or Sky Payroll. These payroll apps update independently of your accounting program and follow their own software development curve. One advantage over desktop accounting programs is that cloud apps don’t need to be manually updated each year. The app updates automatically and seamlessly.
Updates are not only restricted to end of financial year; new features and other improvements can be added at any time.
Payroll apps simplify the business user experience with default settings which automate payroll setup. This helps eliminate many issues experienced by desktop users when they fail to set up payroll correctly.
Another benefit of using a payroll app is that the software vendors provide support just for payroll questions, including custom setups. When I have had queries about KeyPay, query turnaround has been almost immediate – even out of regular business hours. You cannot ask for more than that.
It is also a better experience for employees. They can log into the payroll app via their own portal to enter timesheets, update personal information entry and access payslips. The self-service portals reduce the amount of administration for bookkeepers operating payroll for the business.
Xero integrates with several payroll apps and offers their own payroll solution. Monthly pricing varies depending on the number of employees paid each month.
QuickBooks Online includes a payroll solution too – the Australian app KeyPay. When used within QuickBooks Online, KeyPay is free for up to 10 employees. All of the hard work is done by KeyPay, but for the user the experience is still QuickBooks Online.
Of the 2 million plus businesses in Australia, over 500,000 of them employ less than 10 people. A business owner can eliminate a boring, manual process with a payroll app, always up-to-date and compliant, to pay staff quickly and easily.
Now that makes good business sense.
Diane Lucas runs bookkeeping business Direct Management with a particular focus on online accounting solutions. She is an Intuit Certified ProAdvisor.
Image credit: CSLWeb