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With the plethora of different payroll options available, it can be really hard to decide which one is right for your business. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself “Why am I looking for a payroll software?” This will help guide your journey.

I’m going to assume that you are a small business owner with less than 25 employees and sick of doing payroll manually — sending out countless emails with paystubs and even creating those darn things manually! It takes too much time.

Being a Wagepointer for nearly four (4) years, with the majority of that time on the sales team, I’ve had the privilege of speaking to thousands of small business owners about their payroll needs over the years. Based on those conversations, here’s a list of features and functionalities that should be on your must-have list as a small business owner.

Foundational must-haves of a payroll software company.

Before I go into specific features, I want to talk about the foundational must-haves of a payroll company. This’ll help make sure you have a company you can rely on in addition to the features you need. Here are some considerations before starting the selection process for your payroll software.

The level of support that your business needs

Every business is unique — including yours! Whether you’re looking for step-by-step guidance, someone with whom you can double-check just that one little thing you’re not sure of or anything in between, having the support you need is key. With Wagepoint, customer support is what we do — we’re the friendliest payroll team you’ll find!

👉 Don’t take our word for it! Hear why small businesses like TIEJA Inc. Communications love Wagepoint Customer Support.

Ease of use

Payroll is complicated, but your payroll software shouldn’t be! You should be able to easily get through your tasks and go about your day.

The Wagepoint application was built specifically for small business owners that have little to no payroll experience. And, if you do have payroll experience, you’ll be a Wagepoint expert in no time!

Payroll security

One of the most overlooked considerations is security. Your payroll data is very sensitive, and if that information gets into the wrong hands, that could wreak havoc on you, your small business and your employees.

Every Wagepoint employee goes through mandatory quarterly security training, and our systems are monitored by state of the art technology to ensure your data is safe. Wagepoint also encourages you to activate the software’s Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), which will add another layer of protection to your account. The instructions can be found here: Canada | US

👉 Learn additional ways you can master payroll security.

Top 5 payroll software features for any small business owner.

Now that we’ve gone over those foundational must-haves, let’s talk about features your business needs. As stated above, every business is different, and the needs of your business may differ from someone else’s.

Before embarking on a journey to choose a payroll software you’ll want to write down a list of must-haves for your business. Make this list as comprehensive as possible. Once you’ve got your list, you need to prioritize the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. Don’t forget your budget while going through this exercise!

When you have your list prioritized, you can begin your search. These are five (5) must-have features that’ll keep your payroll running smoothly and easily.

1. Pay both employees and contractors

Your business is rapidly growing and evolving. If you need the option to pay both employees and contractors, don’t pay for two different systems when one can do it. Wagepoint lets you both set up employees and contractors and run payroll for them!

👉 Know the difference between employees and contractors with this blog.

2. Automated tax calculations and payments

Automation can not only save you time, but also save you money by avoiding pesky fines. Making sure your new payroll system has automated tax calculations and payments is essential. You have more important things to worry about than complex calculations, which is why Wagepoint includes automated calculations as one of its staple features.

3. Custom income and deduction types

With unique businesses comes unique income types and deductions. Having the option to create custom income and deduction codes is important for accurately breaking down your employees’ income and deductions.

With Wagepoint, requesting a custom income or deduction code is super easy, and then you can take care of your payroll and move on to other things.

👉 US small business owner? Check out our comprehensive list of income types.

4. Accounting integrations

Payroll is part of your accounting ecosystem and ensuring that you’re choosing a payroll software with the right accounting integrations can automate and save you (or your bookkeeper) a lot of time. Let the integration take care of and automate entering journal entries rather than manually having to enter the data.

You may have guessed already, but Wagepoint can do this, too! You can integrate with accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks Online to easily manage your payroll alongside your accounting.

5. Year-end tax documents

Lastly, but not leastly (That’s a word right? Right.), year-end tax documents such as T4s, T4As and RL-1s in Canada are a critical part of payroll. These documents are very time-sensitive and your employees count on them to file their taxes, so having a payroll software that provides these documents is a big weight off your shoulders.

All it takes with Wagepoint is making sure you complete at least two (2) pay runs in the same calendar year in the software. When you do that, we’ll create and submit T4s, T4As and RL-1s on your behalf at no extra charge!

👉 Learn more about T4s, T4As and RL-1s from our Canadian small business guide.

BONUS: An accountant or partner program.

Having an accountant program or portal with your payroll software gives you the option to work with your accountant more seamlessly. They’ll be able to see and work with your payroll data to help you with processing and making sure you’re getting everything just right.

At Wagepoint, we have a Partner Program specifically designed for accounting professionals.

Ready. Set. Go!

Although there are many other considerations based on your business needs, these are the top five I see being most beneficial to a wide variety of small business owners. You’re now armed with must-haves that’ll not only save you time, but also improve your employee experience. That’s the kind of win-win we love to see!

Check these must-haves off your list with Wagepoint!

You may have noticed that Wagepoint fits in with the must-haves on this list. Check Wagepoint out for yourself and get started for free today!

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