Payroll software for Start-ups: Top 10 features!

Payroll software

Most SME owners delay the implementation of HR and payroll software until they reach a certain level of size. They believe a desktop program or manual payroll processing is enough for their business. Start-ups, however, opt for automated HR solutions early, even if they have a team of 20 people.


Although start-ups are often referred to as small businesses, their needs differ. The remuneration plan could be complicated, even if there is a small team. Salary structure and compensation plans can be challenging.

Factors that make payroll processing more complex for startup

1. Stock options and equity:

Start-ups often include stock options or equity in their compensation packages. Understanding the company’s current market value and vesting schedules is necessary to calculate the value of equity allocations.

2. Variable Compensation:

Many start-ups have compensation structures based on performance, such as bonuses, commissions or profit sharing. These compensation types can change based on the performance of an individual or a company. This calculation of salaries is more complicated and requires constant tracking and adjustments.

3. Cash flow and funding:

Many start-ups rely on funding rounds, and their cash flow may fluctuate. It can affect the ability to pay salaries consistently on time or make it challenging to determine salary levels concerning available funds.

4. Taxes & deductions:

Start-ups must navigate state taxes, payroll, PF and other deductions. Calculating and accurately withholding these taxes can be challenging when regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

5. Complying with grant or investor requirements:

Start-ups that have received funding or grants might be required to adhere to specific needs regarding how salaries are calculated or distributed. This could include meeting detailed ratios and guidelines set forth by grant or investor providers.

6. International operations:

Calculating salaries for a startup that operates internationally or employs remote workers in different countries can be complicated due to the differences in tax laws, exchange rate fluctuations, and local labour regulations.

7. Employee Benefits:

Start-ups can offer non-traditional or unique employee benefits such as equity-based incentives or special perks. It is essential to consider and understand the value of these benefits before incorporating them into salary calculations.

This explains the many errors in payroll processing that are made manually. That’s why many start-ups implement payroll and HRMS early in their business cycle.

8. Finding payroll for small and startup businesses:

Their pricing is based more on the number of employees. They are looking for larger organizations. This means that the needs of start-ups should be addressed when designing and developing software.

Therefore, startup founders need to look for payroll software designed for small businesses.

Important factors while choosing a payroll system for business

Employee information:

This system should make it easy to configure employee details, such as their personal information, employment status (full-time or part-time), salary, tax information and deductions.

Payroll frequency:

This system should support multiple payroll frequencies (weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly) and configure pay periods and payment dates.

Overtime Policies and Leave Policies:

Configuring overtime rules, including rates and thresholds, should be possible. It should allow customization of leave policies, such as holidays, sick leave and unpaid leaves.

Write down the entire payroll process.

List all your organization’s payroll tasks and processes—particularly the outliers. Also, ensure that the software you are considering can be customized to your payroll schedules and other requirements.

Automatic update of statutory conformity:

Compliance issues plague small businesses. Even HR managers who are experts need help remembering the laws and guidelines of the government because they are updated so often.

Ask the vendor of the HRMS: Does your software automatically update compliance? Would the HR team need to do anything?

Choose software that does the work for you. Who has time to learn the intricacies and complexities of compliance when running a brand-new business?

Scalable model:

This is a specific question for start-ups. Before choosing an HR software, you must answer two questions.

Why should a new organization pay for the bells, whistles and other features of larger organizations?

When you receive funds, will your HR software be able to handle the rapid scaling of your business?

It would be best to look for software that allows you to begin with the essential HR functions. You only pay for what you use. The software should also scale with you as your business grows and needs more advanced functionality.

HR domain Support:

It’s so obvious. The startup promoters also play the role of HR managers at the start! They also need ongoing guidance. When an HR executive was hired, she would need more experience dealing with multiple issues.

A vendor of HR software with expertise in HR would be a great help.

After the vendor has cleared these primary filters, you can compare other features.

9 features you should look for when choosing a startup payroll system

1. Employee Information Management:

This software should enable the startup team to store and manage employee information in detail. Personal data, tax details, and bank details are all examples.

2. Calculation Wages and Salaries:

This software should calculate wages and salaries for employees based on various factors, such as the number of hours worked, overtime rates, deductions and tax rates.

3. Taxes and Statutory Compliance:

Payroll software must be updated regularly by the HR payroll software provider. It is always up to date! These guidelines must be followed for the automatic deduction of taxes, calculation of statutory deductions and generation of reports. Tax filing is also required.

4. Direct deposit and payment processing:

Several pay systems provide direct deposit functionality. This allows employees to receive their salaries directly into their accounts. The software can also create electronic payslips or pay stubs.

5. Reporting & Analytics:

Payroll Software should offer multiple reports, such as tax reports and payroll summaries. You can also use other analytics to gain insight into your payroll costs.

6. Employee self-service Portal:

Certain payroll software offers employee self-service portals that allow them to manage and access their payroll data, tax forms and other documents.

7. Integration of HR and Accounting Software:

Advanced Payroll software integrates seamlessly into HR systems and accounting programs, streamlining the data flow and minimizing manual data entry.

8. Multi-country and Multi-Currency support:

Payroll software for multinational companies often supports the payroll requirements of multiple countries and currencies.

9. Data Security:

Payroll Software typically offers data encryption, role-based access control, and regular back-ups to ensure security and confidentiality.

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