Businessman processing payroll.
The type of payroll software you choose depends on a variety of factors, including business needs and the size of your team. — utah778/Getty Images

If you’re an employer, then a payroll app is a must-have. Payroll software helps you manage employees, calculate their paychecks and monitor their attendance.

But finding the right software for your business will depend on a variety of factors. Here are six things to think about before choosing a payroll app.

What does your business need?

The type of payroll software you choose will depend on the business you run. What does your business need from a payroll app? You need to have a clear idea of this. Otherwise, you risk choosing software that isn’t a good fit for your business.

Listed below are a few questions to keep in mind when you’re evaluating various payroll apps. Each of these questions will help you determine the type of software you need.

  • How big is your business, and how many people do you employ?
  • Will you be managing the app, or do you have a payroll manager who will be taking charge of this?
  • Do you primarily employ contractors or full-time employees?
  • If you hire employees, do any of them receive benefits?

How many employees do you have?

The amount of employees you will be processing payroll for this year will be one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to the type of app you’ll need. It will have a big impact on the pricing and functionality of the software.

Before researching different types of payroll software, make sure you know how many employees you’ll be processing payroll for. This includes employees who left earlier in the year and employees who will be starting before the end of the year.

What features are you looking for in a payroll app?

Everyone has their own list of “must-have” features they look for in a payroll app. If you’re not sure what your list is yet, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Look for a service that will generate and file your state and federal payroll taxes.
  • Choose software that offers direct deposit so you won’t be stuck mailing out checks every month.
  • Choose software that allows you to run payroll for contractors and full-time employees.
  • If you need to import payroll information, look for an app that integrates with your existing software.

The type of payroll software you choose will depend on the business you run.

What does the payroll app cost?

When it comes to a payroll app, the costs can vary greatly depending on the number of features included. You could pay as little as $20 a month, or you could spend hundreds of dollars a month.

Also, since most payroll apps don’t charge a flat fee, it’s not usually immediately apparent how much you’ll end up spending on the service. Instead, the cost will be based on the following factors:

  • A one-time or monthly subscription fee.
  • How many employees you’re running payroll for.
  • The complexity of your payroll, and whether you’ll need help with taxes, benefits and more.
  • Add-on features, like direct deposit or set-up fees.

How easy is the payroll app to use?

Payroll is essential, but the last thing you want to do is spend hours managing your payroll app every month. There will be a bit of a learning curve, but at some point, you should be able to automate this task and mostly forget about it.

If you’ve never used a payroll app before, this can be tricky to figure out. The best course of action is to pick several different apps you’re interested in and spend some time reading the user reviews. This will help you get a sense of what other people like about the app and what was confusing to them.

Look for a company that offers a free trial period for their software. A trial period lets you evaluate the app for free before you commit to buying it.

What kind of support does the payroll app’s company offer?

Finally, you need to consider what kind of IT and customer support the company offers. This is something that many people overlook, but it can make or break your experience with that company.

When it comes to running payroll, it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. And when it does, it’s helpful to partner with a company that provides phone and email support.

[Read: Is Your Business Ready for Payroll Automation?]

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best payroll service, visit our friends at

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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