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Selecting Payroll Software

Rosemary Butterly, Vice President, Human Resources, Cartus And Lisa Doyle, Director Shared Services Payroll Vendor Management, Realogy

Rosemary Butterly, Vice President, Human Resources, Cartus

Human Resource professionals know that to be viewed as a valued business partner, we must first deliver on core services. This includes paying our employees accurately and in a timely manner.

There are many payroll software applications and vendors available to assist companies in administering their payrolls. Conscious thought and planning are required in order to determine what a company needs from payroll software, as the answer is not the same across every organization.

To begin with, a company must decide if payroll software is going to be administered in-house, by a third party provider, or by a combination of both. Many companies search for payroll software that is flexible, cost effective, and provides ease of use, enabling them to pay employees in various forms (i.e. direct deposit, check or pay card).

" Conscious thought and planning are required in order to determine what a company needs from payroll software, as the answer is not the same across every organization "

In evaluating options, a business needs to identify the functionality required from the payroll software. Some of the payroll software services available include, but are not limited to the following:
   1.Handling multiple payrolls across multiple states
   2. Allowing employees to access the application by internet or mobile app
   3. Managing year end W2, quarterly and annual tax filings
   4. Calculating state unemployment or disability
   5. Supporting FSA accruals
   6. Allowing for a General Ledger export
   7. Handling garnishments
   8. Integrating with a time tracking system to allow for reporting

There are some providers that can support global payroll processing in multiple countries with varying currencies. In evaluating payroll software solutions, one of the most important factors is to determine if the proposed software can integrate with existing HR applications, as a company should not have to maintain multiple HR applications.

Lisa Doyle, Director Shared Services Payroll Vendor Management, Realogy

Companies are encouraged to consider payroll software applications with self-service features. From an employee perspective, self-service allows the employees to access their payroll information any time or day of the week through the web or by mobile app. The employees can view their paychecks and can easily manage changes to their payroll account directly, including adding an additional bank account, updating their mailing address or changing tax deductions.

Recently, we’ve seen the introduction of a type of self-service functionality designed for Managers. This solution allows the manager to be responsible for processing payroll transactions such as terminations or promotions. Workflow notifications are available to route the transactions to Human Resources or Finance for additional approvals. Manager self-service can be a major cultural shift for organizations. However, it is a change worth pursuing as it enables the individual who has the most knowledge of the payroll transaction to effect the change. The updates can occur in real time, enabling stronger security measures for disabling system access for terminated employees.

Employee and manager self-service functionality are highly desirable attributes as they may reduce the overall payroll processing cost, provide greater accuracy and possibly reduce or eliminate the need for a staff member to make data entry changes.