The Value of Retail All in One Payroll Systems - All-in-one retail terminal on small business checkout counter

The value of retail all in one payroll systems

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Managing payroll at your retail small business

When it comes to your retail small business, there are many things of which you have to keep track. From inventory to employee time and managing the sales floor, small business owners like you have a lot on your plate. So when it comes to managing payroll, there are a few considerations – including an all-in-one payroll system. In this article, we’ll tackle payroll systems, including why your small business should consider them, the benefits of using an all-in-one solution, and key features you should be on the lookout for. To start, let’s define payroll systems.

What’s a payroll system?

Running payroll at your business can be a complicated process. But a payroll system can provide significant help to you or your human resources team. Instead of focusing on payroll, your human resources team can focus on other HR services – from hiring new employees and onboarding to resolving any company issues. A payroll system is a series of processes that are put together to help your business complete payroll accurately and on time. Having a system helps ensure that your business is paying its employees the correct wages for the pay period on payday.

There are three main functions of a payroll system:

  • Calculates wages: The most important part of a payroll system is calculating an employee’s pay. A payroll system considers the employee’s hours and their hourly rate or salary rate to produce a gross pay amount for that employee during the time period. A system helps to calculate each employee’s paycheck more efficiently. A payroll system for retail businesses can be beneficial, given that most retail employees are paid on an hourly basis.
  • Manages taxes and deductions: After finding each employee’s gross pay amount, a payroll system calculates net pay after taking the taxes and withholdings from each paycheck. The system uses the employee’s IRS W-4 form to make these tax deduction adjustments. In addition, a payroll system can help ensure that your business complies with federal, state, and local tax obligations as well. It can even fill in the necessary tax forms for your business.
  • Helps your business manage labor: Another important benefit of a payroll system is that it can help you manage labor. Many payroll systems can generate custom reports to help your business analyze its payroll costs for a given period. It can also give you insights into the top performers at your company.

When it comes to payroll systems, one of the most common systems is to utilize payroll software. Payroll software is an application that allows you to manage, organize, and automate your payroll. Unlike a basic system like using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, the more advanced the software, the less work you’ll have to do as a small business owner. These full-service payroll solutions can easily accomplish all payroll system functions with a single software application. Is this the right solution for your small business? Let’s look at who might benefit from utilizing an all-in-one payroll solution.

Should my business consider an all-in-one payroll system?

If you’re a small business owner, you’ve got a lot to manage. And with all the different things you have to manage, payroll management can be the last thing you want to do. If you’re already spending a lot of time running payroll for your retail business, implementing payroll software can be a lifesaver. That’s because many of the payroll functions you would typically perform can run on their own, meaning one less thing to check off your to-do list. So if you want to save valuable time and headaches, a payroll solution can help you delegate payroll.

But payroll isn’t just about paying employees. Other responsibilities come with managing payroll. An all-in-one payroll solution can help you manage these responsibilities, too. So when it comes to payroll providers, their value can be even more significant to your business. Payroll solutions can help your small business in the following ways:

Saves your business time: Payroll systems help you streamline your payroll process. When you utilize a payroll software system, you’ll spend less time manually computing figures, entering data, and calculating taxes. By outsourcing your payroll, you’ll be able to focus on running your business. Plus, many payroll software solutions can also integrate with HR management software, accounting software and more, for an all-in-one solution your business can count on.

Ensures accuracy: If your business has many employees, there’s a lot of information to track down and stay on top of. But payroll software can help ensure your employees get paid the right amount for their work and on time. Paycheck errors and delays can be very frustrating for employees, but an accurate payroll system means fewer errors and happier employees at your business.

Keeps your business compliant: As a small business owner, you have a lot to keep track of. But one of the things you may not stay on top of is your business’s compliance with Medicare, taxes, Social Security, and unemployment. Luckily, utilizing payroll software can help you navigate these things. That helps save you time and keeps your business running. Not following compliance regulations can have serious consequences for your business. The IRS can penalize incorrect payroll as a criminal act.

Ensures deductions are correct: You know your business is required by law to withhold payroll taxes from employees. Tax withholding can be complicated, as tax laws can change every year. These mandatory deductions include the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax, which is made up of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Other mandatory deductions include wage garnishments (if applicable), federal income tax, and state and local taxes. An employee can also elect to have voluntary deductions withheld from their paycheck. These include health insurance premiums, retirement plans like IRAs or 401Ks, and life insurance premiums. As you can see, all of these can add up. But a payroll system can help you run payroll and handle these deductions with ease.

Generates forms: Using a payroll software can give you access to various reports and summaries. They make it easy for you to see salary statements and benefits reports and store your employee records in one place. Your employees may also have access to other payroll functions like pay stubs and withholdings.

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of utilizing an online payroll provider, let’s look at key features to consider as you evaluate your small business or startup's payroll options.

What features should your retail business look for in a payroll system?

If you decide to utilize payroll software for your retail business, there are a few features you’ll want to consider based on your payroll needs:

Accuracy guarantee – Many payroll service providers offer an accuracy guarantee, so you can have peace of mind knowing that you won’t be liable for the mistakes of the payroll service. Many even back their payroll service with reimbursement for any tax penalties your business faces due to an incorrect filing.

Automatic tax filing – When it comes to payroll software, you’ll want to ensure that the solution you choose offers automatic tax filing. From automatically calculating and filing local, state, and federal payroll taxes to automatically filing end-of-year tax forms (including W-2s and 1099s), your payroll software should make it easy for you to run your business.

Employee self-service – You’ll also want to ensure that your payroll service provider has an employee self-service portal that gives your employees direct access to their personal payroll information. Employees can access various payroll features in a self-service portal: they can change their direct deposit and bank account information, their tax withholdings, or view their employee benefits information. They can also view their year-end tax forms.

Direct deposit – Another crucial feature of a payroll solution is direct deposit. Employees expect convenient access to their paychecks, and direct deposit is the fastest way for them to get their paychecks. It also helps reduce the time you would spend printing and distributing paper paychecks.

Employee benefits – An all-in-one payroll solution can also help your business manage employee benefits administration. An integrated solution can help you manage all aspects of your employee experience, from onboarding new hires to benefit elections. Depending on the solution, this could be an add-on to the payroll software. But integrating your payroll and HR software can help you manage your employees’ benefit elections – from health, dental, and vision insurance to retirement account elections and more.

Time tracking – Another great capability of many payroll solutions is time tracking integration. This means your employees will have a way to track their time that syncs with your payroll management software. That’s great for retail businesses, as you won’t have to spend time calculating overtime wages for hourly workers. Instead, the integrated solution will track all of this for you,ensuring that your employees get paid accurately for the hours they work. Some time tracking integrations even offer mobile app access, making it easy for your retail employees to clock in and clock out at your business.

Manage PTO – Another key benefit to consider when choosing payroll software is the ability to track and manage paid time off for full-time employees. Many integrations make it easy for employees to request paid time off while making it easy for you to approve and note this PTO. Many software solutions allow you to define your PTO policies and flag any discrepancies before these requests come to you. This streamlines the process for everyone at your business.

Security – Protecting your small business is paramount. One benefit to utilizing payroll software is that your business’s data is protected. In addition to controlling who has permission to access the payroll data, you’ll want to investigate what safeguards and security features the software has in place. These safeguards can help you manage your risk and identify any irregularities that could be signs of a security breach.

Ease of use – The final feature you’ll want to consider is ease of use. All the tools a payroll software offers should help you streamline the time spent processing payroll so that you can spend less time actively managing your payroll. With user-friendly interfaces, payroll software makes it easy for small businesses to make simple changes to their payrolls.

Reporting capabilities – Another feature to consider is the payroll system’s reporting capabilities. These reports can help you stay on top of your business—from employee working hours reports to tax summaries and more. The best payroll software for your retail business will be able to produce the types of reports your business needs to keep moving forward.

As your retail business grows, payroll can get more and more complicated. So whether you want one less thing to worry about or you want to improve your business’s efficiency, an all-in-one payroll system can help you do just that. This article looked at the benefits of utilizing payroll systems and the top features to look for as you evaluate your business’s options. As you weigh your options, you’ll want to assess all the key factors and the cost of the payroll solution to find the best fit for your business. Your time is valuable, and by utilizing an all-in-one payroll system at your retail business, you put that time spent on payroll back into other parts of your business.

Ready to work with a payroll partner who can help you implement a payroll system?

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind.