Skip to main content
5 features your payroll management software absolutely needs

5 Features your payroll management software absolutely needs

from  March 22, 2021 | 5 min read

Forget about charismatic CEOs and company founders, millions of dollars in funding, or rapid global expansion with cutting-edge tech. A company’s true success is built on its people. Staff efficiency, welfare and happiness are non-negotiable, and must always take priority over the bottom line.

But even the best and happiest staff in the world need digital help in certain areas. One can only do so much in eight hours. And why heap repetitive administrative tasks on employees when you can quickly automate those—and have your people work on more complex and meaningful projects?

Tasks like payroll management aren’t just about keeping track of everyone’s salaries. Nor are they consistent every year. As businesses pick up the pace, so must their preferred payroll software. Businesses must keep five specific payroll management features in mind when reviewing their own processes.

1.    Automation

Why stop at one (or a few) tasks when you can get them all? There’s a lot more going on in payroll management than what most employees and company outsiders are aware of. If you can, automate it!

In a nutshell, modern HR payroll software must have a built-in salary calculator that deals with the following input, as well as different rules per employee hierarchy:

  • Gross monthly salary
  • Monthly and annual taxes
  • Deductions due to additional absences or penalties
  • Annual employee bonuses
  • Reimbursements for employee claims and related out-of-pocket expenses
  • Staff benefits—including medical, overtime pay and available paid time off

Then there’s the other concern of record-keeping for every fiscal year. Employees come and go, are promoted or demoted, and move within their departments or transfer to others. Job descriptions are edited, evolved, or scrapped. Departments are expanded, compressed, or combined. Clients are acquired, retained, or let go.

Whatever the activity, money flowing into the organisation will also flow out. Every cent must automatically be accounted for as it happens.

Lastly, any worthwhile payroll software won’t let HR and accounting staff worry about printing payslips or salary statements, as well as conducting automatic pay-outs. The HR technology handles all the tasks required for running payroll with great accuracy and speed. 

2.    Wide coverage

Payroll isn’t only about payroll. This part of HR also calls on data such as personnel records, information on daily attendance and work hours (including overtime), available leave days and absences, and employee claims.

Without these data readily accessible to HR and payroll staff, employee salaries won’t be calculated properly. There goes general employee happiness!

Like automation, consider using a payroll management software that includes all aspects of human resources and accounting out of the box. It’s all about financial and human cost. Paying for extra software adds to total business expenses, further squeezing the tight finances of small or new businesses. And any extra time spent on training employees to use new software and create new workflows contributes to sunk costs.

3.    International compliance

Especially in recent years, regulatory and international compliance has become more important. It is costly and time-consuming for companies and employees to follow any changes in industry rules, business requirements, salary deductions, government contributions and tax laws. This applies whether a company operates in one country or many. For example, it can be challenging for a payroll specialist to keep abreast of the complex rules governing mandatory employee contributions to Malaysia’s EPF or Singapore’s CPF, especially if the role is situated elsewhere.

This particular concern also ties back to the first one: automation. Asia Pacific-compliant payroll software must be able to implement localised changes ASAP, and without any intervention on the HR and accounting staff’s part. Getting flagged by governments on compliance matters is something no company ever wants.

4.    Data visualisation and presentation

Recording financial movements is one thing. Reviewing them is an entirely different one altogether. Executives and managers simply don’t have the time or patience to sift through long reports, or do a series of left-clicks until they find the information they need on-screen.

Your HR payroll software must rapidly generate helpful reports and analytics for one employee, several employees, and entire departments and managerial groups. These reports have to strike a fine balance: they are ideally comprehensive, but also direct and easy to read.

For instance, your payroll system should give you insights on your budget, taxes, employees’ compensation, and other payroll information. When accurate data is easily accessible, HR leaders can make crucial business decisions and do the following:

  • Manage overtime effectively
  • Identify trends and patterns
  • Allocate resources better
  • Monitor spending limits
  • Project overviews
  • Improve ROI

The goal is for decision-makers to have everything they need in a few pages, at most, so they can make the calls that keep the company running and profitable.

And HR and accounting staff in charge of the payroll management software have to see the basics through a well-designed dashboard. By well-designed, we mean it shows users particular employee data in visible areas or in a glanceable way, and in just one place, without the need to click to other menus and tabs.

5.    Customisation

Company requirements change along with their structures and goals. They may need limited payroll and HR solutions in their first year. By their second year, they could be looking for the whole range and more—basically, everything in #2. Similarly, a downsizing company shouldn’t have to pay for software features they don’t need anymore.

Then there are strategic parts of the business that can benefit from automation. Think of employee hiring, appraisals and training, as well as HR forms and insights. Aside from administrative concerns, these aspects should also be available for those who need them.

Whether it’s on-premise or software-as-a-service (SaaS) or even a combination of the two, remember that payroll software should exactly fit companies’ needs wherever they are in the world. And businesses should pay based only on what they need, then pay for more features as they grow.

Update your payroll solution

If your current payroll management system lacks any of these features, it’s time to upgrade to a more advanced one.

Falling behind on automation, compliance, reporting, customisation, and other functionalities could put your business at stake. Such software capabilities are crucial in constant development. Take them into consideration, otherwise you will miss out on wide-ranging benefits, including:

  • save time and money
  • promote transparency
  • streamline your operations
  • eliminate manual processes
  • reduce administrative burden
  • prevent risks of human error
  • facilitate regulatory aspects
  • improve employee productivity

Good news: One HR payroll software scores 5/5

Payroll is just one aspect of the whole HR and accounting operations, but it is such a critical part of it. It pulls information from other company departments and resources, and has the heavy burden of making sure everyone is compensated fairly, legally and on time.

One could say the same thing goes for payroll management software. It must allow for automation, but with enough data for individual actions. It has to cover every business task, but also allow for selective use. It needs to work in one country and many, if and when needed. And of course, it should look great.

Unit4’s Prosoft HRMS and Payroll Software checks off all the items on this list. It easily offers automation for standard HR duties, a wide scope for both administrative and strategic tasks, compliance with international laws for 10 Asia-Pacific markets, condensed and glanceable data, and modules that companies can quickly add to their software.

Aside from offering comprehensive payroll software, companies in Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian countries can call on Unit4 for HR and payroll outsourcing. Our software plus expert knowledge will be on hand to provide an end-to-end solution for your back-office concerns.

Contact us to learn more about how our HR payroll software can help you, or to get started on software deployment for your company.

Unit4 Prosoft

Unit4 Prosoft have been serving customers in Asia for 30 years and is trusted by over 1,000 businesses across the APAC region in the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, construction, and professional services industries. Unit4 Prosoft HRMS has modules that support every aspect of your HRMS programs and allows you to manage people’s entire hire-to-retire cycle with a central control center and database. Your people get the flexibility and freedom to have what they need—how, when and where they need it.