Payroll Software for Small Businesses - The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Software

July 27, 2023
Choosing the right payroll software for your small business

Small business owners face a variety of challenges; navigating a meandering stream of legislation changes, keeping the customers happy, keeping the kids distracted during Zoom meetings (for those of us working from home).

Perhaps the toughest thing though, is making decisions. For a small business, those decisions often have to be made by one individual and can have far-reaching implications for the whole business.

This article aims to make at least one of those decisions easier by taking the pain out of choosing the best payroll software.

Sidenote: What if you've already got payroll software but it's not quite right? Check out our article, Why you should be thinking about replacing your Umbrella Payroll Software

How to find the best payroll software?

Looking out for the following can help you choose high-quality payroll software:

Long-term maintenance & support

High-quality payroll software should be backed up by high-quality support. As we know, the payroll industry is often subject to change. It's important that your payroll software is able to adapt to those changes. Make sure that your developer is willing to support you for the long haul, providing regular updates and advice to help keep your business compliant and efficient.

Software scalability

Scalable software is essential for a small business. As the business expands, the software should be able to accommodate more employees, clients, and data, without collapsing under the pressure. By using scalable software, a payroll business can save costs, stay competitive, and provide a seamless experience.

Integration with your current systems

If you've ever taken the wrong phone charging cable on holiday, you know the pain that comes when technologies don't work together. You can avoid this issue for your payroll software by taking the time to make sure it will play nicely with your other systems. As your software developer to make sure their software is compatible with your current systems before it is installed.

Value for money

It goes without saying that your software should provide excellent value for your hard-earned money. But just how do you measure that? We recommend choosing software that only charges you for what you use. This makes sure that you aren't wasting funds on complex functionality that you don't need.

Choosing payroll software - Things to avoid

Avoiding the following can help you choose high-quality payroll software:

Out-dated software

If it only runs on Windows XP it's probably time to grab another Jammie Dodger and exit the board room. Technologies are constantly being updated and developed. If you choose payroll software that is already out of date you are running a serious risk of security and compliance issues.


Much like people, businesses are all different. If your prospective payroll software doesn't take your individual business needs into account it may be time to back away.

Too cheap to be true

Imagine walking into a car showroom. You see a shiny new Ferrari priced at £250. Your first thought would likely be, 'what's wrong with it?'. When it comes to payroll software if the price seems too cheap to be true, it probably is. High-quality software takes time and effort to build and maintain. If the payroll software is being sold at a ridiculously low price you do well to ask, "what's wrong with it?"

How to choose the best payroll software for your small business

Despite the pitfalls, it is possible to find high-quality payroll software that gives excellent value for money.

Get an experienced software developer to look at your systems and give you an honest opinion on your best options. It just so happens we offer several software options to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. Please get in touch for more information.

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