What To Look For In A Payroll System

Whether you’re just starting to hire staff or you’re wondering if there is a better way to manage your payroll there are a number of things you should consider. To weed through the many payroll systems out there, you need to know what features to look for.

Using a fully featured payroll system can help you save valuable time and money so you can put all your focus on growing your business. You don’t have to be a payroll expert to use a payroll software, you just need to use a system that smoothly integrates with your business needs. Like most business systems you can now use online services for managing your payroll so you don’t have to worry about installation, updates and backups. Moreover, it gives you the freedom to manage and run your payroll from anywhere.

Choosing a payroll system can be easy when you pay attention to key factors. Consider what features you need from the below as that will help you pick the best payroll system for your small business.


One of the first things you could ask yourself is, does your business need rostering and time sheets? If so you should look for a payroll solution that has this built in or at least allows you to connect with another solution. This will save you large amounts of time doing data entry from your time sheet system to your payroll system.

A good solution will allow staff to set availability and apply for leave making it much easier for managers to build rosters to suit. Managers should also be able to see cost forecasts while building rosters to ensure they are within budget.

Time Sheets

If your staff use time sheets to record their hours you could use the old sign in/out sheet then manually enter that into your payroll system or you can look for one that allows staff to do it electronically. You can get solutions now where staff can easily check in and out either on a PC or even through an app on their phone and then managers can sign off those time sheets at the end of the pay period before the payroll is processed.

Payroll Details



A lot of bookkeeping solutions like Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks have payroll options some with more features than others. There are also a number of payroll solutions external to these which may have additional functionality. No matter which solution you decide to go with see if it will integrate directly with your bookkeeping system to save you having to manually enter the journals each pay period and reduce the chance of headaches caused by mistyped figures.

Self Service Portal & Smartphone Apps

You may also want more advanced features like an employee self service portal or smartphone apps where staff can keep their information up to date, get access to pay slips, request time off and some will even have the option for reimbursement requests.


There are two types of compliance when you should consider when choosing your next payroll system. Firstly you need to think about Wage & Award compliance ie are staff being paid the correct amounts and secondly are your statutory reports compliant with Government requirements.

Wages & Awards are a complex topic but some of the more advanced payroll systems now have award checking built into the product so when you do your payroll run it can help make sure staff are being paid what they should be.

With the introduction of Single Touch Payroll you must find a solution that supports this, especially if you have a larger workforce. Additionally consider if the system support any other regulatory requirements built in or if you have to manually deal with those.


Just like your bookkeeping system reporting in your payroll system is essential to understanding your business better. Ensure that the proposed solution has all the relevant reports to make it easier to understand your payroll situation and that will help you make better business decisions in the future.

Next Steps

Alexilum’s YourPayroll system is a full featured payroll solution that includes all of the above features and more. Contact us today to find out more about how we can make payroll easier for you.