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Payroll Software - Features to look for
Being able to download a payroll program free of charge is not very cost effective if it doesn't suite your requirements, or is not on a par with a product that you need to pay for. The big question therefore is, how good is the program? The best way to find out, is to test it yourself. But, before you do, go and look at the program's WebSite to see what additional information it provides, phone the supplier and see how easy it is to find someone that can answer technical questions.
So, what are the important features that you require from a payroll program, and what criteria should you use to choose one program over another?
- You should ensure that the program will do the basics required from a payroll program, like easily calculate an employee's wage / salary from inputted information, handle various types of deductions, and in particular calculate the PAYE, UIF and SDL correctly, incorporate the various SARS Tax Codes to generate the CSV file for importing into EasyFile and generating the SARS Annual and Bi-annual Tax Reconciliation / Declaration Return, etc.
- However, the two other important criteria that you need to weigh up are ...... Ease-of-use vs. Power.
+ By 'ease-of-use', we mean how easy is it to... install, figure out how it works, understand the inner logic of the program, make changes to the settings, and last but not least how good is the Operating Manual.
+ By 'power', we mean how flexible and adaptable to your needs is the program, and whether you can make those changes yourself or need a Technician to come out at great cost, and to what extent it gives you comprehensive and meaningful reporting features.
Obviously the program of your choise should score high on both these counts, but unfortunately does the one offset the other, ie. the more powerful the program the less it's ease-of-use, and vice versa.
So, what you need is a program that finds the optimum balance between these two requirements, not to easy-to-use but not to powerful either.
Pierre Leon Myburgh