Five tips on how to properly use payroll software

Paul Byrne, managing director at Thesaurus Software, gives his advice on getting the most out of payroll software.

When you make proper and efficient use of your payroll software, it becomes so much easier to get the job done.

On the other hand, underestimating the depth of your payroll software or conveniently glossing over the details that you do not think are important will make things much more difficult and cause you to waste much more time. Avoid the pitfalls of going it alone and make the most of your software’s feature set – these tips will help you out.

1. Start from the beginning

The same mantra applies to all types of software and not just accounting software: don’t make things difficult for yourself. With any leading UK payroll software, the features and tools are there to make things easy, but no matter how easy your software makes the job of payroll management, things are always far more difficult if you don’t start on square one.

Initialise the software yourself, and set up all new company profiles and employees by yourself. This might not be possible if profiles have already been created and you have suddenly been tasked with managing the software yourself – in this case you should see whether it is feasible to start again.

2. Explore all of the features

When a company evolves, so too does its payroll requirements, and it is at this point that payroll managers can become unstuck because they have become complacent in what they know and have not learned how to use all of the features properly. Even if there are aspects of the payroll software that are not quite relevant to your business, it is always good practice to become accustomed with all of the available features.

3. Train staff

Business owners can save money by keeping payroll management in house and training a member of staff to use a good payroll management application. The key word here is training, as if you are a business owner and the responsibility falls on you to conduct payroll properly, then you need to ensure that your chosen staff knows how to use the system. 

4. Use product tutorials

One of the best things about UK RTI payroll software providers is that they offer tutorials to show you how the software works and what to do if you get stuck. Not only that, they are great at showing you how to achieve things with the software in the most efficient and effective way. There may be more than one way to achieve something, but with tutorials you can see which way is best. 

5. Get help if you are unsure

If you have come up against a problem and you are not certain how to resolve it, you should first check with the documentation to see if you have failed to do something or have missed something out. After checking the documentation you should get in contact with your payroll software provider’s customer services. They will let you know whether you are using the software properly and/or advise you on the best practice.

See also: Polishing the payroll process – Choosing between software or outsourcing

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.