Software Reviews

The Best Payroll Software for Better Easier Payroll Management

Find the perfect payroll software solution for your business, big or small, with one of the highly recommended solutions below. 🧑‍💻
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The best payroll software for payroll management transforms the way businesses pay their employees. On top of offering convenience and automation, it also helps improve the accuracy of payments made making everyone happy. Delays, miscalculations, and wrong payments sent are a few things that damage a business’s relationship with its employees and the solution to these problems is finding the perfect payroll software to do the job.

Ditching the old-school over-the-table payroll process for smooth and efficient payroll software can help you get rid of any unwanted issues and improve the way everyone gets paid.

How we Pick the Best Payroll Software

Australian companies pride themselves on taking good care of their employees and to do this, using only the best payroll software helps them achieve their goals. In order to determine which payroll management software is the best, we looked at 20 of the top, most-recommended software and toned it down to the best six.

Since each business is built differently and might have more specific needs, we grouped the list of software accordingly into six categories for different business needs. We then cross-referenced the list with other reputable review aggregators like productreview.com.au to come up with a list based on the quality of the product, consumer feedback, price points, and company reliability.

Upon narrowing it down to just six of the best, we present to you the list of the best payroll software for businesses in Australia.

The Best Payroll Software to Use in Australia


1. Reckon: Best for Small Businesses

KeyPay Payroll

Why we like it:

  • Keeps everything simple
  • Focuses solely on payroll
  • Good for large-scale operations

What consumers say:

“Reckon Accounts/Hosted is extremely user friendly, easy to edit when required & highly customisable” – Shaz H

Reckon focuses on three things, paying employees, providing updates, and keeping employers updated with the latest payroll and tax compliances. The software is extremely easy to use and very straightforward in nature making it ideal for businesses that don’t need all the additional features.

Businesses running larger-scale operations might find it difficult to look for payroll software capable of running everything without costing them too much. Reckon is the perfect solution to this problem as it allows companies to add an unlimited amount of employees to the payroll.

Unlike other payroll software on this list, Reckon is strictly a payroll management software only and there’s a good reason why. Also considered one of the most affordable software on the list, it allows businesses with simplified business models to take care of quick employee payments automatically while being able to read a pay summary report to confirm where and when payments were sent.

For businesses that like to keep their accounting to themselves and only need help with automatic payrolls, Reckon is the perfect choice to make sure payments are made on time, reports are delivered to the business owner, and records are kept securely in the software.

Sometimes the best software for a business isn’t the most sophisticated one with all the additional features. There are times when the only thing a business needs is an automated payroll.

When compared to Quickbooks, Reckon offers a much more cost-efficient approach especially when handling a large number of employees.

Although there’s an option to add accounting to the payroll, businesses that only need payroll can enjoy sending payments automatically with an unlimited amount of employees at a very affordable fee.

Pros
  • Good for expense tracking
  • Can help with tax management
  • Very straightforward to use
Cons
  • No calculator
  • Few integrations

2. Quickbooks: Best for Tax Calculations

KeyPay Payroll

Why we like it:

  • Great for tax recording
  • Easy to access
  • Affordable
  • Includes inventory management

What consumers say:

“Everything is organized in its place the way it should be. I appreciate how it tracks clients/customers, tracks payments, keeps running calculations of what is due and when.” – Rebecca T

For businesses that are looking for software that can do payroll and is compliant with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) requirements, Quickbooks can help make the job a lot easier. Sold as an all-in-one, the software can do payrolls and tax management together.

While most businesses have to do taxes separately, Quickbooks empowers Australian businesses by helping them make automated payments, payrolls, and computations all while complying with ATO requirements. Although more popularly known as an accounting solution, the software also helps handle payroll work through automation.

The good thing about using Quickbooks for both accounting and payroll is that it also helps business owners avoid the troubles of using multiple software to get things done. With an all-in-one software, everything is also easier to track not just for the accounting department but also for the owner themselves.

Since the app is ATO approved, when making payrolls, users can choose an Advanced payroll option to help kill two birds with one stone, automation and compliance. The software isn’t just one-sided, it also allows employees to file for leaves, request payslips, or review documents all in one interface.

Quickbooks also offers a projected wage costs feature which helps the financial department compute for upcoming expenditures. The software goes both ways, helping businesses automate the tax computations and payroll process while helping employees stay in the loop by making requests easier to file.

Unlike KeyPay or other providers, Quickbooks is also designed to go a step further with accounting solutions included. Instead of getting a payroll-only service, businesses will be able to do their accounting on the all-in-one platform.

For businesses that worry that automation could come in between tax compliance, this software does both of them even better than anywhere else.

Pros
  • Flexible with third-party apps
  • Good accounting reports
  • Easy to make corrections
  • Accessible on multiple devices
Cons
  • Lack of industry-specific features
  • Lack of support

3. MYOB Payroll: Best Budget Choice

KeyPay Payroll

Why we like it:

  • Good for beginners
  • Very accessible
  • Features are not confusing
  • Good software for starters

What consumers say:

“MYOB controls all of the costs and accounts in my business and I’m able to get a snapshot of how we are doing at any time.” – Simon Bowen

If simplification was the name of the game, MYOB would most likely take the cake. The software is easy to use, especially for businesses that are still adjusting to digitalization or are looking for ways to streamline the accounting to the payroll process.

The software starts at a modest price point and provides access to multiple features including Single Touch Payrolls (STP), tax calculations, and timesheet trackers. While it does pack a punch and offers an array of features, it’s managed to do so in an extremely user-friendly setting.

MYOB is also compatible with any device which means come payroll time, business owners can simply monitor payments on the go through their phone. Of course, for bosses that don’t want to always have to monitor every little transaction made, the software offers automated systems that can send payments directly to employees at a scheduled date.

The accessibility of MYOB is what really takes the cake and makes it feel not like just a boring accounting app, but rather a fun and convenient tool to use for the whole team. The software is also good for monitoring employees through its timesheet trackers which can help businesses spend less time having to check on the team one by one.

Being able to access everything conveniently can be an extremely good feature, especially for employers that are always on the run. For businesses wherein employers have no time to sit around and look at the screen, MYOB provides a very convenient way for them to look at the books and payroll through their phone, tablet, or any other compatible device.

MYOB closely competes to Reckon in terms of price but its advantage is in how user-friendly it is for beginners. For those businesses working on a budget that don’t want complicated payroll software, MYOB allows them to do automatic payroll without the need for technical expertise.

If being the most user-friendly payroll software is the name of the game, MYOB is most definitely the winner.

Pros
  • Recommended by some accountants
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Cost-efficient
  • Keeps functionality consistent
Cons
  • Errors can be hard to correct
  • The interface can be slow at times

4. Xero: Best for Automation

Xero

Why we like it:

  • 24/7 online support
  • Email payslips
  • Flexible pay calendars
  • Employee self-service

What consumers say:

“Easy to use. Access from anywhere, good uptime levels. Integrates well with GoCardless” – Garreth N C

Xero charges a premium starting price and there’s a good reason why they are doing so. The software includes an all-in-one accounting system on top of its payroll management offerings and is designed for companies that want full or semi-full automation.

The software works both ways, for businesses and the self-employed. Aside from allowing clients to pay their staff, its accounting platform also helps users monitor inflow and outflow which can also be very beneficial for freelancers.

Xero is easy to integrate with multiple payment methods like your personal or company bank account or PayPal. The software is also designed to make everything seamlessly traceable while allowing users to add each item to a different category just in case the business is more complicated than a simple one-account balance sheet.

A feature called Document Storage can also be used to keep track of important files pertaining to tax, clients, employees, or other sectors of the business. If the business is using different software for other functions, Xero also allows third-party integration to help avoid manually having to input information into the software.

With easy document access and automated payroll, businesses can use the software not only as a way to minimize the need for manual payments but also as a way to store backups of important company files.

Although Xero goes hand-in-hand with Quickbooks in terms of offering both accounting and automatic payroll, some users report that Xero has better customer service and is much easier to use for businesses.

If you’re looking for overall accounting software that handles your payroll and more, this software offers you an undeniable advantage.

Pros
  • Good reporting and invoice tracking
  • Easy categorization
  • Very user friendly
  • Easy to link with banks or PayPal
Cons
  • Additional fees for additional features
  • Removing or deleting transactions can be difficult

5. KeyPay: Best for Employee Self-Service

KeyPay Payroll

Why we like it:

  • Works both ways (employers and employees)
  • Easy to use interface
  • Better employee interaction

What consumers say:

“Ease of STP set up and lodgement. Payment of super is also very easy.” – Fiona B.

One of the best ways to get the business going forward is to make sure the employees are happy with the changes. KeyPay keeps employees in the loop with an app specifically for them providing updates on payments made, salary expectations, and more.

KeyPay is an extremely easy-to-use software that goes really well with any other accounting platform the business might be using. The online automated payment system makes sure employees do not just get their payments on time, but are also in the loop and updated whenever payments are made or changes occur.

The software also doubles as a timesheet app which can be used to track when employees sign in and sign out of ships. It also includes an easy way for employees to view their pay slips without having to file a formal request to the accounting or HR department.

Due to this additional feature, businesses won’t have to use another app specifically for employees to have access to their payslips or other files. Since everything is done automatically, the admins also won’t have to worry about inputting data every time there is an update or payment sent.

The platform is also very customizable and can use certain conditions to make adjustments to automated payments. Instead of manually having to change the payments should something occur, the app takes care of this for the business as it tailors changes to happen within certain parameters.

While Reckon might help businesses pay an unlimited number of staff automatically, KeyPay makes sure that employees are given better features to properly communicate with their employer, view the payments, and make requests.

For businesses that want the best not just for themselves, but also for employees, this software will help please both parties to help foster progress.

Pros
  • Very useful for employees
  • Gives good reports
  • Can be integrated with other accounting apps
  • Gives updates on legislation changes
Cons
  • Makes printing harder
  • Can be hard to adjust to

6. MicrOpay: Best for Multiple Businesses

Micr0Pay

Why we like it:

  • Multi-business management system
  • 35 years of experience in the Australian market
  • System is self-explanatory

What consumers say:

“Been using MicrOpay for the past 4 years & find it very easy to use, great asset that has helped with time management & keeping track of all the business employees in one place” – Katrina

For employers handling more than one business, it’s easy to mix the cards up every once in a while resulting in errors and missed payments. MicrOpay makes sure these mistakes will never happen again as it allows users to manage multiple companies, databases, and pay frequencies all in one simple interface.

One common problem that some multi-business owners have is needing to create separate accounts for each one of them. This can be quite confusing at times and even if they get used to it over time, mistakes or delays could still happen. With MicrOpay, these mistakes can be eliminated since everything can be managed in one simple software.

MicrOpay is the perfect solution for businesses that want to cut down time spent by HR to get payments right every payday. The software is also a useful alternative compared to hiring staff for the sole purpose of inputting data.

Once payments for each business are set, they will automatically be carried out under their setup conditions (date and amount) but can also be modified for special cases (leaves, vacations, pay cuts). With over 35 years of experience in the Australian market, the app is also very flexible to regulatory changes.

Instead of having to update parameters whenever regulations are modified, the app will give a notification and assist the business owner when changing the payroll system. The good thing is the system itself is very self-explanatory and can easily be understood due to its simple interface and no-nonsense approach.

When comparing MicrOpay to Reckon, the latter allows users to pay unlimited employees but doesn’t have the option to handle multiple businesses. MicrOpay, on the other hand, lets users pay employees in different departments, companies, or under different datasets with ease.

Instead of creating a whole department to handle payrolls over multiple companies or databases, look no further and enjoy automation with ease.

Pros
  • Easy access to multiple reports
  • Capable of complex tasks
  • Efficient system
  • Good customer service
Cons
  • No employee history provisions stored
  • Hard to lower database costs

Payroll Software: Buying Guide

The goal of this section is to make sure you make well-informed decisions when choosing your payroll management software. There are a few keys you can follow to guide your decision towards choosing the best payroll software for your business.

What to Look for When Choosing a Payroll Software

Let’s examine the most critical fields when it comes to choosing the right payroll management software:

Number of employees

For businesses that do not have a lot of employees, using more budget-friendly payroll software is recommended. Certain software is designed for larger-scale companies and can charge a more hefty price.

Before committing to a software subscription, it is important to do research or contact the provider directly as to whether or not the business is designed to handle multiple employees and can the price be modified for fewer employees. Usually, there are price ranges for different amounts of employees.

Say you only need the payroll software for less than 10 employees, it would be a waste to subscribe to payroll software that is designed to cover over 100 employees. Instead, opt for a more basic plan that still includes the features needed.

Simplicity

Although payroll software is supposed to simplify the payment process, depending on the software, it could be a bit difficult for some to use. When dealing with a team that is not as tech-savvy as other people, choosing a simple software that can be easily used by everyone is a good way to make sure the software is well used and can function the way it was designed.

For payroll software that requires a little more adjustment, helping employees or asking the service to guide employees is a good way to make sure money spent is not wasted. The worst thing that could happen is due to the complexity of the software, it will not be used by employees which could result in a wasted subscription.

The more simple a software is, the easier it will be for the team to adapt. There might be instances wherein businesses require more than just easy software (especially if they are also migrating their accounting data) and in this instance, finding software with good migration is advised.

Customer support

Being able to contact the payroll software directly is also a very important feature. While some companies might have a technical team on board, on certain occasions, even the technical team has to contact the software provider themselves.

Before subscribing, it is important to test out the responsiveness of the software’s customer service just to make sure that in an event of a required troubleshoot, the provider will be able to assist you through the process.

The worst-case scenario for a business is if the system is down or there are problems in the software that result in delays, cancellations, or even missent payments. To avoid these problems, make sure the technical support is available during important business hours.

Compatibility

One big roadblock some companies have in adding payroll software to their roster is its lack of integration with existing software or hardware. For companies that are already using software for their accounting, finding payroll software that is compatible with the accounting software is important.

Another important thing to take into account is the hardware used to access the software. Businesses that are running on older laptops or using older phones might run into problems since some of the payroll software requires users to download an app.

Not all software is compatible with each other. For businesses that plan to either migrate or merge software together, it is important to contact the provider themselves to ask if this is possible and how this can be done.

Price

Looking for payroll management software that fits within the budget is very important. Businesses working on a modest budget can look for software that specializes specifically in payroll management in order to save money.

Another thing that should be taken into account when subscribing to payroll software is the type of plan needed. Each plan might come with its own limitations in terms of features, the number of employees on the payroll, or integration and compatibility with existing software.

One technique is to put the different options side by side, select the ones that offer the features the business needs, and from there, choose the one that fits the budget. Another option is to look for software that provides all-in-one features including accounting which could help you cut costs if you choose to merge accounting with payroll.

Migration

Some businesses might already have accounting software and want to upgrade to a service that provides both. Before doing this, it is important to research whether the migration process is easy and smooth, or if it requires a lot of manual input.

Depending on the size of the business, migration could be a huge problem. Businesses that are relatively large in size and have a whole lot of data that needs to be inputted could run into problems when choosing software that does not support easy migration.

The problem with a long migration time is that it takes a chunk away from the business’s activities. This can result in downtime for the business wherein it can not release or receive payments during the migration period due to how it will complicate the process.

How will it integrate into the current system?

If there is an existing payroll system in place, it is important to contact support or look for provider material regarding how the software can integrate with current systems. For companies that do everything on paper, this can be very hard to input.

Companies that have their data in excel, however, might have a shot since there is certain software that allows data input directly from existing files. Before choosing a software, make sure to research beforehand regarding how it can be integrated with existing software, files, or databases.

How long will adaption take?

It is important to analyze the complexity and number of steps needed for everyone in the team to adapt to the new system. If upon research the team will find it hard to adapt to the new system, you can either ask for support on how they can adapt faster or choose another service provider with a system that is easier to adapt with.

The faster the adaption period, the more useful the software will be for the team. This does not include just integration, but also the training needed for staff to use the software efficiently.

Benefits of Using Payroll Software

Businesses that choose to use automated software, especially when handling payroll, can enjoy a wide range of benefits. Here’s how payroll software can transform your business:

Avoid Mistakes

Automation generally helps businesses avoid mistakes. Manually inputting data repetitively can result in errors along the way, especially when done within a short time limit. Automated payroll software makes sure that you’ll only need to get the data right once and takes care of the repeated payments once it is set.

Time-Saving

Some companies use payroll software as a substitute for having to hire staff for the sole purpose of paying employees. Since there is no more need for manual inputs repetitively, either the accounting or HR can be in charge of handling the payments, disputes, or requests.

Data Security

The good thing about the software is that it can store sensitive employee information in a highly secured database. The files can also double as storage that can only be viewed by individuals with access to the software.

Cost-Effective

Since some of these payment management providers offer an option for an unlimited number of employees, making payments becomes more cost-effective due to how it can help save time and avoid messy mispayments, delays, or lack of payments in general.

Accurate Calculations

Payroll software based in Australia usually provides tax calculations in cooperation with AOT regulations. This helps companies not have to make tax computations for each employee on their payroll. Since everything is automated, this also helps reduce the potential for errors which can cause serious accounting problems later on.

Speed

Most software for payroll requires payments to be set up just once and after that, payments will be sent to employees at set times instantly and without delays. Some software also includes options for sending automatic invoices to clients or payments to other accounts as well.

Productivity

The less time spent on payroll, the more productive a company can because. For companies that pay their staff either weekly or bi-weekly, having an automated service that sends payments for them can free up a huge chunk of their schedule.

Customer Support

If problems occur along the way, businesses will have customer support to run to whether it be with problems regarding the software or asking for resources to explain new tax regulations. Instead of having a technical staff on board to deal with every small technical problem, the customer service of the payroll software can either provide guides or walk you through the error step by step towards a solution.


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