Questions to ask when choosing a payroll solution

01 Mar 2024


Payroll can be the largest expense item on your profit and loss statement and mistakes could potentially cost you considerable sums of money. It is therefore extremely important you are equipped with the payroll service best suited to your needs and an online cloud-based payroll could be hugely beneficial to you. Below are some helpful questions to assist when evaluating a cloud-based payroll provider and determine the best fit for your business needs.

1. What payroll services do they provide?

A list of requirements could include:

  • Employee portal/self-service: can employees access their payslips, income statements, apply for leave, update personal details etc? Is there a mobile app? Is it easy to use?
  • Leave management: can employees apply for leave online and easily calculate their leave balances for a future date?
  • Leave approvers: is their access to all information needed to make an informed decision when approving leave i.e. leave calendar, total leave balances, employee projected leave balances for future dates ensuring enough leave to cover the request.
  • Top-up Tool: to ensure employer obligations under the minimum wage requirements are met, especially relevant for the rural sector.
  • HR document control: is there an ability to upload and securely store employee documents?
  • Reports: can you view reports online, export them to excel, PDF and print? At a minimum, reports available should include statutory information e.g. payroll variation to compare last pay run with the current, leave liability to include total value of outstanding leave balances.
  • Superannuation management: ability to pay superannuation to employee KiwiSaver.
  • Are they a PAYE Intermediary and pay the PAYE directly to IRD?

2. Do they offer a demonstration or trial of their services?

Is there a free trial and/or personalised demonstration of the services offered to assist in evaluating the fit with your business?

3. What is the pricing structure?

Most cloud based online payroll providers charge fees based on the number of employees. Check the fees and charges to ensure there are no hidden costs not disclosed during preliminarily trials or demonstrations. Will you be charged for all active employees in the payroll system or only those that are being paid in the current pay run?

4. How does onboarding work and how easy is it to migrate from your existing payroll system?

The correct set up of your payroll is paramount. Some payroll providers set up everything for you to ensure payroll is set up correctly and in accordance with legislation as well as offer personal training and ongoing support. Others provide access and leave set up to you with options to review online resources if you need help. When migrating from an existing system look for a vendor that provides full setup and implementation. This may include a parallel pay run rather than work this out yourself.

5. How secure is their service and where are the data centres based?

Review the security and privacy policy of the provider, check if they offer two factor authentication (2FA) and where the data is being held, onshore or offshore? Do they hold any information security certificates?

6. What ongoing helpdesk support is offered and what is the cost?

Enquire about what ongoing support will be available. Is the support free and offered by phone or email or both and what happens outside of business hours should you need help?

7. How long has the payroll provider been in the market?

How long has the payroll service been operating, was it previously known by a different name, and did it start as a desktop product, or has it always been cloud based? Read client testimonials.

8. Can different access rights be granted for those involved in running the payroll?

Payroll handles some of the most sensitive and confidential business information. This can range from personal details and remuneration packages to deductions being made from an employee’s pay by government departments and agencies. Can those involved in the payroll process including leave approvers be given different access rights?

9. How does the service integrate with other software?

Does the payroll system seamlessly integrate with other software so you can build your eco-system? How long has the integration been in place?

10. Can the service scale up to meet growing business needs?

Payroll software needs to adapt to your organisation changes. Is it easily adaptable to allow for growth or reduction in employee numbers over a period of time? Evaluate how this is treated, if employees can still access their portal/self-service, are there charges for this, how many employees can you have active in the payroll?

Interested to know more? Email our Sales Team on or phone us on to organise a free demo 04 472 2997.




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