Managing payroll is a tricky part of any business, but choosing the right accounting software can make it so much easier. Selecting the right payroll software for your business can deliver significant savings of both time and money.  If you are switching from a manual payroll system to software, the improvement will be dramatic. Even switching from your current software to one that is a better fit can make a significant difference. Good payroll software eliminates repetitive tasks like data entry in a way that reduces the chance of mistakes or inaccuracies.

Payroll is a vital part of any business and it is crucial that it’s performed efficiently and accurately. This makes choosing the right software for your business incredibly important. You can’t afford to make mistakes when paying staff, tracking hours, ensuring government and regulatory compliance, or any of the other elements of payroll that are key to running a business. With all that pressure on picking the right software, it can seem easier to outsource it to a third party. If you do choose to handle payroll yourself, we cannot overstate how much simpler it will be with the help of accounting software.

Payroll Software

All payroll software automates much of the process and allows for more transparent data analysis. However, you should research different systems to discover which is the best fit for your business. Before you start looking, it can be helpful to create a list of must-have capabilities as well as any features you would like to have. Some things to consider include:

  • Automatic tax calculations
  • Single Touch Payroll (comes into effect July 1st so make sure you are compliant)
  • Customisability
  • Number of users
  • Number of employees
  • Payroll frequencies and types
  • Direct deposit
  • Leave tracking
  • Superannuation
  • Reliable data security
  • Systems compatibility
  • Ease of use
  • Data tracking/reports (what level of analysis do you require?)

Comparing new payroll software to your existing software or process can also be a helpful way to decide on new software. Determine the shortfalls in your current system and try to find accounting software that covers them.

When deciding on which software to go with, it is essential to get input from the people who will use the software. Managers, HR and IT will all have valuable insights into what capabilities are relevant to their area of business. If you have existing software for other parts of the business, it can also be beneficial to consider how the payroll software will integrate with your current systems. Many payroll solutions also allow workers to interface with the software to update their details, so it could be beneficial to consult with members of your team as well.

If it’s all still a bit overwhelming, let us recommend our three favourite accounting software to help you manage your payroll. All three options are Single Touch Payroll compliant, so you don’t have to worry come July 1st!


Xero is Australia’s leading online payroll provider, with over 150,000 small businesses using their payroll software. Their software streamlines the payroll process including superannuation, flexible pay calendars and rates, built-in timesheets and the reimbursement of expenses. Xero provides detailed payroll reports and connects to other business apps. Their app (iOS | Android) allows employees to easily view their payslips, submit their timesheets and apply for leave.


QuickBooks lives up to its name and allows you to run your payroll in minutes. Their software handles all calculations and stays on top of ATO and SuperStream requirements. QuickBooks Online payroll is powered by KeyPay and is free for up to 10 employees paid per month. As your business grows, you can upgrade to Advanced to keep up with your payroll demands. If you are already using QuickBooks accounting software, you can easily add payroll capabilities to your existing account. The app (iOS | Android) provides on-the-go access and allows employees to update their details, submit leave, timesheets and expenses.


MYOB has great payroll options for small businesses with simple software available from $10 a month. It has one-click compliance which allows you to meet your obligations with the ATO quickly and easily. Their reporting software takes care of payment summaries and group certificates and will enable you to generate detailed reports on year-to-date activity, manage PAYE and calculate leave. Single Touch Payroll, tax obligations and super payments are incorporated and automated with every pay run.

For further options, take a look at the ATO’s list of low cost payroll software providers for single touch payroll.

It is worth mentioning there is an extended market of payroll add-ons which have advanced features such as award interpretation, rostering, tasking, time clock attendance, etc. Some examples include: Deputy, Tanda and Employment Hero.

Payroll is a central part of running a successful business and in this day and age, accounting software plays a significant role. All of these software options have limited free trials or money back guarantees, so make sure to try out any that you are interested in to make sure they are the perfect fit before you buy. Consulting with your accountant to ensure that your payroll software is compatible with their systems is vital. If you need help figuring out your financial needs, then chat with one of our experienced accountants about the best options for you. Call us today on 1300 ARABON or visit our website for more information.