Desktop-Based or Cloud-Based Payroll Software?

Enrique Estagle

26 September 2017    |   

In today’s rapidly-changing business world, the question is not whether or not you should get a payroll software solution for your business. Rather, it’s what type you should get. Before getting into too much detail, the first question you should ask is whether you should get a desktop-based or a cloud-based payroll software. And understanding their differences can help you zero in on the software you will purchase. Desktop-Based and Cloud-Based Payroll Software Desktop-based payroll software installs itself on your computer. Usually, you purchase it as a disk or a digital download from the manufacturer’s website. The software and your payroll data are stored locally on that computer. On the other hand, cloud-based payroll software isn’t installed on your computer. All you need to do login to the site with a web browser, and then you start using it. The software and your data are stored remotely in a secure data centre. Internet Connectivity Desktop-based payroll software doesn’t necessarily need constant internet access, except when sending data to organizations such as banks and tax institutions. You’ll also need to have internet access whenever the software has an update. On the flipside, cloud-based payroll software needs to have constant internet access to work. This is because all the data and calculations needed to process payroll is located on the remote data server. Access By definition, desktop-based payroll software is only located on the computer where it is installed. This means that once you’re off-site, you won’t be able to access your payroll information. Another caveat is that it’s only compatible with the operating system it was built upon. So if your business solely uses macOS or ChromeOS and the software you’re planning to purchase works only on Windows, you might have to get a Windows PC. Cloud-based payroll software only needs a web browser to work. This means that you can use it on any type of computer (or even a tablet) anytime, wherever you may be as long as you have an internet connection. And some of these solutions also offer an employee portal that allows your staff to look at their own payroll information. Security Most desktop-based payroll software encrypts the data it processes on the computer. Some can only allow you to use the software once you’ve entered a password. On top of that, it’s up to you to secure the computer itself by purchasing antivirus and other cybersecurity software. Cloud-based payroll software hosts all your information on a data centre that has multiple layers of security. And whenever you’re accessing the software via the internet, the connection is encrypted using SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates. Updates More often than not, desktop-based payroll software receives its updates via the internet. It either gets updated automatically or will require you to manually check whenever an update is available. That means that you may have to wait a while for bug fixes or feature updates. Meanwhile, cloud-based payroll software automatically updates without you even knowing it’s happening. That means that updates can happen at any time. Whenever a bug is discovered, it is fixed immediately. If there are a lot of customers asking for a certain feature, developers can make them and have it up in no time. Your user experience can get better every time you use the software. Cost As with other traditional software, you have to pay a huge one-time fee to purchase desktop-based payroll software. Regardless if your business has five or fifty employees, the cost remains the same. And if the company releases a brand new version of that software, you may have to buy it upfront once again. Most cloud-based payroll software has a more cost-efficient payment scheme. Instead of you paying for the entire software upfront, they only charge you a monthly fee based on the number of employees you have at that time. Which should you choose? In today’s business landscape, cloud-based payroll software is clearly the better choice. Internet connectivity so ubiquitous, giving business owners and managers the ability to work anywhere. It’s more cost-efficient as you only pay based on the current number of employees you have. And it has better integration with other business software. Payroll Integration with Tanda Tanda’s payroll integration feature allows it to seamlessly work with the world’s leading desktop-based and cloud-based payroll software. This cuts down your processing time from hours to minutes. Tanda works with desktop-based payroll software by exporting approved timesheets with gross wage calculation as a file, which is then imported into the software for processing. Cloud-based payroll software doesn’t need this step. Once integrated, Tanda and your cloud-based payroll software of choice sync data between each other. It gives you more time to focus on your business. Click here to find out which payroll software works with Tanda.

In today’s rapidly-changing business world, the question is not whether or not you should get a payroll software solution for your business. Rather, it’s what type you should get.

Before getting into too much detail, the first question you should ask is whether you should get a desktop-based or a cloud-based payroll software. And understanding their differences can help you zero in on the software you will purchase.

Desktop-Based and Cloud-Based Payroll Software

Desktop-based payroll software installs itself on your computer. Usually, you purchase it as a disk or a digital download from the manufacturer’s website. The software and your payroll data are stored locally on that computer.

On the other hand, cloud-based payroll software isn’t installed on your computer. All you need to do login to the site with a web browser, and then you start using it. The software and your data are stored remotely in a secure data centre.

Internet Connectivity

Desktop-based payroll software doesn’t necessarily need constant internet access, except when sending data to organizations such as banks and tax institutions. You’ll also need to have internet access whenever the software has an update.

On the flipside, cloud-based payroll software needs to have constant internet access to work. This is because all the data and calculations needed to process payroll is located on the remote data server.

Access

By definition, desktop-based payroll software is only located on the computer where it is installed. This means that once you’re off-site, you won’t be able to access your payroll information. Another caveat is that it’s only compatible with the operating system it was built upon. So if your business solely uses macOS or ChromeOS and the software you’re planning to purchase works only on Windows, you might have to get a Windows PC.

Cloud-based payroll software only needs a web browser to work. This means that you can use it on any type of computer (or even a tablet) anytime, wherever you may be as long as you have an internet connection. And some of these solutions also offer an employee portal that allows your staff to look at their own payroll information.

Security

Most desktop-based payroll software encrypts the data it processes on the computer. Some can only allow you to use the software once you’ve entered a password. On top of that, it’s up to you to secure the computer itself by purchasing antivirus and other cybersecurity software.

Cloud-based payroll software hosts all your information on a data centre that has multiple layers of security. And whenever you’re accessing the software via the internet, the connection is encrypted using SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates.

Updates

More often than not, desktop-based payroll software receives its updates via the internet. It either gets updated automatically or will require you to manually check whenever an update is available. That means that you may have to wait a while for bug fixes or feature updates.

Meanwhile, cloud-based payroll software automatically updates without you even knowing it’s happening. That means that updates can happen at any time. Whenever a bug is discovered, it is fixed immediately. If there are a lot of customers asking for a certain feature, developers can make them and have it up in no time. Your user experience can get better every time you use the software.

Cost

As with other traditional software, you have to pay a huge one-time fee to purchase desktop-based payroll software. Regardless if your business has five or fifty employees, the cost remains the same. And if the company releases a brand new version of that software, you may have to buy it upfront once again.

Most cloud-based payroll software has a more cost-efficient payment scheme. Instead of you paying for the entire software upfront, they only charge you a monthly fee based on the number of employees you have at that time.

Which should you choose?

In today’s business landscape, cloud-based payroll software is clearly the better choice. Internet connectivity so ubiquitous, giving business owners and managers the ability to work anywhere. It’s more cost-efficient as you only pay based on the current number of employees you have. And it has better integration with other business software.

Payroll Integration with Tanda

Tanda’s payroll integration feature allows it to seamlessly work with the world’s leading desktop-based and cloud-based payroll software. This cuts down your processing time from hours to minutes.

Tanda works with desktop-based payroll software by exporting approved timesheets with gross wage calculation as a file, which is then imported into the software for processing. Cloud-based payroll software doesn’t need this step. Once integrated, Tanda and your cloud-based payroll software of choice sync data between each other. It gives you more time to focus on your business.

Click here to find out which payroll software works with Tanda.

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Why Pharmacies Love Tanda

Tanda spoke to Jarred, Co-Owner of Marraboor Pharmacy about his experience using Tanda. Marraboor Pharmacy is a locally owned and operated pharmacy located in Swan Hill. They have been providing great quality service and health advice to the community for over 50 years. Known for their friendly and knowledgeable staff, Marraboor Pharmacy provides a range of health services. Immunisations and blood pressure recordings as well as a number of over the counter and prescription medications are available. “As a business owner and pharmacist, being part of the local community is really important. What I love about my job is being able to help people through the service we provide.” Jarred discovered Tanda when he went searching for better solution to manage and roster his staff across his busy store. Having previously used online systems and spreadsheets to roster, and paper time sheets to record staff attendance, Jarred was looking for a solution that could solve his rostering issues and make payroll processing easier. “Running a pharmacy, means that labour is my second biggest expense after stock. I therefore needed a simple and fast way to create rosters for my team, and forecast my labour costs. It needed to be easily visible, and able to connect to my Xero account so my wife could do payroll. “Tanda’s made a huge difference in how I roster. It was so easy to use with the drag and drop feature, and I could quickly see that I had my whole team covered with the colour-coded roster. “The integration has been so easy with Xero, and has made a real difference for my wife. She used to come in on a Monday to do payroll, and would spend hours chasing up staff who’d forgotten to fill in time sheets. Now she can come in, check the time clock selfies and time sheets, and do payroll in no time.” In addition to faster rostering, Jarred is also enjoying the Award interpretation and leave management features built into Tanda. “Being able to forecast my labour costs, plan my time and workforce through Tanda has really made a difference. I can see all my labour costs easily in Tanda, so I now know when someone is going into overtime on a Saturday, and how much that will cost me. “There’s already plenty of paperwork involved in running a pharmacy, so I’m a big advocate of paperless systems. Being able to track and approve staff leave requests electronically through Tanda, has made it much easier not only for rostering and payroll, but for tracking our leave accruals and leave costs in general.” Tanda is giving Jarred more time to spend focusing on his business and his patients. “As a Pharmacist, health professional and business owner, the less time I spent on admin, and more time spent focusing on running the business and providing excellent customer service to my customers, the better. Tanda is helping me to get out of the back office and away from the paperwork, to spend more of my time on pharmacist related work, which is what’s important. “Any pharmacists or business owner for that matter, should be using a cloud-based system like Tanda. It’s a great product and the customer service is excellent. I’d highly recommend giving it a go.”   Marraboor Pharmacy is a locally owned pharmacy in Swan Hill, that has been providing exception customer service and health advice to the Swan Hill community for more than 50 years.

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About the author

Enrique Estagle

Enrique was the former editor-in-chief of Tanda's Blog.

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Tanda spoke to Jarred, Co-Owner of Marraboor Pharmacy about his experience using Tanda. Marraboor Pharmacy is a locally owned and operated pharmacy located in Swan Hill. They have been providing great quality service and health advice to the community for over 50 years. Known for their friendly and knowledgeable staff, Marraboor Pharmacy provides a range […]

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