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 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 center. 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 center 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 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 center.

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 center 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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The next stage in retail evolution?

The advances in credit card technology and the creation of the of the electronic payment terminal in 1982 revolutionized payment processing for businesses around the world. It leads to better cash flow management, and an increase in sales processing efficiencies, ultimately influencing customer spending behavior. Over the years the technology has developed, and advancements like contact-less payments, NFC, and card-free payments have emerged. However the next technological wave of retail evolution is upon us, and it’s time for businesses to dive in head first. Cloud software has been the latest revelation in technical advancements. POS, Payroll and Workforce Management, the list could go on. While each of these individually represents a leap in innovation in their own right, the true value lies in their interconnectedness. On one level integrating Workforce Management software and Payroll software makes sense. It’s practical, efficient and creates order in what can potentially be a frustrating and time-consuming process. However, integrating POS and Workforce Management software goes further as it enables the user with the ability to make smarter decisions, such as: 1. Create schedules with the right amount of staff every time Ever look at the store to see staff twiddling their thumbs or a huge line at the checkout? Welcome to the complex world of accurate shift management, where you’re either increasing your staffing expenses or losing potential revenue. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. By integrating your scheduling system and sales data, you can make smart decisions to have the right amount of staff every time. 2. Make decisions in real time Thought you were going to be run off your feet this week, only to find that sales are slowing and business is quieter than expected? Once you’ve integrated your sales data into your scheduling system, you can make real time decisions on staffing levels, rather than reviewing at the end of each month. Track your revenue and wage percentage costs in real time, so you can alter and adjust the roster as the day or week changes. Of course, all your staff is immediately notified of changes, so everyone’s kept in the loop. 3. Be future oriented, move your business forward Stop looking backwards at last week’s schedules, timesheets and payslips to make next week’s decisions. Workforce Management software has come along way from the paper schedules and timesheets. It’s now possible to not only forecast future costs, schedules and staff requirements but also automate the entire scheduling process with cognitive scheduling software. The rise of internet shopping and retail giants like H&M and Zara means that traditional ‘brick and mortar retailers’ need to be using every edge possible to stay competitive, relevant and front of mind for customers. Businesses that fail to embrace technology as a tool for success, are likely to struggle under the weight of the world that is rapidly embracing a more digital and connected world. How many times have you walked into a store, only to find that you can’t be served because the company is understaffed? While the economic benefits that come from an optimized roster are apparent, the value that comes from roster optimization is expressed tangibly on a daily basis through customer service and customer retention. According to customer experience research conducted by thinkJar’s Esteban Kolsky, 66% of consumers who switch brands do so because of poor customer service and 85% of this customer churn could be prevented. Kolsky also notes that attracting customers is an expensive exercise costing businesses approximately six to seven times more to attract new customers, rather than retain existing customers. Building on this, further research shows that you’re 14 times more likely to sell to an existing happy customer than a new customer. It is therefore essential that retailers are providing the best customer service experience, to ensure customer retention. Businesses that optimize staffing rates for peak sales periods, will have the correct staff to customer ratios, creating efficient and favorable customer service experiences, resulting in higher customer retention rates. For traditional retailers, customer retention is paramount, as it not only ensures business continuity but also becomes a significant channel for acquiring future customers. Differentiating your business through excellent customer service and optimized staff efficiency, not only provides the competitive edge but also allows for financial stability and security as you can confidently make future oriented decisions to grow your business both financially and professionally. POS software integration is the next step in retail evolution. Like the payment terminal revelation before it, POS data integration will change the way businesses operate and what it means to be a traditional business in a digital world.

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About the author

Enrique Estagle

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

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The advances in credit card technology and the creation of the of the electronic payment terminal in 1982 revolutionized payment processing for businesses around the world. It leads to better cash flow management, and an increase in sales processing efficiencies, ultimately influencing customer spending behavior. Over the years the technology has developed, and advancements like contact-less […]

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