What is payroll software?

Payroll software is a tool that automates and manages the payroll process. Using software makes it easy for you to pay your staff, manage payroll taxes, and have control over employees’ holidays and expenses.  

There are many different payroll software to choose from that suit Irish businesses and comply with Irish Revenue. Most offer free trials so you can try them before you decide to purchase. In this guide, we’ve compared some of the most popular payroll software for small businesses in Ireland to help you decide which one is best for you.  

If you’d prefer to outsource your payroll obligations, we can help. Our IPASS-qualified Payroll Team can look after the entire payroll process for you, so talk to us today about your needs. 

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Advantages of payroll software

  • Compliance with Revenue

    As an employer, you are obligated to deduct certain employee taxes and pay them to Revenue. By using payroll software, these deductions are made automatically, and you can rest assured that your business is compliant with Revenue requirements.

  • Save admin time

    Payroll software can save you hours of admin time a month. It helps you to calculate payroll taxes, manage employee requests like holidays and expenses, and makes sure that there are clear reports on Revenue payments, so you have a clear breakdown of tax payments due.

  • Pay your employees automatically

    Paying your employees on time every month is vital to making sure your business runs smoothly. Using payroll software helps you to pay your employees and provide them with payslips automatically.

  • Keep data secure and backed up

    Most payroll software is backed up to the cloud and encrypted so you don’t have to worry about sensitive data being lost or stolen. Look for software that has cloud storage, so you can use it from anywhere.

  • Access to better reporting

    Most software allows you to create reports to track different factors such as your total outgoings from payroll. This is useful for making strategic decisions and forecasting.

  • Increase business insights

    If you currently use bookkeeping software like Xero, you can integrate your payroll software and increase your cash flow visibility.

How to choose the best payroll software?

Before you choose payroll software for your business, here are a few things to consider:

  • Price

    Decide which package gives you the best value for money, based on your needs. Consider whether you’ll be billed monthly or annually and what suits your business best.

  • Storage and backup

    Consider whether the software runs on a desktop or on the cloud. Is data backed up automatically to make sure you don’t lose anything important?

  • Integration

    Consider whether the software integrates with other software and third-party apps, for example, integrating your payroll software to your accounting software helps you to have more control over your finances.

  • Employee benefits

    Does the software offer an employee portal so employees can book annual leave or claim expenses easily and quickly?

  • Reporting

    Does the software allow you to create reports to track different factors such as your total outgoings from payroll?

  • Support

    What support is available if you have problems using the software? Is there a dedicated support team to help you?

Best payroll software for small businesses in Ireland

To help you narrow the search for the best payroll software for your business, here is a list of the top providers in Ireland so you can make an informed decision on what’s right for you. 

  1. BrightPay Connect 
  2. SimplePay 
  3. Sage 
  4. Parolla 
  5. Thesaurus Connect 

1. BrightPay / BrightPay Connect

BrightPay is the No.1 payroll software provider in Ireland and has won Payroll & HR Software of the Year 2021, 2019, and 2018. It has a 99% Customer Satisfaction and 5 Star Rating on TrustPilot. 

To get the most out of this software, we recommend that you opt for the Connect add-on that introduces automated cloud backup, online employer dashboards, annual leave management, client payroll entry and approval, and an employee self-service portal. 

Access to Brightpay Connect payroll software

Outsource your payroll to Accountant Online to avail of free access to BrightPay Connect software, making it easy for you to manage all of your payroll administration. We take care of paying your staff and sending payslips, while you can focus on the operations like managing employee leave.  

If you are a new employer, we help you to set up payroll software for the first time and ensure that employers and employees are comfortable with the software. 

To learn more about our Payroll Services, talk to our Client Services Team – we’re always happy to help. 

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Our client services team are always happy to talk to you about what's best for your needs

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Considering BrightPay Connect?

  • Price

    BrightPay’s standard software costs €159 per year for one employer with multiple employees or free access with Accountant Online's payroll service.

  • Storage and backup

    BrightPay offers automatic cloud backup so you can keep your data safe.

  • Integration

    You can access better reporting by exporting payroll data from BrightPay into accounting software like Xero.

  • Employee benefits

    Employees can use BrightPay’smobile app to view and edit their personal details, request annual leave, view payslips and their payroll calendar, including annual leave, sick leave and parenting leave

  • Reporting

    Employers have access to an online employer dashboard to view payslips, run payroll reports and manage employee leave.

  • Support

    Free email and phone support and webinars to help users make the most of the software. You can also share your employer dashboard with department heads, your accountant, and anyone else who needs access

2. SimplePay

SimplePay is an easy-to-use software, which is ideal for users who have not used payroll software before. During setup, the SimplePay team will ask you questions about your requirements and they can customise your package to your needs. 

This software charges a rate per employee (from €4 for 1 employee) and the more employees you have, the cheaper payroll will be per employee. SimplePay also offers a 30-day free trial so you can test the software before you commit to a subscription. 

Considering SimplePay?

  • Price

    SimplePay charges for the exact number of active employees a month. The more employees you have, the less you pay per employee. Prices start from €4 for one employee and can go down to as little as €0.73 depending on how many staff you have (up to 500).

  • Storage and backup

    Data is backed up and stored securely on SimplePay servers.

  • Integration

    Integrates with Xero online accounting and QuickBooks Online.

  • Employee benefits

    Employee leave requests can be submitted and approved through the self-service function.

  • Reporting

    An activity log shows when changes were made and by whom and you can access employee and payroll data, such as leave days taken by employees, and variances in payroll amounts.

  • Support

    Email support.

3. Sage

Sage offers payroll packages to suit Irish businesses of any size, making it ideal for Startups and growing businesses. As well as a free trial, Sage often run promotions and free trials for new users, making it a budget-friendly option. 

This software is most suited to medium and large businesses or high potential Startups with plans to expand. Sage lets you run payroll from 5 to 100 employees (from €10+VAT per month), so they can support you with Payroll at any stage of your business journey. 

Considering Sage?

  • Price

    From €10 + VAT per month (based on payroll for 5 employees)

  • Storage and backup

    BrightPay offers automatic cloud backup so you can keep your data safe.

  • Integration

    Automatically add your payroll data to any online accounting software

  • Employee benefits

    Employees can use Sage's online portal to view their payslips and access, view, and modify their employment information online.

  • Reporting

    Sage allows you to analyse your payroll payments and generate reports on how much you are paying to employees and Revenue and how much payroll is costing to run per employee.

  • Support

    You have access to a professional support team 24/7 over phone, email or chat.

4. Parolla

Parolla is an Irish payroll software company, built with Irish payroll in mind. They focus on providing excellent customer support, with a 100% positive customer chat feedback rating and a 5-star Xero product review ranking. 

Parolla has extensive support on how to use the software so you can rest assured help is there when you need it. 

Considering Parolla?

  • Price

    Parolla offer three pricing packages: Starter (up to 5 employees - €12.50+VAT per month), Standard
    (up to 20 employees - €20+VAT per month), and Enterprise (up to 25 employees - €25+VAT per month).

  • Storage and backup

    Give access to employees, owners, accountants, managers, HR and payroll administrators

  • Integration

    Send payroll information to Xero and other accounting software.

  • Employee benefits

    Employees can access to a self-service feature to view payslips, submit leave requests and expenses, submit claims for flat rate allowances and travel passes, and apply for a Cycle-To-Work scheme

  • Reporting

    You have the ability to set up additional deductions such as pension contributions such as Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSA’s), occupational pensions schemes, and personal pensions plans

  • Support

    Access video tutorials to help you use Parolla software, as well as email, telephone, and live chat support

5. Thesaurus Payroll Manager

Thesaurus Payroll Manager is another payroll software provider that requires an add-on to access the cloud version – Thesaurus Connect. 

Although it is an optional add-on, we recommend that users of this software opt for the Connect version as it provides automated cloud backup of your payroll data and a web-based self-service dashboard for your employees.

One of the standout differences with Thesaurus Connect compared to other software is that they offer in-person training and support. 

Considering Thesaurus Connect?

  • Price

    The Thesaurus standard licence for up to 10 employees costs €159 per year. If you opt for this software, we recommend that you also purchase the add-on Thesaurus Connect to access cloud storage (from €0.50 per month per employee).

  • Storage and backup

    BrightPay offers automatic cloud backup so you can keep your data safe.

  • Integration

    Set up an automatic integration between your payroll data and your accounting software, saving time when preparing your annual financial statements

  • Employee benefits

    Employees can view and download payslips and their personal data, view their calendar and book annual leave through their employee dashboard.

  • Reporting

    As an employer, you can analyse payments made to employees during different periods. These reports are created and emailed to you every month automatically.

  • Support

    Free email, phone support and website support.

How to choose the best payroll software for you?

Start by listing out your payroll needs and history with online software. Consider how much training you need and if you have the knowledge and resources to manage payroll in-house or if you should outsource.  

Our team of IPASS-qualified payroll professionals can take care of processing your payroll weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, and can provide payslips to your employees, as well as taking care of processing payments to Revenue. 

Talk to our Client Services Team about your payroll needs and we are happy to discuss how we can help you to run payroll efficiently and smoothly.  

Need Help?

Our client services team are always happy to talk to you about what's best for your needs

Get Started

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