guide to payroll SaaS for SME in Malaysia

5 Must-Have Features Of Payroll Systems For Small Businesses

If you’re a typical Malaysian SME owner, you know that payroll is a non-negotiable part of being an employer.

You’ll also know it’s a massive pain.

This means you don’t need to be told the value of automating payroll through software – you’d love to automate this.

Your issue is choosing which specific software to use – there are so many choices!

SME payroll saas options

Frankly, competitive as the B2B SaaS space is, many of them are basically the same thing.

And so, instead of specific recommendations, our post presents a checklist of five key features of a payroll software that simplifies and streamlines payroll obligations for Malaysian SMEs

With this, you can evaluate any payroll software and make an informed choice for your business.  

Let’s begin!

Heads up: We’re ignoring pricing

When it comes to pricing, this is how it usually plays out:

  1. If a solution is out of your price range, it doesn’t matter what features are offerred
  2. If a suitable solution is within your price range, add it to a shortlist
  3. If multiple equally suitable solutions are shortlisted, choose the most cost-effective

We’ll focus on actual features and trust you to mind the company’s bottom line!

And now, here are the five most essential features of payroll software in no particular order.

1. Accurate automated calculations 

Automated calculations are the whole reason behind adopting payroll software. A computer does the calculations so you don’t have to.

Of course, it’s important to know how the software arrives at their figures, and a good payroll software will include the following factors in their calculations:

  1. Salary (duh)
  2. Overtime
  3. Paid & unpaid leave
  4. Various monthly deductions
  5. Employer contributions
  6. Employee-specific bonuses or incentives

This frees HR personel to attend to more pressing issues, and employers to offer more individual rewards, knowing payroll will be reliably tabulated every month. 

2. Employee self-service 

Any payroll software system should allow employees to easily access and update their payroll information, including:

  • payslips
  • tax status, and
  • personal details

Additionally, the software should have built-in leave application and timesheets that mean real time updates to payroll information for the month and ensures automated calculations are accurate. 

3. Fund transfers & payslip generation 

Most payroll software can easily carry out scheduled transfers from the company bank account to accounts tied to employee profiles on the platform. 

The bigger issue is security.

What if your part-time janitor tries to switch bank account details with the company director?

Worse, what if the director switches bank account details with the janitor?

The platform must have security features in place that make it very difficult if not impossible for anyone but the genuine individual to change their personal and payroll details. 

4. Automated tax compliance 

The payroll software’s calculations should always be based on up-to-date Malaysian tax rates and statutory requirements, which can and do change. 

It’s why we’d recommend going with a local service provider.

Their primary concern is to always align their software functions with current Malaysian law. 

Meanwhile, international providers serving a global clientele with different tax laws have a higher risk of overlooking updates.

5. Consolidated reports 

Your payroll software should be able to generate reports with an overview of all key details in an easily understood format.

Usually, this means coverting numbers into graphs and charts that make it easy to explain and integrate into a presentation. These insights into a business’s payroll expenses make stakeholder management and decision making a less painful affair.

fighting shareholders during annual meeting
Two shareholders in their natural habitat.

Bonus points if the report is customisable to include, exclude, and reorganise details as you see fit.

And of course the real bonus: you can easily see which staff members are ‘sick’ most often and hit them with a Performance Improvement Plan letter!

Get in touch with us

photo of consultant for hr advisory employee handbook

MISHU is partnered with numerous SaaS companies to help support Malaysian SME owners with their HR process automation needs, including payroll, leave, and expense management. Get in touch with us and we’ll match your needs to the right solutions.

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