Payroll software for small businesses

December 15, 2015
5 minutes read

Note: This post will be most useful for accounting professionals.

This fall, Wave presented at a number of conferences for accounting professionals, including SleeterCon in Las Vegas and IPBC (Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada) in Niagara Falls. Two themes kept popping up, that I wanted to share with you:

  1. Many of the accounting professionals in attendance hadn’t fully explored Wave’s payroll software.
  2. When they learned what it could do, their jaws dropped.

Maggie Geiser, an independent accounting professional and a longtime member of the Wave Pro Network, was on hand for several conversations among show attendees, and offered to sum up her experiences using Payroll by Wave:

I love Wave, and use it extensively for the accounting/bookkeeping needs of many of my clients. But there’s no accounting solution that’s right for every possible business.

For example, if the client is a law firm, you’ll probably want to use PCLaw. Wave isn’t set up for niche accounting needs like disbursements. As accounting professionals, we choose the right tool for our clients on a case-by-case basis.

But what about payroll? Using the law firm example, PCLaw it might be the right tool for a client’s accounting, but it could also be way too much (complexity and cost) for that same client’s payroll needs, if the client has just a few employees.

I recommend Wave for payroll cases like this, as part of a mix-and-match-your-tools strategy. Even when Wave might not be right for your client’s accounting needs, it may be an ideal payroll option — far better than tedious online payroll calculators, manually created paycheques, and payroll tax remittance…

Wave has a payroll solution with simple, all-inclusive pricing that’s based on the number of employees paid in a calendar month. It includes:

  • direct deposit at no additional cost
  • an employee portal where employees can access pay stubs
  • benefits and reimbursements, taxable and non-taxable

It also includes:

  • In Canada:
    – T4s
    – ROEs (Records of Employment) when an employee leaves
    – tax remittances to Revenue Canada
  • In the U.S.:
  • – W2s– Optional tax service in California and Florida, handling tax filings to the IRS and the California EDD or Florida Department of Revenue

I use Payroll by Wave with a number of companies/organizations which have only very few employees. Pricing is simple and all inclusive.

How much does it cost?

In a nutshell the pricing works like this:

Canada: $10 per month, plus $4 per employee per month (that goes down to $2 per employee after 10 employees).

U.S.: $15 per month, plus $4 per employee per month (going down to $2 per employee after 10 employees).

It’s completely flexible. Perhaps cash flow constraints mean that some employees are paid via direct deposit and some by cheque (often the business owner may hold onto their own pay cheque until the funds are available).

The price is the same regardless of payroll frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly).

The payroll tax remittance to Revenue Canada/IRS can also be paid via Wave or directly – the report is there to let you know the total to be paid.

Other features

  • Pay runs can be post-dated. This is great if you will be away on vacation or perhaps going to a location with no internet access.
  • You can put the account on hold for one or more months if a client won’t be processing payroll for a while.
  • You only pay for employees who received payroll in a given month,which makes it great for seasonal businesses. In other words, if you have 10 employees in Wave, but only 3 people worked in November, your November bill would be for 3 employees only. There’s no need to delete employee information.

It’s also important to know what it won’t do: off cycle payments; cannot adjust a previous pay run; cannot manually adjust CPP, EI, tax.

For complicated payrolls it may not be enough, but most of the time, things are straightforward and Wave takes care of all the hard things, calculating statutory deductions and ensuring payments to both employees and Revenue Canada/IRS are taken care of.

Maggie Geiser is a business consultant and accounting professional based in Vancouver, BC.

Create a Wave account and explore Payroll for yourself. You won’t need to provide a credit card or make any payments at all until you run your first payroll, so it’s free to check things out.

By Rob Maurin

The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.

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