Selecting the Best Payroll Software For Your Recruitment Agency

Everything you need to know.

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Why selecting the best payroll software is crucial

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When it comes to selecting payroll software for your recruitment agency, there are a few things to keep in mind. It can be hard to know which features you need, how much to spend and which payroll software is best suited to both your business, and your staff. As your company grows, a reliable system that processes payroll accurately and efficiently becomes increasingly critical to your business’ success.

After over 25 years of providing payroll software to the market leaders in the recruitment industry, FastTrack has acquired a wealth of specialist knowledge about the process staffing agencies go through when picking the best payroll software partner. FastTrack360 software is built by market-leading agencies, for market-leading agencies – and so we have an in-depth understanding on how important the agency-software relationship is. The right payroll software can be the difference between success and failure, so finding the right one is key.

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payWhat are my payroll requirements?


The first, and possibly most important, step in finding the right payroll software is understanding what your business needs. Knowing things like how many candidates/payees you need to pay is important, as if the software cannot accommodate the volume of candidates you currently have, or plan to have, then growth will not be possible. 

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How online timesheets, payroll and billing can help boost efficiency


Businesses in Australia all have similar problems. Some of the most common challenges they face include: cash flow shortages, low productivity, too much time spent on low value administration tasks, and low employee satisfaction.

While most of these are complex issues, there is a way that Australian recruitment companies can quickly fix many of them – by using cloud software for online timesheets, payroll and billing. Has your business implemented cloud software?

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What are my business goals when it comes to recruitment software?

GoalsIt's tempting to get lost in all the shiny, new software that is available to you when selecting a new program. However, FastTrack has been through hundreds of software implementation processes, and we've learnt that you need to understand your business' current position and needs. Establish your goals using our simple tricks.

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What features should I be looking for?

Features that should shape your software choice

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Scalability and configurability

Your program should be able to scale alongside your business, as well as do what you want it to do. Design your organisational hierarchy to group workforces by country, brand, client or individual payee requirements - making things easier for your payroll team.

It's also important to make sure you're improving accuracy with seamless dataflow from client engagement and placement, to online timesheet approvals, paying candidates and billing clients.

Manage an unlimited number of Pay and Bill Awards, Agreements or Enterprise Bargain Agreements (EBAs) with one system – 1 to 3,000+!

Compliance Guarantee

It's important to check the software will ensure compliance in multiple ways. Firstly, the software should ensure tax and superannuation accuracy, and remove manual handling or duplication. Secondly, there needs to be regular compliance product updates, resources and training to reduce business risk. Finally, it's important that the software includes relevant yearly tax changes, plus any major legislative changes like Single Touch Payroll or Payday filing. Keeping on top of compliance means that your business won't run into trouble with the law.

Online Timesheets

Capturing timesheets is essential for any business dealing with a contingent workforce. Make sure your software captures time easily and accurately using online and mobile timesheet captures, for both candidates and clients on the go. Similarly, automate timesheets with known job schedules for greater accuracy, and less manual handling. 

You also want your software to be able to interpret timesheets faster. FastTrack360 interprets timesheets instantly across thousands of modern awards and agreements, including both master awards and individual contracts. Check out one of FastTrack360's timesheet time-saving tools below.

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Online payroll and billing tools

When you are looking at software, it's important to make sure your software is fast and flexible. Things you need to consider include:

  • Low maintenance with rates that are easy to update and flow to all levels of agreements
  • Intuitive, easy to use recruitment payroll wizard to guide you through best-practice
  • Increase cash flow with Bill-before-Pay options, so you can invoice clients before paying candidates
  • Automate Purchase Order Management with auto tracking and spend alerts to provide next-level client service
  • Invoice at any level to meet your client needs – grouping by debtor, job order, purchase order, cost centre or project code
  • Credit Rebill Wizard processes full credit and rebill in seconds saving you time
  • Exportable Debtor, Wage & Sales files for financial integration to your general ledger of choice

How much is inefficient payroll costing your business?


Over a third of Australian businesses with 200 employees or less outsource their payroll, according to the Australian Payroll Association (APA). As most recruiters will know, outsourcing usually comes at a huge cost and performing tasks in-house is often considerably cheaper.

It's hard to deny, however, that payroll is a difficult beast. It's time consuming, technical and mistakes can be costly. So how much is it costing your business?

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What does the selection process look like?

Step 1: Find and Filter

Start by putting together a list of the suitable payroll software providers that service your market, leveraging each resource you have available to you such as:

  1. Internet search – the more specific you are, the better your results. Check out the websites people use to review software, such as Capterra – this way, you are getting unbiased opinions on software.
  2. Contact industry bodies for any recommendations or affiliations – these can often be invaluable.
  3. Tap into your network to see what other agencies are using. What software do your main competitors, similar agencies or businesses you aspire to be like use?
  4. Speak to your employees to see what they have used before joining your business. They are a great free resource who can give you an honest or genuine insight into what the reality of using some of these providers is like

Step 2: Shortlist

The best (and fastest) approach to short listing payroll software providers is by removing those that simply cannot supply critical functionality. The easiest way to do this is submit a Request For Information (or RFI) to the remaining providers outlining key functionality you require, and ask the recruitment software providers to explain how they can address each element.

Step 3: Scenario Mapping

Many software sales people will have a process they go through when demonstrating. This will most likely include promoting the capabilities of their company, showcasing the power of their system and then answering your questions. It is best to have three to five common scenarios your business would face on a regular basis and ask how the software would address this.

Payroll Guide ImageFor example scenarios, download our consumer guide on selecting the best payroll software here.

Step 4: Demo Scoring

Use our Software Selection Checklist below as a tool to confirm which payroll software providers offer the functions and features that you need. It’s important to include a range of key stakeholders from your business in the demo process, so that you can get the right opinions and experience. Get these stakeholders, and yourself, to mark each provider based on some simple criteria.

Step 5: Review 

Good recruitment software providers should ask you lots of questions about your business through the discovery process. Remember, they are also evaluating if your business is a good fit for their software. While many payroll software providers are happy for a sale, good ones want to ensure you fit their needs, so they are getting another happy client, not a future headache!

As you go through this process, you will find the questions good payroll software providers ask may help you clarify your needs or highlight areas you hadn't considered. After all, they have been through this process before.

Once you have done this, you may enter a second round of meetings or demos with certain payroll software providers to confirm they can meet your updated requirements. The second demos are generally much more detailed, addressing specific scenarios now that you have seen how other systems solve your challenges.

After this it's time to finalise and review scores for each provider. This is an important step that ensures you get the provider that best fits your needs and also helps you get buy-in from key stakeholders with the decision-making process – having internal champions will really pay dividends as the business goes through the inevitable challenges of change management with implementing new software.

To get started:

  1. Bring the key stakeholders together with their scores.
  2. Create one spreadsheet per recruitment software provider and add the scores for each criteria and feature from each stakeholder.
  3. Create a total score for each recruitment software provider – now you have one number to help compare.
  4. Go through the areas that you have marked as most critical, quickly move through those with minimal variances between parties.
  5. Allocate 5-10 minutes to debate 'critical' features where stakeholders have very different scores. Allow key parties to voice their opinions, then allocate a final score.

Step 6: Decision Making

Once you reach this stage you should have a clear idea on your business requirements for investing in software, have been through a level of due diligence to create a shortlist, reviewed the various solutions and scored each on their ability to meet your critical needs. The next step is to assess pricing.

What does the future of payroll processing in Australia look like?


As of the last census, there was a total of 18.5 million paid jobs in Australia, with average weekly earnings of $1,207. That means, every week, payroll professionals process roughly $22.3 billion in salary and hourly wages.

It’s a gigantic responsibility that is only going to increase in size and scale as our economy and population continues to grow. All this used to be done using handwritten pay slips and cheques handed out at the end of the week, but in 2018 payroll in the majority of payroll systems were entirely digital.

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What costs are involved with payroll software?cost

Once you've reached this stage, you should have a clear idea on your goals for investing in software, have been through a level of due diligence to create a shortlist, reviewed the various solutions and scored each on their ability to meet your critical needs.

Now it's time to review pricing - how much the software will cost to upgrade. Find out how much upgrading will cost you here:
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Tom_background-1Find out more about FastTrack's Back Office.

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What questions should I ask before picking a potential payroll software provider?


Self-assessment is crucial when it comes to picking a potential software provider. After having met with each vendor, you can ask yourself the following questions to ensure you're focusing on what really matters.

  • How well does the software and provider fit your business?
  • Can they meet the majority of your critical processes per the scoring process?
  • Were the people you dealt with professional and supportive?
  • Did they understand the staffing industry and your business?
  • Is the software used by businesses like yours?
  • Will the software and provider help you achieve your goals?
  • Has the software and provider helped similar businesses achieve their goals?
  • Will you get best-practice advice from the people involved to help you improve your processes as you upgrade?
  • Does the business case make sense?
  • Do you have a rough idea on how much time and money is spent on your current processes?

 This way, you can ensure you've conducted a thorough review.

How does recruitment payroll software help halve payroll time & support growth?


Dash Construction Solutions started their trades and labour hire agency in 2018 and are already growing fast. With clear goals from the outset, Director David Rolleston made all the necessary investments in location, staff and by no exception, their recruitment software, seeking an "off the shelf product that we could tweak to suit out business and be ready to go.” 

“We want scalability of revenue where we can have three to five times as many contractors and won’t need a payroll team that is three to four times bigger than what we’ve currently got."

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What's key when implementing new software?

cogs toolsImplementing new software is a great opportunity to review your current business processes. Plus, good recruitment software partners can help with guidance on best-practice to streamline your business from working with the leading recruitment providers to help make your business more profitable, easier to grow or more appealing for acquisition. That's why it's important to select a vendor that has a team specializing in business transition to work closely with you.

Learn how to set yourself up for success with a good vendor:

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Want to know more?

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