A survey on entrepreneurs indicated that over half of their productive time is spent managing daily business tasks. Just 32% of their time is used on activities that result in business growth. Big businesses streamline daily activities by using software tools for businesses. These tools automate functions, eliminate manual actions and errors, and reduce redundancy and delays in the business processes.
By streamlining the business processes, the entrepreneur can focus on things that add value to the business and lead to business growth. However, for small enterprises, there is always the issue of cost. Software is not cheap. Affordability may restrain small businesses from purchasing or subscribing to these tools.
The good news is that there is affordable software that small enterprises can use to utilize their productive time well. Here is a list of software suitable for small companies looking to streamline their services to enhance their efficiency. The list is based on everyday small business needs.
Gusto is a cloud-based platform that manages payrolls, employee benefits, taxation, insurance and human resource management. The payroll software has the most positive reviews online compared to the competition. The software’s most basic plan is efficient for small enterprises.
When it comes to taxation, Gusto lets business automatically file their local, state and federal taxes. It also makes provision for state and federal unemployment insurance tax filling. Additionally, Gusto automatically generates and distributes the W-9 and 1099 tax forms. You can also automatically file taxes for onboarding employees with your state government.
Aside from the ease in filing government documents, Gusto also tracks planned time off (PTO). The software monitors paid vacations, sick and personnel days off and holidays. It syncs with other payroll software such as Xero, QuickBooks Online, ZipBooks, Autobooks and FreshBooks. All these accounting software are cloud-based and are excellent for small businesses.
Gusto enables employees to access Paystub and W-2 forms. Paystub lets employees see the outline and details on their paycheck. It also shows employee work hours. Employees can access their stabs pay through the business online payroll system. It makes provisions for wage garnishment debits and child support distribution in all states except South Carolina.
• Gusto does not charge extra costs for its automated tax filing, wage garnishment, and compensation features like other payroll software service providers.
• All of Gustov’s features are available in the most basic payment package.
• PTOs can be tracked and approved and the schedule integrated with the employee’s pay schedule.
• It has no limits on the payroll runs in all states.
• The basic ay plan has limited PTO features. You cannot approve PTOs or sync it in the employee’s pay schedule.
• The basic plan does not have holiday pay features.
• Customer support is limited to working hours on weekdays.
2. Intuit QuickBooks Payroll
The QuickBooks Payroll software is an essential tool for small businesses because of its flexibility and variety. It offers multiple solutions for different small enterprises. The flexibility enables small companies to choose the package that works well for their business. The payment variations are based on business size and budget.
QuickBooks Payroll service per plan is quite versatile. It ranges from a self-service plan to a QuickBooks’ run payment plan. You can calculate your payments or let QuickBooks do the calculations and salary reimbursements on your company’s behalf.
Aside from providing broad payment options, this software can sync with QuickBooks accounts. The integration simplifies the process of running payrolls and tracking accounts. Both software streamline income tracking and expenditure, increase tax deductions, run reports, and provide estimates.
Like other QuickBooks software, the payroll tool is a cloud-based software. Your company’s payroll data is stored in a cloud storage database. The cloud-based service requires no installation or maintenance. It can also be accessed on any internet-enabled device.
The payroll software enables small enterprises to pay bills automatically, file payroll taxes, and manage employee benefits. Your small business can manage benefits and employee services on this online application.
• Works with or without QuickBooks accounting
• The payroll software is easy to use and navigate.
• It is available on all android and iOS devices.
• Users have access to all types of reports like payroll and tax reports and summaries and wage, compensation and contractor details.
• Quality and readily available customer support
• It has an A+ rating in the Better Business Bureau website
• It has a one-month free trial period
• The payroll software does not have human resource services
• It does not provide the management of health care benefits services
If you are looking for a backup cloud database for your small enterprise, then IDrive is the best one for you. The cloud backup software offers many more features aside from data protection, storage and retrieval.
The software provides the usual integration and restoration features, device support, group management, archiving and top-notch security. IDrive continuously backups files updating immediate upgrades. It makes provision for scheduling and gives notifications on pending backups.
IDrive lets you restore up to 30 versions of previous file versions. Its versioning feature protects files from corruptions and unwanted edits. Restore points are saved as snapshots making the tracing process of restoration points a lot easy. The software does not delete backed up data even when the file is deleted on the device. Its only limitation is that the cloud-based software does not offer unlimited backup.
Nevertheless, with IDrive for small businesses, there is no limitation on the number of devices that can be backup. The devices include phones, hard drives, servers and NAS. Network drives can be backed up as well. You can backup Windows, Linux, Oracle servers, and Microsoft SQL, Exchange and Sharepoint servers.
Similarly, IDrive backs up local devices; this backup provides an additional layer of data protection. Additionally, the data restoration rate is much faster for IDrive compared to the internet restoration speed. The phenomenon is known as a hybrid backup.
The IDrive restoration process is quite advanced. It creates a disk image of your hard drive that can be used to restore your operating system on the original computer. However, the stored data cannot be used on different hardware.
The software also backs up data from both android and iOS phones. It stores contacts, events, call logs, music, photos and social network accounts. Having social media backup is vital, especially if your business runs social media campaigns.
• IDrive offers an advanced backup system with excellent security features that provide private, at-rest, and in-transit encryption
• Can back up an unlimited number of devices
• Provides NAS and server backup
• Retains deleted files
• Offers 24-hour support every day of the week
• Provides room for scaling
• Remote access through its mobile application
• It does not provide unlimited backup.
CrashPlan is specifically designed for small and medium enterprises. It works as a backup and recovery software. It backups data continuously from your computer to the cloud. It provides unlimited storage with advanced security, privacy and around the clock customer support.
It has fast backup and restoration speeds. You also get the advantage of scheduling your backups. The software maximizes backup when your computer is idle; this can slow down production time. Scheduling the process enables backups to be conducted when the computer is not in use.
The software doubles as a restoration application because it permits backing up data in the cloud and on the computer. It provides customizable versioning where different versions of the files are saved. The software comes as a desktop application and web dashboard. Both variants perform all functions. In case you do not want the desktop application, you can choose the web dashboard.
• Provides hybrid backup
• User profiles can be created in bulk by importing a TXT file with user information
• Saves on bandwidth by using a block-level algorithm that limits the backup to the updated portion of files
• It has fast data transfer speeds
• Unlimited storage does not cover different devices. You have to pay for the software to backup additional devices.
• It does not provide manual data backup control.
• CrashPlan has no courier services for restoring massive data during the initial backup.
UZIO is a SaaS-based software that offers human resource management, payroll, and benefits management services. It is perfect for small businesses transitioning from a paper-based system. UZIO provides an online platform for human resource operations. Through this platform, services are streamlined. The small business software automates the functions between the human resource and employees, increasing production time between the two entities.
It excellently provides accurate employee payment and tax fillings. Payment processes are integrated with the human resource and benefits data, and precise quotes for workers’ compensation are also offered through the software.
It provides a benefits payment platform covering health, dental, and vision insurance plans, life accidents and disability policies, and commuter benefits. Employees are automatically connected with their insurer through the software ones they choose their policy provider.
• Easy to use interface
• Provides reports for employee benefits to ensure benefit election matches provider billing statements.
• Reasonable control over client portals
• Support is proactive
• Customer support is limited to business hours
• Limited customization options
6. Wave Payroll
The wave payroll software perfect for small businesses. The monthly costs range from $20 to $35 and $4 charge for every employee, making it very affordable. The cloud-based service manages income and outgoing finances.
It integrates with Wave’s free accounting, reporting, invoicing and receipt capture application. Wave is a simple software that works just as well or even better than other payroll softwares. The platform enables you to review, edit and approve payroll runs. It also allows you to schedule your payment schedule. The software’s employee portal gives access to payroll data, reimbursement, tax forms, vacation time, and paystubs.
Wave offers tax administration services in a limited number of states. The taxation services are currently present in California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois and Washington. The software makes automatic payments and files employee state and federal taxes.
• Wave is affordable and offers additional features which increase its value
• It is easy to use yet provides most features available in similar payroll softwares.
• Tax administration is limited to specific states. Outside these states you’ll have to compute and input tax information.
• Wave does not provide check signing or stuffing services.
• It does not offer pay cards
Carbonite is a backup cloud database that is simple and secure. For small business software, it is sufficient in proffering excellent security, privacy and consumer services. The cloud-based software has a straightforward process of backing up files. The software service offers hybrid backup and data recovery for small businesses and single users.
It also provides metal backup and restore services. Metal backup stores everything from files and folders to the operating system. The service’s payment packages enable users to choose which backup services they want. You can choose what you want the software to back up once it is installed on your desktop. Deleted files in the cloud storage can be retrieved within a 30-day window.
Carbonite has variations between Windows and iOS clients. For instance, versioning is only available in Windows. Similarly, having the software on your desktop enables you to perform some functions with ease. For example, taking files from the disk to the cloud is straightforward with the desktop application. However, it takes several minutes for the same function with the application on the web dashboard.
The restoring process is straightforward with Carbonite because it downloads and stores the needed data in one folder. Security varies depending on the package. Personal pay plans have low-level security: AES 128-bit encryption. However, business payment plans enjoy AES 256-bit encryption. On the downside, Carbonite does not have a copy of the key to this encryption. Therefore, if you forget your passcode, your data will remain encrypted for all eternity.
• It has no storage limits
• Easy to use interface
• Has two-factor authentication
• The software has very slow updating and retrieval speeds.
• It does not provide users with control options over the backup process.
• Limits the number of devices that can be backed up
• It has no mobile application.
• Carbonite’s online interface provides only basic functioning.