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Best Workflow Management Software

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

There is a tool that helps you create a repeatable and seamless workflow. A system that lets you look at the bigger picture of any given work process and its current status. A place where you can make sure your whole team is on the same page, so your boss doesn’t scream at you. 

It’s called workflow management software, and it makes your work life at least ten times easier. 

Workflow management software takes chaos and organizes it into a clear roadmap that helps you achieve your work goals in less time and with better results. The trick is finding the one that fits perfectly with the way you do business.

To help you with that, I’m taking a look at the top workflow management tools in detail below so you can choose which one can work best for your team. 

The Top 5 Options For Workflow Management Software

  1. ClickUp – Best for versatile workflow management
  2. Monday.com – Best for remote teams
  3. Wrike – Best for creative teams
  4. Trello – Best free workflow management tool 
  5. Smartsheet – Best for IT and operations

How to Choose The Best Workflow Management Software For You

The more complex your process to finish work and reach deadlines becomes, the more likely you are to need efficient workflow software to help you get the job done. First, you always want to take stock of your current workflow system regarding what it’s lacking and what is already working well. This way, you can choose a workflow solution that’ll integrate with your work style and more accurately solve your issues. 

To start, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • Is your team scrambling to know what work was assigned to who at the last minute? 
  • Did your Excel spreadsheet get too complex to automate your work processes efficiently?
  • Is there repeatable work that could be streamlined more effectively to save you time and resources?
  • Is your team too overwhelmed to turn in great work because there isn’t a supportive framework to help them through their work process?
  • Are there current limits that could be removed for more efficient work delivery or completion?

Workflow management and project management systems are often confused as the same thing because they share a lot of the same tools and processes. However, there is a difference. 

Workflow management systems exist to manage and maintain ongoing work processes within a business. In contrast, project management systems are used to start and finish individual business projects as efficiently as possible. 

So, a project management system can exist within a workflow management system while the workflow management system takes care of the bigger picture and recurring work processes in your overall business. A bit of a mouthful, but it becomes more understandable once you dive into the world of workflow management software and what it has to offer. 

Once you know the distinction and made sure a workflow management system is what you’re looking for, here are additional specifications to think about when choosing a workflow system that makes the most sense for your business. 

Team Structure

Your team’s size and planning for growth matter when you’re trying to choose a workflow tool. Why? Workflow management tools tend to charge by user. This can be a deciding factor in which system you select due to budgeting constraints. The more users you add to a system, the more you’ll be paying per month.  

To add, if you don’t have to deal with a complex team structure, you might not need workflow software with all the bells and whistles that a larger business might find more useful. Sometimes, more functionality doesn’t mean it’s better for your needs. 

Think about a few things as you move forward: Are there different departments that’ll need to communicate with each other frequently to greenlight work processes and projects? Are your teams adaptable to new software, or are there new API integrations you’ll need to make? 

The simpler your team structures, the simpler your workflow system can be. This also often means less of a learning curve. 

Tasks and Workflow Complexity

What tasks need the most comprehensive management? This can differ by niche, meaning you might need some features specifically designed for your industry and the value you create. 

Some workflow systems are more equipped to deliver specific tasks than others. This can be done with anything ranging from:

  • Dashboard reporting
  • Gantt charts
  • Document sharing and collaboration
  • Scheduling software
  • Task assignments and sign-offs
  • Work status reports
  • Integrations with third-party software
  • Kanban boards
  • Advanced data analysis
  • Scrum work management boards

Communication Style

Communicating effectively with the appropriate workflow system will eliminate possible bottlenecks that slow down your growth.

With open API and integration features, your workflow system can be a seamless communication tool amongst each team member. This way, you can quickly review and respond to related emails, review project feedback, make corrections and comments, use team chat or message boards, and make sure changes to scheduling or project direction are accessible to each team member as part of your daily workflow. 

If tons of communication isn’t how you handle business, and you have a more straightforward workflow management approach, you can always adjust your processes with a more customizable system. 

Workflow Views

An additional factor to think about is workflow views and how you choose to organize the information, processes, and tasks you input. Effective workflow management software gives you different ways of managing and viewing tasks and workflows. 

To illustrate, a Gantt chart view, a graphical organization of a project or process, can help you simplify complex workflows. Kanban boards make viewing workflows easier and more manageable as you move cards from one chronological board to another. 

A scrum board breaks down work processes into sprints and can be ordered into horizontal and vertical lanes. Looking for a workflow management system with the flexibility in preferred style makes your team’s life easier and may make your work processes faster. 

The Different Types of  Workflow Management Software

There are two main categories of workflow management software. Here I take a look at each.

Highly Customizable vs. Niche-Specific 

With workflow management software, you can either choose a highly customizable system that fits just about any niche or go with software that caters to a set of specific ones. The choice is ultimately up to you after you audit what tools your teams need to create a better workflow process.

For instance, software like ClickUp is highly adaptable to just about any industry that wants to use it to manage their ongoing work operations. On the other hand, Wrike provides tools that are specifically adaptable to creative industries. 

Cloud-Based vs. Local

Most software on this list is cloud-based, meaning you can access them from anywhere at any time. You can choose to go with software that lives on your local servers and computers, too, though keep in mind that brings its own set of pros and cons. 

With a cloud-based solution, your team will be able to access the software from anywhere from multiple devices to stay accessible and updated. 

#1 – ClickUp — The Best For Versatile Workflow Management

ClickUp is a powerful workflow management system that makes sure every part of your workflow can be streamlined and optimized for efficiency and speed. 

That’s why it’s my top recommendation for almost everyone. 

Companies like Google, Airbnb, Uber, and Nike are all optimized for a seamless work process with the ability to plug into over 1,000 integrations. With ClickUp, you won’t only manage your workflow. It’s customizable enough to also manage your projects all from one place with tools like:

  • Resource management
  • Goal tracking and reminders
  • Email and chat features
  • Complex or simple spreadsheets
  • Third-party app integration
  • Strategy management

With the ability to create chat views, table views, timeline views, or mind maps, you can always be sure your team is staying on top of each work task and their progress in a way that makes work easier for them. 

Because of its setup, ClickUp allows you to save a lot of time by linking all project tasks, email, comments, or wikis together and allowing you to view your projects however you want and automating recurring work tasks. The tool is equipped for bigger and more complex workflow management, as well as for small businesses that want to get a handle on their growing workflow systems.  

If you’re switching to ClickUp from another workflow management system, it is super easy to automatically import all your work and project information with the import feature. 

One of the best parts of using such a versatile workflow manager is their price point. You can start using the system in a matter of seconds by signing up for a free account. You’ll immediately get 100 MB of space with unlimited members and unlimited tasks. 

The paid plan is only $5 per user, and you get access to unlimited storage, integrations, calendar tools, guests, portfolios, boards, and custom fields. 

If you’re managing a growing team, you have the option of negotiating a price point per user or team size once you fill out a quick form and send them a short proposal. All in all, ClickUp’s versatility goes far. That’s why more than 100,000 teams use it and why I’d recommend it to just about everyone. 

Start your free account with ClickUp here and use it to optimize every aspect of your workflow. 

#2 – Monday.com — The Best For Remote Teams

If you manage a growing remote team, Monday.com is the workflow solution that seamlessly brings everyone together. 

It’s an excellent workflow system used by BBC Studios, NBC, Discovery Channel, Hulu, Cocacola, Deezer, and 100,000 other teams to ensure they’re effectively managing every step of their workflow processes with onsite and offsite team members. 

With Monday.com, it’s easy to collaborate with your team from anywhere in the world by aligning work progress, video chats, and plenty of synced calendars to make sure you’re always meeting collaborative work deadlines. 

You can easily start organizing tasks and automating workflows with templated daily team tasks, knowledge libraries, remote team requests, employee statuses, and one-on-one meetings. Of course, if none of these templates will do it for you, you can start from scratch and build your own any time with their vast array of tools. 

Some Monday.com features that are great for remote workflow management are:

  • Weekly schedules
  • A meetings board with updates and recaps
  • Zoom integrations to record meetings
  • Local time zone tracking for each team member
  • Workload and work capacity maps for any given project
  • The ability to create contingency plans from project data

Monday.com charges per seat based on the tier you want access to, and each of them comes with an extensive list of features. The tiers start at three seats each, and you can save money if you choose to go with an annual plan. Here’s a quick breakdown of each level:

  • Basic: $8 a user per month starting at three seats
  • Standard: $10 a user per month starting at three seats
  • Pro: $16 a user per month starting at three seats
  • Enterprise: Contact them for more information

If you’d like to test drive Monday.com first, you can get started with their free trial here. 

#3 – Wrike — The Best For Creative Teams

Wrike is a dynamic workflow management system built for creative teams. Repetitive admin tasks and reiterations can be the bane of any creative team trying to ship great work. Wrike makes it easy to streamline all your tasks in one place to ensure both productivity and speed.

With Wrike, you can manage incoming creative requests throughout their entire lifecycle with customizable forms, templates, briefs, and markup tools, so you always know the progress on each job.

For instance, Wrike’s approval tool makes it easy for anyone to leave clear project feedback on deliverables with comments for specific images, videos, or documents. You can check who is working on any project whenever you need it and create a more streamlined intake system for work requests by creating one formal point of contact for each work project. 

This makes it easy to finish projects that require multiple reviews and revisions.

Some of their best features for creative workflow management are:

  • Project approval templates
  • Project scheduling
  • Task assignment
  • Daily marketing operations management
  • Drag-and-drop dashboards

Wrike is free for up to five users and includes 2 GBs of space, along with tools like spreadsheet view, task management, file sharing, and basic integrations. 

You can take advantage of a free trial and see how you like it. Once you’re ready to choose a paid plan, the main plans are:

  • Free: Up to 5 users with a shared tasks list for small teams
  • Professional: Up to 15 users at $9.80 per user per month with full project planning and collaboration
  • Business: Up to 200 users at $24.80 per user per month with work management customization and reporting
  • Enterprise: Unlimited users, contact their team for custom pricing for the most comprehensive solution

Wrike also offers plans that cater specifically to marketing/creative teams and professional services teams. Both of these categories have a free trial and unlisted pricing.

While Wrike does get meticulous with their pricing and feature breakdown, it ensures that you get the best plan for your specific creative workflow needs. I recommend you check out their pricing page for a full list of features to get more familiar with what’s included.

But first, you can try out Wrike free for 14 days here. 

#4 – Trello — The Best Free Workflow Management Software

If you’re on a budget, Trello’s workflow system can get you on the right track for free for up to 10 boards per team.

Millions of users are already using Trello and their organized dashboards to prioritize and automate daily tasks and projects. With it, you can create boards and name them, add your tasks and team, and then add specific details to each card like due dates, work briefs, checklists, attachments, and comments.

Trello works great as a simple workflow manager for smaller teams geared for growth and efficiency without shelling out a ton on work software expenses. It is a Kanban board style layout and is especially popular for people who like very visual task and workflow management. 

As mentioned, Trello is free for up to 10 boards per team, with unlimited cards and lists and a 10 MB per file attachment limit. If you love their free version so much that you want to go with a paid plan, you can choose from two options:

  • Business Class: $9.99 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $17.50 per user per month for 100 users (the more users you add, the less you pay per user)

Get started with Trello for free here and use their easy boards feature to begin organizing your workflow. 

#5 – Smartsheet — The Best For IT and Operations

Smartsheet makes for excellent workflow management software in IT and operations teams. Generally, the two things you need when working in IT management are consistency and speed. Smartsheets deliver on this by allowing you to quickly adapt and archive projects, coordinate data center migrations, and even set up automated alerts and approvals to save you time.

Smartsheets enables collaboration across teams and gives you control access to resources. They bring it all together on an easy-to-use dashboard with plenty of reporting capabilities. 

Smartsheets offers a free 30-day trial. For the paid plans, they break down their pricing tiers into four categories. These include individual, business, enterprise, or premier. To learn their prices, you’ll have to contact them first. I recommend visiting their price page to get a feel for what features and capabilities you get with each tier from their exhaustive list of features. You can also watch a demo of the tool.

Try Smartsheet free for 30 days and start creating better workflows for your team today.  

Summary

Choosing the best workflow management software for you depends on a lot of variables. But you can easily start weeding out what won’t work by outlining what your workflow needs are in terms of niche, workflow needs, and team size.

I’d recommend ClickUp and Monday.com for almost anyone. ClickUp is the most versatile system to work with. It has a stellar price point, can be easy to use once you get over a slight learning curve, and it’s highly customizable for just about any workflow management need imaginable. Monday.com is ideal for remote teams and collaboration, which is needed now more than ever.

If you have more specific workflow needs for your given industry, use this guide to learn how to choose the right workflow management software for your company’s needs.

The post Best Workflow Management Software appeared first on Neil Patel.

The Best Payroll Services (In-Depth Review)

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

What would you do with ten extra hours a month?

You’d probably work on growing your business, right? Maybe you’d spend it creating new marketing campaigns to generate more revenue. Perhaps you’d take half a day off to spend time with your family. 

Regardless, the average small business owner spends five hours every pay period running payroll. That adds up to 21 full work-days a year. 

But thankfully, that’s not what your payroll process has to look like. 

The best payroll services help you automate paying your employees and simplify the entire process, so you can gain more control over how you spend your time. 

Without sacrificing employee satisfaction. 

But with so many options to choose from, it’s easy to waste time trying to pick the right one. 

To help speed up the process, I reviewed six of the best systems on the market and put together a comprehensive list of what to look for as you make your final decision. 

The 6 best payroll service options for 2020 

  1. Gusto – Best payroll service for small businesses
  2. OnPay – Most flexible payroll service
  3. Paychex – Best for larger organizations
  4. ADP – Best payroll service with built-in HR
  5. QuickBooks Payroll – Best for QuickBooks integration
  6. Wave Payroll – Most affordable payroll service

How to choose the best payroll service for you

If you’ve spent some time searching for solutions from Google or asking for peers’ recommendations, you know there are hundreds of payroll companies to choose from. 

With so many options, it can feel like a difficult decision. 

To help you narrow things down, let’s walk through what to consider as you go through the process. 

Number of employees

Most services charge a set monthly fee plus a small fee per employee. So, it’s essential to consider the number of employees you need to pay. 

Some payroll services may limit the number of employees on certain plans while others may forego the per-employee fee altogether. Furthermore, some may also offer features that make it easier to pay many people at once. 

You also need to consider whether you’re paying employees or contractors. 

The process and fee structure may differ for different types of payments depending on which service you choose. 

Basic payroll features

The best payroll services exist to simplify the process of paying your employees. So, every payroll service you consider should have a set of critical features, including:

  • Automatic payroll options
  • Self-service portal for full-time and part-time employees
  • Mobile capability to manage payroll on the go
  • Direct deposit so your employees get paid quickly
  • Automatic tax calculations and withholdings
  • W-2 and 1099 employee management

There are other advanced features you may want to consider as well, depending on what you need. This includes things like HR tools, benefits management, wage garnishments, and more. 

So, carefully consider the essential features as well as the advanced features you need to simplify your payroll processes. 

Tax features

Filing tax is a complicated and time-consuming process. It can also result in unfortunate and expensive penalties if you don’t do it right. 

However, many payroll services offer tax features that simplify the process. From calculating payroll taxes to automatically withholding employee income taxes, there are countless things to consider. 

So, it’s important to choose a payroll service that offers essential tax features to make your accountant’s life easier. 

Or yours if you do your taxes yourself. 

Built-in HR tools

If you offer benefits to your employees, you need a payroll service that helps you effectively manage things like time off, vacation requests, workers’ compensation, insurance, and more. 

Furthermore, services with an employee self-service dashboard make this much more manageable. Employees can log in, update their accounts, request time off, and see an overview of their benefits package. 

The cheaper options on this list tend to ditch HR features. So, carefully consider what you need against your budget before making any decisions. 

Monthly payroll limits

If you have salaried employees or a set payroll schedule, most payroll services are adequate. However, if you pay freelancers or contractors on an irregular basis or run payroll more than twice a month, you need to be careful. 

Some services offer unlimited payroll processing, while others limit the number of times you can issue payments every month. 

So, carefully consider how often you need to send payments when making your final decision. 

Integrations

To further simplify your business processes, it’s crucial to consider the business tools you’re already using to run your business. 

It’s important to choose a payroll service provider that integrates seamlessly with those tools. Think about your accounting software, your employee scheduling software, and other essential tools related to payroll. 

The different types of payroll services

There are several different services to consider, depending on your business’s size and your specific payroll needs. 

So, before we dive into my top recommendations, I want to talk about the different types and how to decide between them. 

1. Hiring someone to do it for you

If you can afford it, hiring someone (either in-house or as a contractor) to run payroll for you is an excellent option. This ensures you find someone who knows how to do it and that they have the time to do it well. 

However, you still need payroll software. They may have their own preferences and expertise, which may help you decide which service is right for your business. 

With that said, many small businesses don’t necessarily need to hire someone. 

The best payroll services make running payroll easy, so anyone on your team can take care of it in a few clicks. 

2. Software as a service (SaaS)

The software as a service (SaaS) model means you pay to use the software. Most service providers charge monthly or annually for this, and as long as you keep paying, you get to keep using it. 

Most SaaS tools are cloud-based, meaning you can access it from a web browser anywhere. 

However, some also offer desktop applications and mobile apps you install on a specific device. 

This is the most common type of payroll service and the most convenient to use because you and your employees can access their accounts from any device, anywhere in the world with an internet connection. 

All of the recommendations on this list are SaaS payroll services. 

3. Enterprise-grade solutions

Most payroll services offer enterprise-grade and industry-specific solutions for large businesses. They come with specialized, custom pricing to match the unique needs of enterprise-grade companies. 

A software like this could be a SaaS tool or an on-premise deployment, depending on what you need and the company you choose. 

Most businesses don’t need this. But if you manage payroll for a large company or find your current solution limited, it may be a good idea to consider an enterprise solution. 

#1 – Gusto Review — The best for small businesses

If you’re a small business looking for a simple payroll service, Gusto is a smart choice. And you’ll be in good company with more than 100,000+ other small businesses around the world. 

Gusto makes onboarding, paying, insuring, and supporting employees as easy as possible. And they don’t call themselves a “people platform” for no reason. 

They offer the right set of tools and services to make your life (and your employees’ lives) easier. 

Running payroll takes just a few clicks, and you can enjoy unlimited payroll runs every month. Need to pay seven different contractors at different times? No problem. 

Need to pay the same employees the same wages every pay period? You can set it up to run automatically without you having to lift a finger. 

Plus, you get access to a wide variety of features, including:

  • Automatic tax calculations
  • Built-in time tracking capabilities
  • Health insurance, 401(k), PTO, workers’ comp, and more
  • Compliance with I-9’s, W-2s, and 1099s
  • Employee self-service onboarding and dashboards
  • Next-day direct deposits (on specific plans)

And the best part? It’s affordable. 

If you don’t have W-2 employees, Gusto starts at $6 per contractor per month. But if you do have full-time or part-time employees, expect to pay a bit more. Their other paid plans include:

  1. Basic — $19 per month + $6 per person per month
  2. Core — $39 per month + $6 per person per month
  3. Complete — $39 per month + $12 per person per month
  4. Concierge — $149 per month + $12 per person per month

Gusto is perfect for most startups and small businesses. But, large companies with complex benefits packages, and hundreds of employees may find it limiting. 

Get started with Gusto today!

#2 – OnPay Review — The most flexible payroll service

If you’re looking for an all-in-one payroll system with transparent pricing and virtually unlimited flexibility, OnPay is an excellent choice. 

Whether you’re a small company or a fast-growth startup, OnPay is versatile enough to suit your needs. Plus, you never have to guess how much you’re going to pay every month with their transparent pricing. 

And you can rest easy knowing you have access to every feature OnPay offers regardless of the number of employees you have because they only provide one pricing plan. 

Their software includes access to powerful features, including:

  • Unlimited monthly payroll runs
  • W-2 and 1099 capabilities
  • Automatic tax calculations and filings
  • Employee self-service onboarding and dashboards
  • Intuitive mobile app for management on the go
  • PTO, e-signing, org charts, and custom workflows
  • Integrated workers’ comp, health insurance, and retirement
  • Multi-state payroll

Plus, getting started is super easy. All you have to do is set up your account, add your employees, and start running payroll. Furthermore, OnPay automatically calculates and withholds taxes so you don’t have to worry about manual calculations or human error again. 

They also offer specialized solutions for different industries, including nonprofits, restaurants, and farming/agriculture. 

OnPay is $36 per month plus $4 per person per month. So, you can add new employees to the software for just a few dollars, making it excellent for fast-growing companies and small businesses alike. 

And while OnPay can handle large companies with hundreds of employees, there are better enterprise options available. It’s most suitable for small businesses and fast-growth companies that need simple pricing and flexibility. 

Try OnPay free for 30 days to see if it’s right for you!

#3 – Paychex Review — The best for larger organizations

Paychex is an excellent choice for businesses with more than 50 employees. They also offer low-tier plans for small businesses, but they’re quite limited compared to the other small business options on this list. 

However, their midsize to enterprise plans are perfect for large companies. 

The larger your business is, the worse small discrepancies and human errors affect your tax calculations. And wrong tax filings equal harsh penalties from the IRS, even if it was an accident. 

So as a large company, it’s imperative to have a payroll service that adapts to meet your needs. Paychex is more than a payroll service. It’s a human capital management (HCM) system designed to help you save time and reduce errors. 

Their enterprise plans include features like:

  • Recruiting and onboarding
  • Performance and learning management
  • Powerful real-time analytics
  • 100% employee self-service
  • Payroll automation features
  • Direct deposit, paper checks, and paycards
  • Salary, hourly, and contract workers
  • Paycheck garnishments
  • PTO and benefits management
  • Job costing and labor distribution

All of which are scalable for enterprises with thousands of employees (or as little as 50). Plus, Paychex services more than 650,000+ companies and has more than 50 years of experience in the industry. 

So, you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands.

With that said, getting started isn’t as easy as it is with some of the other options on this list. Because each deployment is tailored to your business, you can’t get going on your own. However, they do offer a team of specialists to help you get the ball rolling. 

Contact their sales team for a custom quote to get started!

#4 – ADP Review — The best for built-in HR features

ADP is the way to go if you’re looking for a payroll service with the most built-in HR features. It’s perfect for smaller companies without an HR department and growing/large companies looking to streamline the process. 

ADP works with more than 700,000 businesses in 140+ countries, making it one of the most popular payroll services for businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

They offer tailored solutions for small, midsize, and enterprise businesses, so you’re sure to find the perfect solution whether you have five employees or 1000+. 

Their lower-tiered plans include basic payroll features like automatic tax calculations, employee self-service tools, a mobile app, PTO management, and complete compliance support. 

However, ADP offers more than just basic payroll and HR. They also include time tracking, talent recruitment, HR consulting services, advanced employee benefits, and the option to outsource your entire payroll/HR department. 

You can also get unique benefits, like personalized training, legal assistance, background checks, and interview scheduling too. 

Furthermore, ADP offers industry-specific solutions for nine different industries, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Nonprofits

Note: ADP pricing isn’t available online, so it may not be suitable for micro or small businesses interested in getting started quickly. If you need something fast and straightforward, my #1 recommendation is Gusto.

Request a free quote to see if ADP is right for you today. 

#5 – Quickbooks Payroll — The best for QuickBooks integration

Quickbooks Online is one of the most well-known accounting tools on the market. And if you’re already a user, QuickBooks Payroll is an excellent addition to your tech stack. 

The two tools integrate seamlessly, making account reconciliation and tax season a breeze. 

Furthermore, QuickBooks’ payroll system works in all 50 states. So, whether you have a remote team or work with contractors across the country, you don’t have to worry about making errors or mishandling taxes. 

You can also rest easy knowing your federal, state, and local taxes are automatically calculated plus paid for you every time you run payroll. Plus, the entire process is easily automated after your first round of payments. 

With QuickBooks, you get a full-service payroll system regardless of the plan you choose. 

And the user interface is aesthetically pleasing with direct deposit payments landing in your employees’ bank accounts within 24 – 48 hours. 

The Core Plan starts at $45 per month, plus $4 per employee per month. It includes:

  • Full-service payroll with unlimited runs
  • Automatic payments after the first run
  • Health benefits
  • Wage garnishments
  • Next-day direct deposit
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • All 50 states

So, even their most basic plan includes everything you need to simplify your HR and payroll processes. 

But if that isn’t enough, their advanced plans include:

  1. Premium — $75 per month + $8/employee per month
  2. Elite — $125 per month + $10/employee per month

Get 70% off your first three months to take QuickBooks Payroll for a test drive today!

Note: 1099 contractors and freelancers aren’t included. It comes as an add-on with additional monthly fees. So, this isn’t the most affordable choice if you frequently handle contractors or freelancers. 

#6 – Wave Payroll Review — The most affordable payroll service

If you’re on a tight budget, Wave Payroll is an affordable payroll option. Wave also offers numerous other small business tools for free, including invoicing, accounting, and receipt management. 

The different apps integrate seamlessly to create an affordable small business accounting and payroll solution. 

With Wave, getting started takes just a few minutes, and running payroll goes even faster. Plus, they offer a 100% accuracy guarantee. You can also pay hourly, salary, and contractors and automatically generate the right tax forms. 

In some states, Wave automatically files and pays your state/federal payroll taxes for you. However, in those states, Wave’s services are more expensive. 

You also get access to features, like:

  • Automatic journal entries (if you use Wave Accounting)
  • Self-service pay stubs and tax forms for your employees
  • Workers’ compensation management
  • Basic payroll reporting
  • Automatic year-end tax forms
  • Timesheets for PTO and accruals

While Wave is one of the most affordable payroll services, it doesn’t sacrifice functionality and essential features. Despite being cheaper than the other options on this list, you still get all the essentials you need to run payroll for your small business. 

In tax service states, Wave is $35 per month + $6 per contractor/employee per month. This service isn’t necessarily cheaper than the other options on this list. 

But, it’s still a great option if you’re a small business owner looking for a simple payroll solution. 

However, it’s $20 per month + $6 per contractor/employee per month in self-service states. At this price, it’s easily the cheapest option with the most features available. 

And don’t forget that Wave Payroll seamlessly integrates with Wave’s free accounting and invoicing software as well. 

So, if you don’t yet have accounting software, this is a smart choice. 

Try Wave Payroll free for 30 days to see if it’s right for you and your business!

Summary

For most users, Gusto, OnPay, and Wave are my top recommendations. 

They’re all excellent for small and fast-growth businesses with the ability to scale to match your needs. Plus, they’re affordable and easy to use. 

However, different businesses require different solutions. 

So, don’t forget to use the considerations we talked about as you go through the process of choosing the best payroll services for your business. 

What payroll services do you prefer?

The post The Best Payroll Services (In-Depth Review) appeared first on Neil Patel.

FINALLY! Understand Your Business Credit Score!

What Does Your Business Credit Card Score Mean, and Where Does it Come From?

Imagine you are in a foreign country and have no understanding of the local language.  Of course, you need the basic things such as food, water, and shelter just to survive. The problem is, you cannot ask anyone where to find them.  Consequently, each time you try to get these things for yourself the door is shut in your face. You cannot explain yourself in order to get what you need, because you do not speak the language.  Even if they did try to help you, you would have no clue what they were talking about.  You wouldn’t understand.  This what it is like when you do not understand your business credit card score.

Similarly, you need funding for your business to survive.  A bad business credit card score can keep you from getting it.  If you do not understand your score however, you cannot help yourself.  For this reason, you need to know what the score means, what it says about your business, and how it is calculated.  Once you understand these things, you can get to work correcting whatever barrier is in the way.

Where Does Your Business Credit Card Score Come from and What Does it Mean?

The truth is, it depends.  As you likely know, there are various agencies that report personal credit scores.  Likewise, there are several that report business credit scores as well.  Most noteworthy are Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax, and CreditSafe.  There are a few smaller, lesser known business CRAs.  Certainly however, these are by far the largest and most commonly used by lenders.

That’s the easy part.  Where your business credit card score comes from and what it means is a little more complicated.  First of all, there are a ton of different scores.  Also, different CRAs gather their information and calculate their scores differently.  As a result, seeing your business credit card score can be very difficult.  Understanding it can be even harder.  Below, we break down what each score means and where the information comes from for each of the major credit reporting agencies.

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Business Credit Card Score from Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet offers several different types of business credit reports.  In fact, there are six different reporting options in all.  They all offer different information related to credit worthiness.  The result is, it takes all of them to get the whole picture.

The report lenders use most is likely the PAYDEX.   This is probably because it is the easiest to understand, due to it being the most like the consumer FICO score.  It measures how quickly a customer makes payments and ranges from 1 to 100.  Scores of 70 or higher are acceptable.   For reference, a score of 100 shows payments are made in advance.  A score of 1 indicates that they are 120, or more, late.

The other Dun & Bradstreet Credit Reports include:

●        Dun and Bradstreet Delinquency Predictor Score

The delinquency predictor score measures how likely it is that the company will not pay,

will be late paying, or will fall into bankruptcy.  On a scale of 1 to 5, a 2 is good.

●        Financial Stress Score

The financial stress score measures pressure on the balance sheet.  Therefore, it shows how likely the company is to shut down within a year.  These scores range from 5 to 1. A score of 2 is good.

●        Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating

This rating ranks the odds of a company surviving 12 months.  The minimum score is a 9 and the

maximum is 1.  A good score is 5.

●        Credit Limit Recommendation

The credit limit recommendation reflects a business’s borrowing capacity.  Even more, it is a

recommendation for how much debt a company can handle. Typically, creditors use this to

determine how much credit to extend.

●        D&B Credit Rating

This one ranks overall business risk on a scale of one to four.  A score of 2 is good.  The rating is

given in conjunction with letters, the combination of which indicate a company’s net worth.

Even if there isn’t enough information on a business to assign a regular rating, Dun and Bradstreet will assign what they call a Credit Appraisal Score.  Due to the lack of information, this is based on number of employees. Alternatively, they may offer a rating based on what data is actually available.

Business Credit Card Score from Experian Commercial

Experian uses what it calls Intelliscore as its credit ranking.  There are more than 800 different factors that they use to predict a company’s credit risk. With Intelliscore, a score of 76 or higher indicates a low risk of default or late payment. If a score falls between 51 to 75, it indicates a low to medium risk.  Scores from 26 to 50 are medium risk.  Finally, from 25 down to 1 is medium high to high risk.

Experian offers a number of other scores also.

●        Intelliscore Plus

This is a highly predictive percentile score that indicates the likelihood that a business will go seriously delinquent, or have a major financial issue such as a bankruptcy within the next year.

Intelliscore Plus uses more factors to determine the score than the original Intelliscore.  While payment history still accounts for 5 to 10%, current payment status, trade balances, and percent of accounts delinquent make up 50 to 60% of the score. Credit utilization, company profile, age of the business, industry risk, and public records account for the rest.  Public records include:

  • liens
  • judgements
  • collections
  • bankruptcies
  • other derogatory items

Data comes from suppliers, lenders, legal filings, collection agencies, credit card companies, and of course public records.

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●        The Experian Financial Stability Risk Score (FSR)

FSR predicts the potential of a business going bankrupt or defaulting on its obligations.  The score identifies the highest risk businesses by making use of payment and public records. These records include high utilization of credit lines, severely delinquent payments, tax liens, judgments, collection accounts, risk industries, length of time in business, etc.

●        Experian’s Blended Score

This is a one-page report that provides a summary of the business and its owner.  A combined business-owner credit scoring model is more comprehensive than a business or consumer only model.  Blended scores have been found to outperform consumer or business alone by 10 – 20%.

Equifax Business

Equifax gets its business credit data in ways similar to D&B and Experian.  Like D&B, they also have a sharing agreement with the Small Business Finance Exchange.  In addition, they get Net 30 type industry trade credit information from a wide variety of suppliers that provide products and services to businesses on an invoice basis.

They combine financial data with industry trade data, and they add in utility and telephone payment data.  They also use public records information.

Equifax Business credit scores include:

●        The Small Business Credit Risk Score for Suppliers

It is scored on a scale of 1 to 100, with 90+ indicating that a business has paid its obligations as agreed.  An 80 to 89 means they are 1 to 30 days past due, 60 to 79 indicates they are 31-60 days overdue, and a score of 40 to 59 is 61 to 90 days past the payment date.  In the same way, It just goes down further from this point.

●        Business Failure Risk Score

This score indicates the chance of a company paying its bills late on the following scale:

  • 497 – 816: 25% or less chance of payment being late
  • 452 – 496: 26 – 50% chance of late payment
  • 415 – 451: 51 – 74% chance of late payments
  • 101 – 414: 75 – 100% chance of late payments

●        Public Records Report

The purpose of this report is to list bankruptcies, judgments, and liens along with the amount, date of the most recent filing, and how they were satisfied.

●        Credit Usage Report

This is a pie chart that shows your company’s credit usage.  It gives a visual of what percent of your available credit you are using. That is known as your credit utilization ratio, and it has a pretty big impact on your overall credit score.

●        Credit Report Summary

The summary report shows the number of your business’s credit accounts, as well as the date each one became active. It also lists any amounts past due, along with your most severe status of the past 24 months.

The highest amount of credit extended, the median balance, and the average open balance are included as well.

Additionally, the report lists recent activity such as number of new accounts opened recently, delinquent accounts, number of updated accounts, and inquiries.

●        Financial Account Highlights

This report shows details for the past 36 months, including credit accounts and leases. It lists the status, open and close dates, and original and current credit limits. It also shows any past due amount for each.  In addition, the payment amount and frequency for each account, as well as its security status can be seen.

Business Credit Card Score: Credit Safe

CreditSafe does not gather its own information like the other CRAs.  Rather, they offer reporting options based on data from Dun & Bradstreet.  Since they compile the data and report it in different ways, these scores still offer information that may be used differently than what is found on a Dun & Bradstreet report.  They offer 3 packages: Standard, Plus, and Premier.  The problem is, they do not list their prices on the website.  You have to request a quote to determine what your pricing would be, as they allow you to purchase individual products as well.

Their main score, the CreditSafe rating, works on a scale of 1-100.  It predicts the likelihood that payment performance will become 90 plus days past due within the next 12 months, or that the business will go bankrupt.  They offer a variety of other scores and reports that provide a ton of additional information.

●        International Score

This score is derived from the Creditsafe rating. It compares credit risk between companies in different countries.

●        Credit Limit

The Creditsafe recommended credit limit uses information from the business payment records and those of similar companies to calculate a dollar amount recommendation for the maximum amount of credit a company should receive at one time.

●        Days Beyond Terms (DBT)

Compares how many days late a business pays its bills in comparison to other companies in the industry.

●        Derogatory Legal

This is a report on the number and value of tax liens and judgements that have been filed in the past 6 years and 9 months.  It also includes bankruptcies filed in the last 9 years and 9 months.

●        Payment Trend

A report designed to highlight, at a glance, substantial changes in how a company is paying its bills.

●        Business Spend Trend

 Let’s you know whether the total annual business spending is going up or down when compared to the previous year.

Subscription packages come in levels, and the prices are dependent completely on your business’s individual needs.  You have to speak to a consultant to get a quote.

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Finally!  You Understand Your Business Credit Card Score… Now How Can You See It?

Just understanding your business credit card score is not enough.  You need to know what you can do about it if it isn’t helping you get funding.  That’s where monitoring comes in.  Unfortunately, you cannot get a free copy of your business credit reports like you can with your personal credit reports.  It costs money to see your business credit card score.

For example, the big three charge closet to $50 or more for each report:

  • Dun & Bradstreet reports range in price from $61 to $229 per report.
  • Experian reports are $49.95 per report.
  • Equifax is $99.95 per report.

CreditSafe doesn’t even tell you a price until you talk to one of their agents.  They will quote you a price after discussing your needs with you.  So it’s a subscription type package that you pay monthly.

You can monitor your credit with D&B, Experian, and CreditSafe at a fraction of these costs by going to https://www.creditsuite.com/monitoring/.

What Can You Do About Bad Business Credit?

First off, if your business credit card score is bad because of mistakes, you can dispute them.  In this way, you can have the mistakes taken off.  Do this in writing to the credit reporting agency.  In addition, you will need to include backup documentation that supports your point.  Do not send originals however. Rather, send copies.

In contrast, if your credit is bad and there are no mistakes, start now making payments on time.  Furthermore, if you have accounts that do not report to the credit agencies, such as telephone or utility accounts, ask them to report your on-time payments.  If you pay rent, ask your landlord to report your rent payments. In addition, work with starter vendors that will offer net 30 invoices without a credit check and that will report your payments.  Go here to find a few to start with.

Above all, pay your bills on time. This is the number one way to increase your business credit score.

Knowledge is Power

Once you understand your business credit card score, you can start to figure out what you can do about it.  So knowing is half the battle. The other half is getting the problem areas corrected.  Once you do, your business can get the funding it needs to grow and thrive.

 

 

The post FINALLY! Understand Your Business Credit Score! appeared first on Credit Suite.

Griffa: The man who shaped Argentine football, discovered Pochettino, mentored Bielsa and many more

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner questions whether Tottenham will have depth issues this season with several key players linked to summer exits.

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris shares his views on ICC opponents, Juventus' Champions League chances, and what new signing Tanguy Ndombele brings to Spurs.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The story of Jorge Griffa and Marcelo Bielsa knocking on the Pochettino family's door during a scouting trip to see a 13-year-old Mauricio sleeping is relatively well known by now.
As Griffa remembers it, he and Bielsa had gone to Santa Isabel in the Santa Fe province of Argentina looking for talents to bring to Newell's Old Boys in Rosario. While they were there, locals commented that a kid named Pochettino — from Murphy, about a 30-minute drive away — was the best…

The post Griffa: The man who shaped Argentine football, discovered Pochettino, mentored Bielsa and many more appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.

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