Are you looking for the best payroll software for schools?

School administrators are always on the lookout for ways to improve school processes. The emergence and the prevalence of school management software systems prove this. But, unfortunately, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of school ERP systems in the market.

School management systems help school administrators, teachers, accountants, HR, and other school employees perform administrative tasks. Systems like these help with school finances, learning management, and communication. They also help accomplish one of the most critical yet time-consuming administrative school functions: payroll processing.

Why do schools need payroll management software?

Teachers work incredibly hard to help students secure brighter futures. They may manage multiple classes and even handle different subjects. Many holistic educators are also concerned with how their students are doing outside of their academic performances. The last thing a teacher needs is a problem with their salaries.

Instruction and instruction-related expenditures always take up the biggest school budget allocations. Salaries and employee benefits make up around 80% of this allocation. To put it simply, schools need efficient payroll management software because it holds the largest chunk of the organization’s annual budget.

Payroll management is a combination of HR and accounting processes. A digitalized payroll system can help streamline the process of calculating, distributing, and managing payslips. These automated payroll systems can make the lives of accountants, school finance officers, and HR employees so much easier.

A payroll software system may also come as a feature of a more comprehensive school management system. For example, as part of a school ERP, payroll software can be integrated with accounting, HR, and finance software features. As a result, all-in-one school management software systems have more features and better integrations.

Features to Look For in Payroll Automation Software

Various school administrative tasks can make a teacher’s job more difficult than it should be. Teachers shouldn’t have to pore over their payslips because payroll mistakes are so common that they expect errors in every pay cycle. Payroll systems should be clear, transparent, and most of all, accurate.

Not all payroll software systems were created equal, but you can always look for certain payroll software features.

1. Tax Filing

Year-end tax computations are specifically stressful for many accountants. It doesn’t help that tax computations undergo regular changes due to tax bills and other tax laws. Payroll systems should be able to help you with federal, state, and local tax computations.

2. Attendance Tracking

Attendance management is more than just knowing who came to work and who didn’t. Hours billed, tardiness, suspensions, vacation days, sick days, paid time-offs, mandatory leaves, and many others are considered in payroll calculations.

3. Employee Self-access

Teachers and school staff need access to digital payslips. This gets rid of the need to print and distribute payslips one by one. Employees may also need access to the system to request for PTOs and upload medical certificates for sick leave approvals.

4. Reports and Analytics

Reports are an excellent way for school administrators to get various detailed and general employee performance reports.

5. Support

What kind of support are you expecting to receive from the developers? Email support is the most common and is included in most basic subscriptions. Real-time support over chat and phone are usually part of premium plans. Free software systems rarely offer support to users and instead direct users to community forums.

If you’re going to spend time and invest money on a payroll system, you’d want it to have features that you can use and benefit from. A basic payroll system with everything you need is better than a more complex payroll system that confuses teachers and other school staff.

The 5 Best Payroll Software For Schools

A quick Google search for school payroll systems can leave you scratching your head. How can there be so many payroll software to choose from? So we’ve scoured the web for you and did our research. That’s how we came up with this curated list of the best payroll software for schools:

1. GoSchooler

GoSchooler isn’t just a payroll processing system; it’s a cloud-based school management software system. This doesn’t make its accounting software less powerful, though.

Because it’s a whole school management system, you’ll find that GoSchooler’s payroll software is connected to accounting, finances, HR, and many other subsystems. This means that you won’t have to keep separate records and use different systems for every school department. Teaching and non-teaching staff members can utilize the various GoSchooler features available for their access level.

GoSchooler’s automated payroll processing makes it easy to create, distribute, and even contest pay. It automatically takes attendance, paygrade, taxes, benefits, deductions, and other data to calculate salaries in different pay cycles. Employees and teachers can even monitor their own attendances, promoting transparency in pay calculations.

In this screenshot from the GoSchooler site, payroll management is easy as breeze. All essential details in one area. Generating a payroll becomes as easy as a single click.

GoSchooler is perfect for those looking to transform their manual school management systems into a digitalized and automated one. The school-friendly pricing and customizable plans make it scalable for schools of every size. 

2. APS Payroll Processing Software

APS provides payroll processing solutions and services for many different industries. They deal with payroll processing for schools, hospitals, banks, hotels, and other businesses. APS also helps schools develop HR software solutions that deal with taxes, scheduling, recruiting, benefits, employee performances, and much more.

APS combines human resources and accounting in one software. Their unified and custom solution makes it perfect for schools with higher budgets and more uncommon management needs. As it’s a unified system, there is also no need for database duplicates, ensuring data accuracy.

Aside from payroll processing, APS also has employee lifecycle management, scheduling, recruiting, and onboarding. In addition, they support multi-location institutions, and they also have mobile solutions for remote employees.

3. PHP Payroll

PHP Payroll has all the makings of a good ol’ payroll software. It has attendance, employee, leave, holiday, payslip, and user management features.

PHP Payroll is free and open-source. This makes it the perfect solution for small to medium-sized schools with little to no budget allocation for software and other digital improvements.

Since it’s open-source, you may be able to customize it according to your school’s requirements with the help of an adept PHP developer. There is also a paid version called PHP Payroll Pro, their online payroll and HR software solution.

One downside of this free and open-source app is that you will definitely need a professional to install, manage, and maintain the system. In PHP Payroll, installation support costs additional. The developers don’t offer any kind of support after installing the free version.

Suppose a school wants any form of an automated system but doesn’t want to include a developer on the regular payroll. In that case, it’s better off subscribing to a school management system that comes with monthly or annual plans.

4. 247 HRM

247 HRM specializes in HR software solutions. It might as well be one of the best corporate payroll software solutions. But, though it’s not just for schools, the one-stop HR software solution offers a wide array of features that school administrators would definitely want in a payroll system.

Since 247 HRM specializes in HR management, their software includes complete HRMS and recruitment features. It also includes several other features like income tax calculations, expense reports, and performance management. These capabilities make 247 HRM an attractive solution for schools wanting to streamline HR processes and help manage employee and student data life cycle.

247 HRM isn’t a complete school management software by any means. However, it can still help with exam management, cloud database storage, student admission, employee onboarding, library management, and communication. This makes 247 HRM the perfect solution for schools that need just a few select features.

If you’re maybe looking at another payroll processing solution, 247 HRM also provides payroll outsourcing services.

5. MySchoolTimeClock

MySchoolTimeClock was developed by TES Software. The developer makes and provides software and support for schools of all sizes. TES Software offers four different school software systems: Accounting, Receipts, TimeClock, and Fees.com.

MySchoolTimeClock was formerly known as MySchoolPayroll. With the integration of some HR functions like attendance, scheduling, and leave management, it was aptly renamed to MySchoolTimeClock. MySchoolTimeClock is a simple system designed for simple schools.


The employee self-service portal makes it easy for employees to choose their reason for absence, so there’s no more need for paperwork before going back to the office. Those with access to their dashboards can check their attendance and timekeeping history.

The system allows for different types of users and access levels. For example, employees may choose to log in using their own computers or use dedicated computers for logging in to the system. Other employees can use a digitized timeclock system. Even substitute teachers can use the system for timekeeping.

FAQs

Is it better to do payroll management manually?

No. Even if it is the cheapest method available, it isn’t the preferred method. It can easily become the most expensive process when errors get in the way. Human error is unavoidable, so when it comes to one of the largest assets of any business institution, it’s better to play safe with payroll software.

Conclusion

A good school administrator not only wants the best for students; they’d want the best for everyone who works for the school as well. This is why you should consider school management software systems.

School management systems allow administrators to provide a better work environment for staff and teachers, which in turn helps provide a better learning environment for the kids. This means that, with correct application, a digitalized school management system can have a significant and positive effect on employee job satisfaction, employee turnover, and quality of education.

However, the same may apply to smaller subsets of school management too. The best payroll software for schools can help teachers accomplish their more mundane administrative tasks. This effectively gives them more time for the most essential parts of their jobs, like teaching the kids and guiding them towards academic excellence.

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