You’re a small business owner in Malaysia. You spend waaay too much time every month running payroll. Time that could be efficiently spent doing something more productive for your business.
Frustrated and disgruntled, you turn to the ever-reliable Google for help – “Best Payroll Software Malaysia”… only to be greeted with payroll solution companies praising their own systems, touting to be the “best in the industry” without any real-world reviews.
Up until now, that is.
I was doing my research on payroll software providers in Malaysia, and I realized that there’s practically no one doing legitimate in-depth reviews on these things in our little part of the world.
Malaysian business owners like yourselves deserve better, proper user reviews so they’ll know what kind of payroll service they’re signing up for.
Hence, I made it my duty to try out a few payroll software providers just to see what they’re made of, which I’ll be sharing with you later on with this article.
Typical payroll challenges small business owners face
1. The one that runs their own payroll
It’s tempting to run payroll by yourself because it CAN be done and who wants to pay someone to do this when you can do things yourself, right?
However, all that time spent on running payroll could be better used doing something more profitable for the company, like sales or marketing.
Also, how sure are you that you’re making the correct statutory contributions? Making incorrect or late contributions will cost your company quite a fair bit of money. It’s not like business owners have all the time in the world to keep up with the latest requirements in statutory contributions.
2. Hiring an admin to run payroll can be costly
Is it really worth it to pay someone to run payroll once a month, especially when they’ll spend at most 10 hours on payroll processing?
Besides that, hiring a clerk or admin for a small team comes with its own set of issues. They might miscommunicate, mistakes happen, conflicts arise, morale can take a hit… and that’s gonna be a bigger headache for the business owner to handle.
Sure, you can hire a freelancer to run payroll, or outsource it to an accounting firm – but how much can you trust outsiders?
3. Tax season is gonna be a b*tch
If you don’t have a company accountant or internal staff focused on payroll, you’ll probably dread tax season.
You’ve got to get your reports right, make sure everyone has their EA forms, pray that LHDN doesn’t decide to do an audit on your company… who said being an entrepreneur is easy, right?
Why your company NEEDS a payroll software
Some people claim that running a business is all fun, profit and games.
I’m willing to bet that people who make that claim have never had to run payroll or do anything admin-related before.
Payroll processing is a crucial yet boring, time-consuming, tedious, monotonous and inconvenient process.
It’s so time-consuming that according to the NSBA 2017 Small Business Taxation Survey, over 25% of American business owners spend more than 6 hours a month running payroll internally.
Those that outsource their payroll duties don’t have it much better either, with over 30% spending 5 hours a month performing administrative payroll tasks before sending the data out to payroll service providers.
However, payroll is one of the most important parts of running a business because it tells you what your company expenses are, in terms of salaries paid to full time and freelance staff.
The thing is, business owners spend WAY too much time running payroll, time that can be better spent on sales, marketing, or even some good ‘ol R&R.
With the introduction of cloud payroll providers, processes that used to take hours to do can now be automated and done within minutes, cutting out a big portion of stress and helping you run your business more efficiently.
Like we mentioned earlier, we’ve gone through a few Malaysian payroll software providers to see how beneficial they are to us, and we’ll be sharing it with you because we’re awesome like that.
What we look for in payroll software?
- Ease of Use
The software has to be intuitive and easy to use. All the best features and benefits in the world are useless if nobody knows how to utilize it. Quality UI and UX are key to choosing a good payroll system.
Running payroll is the most basic thing a payroll software has to do. We take a look to see if these payroll software come with additional features which are unique yet beneficial to the user.
- HR Capabilities
Payroll and HR duties sometimes overlap, and some companies provide excellent HR features with their software. We’ll be looking at the very basic HR capabilities of the app and how it can benefit your business.
Without further ado, here are our favourite payroll software providers for Malaysians!
Best Payroll Software
- Employee Self-Service
- Quickbooks & Xero Integration
- Online Leave Management
“Bitcatcha’s most favourite payroll software! A dream to use with all the functionalities you need at a low price!”
PayrollPanda – Ease of use
PayrollPanda easily takes the cake as the best payroll software we’ve used so far because it’s just so damn easy to like. It makes all the other payroll programs we’ve tried feel unnecessarily complicated.
The team at PayrollPanda spent a lot of time on the UI and UX, and it shows.
The software is simple – easy to use and practical. All the clickable buttons are cleverly laid out in a panel on the left, decked out in bright colours, making navigation as intuitive as possible.
Using it feels so natural, I daresay that anyone who knows how to use computers wouldn’t actually need any sort of training to use the app efficiently.
PayrollPanda – Features
PayrollPanda isn’t the most feature-laden payroll app out there. It has all the basic functions you’ll expect to see from a payroll app these days, nothing more, nothing less.
We’re talking automatic payroll calculations, one-click payroll processing, integrated banking batch payments (to employee and statutory accounts), automatic payslip generation… that’s about it.
If you think about it, it’s really not a lot… but it gets the job done. And it does so efficiently.
PayrollPanda – HR Capabilities
PayrollPanda also has some HR capabilities. Compared to the competition, their HR features aren’t anything to rave about, but it serves its purpose well and it definitely makes the business owner’s life a whole lot easier.
Employees are given logins to their own PayrollPanda portal, where they’re able to perform functions like printing out their own payslips, apply for leaves. You can then approve of their leaves remotely just by logging on to PayrollPanda from your laptop or your phone.
There’s also a calendar feature so the team can easily see at a glance who’s on leave or if there are any public holidays.
We actually had problems coming up with any cons for PayrollPanda. I guess the only real complaint is that the software only allows one user to run payroll… so I guess if you don’t want anyone else to know how much your company’s expenses are, you’re gonna have to run payroll yourself.
PayrollPanda’s pricing is pretty competitive too, with only RM38 for the base account and RM8 per employee.
Affordable, easy to use, and most importantly, functional.
It’s no wonder PayrollPanda is our number one payroll software provider.
- Employee Self-Service
- Great Onboarding Program
- Approver Setting
- HR Hub
“One of the best payroll apps out there for SMEs!”
Swingvy – Ease of use
It was honestly very difficult for us to rank the companies on this list, because while our favourite is PayrollPanda, Swingvy exists and they’re also pretty damn awesome!
Our first impressions of Swingvy was very positive, with their UI being well polished, clean, and… responsive looking. I don’t know how else I can explain that better. The interface is so polished it literally LOOKS responsive.
Using it feels natural and intuitive, without having to struggle to really know what to do next. In other words, the user experience is excellent!
Swingvy – Features
Swingvy wields a double-edged sword because while they have a TON of payroll features, all that comes at a price – user-friendliness. We found that we had a slightly more difficult time learning how to use Swingvy compared to PayrollPanda, requiring us to undergo training to learn how to use the app efficiently.
One of the features we really like is that they have an excellent onboarding system, which I really appreciated.
They basically provide you with dummy data, so you can feel what it’s like to run payroll using their platform. When you’re ready, you just have to upload your company and employee details to run payroll for real.
EA form generation is very easy with Swingvy, requiring you to just click a button to generate the forms during tax season.
Aside from that, Swingvy has all the usual suspects – automatic calculations, banking batch payments, one-click payroll, payslip generation.
One thing I really like is that they have a mobile app. Because Swingvy allows more than one user to run payroll, that user will need approval from the boss, i.e. you, before submitting payroll.
The mobile app comes in really handy, as it is formatted to fit your phone’s screen, allowing you to check everything comfortable before approving anything. This applies to HR duties like leave and claims approval too!
Swingvy – HR Capabilities
When it comes to HR capabilities, Swingvy has a FREE HR hub which you are required to sign up for before using their payroll add-on. It’s fantastic, with employee self-service, calendar, custom reporting, the works.
Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t come with leave and claims management. If you’d like that, you’ll have to fork out an additional RM8.50 per month per head for their premium plan.
In a nutshell, Swingy is fantastic for SMEs and small businesses alike. You just need to undergo training to use it efficiently.
- Detailed HR Module
- Highly Customisable
- Bank Integrations
- Auto Payroll Calculation
“Really comprehensive and detailed! Can be pretty amazing if you have the patience to learn how to use it properly.”
Kakitangan – Ease of use
Kakitangan is probably the payroll system we liked the least, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s actually full of features, functions, and customizable options! It’s just that it has a steep learning curve, requiring training for people to use the software efficiently.
The UI looks great, there’s no denying that. It’s well designed, everything looks good, fresh, modern… however, Kakitangan needs a little bit of help in the UX section.
UX stands for User Experience, and our experience using the app was a little mixed. we’ll dive deeper into that later.
Kakitangan – Features
Right now, let’s focus on features. Kakitangan easily trumps the competition with the sheer amount of features available with their system.
In terms of payroll, you’ve got things like customizable payslips, PCB explainer pages, a kick-ass mobile app and the largest list of bank integrations for batch payments.
Kakitangan – HR Capabilities
Its HR capabilities are also quite robust, with separate modules for claims, leave and HRIS. Everything is detailed and customizable, which is really good to know because Kakitangan is possibly the only payroll/HR software out there with this level of customization options.
Kakitangan – Bonus Rant
Despite their superb features, Kakitangan failed to impress in terms of usability – the implementation of such intricate and complex features causes their system to also feel complicated.
I personally had trouble navigating through Kakitangan’s platform, and at times I wasn’t quite sure what I had to do or complete in order to use the functions correctly.
Training is a must in order to use the app efficiently, and even then I feel that users might still be unsure of what to do. In cases like these, a live chat or phone support system is great for users because they can immediately get someone to help when they get stuck, but since Kakitangan offers none of those, we had to spend ages figuring things out on our own.
The long and short of it, Kakitangan is an excellent solution to your payroll woes, IF you have the patience and time to learn how to use their system efficiently.
Final Thoughts: Which Payroll Is The Best?
EASE OF USE
* Price is dependent on features included & number of employees.
Coming up with this list was the hardest thing we had to do in a long time, because all of these companies bring something to the table that is both beneficial AND functional.
PayrollPanda is the most user-friendly option of all, offering a no-frills solution to your payroll problems. It does what it advertises, and it does it really well. It’s easy to use, no complications, it just works.
Kakitangan has the most features and benefits, and literally goes above and beyond that it’s expected to do. It has customization options that most SMEs salivate over, but is really complicated to use.
Swingvy has the best of both worlds. Easy to use, more comprehensive than PayrollPanda, not as confusing as Kakitangan. However, it’s also NOT as simple to pick up as PayrollPanda, and not as detailed as Kakitangan.
PayrollPanda is the cheapest platform out of the 3 when you take their full package into consideration.
However, if you just need a payroll solution without the HR benefits, PayrollPanda becomes the most expensive option, because they only have one pricing.
* Price is based on a 10-employee, 12-month subscription rate.
Personally, PayrollPanda is the best option for us because we are a small business and they are specifically targeting small business owners. We like it so much because it’s affordable, easy to use and it just works!
However, they do lack customizing options and they only allow one user to run payroll, so if you’re running an SME or if you want someone else to run payroll, you’re better off picking Swingvy or Kakitangan.
As always, the views in this review are only the author’s opinion and may not necessarily reflect your experience with the software. In other words, there’s no way to really tell what’s best for you unless you go try it yourself.
All of them offers a free trial of sorts, so go crazy and knock yourself out!
If you disagree with my point of view, write in to us and let me know your thoughts.