While I was doing my research on the best payroll systems for this payroll review series, Kakitangan was easily the most frequently mentioned company out there, in terms of word of mouth and Google searches, but does its services really live up to its popularity?
Well, you’re going to have to read through the rest of this review to find out, because I took the trouble to sign up and perform in-depth tests on the platform, and you’re gonna wanna know what I think.
But before that, a little background on the oft-talked about software.
Table of Contents
Pros of Kakitangan
- Kakitangan’s platform is VERY comprehensive!
- Kakitangan has video tutorials & guides!
- Run payroll twice a month!
- Running payroll is relatively easy!
- Payroll mistakes are easily fixed!
- Detailed & customisable payslips!
- A large number of integrated banks!
- Kakitangan has a mobile app!
Cons of Kakitangan
- Inconsistent speed
- Cannot view entire payslip at a glance
- Comprehensive but convoluted
- No live chat or phone support
Kakitangan’s Plan & Pricing
Kakitangan VS Other Competitor
Kakitangan in a nutshell
Kakitangan was formed in 2014 right here in Malaysia with a vision to make payroll and HR duties easier than ever for SMEs (small & medium-sized enterprises) in Malaysia.
Their promise of a better, more convenient payroll system was so convincing that they somehow managed to raise over RM1,000,000 via PitchIn, an equity crowdfunding operator.
Yes yes, I know what you’re thinking – one million ringgit isn’t all that much to raise in funding.
I agree, except for the fact that the boys in Kakitangan managed to do it within 24 hours. Now THAT’s pretty damn remarkable isn’t it?
The fact that they managed to crowdfund their project means that the market IS looking for a solution to their payroll woes (seriously, nobody I know actually likes running payroll) and they’ve got what it takes to execute their vision.
Today, Kakitangan.com proudly services over 20,000 clients in Malaysia and has collected more than a few accolades, including some awards from Alliance Biz Smart Academy, Maybank, Cradle and MaGIC.
As impressive as their accomplishments may be, my experience using their payroll platform was… quite interesting. There were a few things that I felt could be improved, while some things I thought were pretty damn kick-ass.
Read on to find out why I feel what I feel about Kakitangan.com
8 things we like about Kakitangan
1. Kakitangan’s platform is VERY comprehensive!
Out of all the platforms I’ve tried out so far, I daresay that Kakitangan’s platform is the most feature-packed one, not just in terms of payroll but as a whole.
Every feature is customizable, down to the minor details.
You don’t want birthdays to be shown in the calendar? Sure!
Wanna customize company holidays? Not a problem!
Basically, if you feel that you need a feature customized, Kakitangan should have no issues catering to your requests.
Their basic HR platform controls the rest of Kakitangan’s features, so you’ll need to fill up all the necessary company and employee details in the HR module, then you can scoot over to the Payroll feature and start using it.
Honestly, when I first logged in to the platform, I was a little overwhelmed.
I didn’t know where to start because there were so many buttons and options, but after watching their demo videos, I kinda got used to it.
However, their extensive features can actually act as a double-edged sword – although I’m pretty sure some people will absolutely LOVE all the detail and customisation available with Kakitangan, other folks (like me) will end up pretty dazed at all that controlled chaos.
I suspect that this might be a UI issue, but we’ll get to that bit later.
2. Kakitangan has video tutorials & guides!
I have to admit, this is something I really appreciated.
As I’ve stated earlier, I was a little overwhelmed by the intricacies of the system and their video tutorials really helped me learn how to set up Kakitangan.com.
Their video tutorials are up on their Youtube page so it’s easily accessible for those of you that like to watch.
If you’re the type that prefers to read, don’t fret – Kakitangan has prepared all sorts of guides to help you set up your system with their payroll software.
Personally, I’m very happy that they’ve got these prepared because I wouldn’t know where or how to start setting up the system and input company / employee details otherwise.
3. Run payroll twice a month!
Any employee would love getting paid twice a month, especially if they’re sales-based. It’s actually a great way to boost employee morale (carrot dangling always works) but many companies don’t practise this because running payroll fortnightly just takes up too much work.
All that changes when you use Kakitangan. When you’re setting up the payroll system in Kakitangan’s settings, you’ll see an option to have 2 payroll cycles per month.
Since running payroll is quick and easily done with Kakitangan, you can then quickly make any changes to your staff’s allowances or commissions, then run payroll as usual, and you’re done!
Your staff will be happy and motivated, with little to no extra effort needed by whoever is in charge of payroll, creating a win-win situation where everyone is happy.
4. Running payroll is relatively easy!
Once you’ve got all your company and employee details sorted out, you’ll find that running payroll with Kakitangan to actually be quite easy.
When you hit the payroll tab, you’ll be sent to this page where you can flip through each employee’s details and make whatever necessary adjustments needed for their allowances, claims, commissions, overtime, etc.
Remember what I said earlier about Kakitangan’s system being really comprehensive? I wasn’t kidding about that.
Under the “extra earnings” column, you’ll have the option to subject your employees’ additional earnings to statutory bodies, or not.
To make things even more interesting, they’ve added this little eye symbol at the under the statutory deductions;
Clicking on that button will bring you to a page which shows you Kakitangan’s calculations, so all statutory deductibles are transparent, easily explained and calculated.
After you’re done adjusting the additional allowance or commissions for your staff, all you have to do is hit the “View report” button, and you’ll be brought to the payroll summary page, where you can get a full view of the grand total, the company’s net pay, and statutory expenses.
All you have to do is hit the “Confirm all amount” button and you’re done with payroll!
5. Payroll mistakes are easily fixed!
All the calculations for PCB, EPF, Socso and EIS are automatically calculated by Kakitangan’s system, so on top of saving you time from manually calculating everything, the system guarantees that all the deductions will be correct according to LHDN’s requirements.
However, the one thing that Kakitangan can’t account for is human error.
Even with a system like this, humans are error-prone and we might accidentally submit payroll with the wrong salary, or payout less commission than intended to.
So far, all the other payroll platforms we’ve tried are able to fix problems like these, but not natively. We’ve had to contact the support team to ask them for help to fix user errors.
With Kakitangan (I believe this small little feature is exclusive to Kakitangan for now) fixing payroll mistakes is as easy as a click of a button.
Under the Payroll Summary button, you’ll find the “unconfirm” button. Just hit that and you’ll be able to go back to your payroll page to make corrections. Easily done without any hassle about contacting support!
If payments are already PAID then you’ll probably have to work out the corrections internally with your staff.
6. Detailed & customisable payslips!
When you run payroll with Kakitangan, you’ll find that you have the option to get the payslips done in 2 different sizes, whichever suits your company best.
You also have the option to have the payslips done with the YTD amount or without, as well as details like overtime hours, annual leave, payment date, extra EPF contributions, etc.
I personally prefer the A5 payslip variant as all the details could be seen at a glance, although it seems a little bit messy at first.
The A4 sized payslip looks prettier, but I think it’s a matter of preference because I don’t quite like it.
Regardless of whatever size or details you want to declare in the payslip, you are able to easily send them to your employees once payroll is done, which saves paper and is just so much more convenient.
If they need the payslips in a physical form, they’ll be able to log on to the Kakitangan portal with their account, select which payslip month they need and just get printing.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
7. A large number of integrated banks!
You can’t proudly call yourself a payroll software provider if you don’t have integrations with banks to make batch payments, and Kakitangan leaves the competition in the dust in this aspect.
By having a joint venture with 13 banks, every Malaysian company that runs the Kakitangan payroll system will have no problems whatsoever making batch payments to staff and statutory bodies (our favourite PayrollPanda only has a paltry 6 banks in their system).
Once payroll is done, you can export the batch payment data, upload it to your favourite bank and easily transfer payments to everyone.
Hurrah! Say goodbye to making payments one by one, account by account!
This feature is sort of mandatory for payroll software companies (the reason why you’re reading this review is probably because you’re sick of having to make payments manually), but Kakitangan is planning to take it one step further.
They have plans to make batch payments possible without leaving the platform at all, so users can do everything within the platform, making things even more convenient.
Although having to open another window, log on to their banks and go through the mundane process of making payments doesn’t actually take long, but every step made to make processes faster and more efficient is always applauded.
This feature isn’t available yet and we have no idea when it’ll be ready, but I think “soon” is probably our best bet.
I don’t think anyone else is privy to this information, so remember, you heard it first at Bitcatcha – Malaysia’s Finest Small Business Resource!
Ahem, excuse the shameless plug, thanks.
8. Kakitangan has a mobile app!
Now what on earth would a mobile app do for payroll services, right?
Turns out, quite a fair bit!
You see, with Kakitangan, you’re able to create groups and assign more than one user to run payroll. Once you’ve assigned an admin to be in charge of running payroll, they can make all the necessary adjustments, BUT they will still need someone to APPROVE of the payroll!
This is where the mobile app comes in.
Yes, you can use your phone’s web browser to log into kakitangan.com, but the mobile app is designed to be used with smaller screens, making it easier for you to navigate through the software.
Anyway, you can use the app to check out all the additional expenses and make approvals from there, without the hassle of having to log in and out all the time.
The functions of the mobile app isn’t limited to just payroll usage. You can use it to approve ANYTHING that needs approval regarding HR, such as claims, leave applications… anything!
You don’t even need access to a computer anymore. As long as you have access to the internet, you can approve things while you’re in bed, and no one would be the wiser.
What we didn’t like about Kakitangan
1. Inconsistent speed
This is probably my biggest gripe about Kakitangan. Please note that my experience may be an isolated incident, because there is no way for us to really test this, but Kakitangan’s platform felt a little laggy.
When we click on a tab, we expect something to load in the first 2 seconds, but with Kakitangan, it kinda felt like… forever. Sometimes, it took us multiple refreshes to get something loaded.
As a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), this is highly disappointing because there is no client based program, meaning we had no choice but to live with the lag.
Sometimes things will load just fine but occasionally, the data seems to take its time, going through the scenic route and stopping to smell the flowers before deciding to load up on our screens.
Again, this could just be an isolated issue (maybe my 500mbps line wasn’t fast enough /s) but this annoyed me real bad.
2. Cannot view entire payslip at a glance
The software is structured in a way that you cannot view the entire payroll at a glance while making changes.
You have to make adjustments then click on the next button to see the next employee’s payroll.
This isn’t exactly a dealbreaker when you have 10 employees or less, but can you imagine how agonizing it is to be clicking the next button one by one when you have 30, 40 or 50 employees?
3. Comprehensive but convoluted
I have to give Kakitangan credit for trying to be as comprehensive as possible, because that’s a good thing.
However, there is a problem that comes with being overly comprehensive – your program becomes very convoluted.
When you’ve got too many options, so many choices, buttons everywhere, you’ll have to run thorough testing on user experience, otherwise your users will just end up overwhelmed by the complexity of the program.
Don’t get me wrong – the UI is beautifully designed. It’s the UX that feels problematic. It doesn’t feel intuitive.
I’m pretty sure that with proper training (which is available) users will be able to easily navigate through the program, but therein lies the issue – you actually NEED the training to use Kakitangan efficiently, more so than any other platforms we’ve tried.
4. No live chat or phone support
Given how complicated the software is, I’m pretty annoyed that Kakitangan provides no live chat or phone support at all. If you encounter any issues, you’ll have to email their support and hopefully they’ll get back to you on the same day.
Take for example, my own experience. I’ve watched the videos, read the guides, and I swear I’ve filled up and completed company and payroll setup, but I’m STILL getting this message.
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’d ask support but there’s no live chat or phone chat, and since it’s the weekend, I guess I’ll have to wait till Monday when support gets to the office.
It’s times like these when live chat support really comes in handy, and it’s disappointing that Kakitangan opted not to have this feature.
Kakitangan’s Plan & Pricing: Overview
I swear, I’m not trying to bash Kakitangan at all but certain things they do really gets on my nerves. For example, their pricing structure.
If you’re browsing around trying to compare prices, it’s impossible to get price information quickly from Kakitangan because they don’t state their prices on their website, opting for us to get a quote from them instead.
Fortunately for you folks, I’ve managed to get my grubby little hands on their price list, which I’ll share
if you’re willing to donate RM5 to me freely and willingly.
It seems like Kakitangan prices their modules individually according to the number of staff you have in your company, so for this review’s sake, let’s assume we’re pricing for a company of 10 employees.
If you’re looking at their Payroll only, you’ll need to cough up RM850 a year, while you can expect to pay RM2,200 annually for the packaged price:
- Payroll – RM850.00
- Leave – RM500.00
- Claims – RM300.00
- HRIS – RM800.00
- Packaged (all of the above) – RM2,200 (save RM250.00)
If you need HR services, then it might be wiser to take the package because it’s cheaper than getting all the modules individually, but if you just need a specific module like Payroll, you won’t have to bother with the rest.
But wait – there’s more!
If your business has only 3 employees or less, Kakitangan will let you use their payroll system for free!
Kakitangan VS Other Competitor
Kakitangan VS Swingvy
- User Experience
I am a man of simple pleasures. I prefer noodles over rice. I like my showers lukewarm. Most importantly, I like my apps simple. If it’s so intuitive that I just know how to use it without having to struggle, that app is a winner in my eyes.
Unfortunately for Kakitangan, there’s no way to use their app efficiently without going through the training process first, and even then you’ll still feel a little lost.
Compared to Swingvy’s simple, functional yet easy to use system, it’s no surprise which brand I prefer.
Both Kakitangan and Swingvy have impressive features, but Kakitangan gets my vote with their detail, customization options and overall payroll and HR benefits.
Basically, in terms of features, everything Swingvy has, Kakitangan has too, but either with more functions or better performance.
For example, let’s take bank batch payments.
Swingvy only has 4 banks under their system, while Kakitangan has a whopping 13 banks.
What about payslips?
Swingvy’s payslips are nice and all, but Kakitangan has the option to create payslips in multiple sizes, with all sorts of details printed.
Want to learn more about Swingvy?
Read our full, in-depth review on Swingvy for more information!
Kakitangan VS PayrollPanda
- User Experience
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – in my books, simplicity is king. All the features in the world will do you no good if you don’t know how to use the platform.
This is why PayrollPanda is our favourite cloud payroll platform so far – easy to use, functional, simple.
Kakitangan’s difficult-to-navigate software doesn’t hold a candle against PayrollPanda’s fantastic user experience.
Kakitangan shines in areas where PayrollPanda lacks, like features. Although we really love PayrollPanda, we do wish it came with more features, features that Kakitangan has.
Kakitangan knocks it out of the park in terms of features, being the brand with the most comprehensive functions we’ve tried in terms of Payroll and HR.
It’s a shame that user experience suffers because of it being a wee bit too complicated.
Want to learn more about PayrollPanda?
Read our full, in-depth review on PayrollPanda for more information!
Verdict: What do we think about Kakitangan?
Kakitangan is not a bad payroll software. As a matter of fact, it’s a pretty damn good upgrade for any company that isn’t using a cloud payroll software yet.
Some of you folks out there will definitely benefit from the customizability and details the Kakitangan team has put into the software. I won’t be surprised if some companies actually require that kind of customizability.
I’m pretty sure that Kakitangan is easily the most comprehensive payroll software available locally, and they do a lot of things better than the competition. For example, take their banking relationships – they’re integrated with 13 banks to make batch payments!
It’s also the little things that make Kakitangan an awesome software, like the ability to export payroll data directly to autocount or Xero. It’s just that all these extra functionality takes a toll on user experience, and can be overwhelming to the new user.
I suspect Kakitangan might work better as an HR software due to all the abilities and features, but as a payroll program, I personally feel that they don’t really blow your mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they’re bad… I’m just saying that I’ve personally tried other softwares and I found the user experience to be so much better over there.
To wrap this up, if you’re looking for something that’s really comprehensive to suit your needs, then Kakitangan is the right choice for you. If you’re anything like me and you prefer things to be kept simple, then you’re better off trying your luck with something like PayrollPanda.