It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been running your small business or how savvy you are at it, all small business owners will have to do this one thing regardless of where they are in their entrepreneurial journey – running payroll.
Usually, one would either hire an HR/admin staff to run payroll or roll up their sleeves and take on the responsibility themselves.
The former costs money and the latter takes up time, both of which are awfully precious to the enterprising small business owner.
Fortunately, the solution presents itself to us in the form of a panda – a PayrollPanda , to be exact.
Table of Contents
Pros of PayrollPanda
- An intuitive UI that makes running payroll so much easier!
- Payroll processes are all automated!
- Run payroll with just a click of a button!
- Even payslips are automated!
- Make batch bank salary payments!
- PayrollPanda is LHDN approved!
- PayrollPanda has excellent support!
- It’s a payroll software with HR capabilities!
Cons of PayrollPanda
PayrollPanda’s Plan & Pricing
PayrollPanda VS Other COmpetitor
Now, what exactly is PayrollPanda?
The Legend of PayrollPanda
It’s not a panda you pay to roll around (though pandas are quite fond of rolling and I’m sure they’ll be happy to be paid in bamboo sticks), but it’s a cloud payroll solution created specifically to help small business owners tackle their payroll concerns.
From their humble beginnings as a Launchpad startup back in 2016, PayrollPanda has quickly gained traction and has built a reputation as one of Launchpad’s most successful ventures so far.
The SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) company claims to have over 1000 clients across the hospitality and government industries, and have recently raised over RM2,900,000 in fresh seed funding from an undisclosed group of investors. I think that says quite a lot about PayrollPanda, because if people are willing to entrust that much money to someone, they’ve gotta be doing something right!
Their mission is straightforward – to supply small businesses with an easy way to manage payroll.
After testing out their services, I think they’ve pretty much succeeded in doing that!
In this article, we’ll talk about our 8 favourite things with PayrollPanda, and also a couple of things we didn’t quite like (of course, we have to be fair laaaah).
8 things we like about PayrollPanda
1. An intuitive UI that makes running payroll so much easier!
Nobody wants to ‘learn’ how to use an app. People want to be able to just jump into it and use it by instinct.
In fact, it’s one of the many reasons why people first fell in love with the iPhone. Swipe around to find the app you want, tap on the icon, and press the home button to leave – easy to learn, simple to use, practical.
The same concept applies to PayrollPanda. The UI is as simple as it gets without sacrificing practicality, and with the number of features the program offers, this is no easy feat.
Everything you have access to is neatly placed in a drop-down menu on the left side of the interface, and once you click on on the feature you want, everything is right there in the middle of the screen, waiting for you to fill in the blanks.
It is literally that easy to use.
This cuts down on training time, and time spent figuring out where things are. If you already know how to operate the software, you’ll naturally get things done faster.
In fact, I found that the training was actually unnecessary because the UI is so well designed that you’ll know what to do by just clicking around, but the option to have live training is out there for those of you that prefer it.
They’ll set an appointment with you to make a live call at your convenience, and they’ll walk you through the ins-and-outs of the program. So far, I’m pretty impressed with their level of service.
Not sure how to run payroll? PayrollPanda even offers free e-Book just for that!
2. Payroll processes are all automated!
Literally almost everything you need to manually do for payroll can now be automated, saving you so much time and ultimately making your life a whole lot easier!
When you first log in to the portal, you’ll need to key in your company details such as name, type, employee details, salary information, etc.
Once you’ve got everything keyed in, all the calculations are automatically done for you when you run payroll!
We’re talking PCB calculations, SOCSO, EIS and EPF, allowances, extra payroll items… the software will sort everything out for you. Sure, these aren’t exactly big conveniences that will change your life, but now that we’ve experienced this, we’re not so sure we can go back to not having features like these!
3. Run payroll with just a click of a button!
Running payroll – this is the very reason why the team behind PayrollPanda succeeds in doing what they’ve been doing.
As a matter of fact, this is probably the reason why you’ve probably read this far.
Payroll week is probably the week most business owners are most frustrated at, because of the sheer amount of time they need to spend managing payroll. Yet, it’s so important to the business that one can’t just ignore it.
With PayrollPanda, payroll duties that takes days to complete can now be done within a few hours!
Remember the earlier point I made about everything being automated?
As long as you’ve keyed in all the employee and salary details correctly, PayrollPanda will automatically calculate everything for you, including PCB, SOCSO, EPF and EIS.
All you need to do is literally hit “run payroll”, make any changes if you need to, confirm it then hit submit, and that’s it, you’re done! Mind-blowingly easy, right?
If you need to include additional payroll items like allowances, deductions or other sorts of benefits, it can easily be adjusted by hitting “additional payroll item”.
Just make sure that you double check and confirm everything, because once you hit “submit”, there is no turning back!
Well… there is, but it’s a little troublesome. We’ll get to it later.
4. Even payslips are automated!
This feature isn’t exactly about payroll, but it’s payroll related. Technically, it’s payroll adjacent.
I’m reminded of the admin lady in one of my previous jobs. Nobody dared talk to her during payday, because she would be walking around, handing out payslips, looking as sour as a lemon.
No one asked her why.
I just realized it’s because the poor lady had to climb 3 flights of stairs in a building that doesn’t have elevators, to hand out these little pieces of paper to 35 ungrateful employees.
Looking back, it’s no wonder she was perpetually in a bad mood.
Anyway, I can imagine the small business owner doing this him/herself on a much smaller scale, but with PayrollPanda, manually handing out payslips becomes a thing of the past.
Once you’ve run payroll, your staff can download their own payslips through the employee portal and print them out themselves if they need to, which saves you the hassle of having to hand them out one by one.
Of course, you’re given the option to download the payslips and hand it out to them, but why waste time doing that?
Payslips are detailed yet laid out in a format that’s easy on the eyes. Statutory deductions are clearly declared together with the amount, as well as employer contributions and the number of remaining leave days the employee has left.
5. Make batch bank salary payments!
Every once in a while when I head to the ATM to withdraw some cash, I’ll see someone, presumably someone’s clerk, sweating bullets as the entire line stares daggers into her back, as she takes her time to carefully inserts cheques into the cheque deposit machine, account by account, for the entire company’s employees.
Why the hassle to yourself and to other people in the line? Internet banking exists, but more importantly, there is PayrollPanda!
Once you subscribe to PayrollPanda, you can kiss the cheque deposit machine goodbye because you’ll be able to make batch salary payments, avoiding this exact scenario and making life more convenient for business owners.
When you submit payroll, PayrollPanda will generate a batch payment file. You can use this file to log on to your online banking platform and use this batch payment file to quickly make salary transfers by batch instead of individually.
This also applies to payments to statutory bodies!
There are 6 banks collaborating with PayrollPanda so far:
- CIMB Bank
- Hong Leong Bank
- Public Bank
- RHB Bank
- OCBC Bank
If you don’t have an account with any of these banks, do yourself a favour and start a company account with them. It’ll save you so much time and trouble. If not, you’ll have to do things the old fashioned way and stand in line at the cheque deposit machine.
6. PayrollPanda is LHDN approved!
That’s nice and all, but what does this mean for me as a business owner?
Let’s put it this way – earlier in this article, we touched a little bit about how making late contributions to the statutory bodies might result in heavy fines? The same thing applies when it comes to incorrect contributions.
The good thing about being approved by LHDN is that they’ll constantly perform routine checkups with PayrollPanda to make sure that their systems are all up to date with the latest changes in PCB or EPF or EIS.
Long story short, you won’t have to worry about not keeping up to date with the changes for statutory contributions, because PayrollPanda’s system will ALWAYS be compliant to the latest rules, which means you’ll be compliant too, avoiding those nasty fines!
7. PayrollPanda has excellent support!
Nothing gives a company a worse name than poor support. Their product or service might be problematic, but as long as the company has the right kind of support to help customers fix their issues, the company remains trustworthy in their eyes.
Fortunately, the support staff we’ve encountered so far with PayrollPanda has been excellent.
I asked them a few ambiguous questions on live chat (my fault, I was distracted and in a hurry so I couldn’t compose my question well) and left the house, and they actually called my mobile to clarify what my question was. As I was driving at the time (as we all know, driving while using our phones is a big no-no) I asked them to call back at a later time, and they did!
Maybe it was because they wanted to take the opportunity to schedule a live training session with me, but I was impressed with their level of support. We currently do not know if they can keep this up, but so far, PayrollPanda’s support team kicks all sorts of ass.
8. It’s a payroll software with HR capabilities!
Nobody likes to manage payroll or HR duties, because it’s tedious and downright troublesome. Imagine our joy when we discovered our favourite payroll software comes with some kickass HR capabilities!
Right now when someone submits a leave application, you’ve probably got to look at the calendar and back at the application, making sure the dates don’t overlap with important deadlines, then you need to make sure to log it in.
If you’re interrupted during the process with an important phone call or meeting, then you might just forget to log it, accidentally giving your staff a day or two of free leaves.
PayrollPanda solves this problem by managing ALL the leaves for you, making your life as easy as the proverbial Sunday morning.
During the setup process, you’ll be asked to key in employee details, which includes their personal details, previous payslips, statutory information.
Once you’re done, you’ll be prompted to hit a button to send that employee an email, which will invite them to the employee portal.
From that portal, your employee can see how many days of leave they have left, be it maternity, medical, compassionate or annual. It’s all laid all there for them to see, as transparent as it can be.
To apply for annual leave, all the employee has to do is click on the “Leave” tab, pick out their dates and hit submit. PayrollPanda will then send you an email notifying you that an application has been submitted.
You just need to hit the approve button, and PayrollPanda will send an email to your employee, confirming his application, while automatically logging it for you, deducting from his total number of leave days!
What we didn’t like about PayrollPanda
1. PayrollPanda is a single user platform
We really wish that the platform allowed us to assign another user to help run payroll, but alas, we can’t do that. PayrollPanda is essentially a single user platform, so if the business owner signs up for the service, he/she will have to be the one using the software.
You can’t allocate managers or anyone else at all to approve leaves, make salary changes, add payroll items… you’ve got to do it yourself.
You could give your username and password to the person you want running payroll, but that person will have access to all your company secrets, so that may not be the wisest choice.
2. You can’t make changes to submitted payroll
This means you have to be very careful when it comes to additional payroll items, because once you hit that submit button, there’s no turning back.
If mistakes are made and submitted, you’re going to have to contact support to get it rectified. Although support has been very responsive so far, we have never actually had to ask them to do this, so we don’t know how troublesome the process actually is.
I think it’s safe to say it’ll take at least a few days to sort things out.
PayrollPanda’s Plan & Pricing: Overview
PayrollPanda only has one simple plan followed by one simple pricing:
- Base Price: RM38 /mo
- Additional One (1) Employee: +RM8 /mo
- Features include:
- Employee Database
It’s really affordable at just RM38 per month + RM8 per employee. Even if you’ve got 10 employees, the cost for PayrollPanda will only set you back RM118 per month, and that’s a price I’m more than willing to pay to drive my headaches away.
It’s a steal, don’t you think?
PayrollPanda VS Other Competitor
PayrollPanda VS Swingvy
- User Experience
Both platforms have a great looking UI and both are quite intuitive to use, but because Swingvy offers more features, their software naturally requires a little bit of training to use efficiently.
Because of this, I’d have to say that PayrollPanda is much easier to use, since users can just log in and intuitively know how and what to do.
As a payroll platform, both PayrollPanda and Swingy have features that makes our lives a whole lot easier, but Swingvy gives us a whole lot more as a whole.
For example, Swingvy has a mobile app, which makes approval of payroll much more convenient. The app can be used for HR purposes as well, like leave application, approvals, cancellations, etc.
Swingvy also allows more than one user to run payroll, which makes it more suitable for SMEs (small & medium-sized enterprises) while PayrollPanda is better suited for small businesses.
Want to learn more about Swingvy?
Read our full, in-depth review on Swingvy for more information!
PayrollPanda VS Kakitangan
- User Experience
We’ve got to admit, although we LOVE PayrollPanda, there are a few things we wish they had, which Kakitangan proudly provides.
As a matter of fact, everything we wish was available in PayrollPanda is available in Kakitangan.
Multiple users? Check!
More banks for batch payments? Check!
Ability to fix payroll mistakes? Check!
So Kakitangan is clearly the winner when it comes to features. Nevertheless, I still prefer PayrollPanda because of its simplicity. In my honest, unfiltered opinion, all these extra features are useless if the platform is too complicated to use.
Want to learn more about Kakitangan?
Read our full, in-depth review on Kakitangan for more information!
Verdict: YAY or NAY for PayrollPanda?
There also a lot to love about PayrollPanda. The team behind the SaaS clearly put a lot of thought into the features, as every action you take in the app seems to be designed to make things as convenient for you as possible.
The reports generated by PayrollPanda are detailed yet easy to read, which is more than you can ask for when it comes to reports.
Payroll is processed very quickly, and payments can be easily done via batch payments to the banks, a feature which I’m pretty sure everyone will be happy with.
The little things that PayrollPanda does for you, like the automation of payslips, statutory deductions, leave management, are all very welcomed and generally improves the user’s quality of life.
The best part about all this is you can get everything at a super low price of just RM38 per month + RM8 per employee! Even if you’ve got 20 employees, the cost of the software is still below RM200, which is a steal considering how much it’ll improve HR and payroll duties.
The only thing to keep in mind is that PayrollPanda is a single user platform, so it may not be all that suitable for larger companies.
To wrap things up, we’re happy to say that PayrollPanda is our most favourite HR management / payroll software to date. We’ll give it a very enthusiastic YAY!