Anytime you’re looking into adding a new payroll software to your business operations (whether it’s for the first time or you’re upgrading an existing solution), an important part of your decision-making process should be to consult with the vendor and take advantage of the system demonstration they offer for companies who are interesting in using their solution.

A payroll software demo can be extremely beneficial in helping you understand the system capabilities and features, and it gives you the opportunity to see the system in action and get your questions answered by an expert. So, a demo in and of itself is extremely valuable, but there are some key things that you can do to make the very most of your payroll software demo.

Get Ready

To obtain optimal value from your payroll software demonstration, you need to spend a bit of time getting ready. You should think through all of the ways you want to improve upon your current payroll processes and refresh yourself on your overarching business goals as a first step. This will help you fine tune your vendor research and choose the 3-5 payroll software vendors that most closely align with your business. These are the very vendors you want to move to the next step in the process with a demo.

Make Sure Key Decision Makers Are Involved in Your Payroll Software Demo

While you may be tempted to have your HR head or another team member participate in the demo and report back to the executive team, it’s worth the time to have all your key decision makers involved. This way you’ll ensure that everyone involved has the same information from the demo, and it can also be helpful to make sure you ask all the important questions during the demo as well.

Request a Live Demo of the Payroll System

Often times, since demos are a common part of shopping for a new software solution, a vendor will have a recorded system demo done in advance that they can use to give interested buyers a peek into the system. But seeing the system live in action will help you get a sense for how the technology functions in real-time. You can make sure that there aren’t system issues or problems toggling between different system functions, which you’ll never see in a pre-recorded demo. Ask for a live one instead.

Focus on Function, Not Aesthetics

While you definitely want a payroll interface that is intuitive and easy to use, try not to focus simply on the aesthetics of the system. Instead keep a keen eye on function and make sure that the system can seamlessly handle all of your payroll processes and needs, not matter how appealing it is to the eye.

Get the Nitty Gritty on Payroll Software Pricing

Many times, people feel that the demo is not the right time to explore pricing, but the reality is that a demo is the perfect time to get details on pricing. As you’re walked through each aspect of a payroll system, you can ask what’s included in the base pricing and find out ahead of time what features or integrations may cost extra.

Ask What Differentiates Them From the Competition

During your payroll software demo, you should make sure to ask the vendor what 3 (or more) things differentiate their system from the competition. Finding out what they do best, and which features are the best suited to your exact payroll needs will help you choose the best payroll software solution for your business. During a demo, you may get deeper insight than you would from their website or other marketing materials.

Follow-Up After Your Demo

After your demos, make sure you follow up with the payroll software vendors that you’ve identified as your top options. You can work out details and ask any questions that may have come after thinking through the demo, or talking it over with your teams, to ensure that you move forward with the tools you need.

Like what you just read? At Wheelhouse, we are passionate about all things software, and our specialty is connecting software buyers to an enterprise solution that perfectly matches their needs.

Please visit our Payroll Software Solutions page for a complete list of all the solutions we have on offer. Need more help? Drop us an e-mail at and we’ll be happy to assist you!

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