Jun 6 / Upturn

Excel Sheet or Payroll Software? Pros and Cons

Drag to resize
Gone are the days of using a broad sheet and a calculator to compute workers' payroll - true. But how about using an Excel sheet? Is it also an archaic practice? After all, there are now varieties of software, both app and cloud-based, that take the stress off designing your own Excel sheet. So, is learning how to compute your payroll with an Excel sheet worth it, or should we all embrace the innovations of technology in this area?

Well, while technology is always welcome, in this particular area, you still need to hold on to the basics because you'll need it in order to utilize the software effectively. Before you nod off, let me explain what I mean quickly.

To use whatever payroll software you have, you still need a basic knowledge of Excel payroll. You must become familiar with the sections or columns present in the payroll sheet to understand it in the software.
Drag to resize
Drag to resize
I understand that various software exist to automate the payroll process, and we definitely recommend that you use one to automate your payroll process, if you can afford one. However, we maintain that you should start with a good old Excel sheet, so that you can be sure that the output you're getting from the software is consistent with what you have on the sheet.

Moreover, some payroll software providers may require you to actually upload your payroll Excel sheet in order to compute your payroll on the software. So it is still good practice to have your Excel sheet. Besides, it'll help you pick up some really cool Excel skills.

If you're still not convinced, remember that these software are created by foreigners, companies who don't understand our regulations over here, or how we calculate percentages, or even what our statutory remittances are. The best they can do for you is leave you empty columns to fix in your figures. While there might be generic columns, like the salary column, others like our NHF column might not be present. And so, it would take a proper understanding of what goes where to effectively use the software you install.
Drag to resize
With these few words of mine.... You know the rest.

There is good news for you, by the way. You can learn how to create and compute your payroll from scratch by enrolling for our Payroll course. It is quite an extensive course, created with two kinds of learners in mind – for those that just want to use our sheet with the formulas in it without really bothering with the technicalities, and for the pros who want to learn how to create it from scratch, with knowledge of all the Acts and legal regulations that back it up.

Pretty swell, wouldn't you say? Thank me once you're done with the course. I have a feeling you will be thanking me profusely.

Created with