Xero is a great piece of software; but, has its limitations. The even greater part of Xero is that once you outgrow a part of it you can get specialised software and attach it.
I now use Paysonline to electronically onboard new employees and get time sheet data automatically with a facial recognition scanner. Delaying the need to hire someone to do payroll has cost me approximately $4000 but saved me at least $20,000. Now I can manage more staff with on my own with less effort and mistakes. Staff clock on and off to the minute using a facial recognition scanner which saves me up to 2% a year on my wage costs, no more 15 minute blocks, arriving 5 minutes late or leaving 3 minutes early. At least not without consequences for the employee. If my wage costs are $300k per annum, a 2% saving is more than just pocket change.
Although I use PaysOnline this is only my experience. There are many other great pieces of software out there like EmploymentHero, Tanda, Deputy and more. It really depends on what you need and how active your employees are going to be in taking it up. If you say, “apply for leave through the app rather than telling me in person”, are they going to listen? Also does the app work on their phone? Not everyone has an Apple, and believe it or not everyone does not have the internet at home. I employ a lot of traveling workers that only have a cheap phone with a prepaid sim card with crappy data rates. They certainly won’t spend a dime of their minimum wage on sending photos of receipts or using data to download the latest app. My system has an SMS function. I believe that staff should not have to use their own resources to do your own work, other than washing a uniform or traveling to work. The money they earn is the reward for the hard work you pay them to do.
I have made it too hard for my employees to say it’s too hard. Make everything simple and it will get done, even by unmotivated employees. Also consider having certain rules, if they don’t clock out they only get paid rostered hours. That means that if they forget they don’t get paid for overtime because you “don’t know about it”. The only other possibility is that they clock out early for which they don’t get paid, or hand around doing nothing (at which point you can give them something to do or tell them to clock out). Biometric systems are the most fair for everyone, it means the employee gets paid for what they work and the employer is not paying for unproductive time.
Most of all, nothing allows you to enjoy a holiday more than knowing that your employees can’t dodge you on payroll