Payroll accounting

Also known as: Payroll accounting

Payroll accounting is an internal process that primarily deals with the creation and management of wage and salary statements in commercial enterprises.

Definition / explanation

The field of activity of payroll accounting, in addition to the creation of the company payroll, often includes the continuous maintenance of the stored personnel master data as well as the annual wage accounts in the form of employee-related data records according to § 41 Income Tax Act (EStG) and § 4 Income Tax Implementation Ordinance (LStDV).

In addition, the field of activity implies the fulfillment of the reporting requirements prescribed by the legislator, which include, among other things, proof of contributions from the health insurance companies and income tax registrations.

Payroll accounting is currently carried out both in the case of large corporations and in many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the help of specialized ERP software modules. In addition, there is currently an increasing trend towards cost-optimized outsourcing of payroll accounting to external service providers.

Wage programs

For the area of payroll accounting, users meanwhile offer themselves different programswhich should facilitate the process itself and help to save costs and time. Especially for small and medium-sized companies there is a large number of software, which in some cases show major differences in terms of user friendliness, scope of services etc.

The following is a brief overview of the strengths and weaknesses of a small selection of programs.

Sage Business Cloud:
This salary program primarily offers opportunities for small businesses - i.e. those with fewer than five employees. It is very clearly designed and, as a cloud application, is particularly uncomplicated to use because it does not have to be installed.

In addition, Sage Business Cloud is quite inexpensive in comparison, as long as the specified number of employees is not exceeded. However, it does not have a GKV certificate that certifies programs to be user-friendly and legal and procedural security, and only offers a small number of additional functions. However, it is ideal for beginners and new founders.

DATEV wages and salaries compact:
This software offers all the basic functions that small and medium-sized companies need. The software can process the data of up to 50 employees, but it requires a rather steep price of just under 47 euros per month. It also only has a small number of additional functions, but it is correspondingly user-friendly. It does not automatically create official certificates.

Lexware wage + salary plus:
This program includes solutions for small and medium businesses as well Mini jobbers. It impresses with its high level of user-friendliness and a wide range of functions. It can automatically create social security notifications, income tax notifications, etc. and send them to the tax office. In addition, it processes data from up to 50 employees and is comparatively inexpensive.

DATALINE wage deduction Classic:
Compared to the other programs, which only offer a test period of 30 days, it impresses with a significantly longer phase of 90 days. It works comparatively slowly, but includes the most important functions that companies need for correct payroll processing. The price-performance ratio is also impressive. It has up to 50 employees and is cheaper than the other three programs at € 28.15 per month.

When choosing the right program, users should consider the respective functions and strengths and transfer them to their own company.

Questions users should ask themselves:

  • Which wages / salary types are relevant for me?
  • How many employees must a pay slip be drawn up for?
  • Should the program automatically generate official certificates?


  • Payroll accounting is an internal process for the creation of wage and salary statements
  • Other activities are the maintenance of personal data and the fulfillment of legal reporting requirements
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