How to Choose a Payroll Service

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Processing your payroll in-house can be incredibly time-consuming. It also takes away from the time your company could spend on things that actually make money. If you want to free up your most important resources for operations that generate revenue, you may want to consider payroll outsourcing. Doing that requires taking the time to find a trustworthy and dependable payroll processing company that will provide the services your business needs. All at a price that makes sense. We’ll walk you through how to choose a payroll service so you can know the important questions to ask as you decide to interview providers.

Do I Need a Payroll Service?

Payroll can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly if your in-house team is using inefficient solutions. For most small businesses, their payroll person is typically wearing various ‘hats’ with a slew of responsibilities while likely not having the most efficient resources for optimizing the many elements involved in payroll.

Your company should be outsourcing payroll to a professional provider so that you can:

  • Reduce errors in payments to employees
  • File and pay all taxes in a timely fashion
  • Utilize the latest in payroll technology
  • Focus on your product and business growth

 

how to choose a payroll service

What is a Payroll Provider?

A payroll service provider is a company that will:

  • Automatically process payroll calculations
  • Produce paychecks and pay stubs for each pay period
  • Set up automated filings and reminders to pay taxes
  • Compile data for year-end taxes
  • Provide customer support for any payroll or tax errors

A good payroll provider will allow you to customize your payroll settings to fit your business size, type, and payroll structure. Additionally, they will communicate with the IRS or any state tax boards on your behalf while providing customer support should you need it.

How to Choose a Payroll Service

When considering a professional payroll provider, choosing a service that accommodates your company’s specific needs is essential. This is not to suggest that you need custom software for your particular business – but you should do a thorough vetting of the features of each payroll processor before committing to the one you like most.

Consider these elements when assessing the quality of a payroll service:

  • Core software and support features: Will you get the most out of the payroll provider’s features?
  • Pricing: Some payroll providers are intricate and expensive due to their niche or different business structures. Make sure you aren’t overpaying for something you won’t use.
  • Integration: Does the payroll provider work with your automated time sheets and other data aggregation methods?
  • Tax Reminders and Compliance: Your payroll provider should make it extremely easy for you to file and pay all payroll taxes.

Customer Service: Payroll errors, changes in tax laws, or communication with outside entities for audits are all part of running payroll. A good payroll provider will provide you with customer service to help you get through these or any other issues you may have.

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Types of Payroll Services

Technically speaking, even in-house payroll is a payroll service. However, the goal in mind should be to outsource to professionals who can help optimize your payroll system. That means the payroll services you should be looking at include:

  • Bookkeepers or CPAs
  • Small business payroll specialists
  • Bundled payroll and tax providers
  • Fully integrated payroll services

For most small businesses, an all-in-one outsourced payroll provider – aka a fully integrated payroll service – is going to be the most efficient way to improve your business and save money on payroll errors.

Questions to Ask Potential Payroll Providers

When considering an outsourced payroll provider, you need to make sure your intentions are matched by whoever you hire. Make sure to ask questions about the following:

  • What Specific Payroll Services Do They Offer?

Payroll data collection, entry, and disbursement vary greatly based on industry, business structure, and employee type. Make sure that your needs are being specifically met.

  • How Does Their Payroll Service Handle Payroll Taxes?

There are often built-in reminders for fully-integrated payroll services that use high-end payroll software to deal with pay-period, quarterly, and annual payroll taxes. However, some payroll services will still ask you to submit these, so make sure to clarify.

  • What is Their Data Security Protocol?

Data security breaches can be extremely costly for your business. Even if you are outsourcing your payroll to a third-party provider, you can be held accountable, so make sure that your data is secure when giving it to a payroll provider.

  • What Customer Support Services are Offered?

If you are paying for professional payroll services, it is reasonable to expect top-notch customer support. This includes an account representative, real-time chat, online FAQs and tutorials for any software involved, and problem resolution protocols. The last thing you want to do is send repeated error messages to a provider that never fixes them.

Most importantly, ask any questions that address specific concerns that you or your employees have. Payroll can be a very sensitive topic, and sometimes just getting reassured about potential issues can do wonders for company morale.

 

It’s also a good idea to check out the customer service capacities of the company early on. Figure out how easy it is to get in contact with the company through each of its communications channels. You should know if you can depend on that company before you ever sign a contract.

What’s required of you

You will also need to know what the payroll company is going to require from you. Figure out what type of records you’ll need to keep, including the formats in which those records must be stored. Determine if working with the payroll company will require you to add new security measures or if you’re going to have to update any of your current measures. You’ll also want to stop and figure out what you’ll need to do on your end to ensure that your payroll goes out on time.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that you are able to frequently check in with the payroll company during the first few months of your partnership. This is great not only for your peace of mind but also for ensuring that everything is running smoothly. Knowing what you’ll be required to do and how you’ll be able to adapt to the relationship is a vital part of choosing the right processor.

Work With a Payroll Provider Who Cares

At PayTech, we pride ourselves on reducing stress from payroll procedures and saving your business money in the process. Our trusted professionals have decades of experience finding optimized outsourced payroll solutions for our clients and getting them set up quickly.

If you’re looking to upgrade your payroll process, trust PayTech. Reach out to us for a free consultation today so you can ensure success tomorrow.

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