How to choose a payroll solution for your business

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Business is hard enough right now, having a payroll company that doesn’t make life harder is essential. In today’s business environment, there are many different options available, so how do you really know which company is the right fit for you?

Choosing a payroll service provider should be less about cost savings and more about harmony. Harmony with your business and the employees you have put in place for success. How many of us have lost good employees because they were unhappy and payroll was the last straw? 

This article will help you navigate through the list of features and benefits that are important to have in your payroll company and give you some tips on choosing the right one for your business.

A Payroll Company?

A simple overview is that a payroll provider is a third-party vendor that CALCULATES employees’ wages and taxes. A payroll provider can also provide ancillary services like benefits management retirement plans, time & attendance, and human resources. 

There are many smaller companies that use payroll providers because they offer more affordable rates than having a full-time HR professional on staff or you continuing to do it yourself.

Did you know that the average American company that outsources its payroll has 10 employees or less?  Small business owners that employ a payroll service company can benefit from lower rates and the assurance that their organization is staying within the legal line.

What really is a payroll provider?

Anything you want them to be. And honestly more than you can probably use at this time (or afford). Depending on the needs of your business and the features that you wish to provide, it’s possible that only a few of these services may be essential. Some providers simply do payroll processing, while others include more advanced capabilities that could be useful for your company.

Before we get too deep, why don’t we start by going through some of the basic services that almost all payroll providers offer to small and medium businesses:

Payroll processing and management

This might be the most important service offered by an online payroll provider. An outside payroll company allows you to easily manage all your payroll data in one place. You will be able to set up recurring payments for paying employees, run payroll, view their pay stubs, download reports of each pay period at any time and any location.

Time tracking features

This is an advanced feature that will work as a timeclock system allowing employees to clock in and out, recording their hours worked. This also provides more accurate tracking and data collection that will all appear in your time tracking dashboard. Having all this information at your fingertips helps you accurately process paychecks for your staff.

Some of the other payroll services that may be offered are, ensuring tax compliance and generating electronic payroll records and pay stubs.

Personal Services

Payroll systems can provide their clients with a wide range of services in addition to these fundamental features. Depending on your company, these extra functions might help you streamline your payroll process.

  • Tax filing of state and federal tax on your company’s behalf
  • New-hire reporting from start to finish
  • Paid time off (PTO), paid vacation, and sick leave supervision

So you can see that a lot of payroll providers do more than just payroll. Some are picked because they take more off your plate. They are responsible for calculating gross pay, making any needed withholdings or garnishments, disbursing payments, and maintaining payroll records.

So how do you start to choose a payroll company?

Understanding your needs is important in deciding on a payroll system. It’s important for a business owner to realize just how time-intensive and costly it can be to manage payroll in-house. Understanding how outsourcing your business payroll has become increasingly popular for several good reasons, including:

  • Reducing or eliminating costly payroll processing errors.
  • Your time and labor saved could be potentially significant.
  • Ensuring compliance with government regulations and taxes

Start with the idea that it is critical for companies like yours to choose a reputable payroll service provider, now more than ever before. No matter how payroll is done, ensuring your business complies with federal, state, or local tax laws will avoid expensive fees, unexpected financial loss, and legal hurdles.

Next steps?

So, you have decided to make the change, you know it is for the best, but you still have questions. Good, you should have more questions. 

Knowing you need a payroll company is great, but not everyone’s the same. They all do payroll, but they’re not the same. Being the biggest isn’t always synonymous with excellence. The company needs to be like everything else in your life, a good fit. 

Below are a few items you need to really consider when it is time to sign up.

Payment plans

Many individuals are unaware of the fact that their old payroll software usually costs a single fee, yet most payroll services charge monthly usage rates. Depending on the size of your firm and how you pay your workers, these prices will differ. The cost of services may be posted on their website, but obtaining more specific information should be done through direct contact with one of their sales representatives. This will also allow you to see their customer service side.

Customer service

Customer service will be even more important than most of the services provided by a payroll company. One of the biggest gripes from business owners is that customer service never gets back to them, or it takes days to talk with anyone. So, it’s critical to choose a firm that answers inquiries and concerns promptly as well as provides comprehensive technical assistance. Take the time to read user evaluations and check whether a payroll business truly cares about customer service.

Integration

Companies worry if your software is compatible with your new payroll company or will this be a new added cost. So, consider your existing software and how well the new company can integrate with as few errors as possible. Picking a payroll that runs seamlessly with your company may save you time, headaches, and money.

Security

With your existing payroll program in mind, you know how essential security is for any new payroll service. Check whether the payroll service you’re looking into has security measures such as data encryption, correct logins, and firewalls. Again, reading user reviews will turn over any hidden dangers before they become your issues.

Timeliness

This may seem like a no-brainer. But we have heard so many horror stories about payroll companies getting bogged down in the weeds and missing important dates. Distributing pay stubs, and filing payroll taxes is important but a late payroll tax submission can land you in big legal trouble. They aren’t going to go after the payroll company, they will come after you, no matter whose fault it was.  

Ease of use

A payroll service can allow employees to clock in or access their payment information remotely. How easy is this service to use for your employees? How accurate is it? 

You can even allow employees to access information like attendance and vacation time. This can be set up ahead of time with your new company as are many options you might need. They will take charge of your company’s personnel administration as well, including new hire onboarding, application preparation, and tax form filing. They’ll help you smooth out the growth process by making it easier for you to find qualified individuals who are ready to work.

Implementation

Now that you have done your due diligence and found a payroll company that checked all of your need boxes, it’s time to sign the contract. 

NOT A CONTRACT!! 

Put the pen down and breathe, you can also pick a company that offers a free trial before locking you in. 

Once you’ve signed, make a copy of your agreement and keep notes on how effectively the payroll service is keeping its promises. Read these papers to be sure there are no hidden costs or other unpleasant surprises. If you have followed the above checklist then you are in good hands. Make sure you keep in touch with your account manager, notify them of any changes and ask questions before they turn into problems.

Final thoughts

Online payroll services are a great way for business owners and human resources personnel to save time and money. It’s crucial, though, that you choose a payroll service that is appropriate for your needs.

Simplifi Payroll is a top-rated payroll firm that offers a variety of user-friendly alternatives. Our plans include features such as employee benefits, access to an hr expert, next-day direct deposit to employee bank accounts, and expert product assistance. Our goal is to give our clients outstanding customer service every time they contact us, with one of our payroll specialists responding in three rings or less. And unlike other firms that charge you whether you utilize their service or not, Simplifi Payroll only charges you for what you use.

No matter if your business is big or small, getting payroll done correctly is critical. A payroll provider can help you with this. Hopefully with a little research and the information presented in this post will help you decide which payroll service is best for your business.

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