What Should I Look for in a Good Payroll Company?
When it’s time to drop everything and run payroll, even the most experienced small business owners can find themselves grinding their teeth. In fact, SCORE discovered that owners (and the people helping them) spend one to five hours on payroll every month. And even when they’re careful, 40 percent of small employers make a payroll mistake each year, resulting in average fines of $850.
You’re good enough and you’re smart enough, and gosh darnit, you’re gonna get payroll straight. When you set off down the path to payroll paradise, there are two ways to do it: You can sharpen your pencil and slip on your green visor, or you can find the best payroll service to automate parts of the process and free you up to focus on everything else your business needs
How much do payroll services cost?
For a lot of small businesses, the first question that likely springs to mind is: How much does payroll cost? Because there are different pricing structures, it’s not always easy to compare apples to apples. Most payroll companies charge a flat monthly fee, plus an additional fee for each employee. Typically these fees start at around $5 to $10 per employee per month
So what do payroll companies provide?
First of all, payroll services give business owners peace of mind. Those late-night payroll runs, emergency calls to your accountant, and energizing (not!) visits to the IRS website will likely become a distant memory if you pick the right provider
Support and switching payroll providers
Because payroll never takes a vacation—and neither your employees nor the government are okay with errors—it’s crucial for any good payroll company to offer strong support when you have problems or questions
Payroll Tips You Should Know
Determine whether your employees should be salaried or paid hourly.
For most employers, putting employees on salaries is easier to manage. Salaries take the stress out of determining how much your employees are paid each month and keeps everything consistent.
Decide how often you’ll pay your employees.
Every employer needs to decide on a pay period for their employees. Pay periods can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This will help you stay organized and make payroll run more smoothly.
Classify your workers.
Another important payroll tip to follow is properly classify your workers. Whether you hire full-time employees, independent contractors, or interns, if the person is performing work for your company, they typically should be classified as an employee
Pick the best software for the needs of your business.
When choosing payroll software for your company, try to select an option that’s hosted on the cloud. This will make it easier to access all of your payroll information in one place, whenever you need it.
Simplify your process to save time and money.
According to the National Business Association survey, 27 percent of small business owners report spending three to five hours per month on payroll; one-third of employers are spending more than $500 month on their services
onsiderations to Make While Choosing A Payroll Service
Determining how to choose a payroll service for your business can be difficult. There are many payroll software providers and features from which you can choose
Whether this is your first time looking for payroll software or you want to switch software programs, you need to know what to consider. Knowing what to look for in a payroll service can help you make a good purchase.
At Patriot Software, we want you to make an excellent payroll service choice the first time. That’s why we created affordable payroll software that is easy to use. But, we also want you to make superior business decisions, which is why we created a guide about how to choose a payroll service.
A few of the points you can learn about in this guide include types of payroll software, software costs, and software security.
When you download and read our guide to choosing payroll software, you can prevent a bad payroll software decision. You don’t want to be locked into a contract or discover hidden fees for the features you need. You should purchase payroll software that you like on the first try.
Looking for Payroll Services? Here are Things to Consider
What kind of customer service can I expect?
Businesses run at all hours and so should your payroll provider. Because questions and issues can come up at any time, look for a company that offers 24/7/365 support. It’s also worth looking for a company that provides Single-Point-of-Contact Support. Save yourself time and hassle with dedicated support who knows your story rather than starting from the beginning with someone new every time you reach out.
Is their technology in step with current trends?
Technology is always changing, and you need a payroll provider who is on top of the latest trends. There are more options to getting money to employees these days. Physical checks, direct deposit, and reloadable debit cards are all options to consider when researching companies. In addition to that, you need to look into how user friendly their software is. Cloud-based options make it easy for you and your employees to keep track of and update important information from any internet connected computer instead of submitting requests that can take days to process
How safe will my business’ and my employees’ information be?
Sharing sensitive data with an outside company can be scary. Breaches and crashes have been in the news more often so it’s imperative you look in to how your data is stored. Look for a company who can provide round-the-clock security and has a comprehensive disaster recovery system in place
ho is responsible for any penalties incurred from inaccurate tax filings?
As was stated before, errors in tax filings have resulted in billions of dollars in fines levied on an annual basis. It’s possible that some of these errors came from professional payroll services. While everyone will promise accuracy, you should look for a provider who puts their money where their mouth is. If mistakes do happen, find someone who will pay for their own gaffes instead of passing the fines on to you. An extra point to consider: A company will be more invested in doing things right the first time if it’s their money on the line instead of someone else’s.
Can they do more for me than just payroll?
While many payroll providers include HR services with their offerings, it’s worth asking if there are other business solutions they offer to help with the management and growth of your business. Payment processing, employee benefits, insurance, technology, and loans are all needs that you may have to address at some point. Finding a company who houses all those options under one roof can simplify your life even more.
How to Choose the Best Payroll Service for your Company
Every company has to pay their employees. Sometimes the most experienced business owners can find themselves spending a large amount of time trying to process payroll monthly. Outsourcing this function to a payroll provider can be very beneficial and help reduce costs. However, finding the right one, can be challenging
Checklist: Before choosing a payroll provider, you will want to make a checklist of what your company needs. This will help you prepare questions to ask a provider once you start researching your options. Some questions to ask yourself are: Do you need a payroll provider that can process multi-state payroll and handle different state taxes? How many employees will they be processing payroll for? Do you need additional HR services such as benefits, onboarding, etc.? It is important to be open to other options. They may offer a service you didn’t know you could benefit from.
Ask a lot of questions: It is important to ask a lot of questions when researching a payroll provider. You will want to essentially interview them to make sure they are the best fit for your company. Review your checklist and make sure you are asking questions that cover all of your company’s needs. Make sure to ask questions that touch on the provider’s pricing, software capabilities, taxes, reports, customization, etc.
Reduce Cost/Risk: By being the employer of record, the payroll provider will reduce your company’s risk.
Offload Duties: The payroll provider can assist with the onboarding process, benefits and payroll processing. Offloading these functions will allow your HR team to focus on other functions & projects that are important to your organization.