Things to Consider When Choosing a Payroll Provider
Choosing a payroll provider is a crucial aspect for businesses of all sizes. It involves calculating employees’ salaries and tax deductions, liaising with HMRC, and most importantly, ensuring employees are paid on time. However, it can be a headache, and with increased obligations and regulations, payroll is now a specialist occupation in its own right. Organisations must have the correct staff with relevant skillsets, as well as the tools and software to ensure the whole process runs smoothly to minimise financial risks and penalties.
Outsourcing a payroll provider can be a daunting prospect, this can make it easy to jump straight into it and settle on any provider without finding out exactly what services they have to offer. Many payroll providers nowadays offer an extended range of services that go beyond simple payroll. It may also be the case that one business requires a specific service or skillset that some providers do not offer. Every organisation is different, meaning that the services they require from a provider will be unique and depend on various factors such as company size, regularity of payroll and the industry type. Establishing what services your business needs and services a provider can offer is the first crucial step.
Accreditations that a provider has can often offer businesses peace of mind, as they can signify that a provider is trustworthy and has been deemed competent by a chartered body. The Payroll Assurance Scheme (PAS) accreditation, for example, recognises payroll providers who: have suitable processes in place for preparing and delivering legislative changes, the organisation is dedicated to life-long learning and development, and the organisation is dedicated to compliance and best practice in payroll.
With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year, data security has never been more of a priority for businesses, not only for protecting customer data but employee data too. Businesses must consider how payroll providers will manage the privacy and security of employee data, as they could land themselves in a lot of trouble in the event of a security breach. In 2014, Supermarket chain, Morrisons, found themselves in a security breach disaster after an employee leaked the payroll data of almost 100,000 staff. Aside from causing utmost distress for the employees whose data was leaked, Morrisons were held liable for the security breach.
Most businesses look for payroll providers who have experience, particularly within their company’s sector. As with accreditations, experience can also offer peace of mind. An experienced payroll provider will be able to take care of all the business’ requirements and can adapt to fit the needs of the business if required. Experience may be determined by the number of accreditations a provider has, or quite simply by the number of years they have been providing payroll services. Thankfully, outsourcing a payroll provider should mean that you are choosing from a specific talent pool, who will have years of experience behind them. At Cantium, we are proud to have over 30 years’ experience delivering successful payroll functions to clients in a variety of industries such as health and education to name a new
Things to Consider When Choosing a Payroll Service for Your Small Business
If you’ve been handed the task of choosing a payroll service provider for your company, you may be wondering where to start and what to look for. If you get a headache thinking about the hundreds of regulatory changes that occur every year, you’re not alone. Outsourcing your payroll can save you time and money, not to mention a headache or two.
An experienced payroll provider will be able to cover all of your business’ needs, including web-based and traditional payroll processing, time and attendance solutions, employee screening and background checks. A good payroll service will work with your business to fit your exact needs. Additionally, check to see if the payroll provider has worked with a business in your industry before. This will help you be confident that the company you choose is ready for the specific challenges of your industry.
Options and Features
Ensure that the provider uses software that’s capable of delivering all of the services you desire. Find out what basic features the software offers as well as additional features that are available. As a small business, you may not need as many options as a larger business, but it’s still important to know what’s available. To streamline payroll and employee time tracking, you need a payroll provider that can ensure accuracies and quickly remedy discrepancies.
Trust and Security
When you hire a payroll provider, make sure you hire someone you trust with the sensitive data involved in handling payroll and taxes. Look for an established payroll company with a strong history, client testimonials and a solid reputation. Do your research online before making a commitment. Read reviews online and ask for recommendations within the business community. It’s common for businesses to give referrals, especially if they’ve had a great experience with their payroll providers.
You’ll want to communicate regularly with your payroll provider. Look for a provider that offers strong customer service. When you’re having a problem, you’re going to want to talk with someone who has a real understanding of your business and its challenges, not a random sales representative. Make sure the payroll provider you choose offers support each day – not only on specified days, such as when your payroll is processed. Realistically, you’re going to have questions on other days that will need immediate attention from a customer service representative.
How to safely choose the absolute best payroll service for you and your employees
Payroll service companies can be a big help when it comes to calculating and filing your company’s payroll taxes, printing checks, and being available to answer important payroll-related questions. Industry-leading companies have streamlined processes and controls that lead to greater efficiency and fewer errors, which can save your company time and money.
When considering payroll service options, it is important to choose a reputable company because ultimately your business is responsible for paying the taxes, not your payroll company. That means you must do your homework to ensure the payroll company is compliant with regulatory standards and that your taxes are paid in full and on time.
Choosing a payroll company
One of the best ways to find potential payroll service providers is to ask other business owners or payroll professionals who they recommend and why. Hearing directly from a company’s customers is a great way to evaluate the company’s processes and service levels.
You can also look up reviews of companies with the Better Business Bureau. Search for “payroll service” or a company name, based on location, and the BBB will provide a grade and information such as how long the company has been in business, contact information, and consumer reviews.
Once you’re ready to start narrowing down your choices, ask these additional questions to determine if the company will be a good fit:
What services do you offer and what certifications do staff members hold? It’s important to know what you’re looking for from a payroll company and whether those needs go beyond the basics. The company should have a CPA on staff, and other professional certifications (like Society of Human Resource Management or American Payroll Association) are a good sign of a quality organization.
Is the company bonded and insured? Find out how much the company is insured for and request a certificate of insurance.
What security measures are in place to protect my payroll data? Companies should have antivirus and antimalware programs, firewalls, encrypted data, secure data storage with redundancy and employee training on data security. They also should perform background checks on all employees.
How often are internal controls audited and do you provide the results to customers? Payroll companies should perform audits at least annually, and they should provide a copy of their SSAE 16 report to customers if requested.
How do you remain up-to-date with regulatory requirements? A considerable number of federal, state, and local regulations affect your payroll processing, so it’s important to find a company that has an airtight process for staying up to date on all of the changes from thousands of jurisdictions.
How to Choose the Best Small Business Payroll Services
Your small business won’t perform up to its potential unless your team is happy. That’s why payroll services for small businesses are so important. If your team doesn’t get paid, on time, and conveniently, it’s going to cause issues with morale and productivity.
What to Look for in a Payroll Service
You know better than anyone exactly what your business needs. So let’s consider the factors that play into finding the perfect payroll services for your business
Pricing Structure and Total Cost
You probably already knew this, but the pricing of your payroll services is crucial. The total cost of a payroll service will depend on how many team members your business employees, what kind of employees they are, and the features that the payroll service offers.
Most payroll services will come with the pricing structure of a base monthly price, plus a per employee monthly price. Many payroll services will offer tiered services that cost more based on the additional services they offer. The additional cost will often surface in the per-employee monthly cost, so additional features will be incrementally more expensive with each employee you have.
Tax Capabilities and Guarantee
Payroll services exist in part to help small business owners pay their payroll taxes correctly and efficiently. Many small business owners purchase payroll services primarily for this reason. Some payroll services will offer a tax guarantee, which means that they guarantee that you won’t incur any fines, and if you do, they will reimburse you.
Tips for Finding the Best Payroll Software
Congratulations! You’ve gotten to a point that many other small business owners have only hoped for — growth. But now you’re required to find a more robust payroll system.
Sure, when it was you and a couple of co-founders it was pretty easy to sort out payment. But now that you’re growing, it’s necessary to put a process to your operations, offload some of the tedious work you’ve been doing since the beginning, and free up your time and resources to focus on bigger issues at hand.
One smart way to do this is to invest in a payroll software platform that can take care of one of the most important parts of your business for you: paying your employees on time, every time
Yet, as you know, it’s not nearly as easy as just cutting a check. From properly withholding taxes and reporting to the IRS to tracking PTO hours earned and much in between, there’s a lot to consider when deciding which payroll software system is right for you
How to choose the best payroll software for your small business
Overall, the best thing that you can do is get a solid understanding of your business’ unique individual needs. As you dive into the capabilities and features of the many payroll systems out there, it can be easy to get swept up in thinking that you need fancy features that will actually go unused or forget an important need you have until it’s too late. So, above all else, know what you need (and what you don’t) and compare everything to that.