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What Should You Look for in a Payroll Service?

What Should You Look for in a Payroll Service?

Payroll management is a critical aspect of running a small business, but it can also be time-consuming and complex. As your business grows, managing payroll in-house becomes increasingly challenging. That's where a reliable payroll service comes in.

Payroll Stat

Research from consultancy group, PwC, has found that companies that outsource their payroll management typically save 18% on payroll-related costs compared to companies that deal with it in-house. It’s no wonder: the IRS reports that it has collected billions of dollars in penalties because of payroll errors. But with numerous options available, how do you choose the right payroll service? Here are key considerations to help you find the perfect fit for your small business:

1. Proven History

Before you decide on a potential payroll service, it's important to take time to research and gather information on the providers. Start by looking for a payroll service that has a strong track record in payroll accuracy. As a business owner, you need to ensure accuracy because it is crucial for paying your employees correctly and on time.

It is equally as important to choose a payroll service that is committed to staying up-to-date with ever-changing laws and regulations related to payroll and taxes. Employment laws and taxes can change frequently, and you don't want your business to face compliance issues. When evaluating a prospective payroll service consider these questions:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they have generally good reviews?
  • Can you get references from current customers?

By choosing a payroll service with a strong history of accuracy and business compliance, you're setting your business up for success in managing one of its critical functions. This involves paying your employees accurately, which is important for employee satisfaction and trust.

2. Scalability and Flexibility

Your small business may grow over time, so select a payroll service that can scale with your needs. Whether you add more employees or expand to multiple locations, the payroll service should be flexible enough to accommodate these changes without hassle.

3. Integration with HR Software

A payroll system that seamlessly integrates with HR software streamlines processes and reduces data entry errors. Look for a service that syncs with an HR software solution to ensure smooth data flow. Additionally, the payroll service should be able to provision employee self-service technology that empowers staff to access pay stubs, tax documents, and benefits information securely and instantly. This reduces administrative burdens and fosters employee satisfaction.

4. Security and Data Protection

Unfortunately, payroll presents a tempting target for hackers. Over the past few years, multiple payroll firms have suffered data breaches. The good news is that most reputable payroll firms are able to muster enterprise-grade cybersecurity protections. You will still want to assess what steps your payroll service takes to secure your company’s sensitive information and what its policies are in the event of a breach.

5. Customer Support and Responsiveness

Select a payroll service that offers reliable customer support. As a small business, you may have questions or encounter issues that require immediate attention. Ensure that you understand how the payroll company handles customer service inquiries. For example, will you have a dedicated account manager you can always reach, or will you go through an automated telephone or web interface every time?

6. Service Level Agreements

Payroll accuracy and timeliness is critical. Problems in payroll can result not only in unhappy employees – generating disengagement, resentment, and diminished productivity – but also in civil penalties assessed by the IRS. The tax agency will happily penalize the employer for payroll-related issues, regardless of who is providing the service. What steps will the payroll service provider take to deal with problems as they arise?

Key Takeaways

When it comes to managing payroll for your small or mid-sized business, you're dealing with a critical function that can be both time-consuming and complex. As your business grows, handling payroll in-house becomes increasingly challenging. This is where a dependable payroll service can make all the difference. 

Research conducted by PwC has found that businesses that choose to outsource their payroll management typically experience an 18% reduction in payroll-related costs. Considering the IRS has reported collecting billions of dollars in penalties because of payroll errors, it's no surprise. With a wide variety of payroll solutions available, the question becomes: How do you select the ideal payroll service for your business? Here are some key factors to consider when searching for a payroll solution.

Proven History

  • Picking a reliable payroll service is crucial for your business. It guarantees that you pay your employees correctly, which increases their trust and happiness.

Scalability and Flexibility

  • Choose a payroll service that can grow with your small business. Whether you're hiring more or expanding locations, it should adapt easily.

Integration with HR Software

  • Look for a payroll service that works smoothly with HR software. This streamlines processes, reduces errors, and lets employees access their info easily.

Security and Data Protection

  • Your payroll data is a target for hackers, but good payroll firms have strong security. Check their measures and policies for data protection.

Customer Support and Responsiveness

  • Pick a payroll service with reliable customer support. Small businesses sometimes need quick help. Determine if they offer a dedicated account manager or automated support.

Service Level Agreements

  • Payroll needs to be accurate and timely. Problems can lead to unhappy employees and IRS penalties. Understand what the payroll service provides and how it handles issues.

In the end, choosing the right payroll solution for your small business is more than just an administrative decision. It's an investment in your business's success and the well-being of your employees. By carefully evaluating these 6 considerations, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs, setting the foundation for efficient and error-free payroll management.

CoAdvantage, a leading Professional Employer Organization (PEO), is committed to serving the needs of small and medium-sized businesses seeking comprehensive payroll and HR solutions. Our expertise includes various HR functions, such as human resources management, payroll processing, employee benefits administration, and more. If you're searching for top-notch payroll solutions that can help your business, we invite you to reach out to us today. Let us elevate your payroll management and streamline your financial processes!