You want to pay your employees on time. You also want to keep up with all those other payroll-related items like keeping up with tax documents. But that’s not your forte. You’re an entrepreneur, not a bookkeeper.
Fortunately, many providers offer payroll services. And plenty of companies in the United States leverage those services. According to a survey from Deloitte, North American businesses lead the way in outsourcing when it comes to payroll solutions. Nearly seven out of 10 organizations that rely on payroll services are pleased with the results.
How to Determine the Best Payroll Service for Your Business
Of course, not all payroll providers are suitable for all businesses. If you’re trying to find the right match among the best payroll services, use the following tips to guide you. They’ll help you pinpoint which provider is most likely to meet your current and near-future needs.
1. Pick a payroll service that serves your size company.
Small businesses and startups usually have fewer than 50 employees. On the other hand, enterprise-level businesses can have several hundred or thousands of workers. So, as you might imagine, the payroll service that’s right for one type of company is wrong for another.
Even if one of your personal contacts at another corporation raves about a payroll service, do your homework. Don’t sign any contracts until you find out if it’s well-suited for your needs. Otherwise, you could end up overpaying for bells and whistles or not getting exactly the right fit.
2. Find a provider with a streamlined reporting platform.
Want to check up on your payroll? You should be able to find everything you need by logging into a cloud-based portal. Ideally, you would tap a few keystrokes and be able to navigate through your books effortlessly.
As you might suspect, not all payroll service systems are intuitive. Some require more of a learning curve than others. A few just aren’t simple to follow at all without a lot of practice. So, make sure that your payroll services provider’s interface matches your tech comfort level. Or, find one that matches the person’s comfort level on your team who will be working with your payroll regularly.
3. Offer your employees access to see their pay — and more.
You probably have at least a few tech natives on your payroll from Generation Z. In fact; you may have quite a number of them. According to The New York Times, teenagers are snagging good-paying jobs at record rates. Even if they’re new to the world of getting paid, they’ll want to learn the ropes sooner rather than later.
Many payroll services allow your employees to see and download pay information online. Make sure you understand precisely what workers have access to. Remember: You’ll be one of those workers, too, since you’re on the payroll as well. More robust systems can even help employees improve their financial literacy when it comes to figuring out tax withholding.
4. Seek out a payroll services partner with highly rated customer service.
As a business owner, you know the importance of offering top-notch customer service to consumers. Insist on putting your own money toward a payroll services provider that does likewise. If you don’t, you may end up with more questions than answers—and your employees might, too.
What kind of customer service options are nice to have in a payroll services provider? Of course, it’s always nice to see a provider that offers 24/7 self-service through AI-enhanced chats. However, sometimes you’ll want to talk with a live representative. Be sure you can get through to someone during your regular business hours. (This may mean choosing a provider in or close to your time zone.)
5. Choose a payroll service that can integrate with your current software.
Do you use a bookkeeping or other financial management software program? You probably don’t want to give up on it, especially if it’s working well. Consequently, investigate payroll service providers with platforms that integrate with the tech in your stack.
Of course, if what you’re using is an ancient platform, you may not find a service that integrates seamlessly. That’s understandable. The same is true if you cobbled together your payroll system years ago instead of picking something “off the shelf.” Still, if you can make your life easier by not having to invest in more products, you’ll end up saving money.
6. Weigh your payroll service against your corporate growth goals.
You say you want to scale rapidly within three years, taking your company from 25 employees to 250 employees? First, you’ll need to find the right payroll service solution. The last thing you want to do is find yourself having to reinvent the wheel in 36 months.
When you start evaluating payroll services, find out which ones can grow alongside your organization. Even if you have to buy into a service that’s a little “big” for you now, you could be glad later. Changing payroll services midstream can be exasperating and clunky, particularly if you’re focused on other areas simultaneously.
7. Compare pricing plans for each payroll service. (But don’t get too carried away.)
You’re in business to make money, which means you want to steward your financial resources. Nevertheless, you can’t afford to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. So when looking over payroll service pricing plans, search for one that fits your budget. At the same time, avoid giving in to sticker shock.
Remember that it takes about five hours on average to figure out worker payroll taxes. (And that’s per pay period.) Think about all the money that can be saved in-house by outsourcing that one service, let alone other services. So, yes, you want to make sure that you get a good deal. Just don’t forget that you’re paying someone else to do payroll so your people can focus on other tasks.
Loathe the idea of keeping your payroll in-house or—even worse—running payroll manually every week, another week, or month? Then, check out the payroll services on the market. You’re sure to find one that’s ready to support your business and keep your team members happily paid on time, every time.
Image Credit: tima miroshnichenko; pexels; thank you!