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Guide to Choosing the Right Payroll Service Provider for Your Business

by: Sidney Liquigan

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 |

Even if you're well-versed in handling your own payroll for your company, many businesses are still choosing to outsource their payroll to save on costs and improve productivity. Think of it this way – payroll is a time-consuming process, and the time and effort you take in doing a non-core process could have been spent on figuring out how to improve your business and increase your revenue.

Just like any other services, there are things to consider in making sure you outsource your payroll to the service provider that’s right for your business. The guide below may serve as your checklist when choosing a payroll outsourcing partner.

Know What You Need

Before searching for options, you must know first what kinds of payroll services you need. So when you talk to outsourcing providers, you will be able to tell them what you are looking for. Identifying what you need will also help you find out the questions you need to ask and the answers you need to look for. Some services that payroll outsourcing providers offer include continuous payroll processing, adjustment management, tax filing, and analysis reports, among others.

Get Recommendations

While searching for payroll providers that offer the services you need, getting recommendations can help you narrow down the choices. Ask your friends or colleagues who work in the same field, look at reviews and testimonials, and hear what other companies with the same nature as yours have to say about their experiences, especially with accuracy and responsiveness.

Check the Provider's Credentials

Now that you've listed down the payroll services you need and narrowed down your candidates, the next step is to find out if the services fit your requirements and if the processes and systems are flexible. Payroll processing is time-sensitive, so basically, look for a provider that releases the paychecks on time, pays your payroll taxes on time, and files your payroll tax forms on time. You should also look for a provider that is accredited and complies with international standards. In addition to your list of services that you require, find out if add-ons are being offered and the costs that come with them.

Ask the Right Questions

As part of understanding the payroll provider and its services, prepare the questions you need to ask. Some providers have forms that you have to fill out with your project specifications. This helps the provider to know more about your business and work they can offer you. On your end, remember to ask specific questions like:

  • What are the pricing options?
  • Which payroll taxes are included in the service offered?
  • What kinds of data and insights will be included in reports and dashboards?
  • How often will the reports be sent?
  • Is the payroll system customizable?
  • Is the data stored in the cloud and can be accessed on any device?
  • Is the system easy to use?
  • What are the security systems in place?
  • Are the services scalable?
  • Can the services be integrated with existing systems?
  • What kind of customer support is being offered?
  • What are the support services available (HR services, facilities, etc.)?
  • How fast is the turnaround?
  • Who will handle the account?
  • Who will be the point of contact for questions and concerns?
  • Is there employee self-service access?

Get a Quote

Once you've chosen one or two potential payroll providers, get a price quote that breaks down all the fees for the services you require. Get a quote for your first year and for your second year to see if rates change over time. This will help you compare the options and see which package will stay within your budget.

Prepare to Outsource

Before or upon signing the contract, you also need to know what you need to provide so the outsourcing will transition smoothly. Prepare organized files that include necessary employee details and other assets or data the payroll outsourcing provider will need.

In summary, the key to choosing the right payroll service provider is to know what you need, know and understand the services available, and aim for the best match. Due diligence can be arduous and time-consuming, but it’s the best way to ensure that you get the best available service at the best possible costs.

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