Payroll is such a vital function of every organization, yet selecting a payroll processing company can be a daunting task for busy business owners. The first step is understanding your payroll needs and identifying which companies offer solutions that can meet them.
What Do You Need?
Payroll services exist to serve all kinds of businesses across every industry. While all providers deliver a processing solution, each provides a different set of services at a variety of price points. To create a preliminary list of potential companies, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What size is your organization now and what are your five-year projections?
You’ll want to select a payroll company that can effectively manage the company you are now, and the company you expect to become. You don’t want to outgrow your payroll company’s capacity. Find a provider that has payroll solutions for small businesses as well as enterprise solutions.
2. What is your budget?
Payroll companies structure their pricing models differently. Determine how much you’re able to invest in services so you can narrow down your options.
3. What services are your priority?
Make a list of the services you know you need from a provider. Eliminate any company that doesn’t offer those “must-haves” before reaching out for further information.
What To Look For In A Payroll Processor
Processing payroll accurately and efficiently is not only critical to managers and business owners, it’s important to employees. Employees expect payments to be correct and on time, and as a company’s most valuable asset, they should.
Payroll processing involves much more than simply writing checks. It requires handling every detail related to timekeeping, taxes, payments, direct deposits, and compliance. Systems and features vary among payroll processing companies. Consider the following key features as you compare service providers.
Expertise and Ongoing Support
While the right technology is mission-critical when searching for a payroll provider, it’s only part of the story. You need technology PLUS expertise. That means identifying a true partner to help you find the right solution for your business, not one looking to just “sell you something.”
When you’re sharing such a central part of your business with another company, customer service becomes a powerful differentiator. Salespeople may tell you things that sound great but do your due diligence before signing anything. - Will you have a dedicated service representative? - What is the company’s customer retention rate? - How long does it take to get your account set up? - Will you be able to talk to someone when you need them, or do you have to submit a ticket and wait until the company has time for you?
Payroll Data Security
Due to the sensitive nature of information collected, maintaining a high level of security and protecting employee data is an increasingly important factor. Review features to be sure the company employs security measures such as multi-factor authentication and data encryption.
User Experience (UX)
Products and services need to be designed with the end user in mind. Because many employees and managers interact with payroll systems using a mobile device, easy access from anywhere is more of a necessity than a convenience. Users need to easily navigate the system to find what they need quickly. It doesn’t matter how many tools are offered if using them isn’t intuitive. Some companies overpack products with features that are impractical. How many of those features will you use? Which ones do you need? Be wary of systems that aren’t unified or that force you to use 3rd party vendors for important tasks like reporting.
Providing a great onboarding experience makes a lasting impression on employees. Streamlining and automating this process makes it quicker and improves employee engagement. Integrating onboarding data with human resources consolidates information and allows administrators easy access to monitor and approve documents.
Compliance is a valuable benefit of having a payroll service, and one of the main reasons businesses need them. These providers specialize in staying informed about ever-evolving regulations, ensuring customers remain in compliance. And if your organization is ever audited, your provider should be there every step of the way to help ensure your data is easily accessible.
Tax compliance is an integral part of processing payroll. Filing payroll taxes and processing W2s and 1099s accurately limits your exposure to risk and protects you from IRS fines or other compliance penalties.
Payroll companies may offer integrations with various 401(k) providers. Giving plan administrators access to data they need enables them to better manage and invest your funds.
Some companies charge service fees monthly or by pay period, while others may impose a per-employee or per-check cost. Inquire about all processing fees to be sure there are no surprises later. Ask if you’ll pay fees to add or remove employees, alter profile data, change frequency of payments or payment dates, etc.
Once you understand how the pricing works, you’ll want to examine how that model fits into your cash-flow structure. Are there initial, one-time implementation fees? And if you want to add features later, will that be a time-consuming task?
The Bottom Line
When you have your top choices, be sure to seek trusted sources for unbiased reviews. Another way to gauge value is to request input from current customers. Does their experience align with their original expectations?
The best solution for any business is one that streamlines tasks, reduces risk, and limits the possibility of manual errors. Selecting a payroll processor that offers the features you need and access to customer service experts you can depend on will be an investment that saves you time and money.
Paycor was founded to put client success and satisfaction first. That singular focus guides us to this day. That’s why more than 30,000 medium-sized and small businesses trust Paycor to help them manage their most valuable asset – their people. Every department in your organization, from Finance to Operations, can benefit from our technology, because it modernizes practically every aspect of people management from the way you recruit, onboard and develop people, to the way you pay them, retain them and build a company culture.
By pairing the right technology plus expertise, you’ll work with a partner committed to identifying the right solution for your business and offering you ongoing support from a dedicated team of experts who understand your business.
To learn more about how we can help you accomplish your goals, or to request a consultation so we can learn more about your business needs, click here to contact us.
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