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How do I select a payroll services provider?

A payroll provider processes payroll for a company. This service includes computing employees’ gross pay, withholdings, and net pay, creating paychecks and managing direct deposit, preparing payroll reports, and preparing payroll tax returns.

When selecting a full service payroll services provider, there are five key areas to consider.

1: Technology and Payroll Software
A full service payroll provider will manage your payroll through software application. This software should be configurable, since each business is different when it comes to their payroll needs, depending on how often they pay their staff, and if their employees are hourly, salaried, or tipped. Be sure to consider how easy it is to customize how and when you run payroll.

Payroll software should also be easy to use. Be sure to evaluate the experience for whoever runs payroll for your company, and also the experience for your employees, who will likely access their paystubs though the application. You’ll also want to ensure that the application is cloud-based so that everyone can access what they need from a tablet or smartphone.

2: Service
No matter how cutting-edge a software application is, there may still be instances in which you need technical support, or expert guidance on a payroll-related issue. You’ll want to ensure that your payroll provider has real people you can talk to whenever you have a question. 24/7 phone support is the gold standard for service.

3: Adaptability
The world around you and your business is constantly changing, including the federal, state, and local legislation that impacts your payroll and taxes. You’ll want to ensure your payroll provider is an expert in the field, and will help you respond to changing legislation like the Affordable Care Act.

4: Ability to support your growth
Changing payroll providers can be a headache, so it is important to not only think about what your needs are today, but what they might be in the future as well. You might consider a payroll provider that can help you down the road with things like:

By working with one company for all these things, you’ll save time, and often money too. Plus, your data in all these areas will be consolidated, so you can identify trends and make better decisions.

5: Price
As with any purchase for your business, price is a major factor. However, it is important to consider value as well. If a provider offers powerful, easy-to-use software, a high level of service and expertise, and the ability to support your growth over time, it might be worth a slightly higher price than a provider that only offers one or two of these features.

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