Employers who are still spending too much time on payroll or receiving tax penalties from the IRS may want to consider replacing their manual, error-prone processes with a corporate payroll service. Afterall, payroll is the lifeblood of an organization and mistakes can have costly consequences.

What are corporate payroll services?

A corporate payroll service is an approach to running payroll that takes full advantage of technology. There are generally two different types – payroll software and full-service payroll. Off-the-shelf software alleviates some of the administrative burdens of payroll, but still leaves the employer largely in control. Payroll service providers, on the other hand, typically assume more of the manual tasks and reporting requirements and help businesses monitor regulatory changes that could impact compliance.

Corporate Payroll Services

How can a corporate payroll service help businesses?

The main benefit to a corporate payroll service is that it allows businesses to focus more of their efforts on growth-related activities, such as sales and marketing, customer service and product development. Other perks include:

  • Time savings
    Automation, a common feature of corporate payroll services, greatly reduces the time it takes to complete the most labor-intensive aspects of payroll, like calculations, tax withholdings and wage payments. Many today also have web-based interfaces that allow employee information to be entered once and then stored for future pay cycles, reducing repetitive data entry.
  • Ease of use
    Some corporate payroll services are easier to learn than others. High-quality providers typically provide digital learning tools, in-product demos and dedicated account resources to help payroll administrators become as proficient as possible with their product.
  • Convenience
    Corporate payroll services with full-service capabilities provide easy access to necessary tax forms and may take care of filing reports with government agencies on behalf of the employer. Those that offer employee self-service options can further alleviate administrative burdens for managers.
  • Accurate recordkeeping
    Federal and state governments have different requirements for payroll data. A corporate payroll service can help maintain the records needed for compliance in one database and enables reporting on a variety of metrics, including wages paid, taxes deducted and more.

What are some features of a corporate payroll service?

The features of a corporate payroll service range from basic administrative functions, like wage and tax calculations, to value-added options capable of enhancing the user experience. Some of the more common bells and whistles available today include:

  • Payroll processing for any size business
    Because it’s scalable, corporate payroll can accommodate organizations with just a few employees as well as those with thousands of workers. A small business, for instance, may purchase payroll as a standalone service and add features when necessary, while an enterprise might buy a comprehensive human capital management suite that includes payroll.
  • Payroll tax processing
    Full-service corporate payroll providers help businesses keep pace with changing regulations so that tax withholdings and payments are correct. They’ll also usually take the lead in filing the necessary paperwork with government agencies on time.
  • Paycards
    Paycards or prepaid debit cards are increasingly popular with younger workers and those who don’t have traditional bank accounts. For this reason, many corporate payroll providers now accommodate alternative payment methods, which in addition to meeting employee demand, allow employers to reduce costs associated with printing and distributing checks.
  • Direct deposit
    Direct deposit remains the most preferred method of payment and like paycards, can lower a business’s payroll costs. Employers using a corporate payroll service can usually take advantage of direct deposit as long as they’re able to supply their employees’ bank account and routing numbers.
  • Online access and management
    Corporate payroll services that are cloud-based can reduce infrastructure costs and improve security. The cloud also makes it possible to centralize data from multiple sources and access payroll information on demand, thereby simplifying reporting.
  • Employee self-service
    With a corporate payroll service, employees may be able to view their pay information, update their personal and tax withholding information, and manage their benefit selections. Self-service features like these improve employee engagement and save time for managers who no longer have to field information requests.
  • Mobile apps
    Mobile-enabled corporate payroll services allow employers to run payroll and check tax payments via an app on their phone. When payroll is synced with timekeeping, employees can also clock in and out and managers can approve timesheets remotely.

What other features do some corporate payroll services offer?

Corporate payroll services often can integrate with other programs, making it easier to manage HR administration across the board. This network of connected applications, which is sometimes referred to as a human capital management solution, may include the following features:

  • HR services
    Businesses that lack HR expertise or a dedicated department may benefit from HR consulting services, help desks, employee handbooks, job description templates and more.
  • Onboarding and pre-employment screening
    Criminal background checks, drug testing and credential verifications can help employers vet candidates properly. After an offer is accepted, digital onboarding programs make the transition from applicant to employee seamless.
  • Health insurance and benefits
    Employers who need help administering benefits or deciding what to offer employees can access consulting services and online tools that make open enrollment, life events and dependent coverage easier to manage.
  • Time and attendance
    By automatically calculating the total hours that employees work, timekeeping programs can make payroll more accurate and help employers comply with wage and hour regulations.
  • Workers’ compensation
    When workers’ compensation is integrated with payroll, insurance premium payments may be based on actual payroll data instead of estimates, which helps minimize over and underpayments.
  • Retirement plans
    Investment management services can help employers select a retirement plan that will keep current employees engaged and attract prospective talent.
  • Help desk and support
    Depending on the provider, certified payroll specialists may be available 24/7 to answer employer questions and troubleshoot problems.

What should employers look for when choosing a corporate payroll service?

When choosing a corporate payroll service, employers tend to look for providers who have extensive experience using integrated technology to deliver accurate, timely results. In addition to verifying the quality of the services provided, business owners may want to consider:

  • Future payroll requirements
    Organizations that expect to expand typically need a corporate payroll service that can grow with them and accommodate their future needs.
  • Security and privacy
    Whether it’s multiple layers of data backup or physical security measures, payroll providers should be able to protect business processes, infrastructure and sensitive information at all times.
  • Implementation plans
    Robust implementation plans that address all requirements upfront – historical data, infrastructure upgrades, etc. – can help prevent unforeseen costs and get payroll up and running faster.
  • Service models
    The availability of a day-to-day support team, compliance advisors, online customer communities or product advocacy programs contribute greatly to the overall experience of a payroll service.
  • Company reputation
    Reputable corporate payroll providers tend to have a long history of stable ownership, transparent financial results and superior peer reviews.

Why choose ADP for corporate payroll services?

ADP provides some of the fastest, easiest and more comprehensive corporate payroll services on the market. In fact, nine out of 10 customers prefer ADP over their previous payroll provider1.

Here’s what employers can expect with our corporate payroll:

  • Automated wage and tax calculations
  • Expert assistance with regulatory compliance
  • Mobile capabilities for anytime, anywhere payroll processing
  • User-friendly self-service apps that can increase productivity
  • Simple integrations with timekeeping, benefits and other HR services

Learn more about ADP’s payroll packages for businesses of all sizes

1Internal survey of 752 RUN Powered by ADP customers in 2020.

This guide is intended to be used as a starting point in analyzing an employer’s payroll obligations and is not a comprehensive resource of requirements. It offers practical information concerning the subject matter and is provided with the understanding that ADP is not rendering legal or tax advice or other professional services.

ADP Editorial Team

ADP Editorial Team The ADP editorial team is comprised of human resource professionals with extensive experience solving complex HR challenges for businesses of all sizes.