Top 5 Service Considerations When Selecting a Payroll Service Provider

Employees walk through an office lobby where people sit in armchairs and at a conference table

Managing payroll and human resources can be time-consuming and complex, especially with constantly changing federal regulations and new state employment laws. Here are five reasons customer support is so important when considering a payroll partner.

Businesses may be tempted to give less consideration to service and support when choosing a payroll service provider, perhaps because they're more focused on pricing and features. However, evaluating this important trait early in your decision-making process can help ensure you don't encounter problems later.

Here are five attributes to look for when evaluating potential partners:

1. Always-available customer support

Every employer knows that payroll problems aren't limited to a strict 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. When related challenges — like time record errors, late paychecks and other issues — crop up, you need a provider who is available 24/7 so you can get the help you need as soon as possible.

Offering multiple customer support contact options is also important. When your payroll provider is reachable via phone, chat, email and more, you're sure to get the support you need when and where you need it.

2. Access to experts

It's one thing to be able to reach out to a customer support team, but it's another to have a dedicated representative — who can answer your questions and help you manage your payroll quickly — on call and ready to help.

Having access to certified, experienced human resource professionals is essential. Payroll can be incredibly complex, with constantly changing federal regulations and new state employment laws. Relying on associates who are knowledgeable about those rules can help safeguard your business from costly mistakes.

"No employer wants a delay in payroll to be the reason their employees can't feed their families, pay their bills or put gas in their car," says Matt Farwell, Senior Vice President of Service and Operations at ADP. "In an environment where the stakes are that high, there is no replacement for great customer support. The best payroll providers out there have been building expertise for decades. They offer round-the-clock support and match the urgency of their clients by resolving issues timely."

3. An online knowledge base

Having access to a context-related online knowledge base from your payroll service provider can help you research and find answers yourself without engaging with a representative.

A knowledge base contains documentation, frequently asked questions, how-to guides and best practices as well as support guides. By providing easy access to an online database, your payroll vendor can help you quickly find the answers you need and resolve your payroll-related issues in no time.

4. Easy integrations

Integrating your payroll solution with existing accounting, or other systems is essential. With the right interface, you can streamline your workflow process by eliminating the need for manual data entry, which can save you time and money. Additionally, integration helps eliminate the risk of duplication errors and data inaccuracies due to manual input.

"The needs of the business owner will determine which integrations are most important," Farwell notes. Standard integrations include your human resource information system, time tracking, workforce management and accounting software.

5. A variety of payment methods

Paying employees isn't just a question of calculating how much they've earned. You also want to ensure you're paying your employees in a way that allows them to receive their wages in the manner that works best for them.

Direct deposit is the standard wage payment method. And while some employers still like traditional paper paychecks, the time lag for delivery and security risk if lost makes this method less than ideal.

Your payroll provider should support paycards. These are similar to debit cards but can be loaded with an employee's wages on payday. With an estimated 4.5% of households in the U.S. being unbanked, offering paycards ensures your employees can access their wages without having a bank account and without having to pay a fee to cash their paychecks.

Find a payroll partner that invests in supporting you

The right combination of customer support options can make all the difference in ensuring your payroll processes and wage payments run smoothly. Look for a provider who offers 24/7 quality customer support, an online knowledge base, integrations with the software and systems you already use and multiple payment methods to meet the needs of all your employees.

With the right payroll and HR partner on your side, you can rest easy knowing that your payroll processing needs are being taken care of quickly, accurately and on your schedule.

Learn more

From basic payroll to a full suite of HR tools and services, get the help you need, when you need it, ADP can help.