Payroll providers can offer small business owners valuable services. We offer tips for choosing providers and overcoming common payroll challenges.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of America's economy, so it's no surprise that the country celebrates National Small Business Week each spring. It's a chance to recognize and honor the contributions made by small business owners and their passion for innovation. It's also a great time for you to brush up on critical line-of-business processes, like managing payroll providers and handling payroll challenges. Here are four great resources to get you started.

Celebrating National Small Business Week

Part six of our series celebrating National Small Business Week

Exempt or Not?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lays out specific rules for small businesses to follow when it comes to exemptions, hours worked, meal and rest breaks and overtime compensation. Most employees are "nonexempt" from the FLSA's protections, meaning small business owners need to ensure they're meeting standards and can demonstrate compliance. Employees may generally be exempt from the FLSA's overtime requirements provided they are paid on a salary basis at a minimum salary threshold and perform certain job duties. To help avoid misclassification claims, review employee salaries and job duties together with FLSA classification criteria.

Read more: Exempt or Nonexempt Employees: Who's Who, and Why Does It Matter?

Keeping Time

Tracking time worked is critical for nonexempt employees, but if the Department of Labor final overtime rules become effective, many current exempt employees may be reclassified as nonexempt and, therefore, be subject to overtime. As a result, you must be prepared to accurately track all hours worked and mandatory time off and safely store this data. Generally, employers are required to maintain accurate and reliable timesheets, which means you need a reliable, auditable timekeeping system that can be customized to suit your needs and help you comply with applicable federal, state and local wage and hour requirements.

Read more: Timekeeping for Nonexempt Employees Under the FLSA

Choosing the Right Provider

How do you choose the right payroll provider for your business? It's a daunting task, since accurate payroll processes are necessary to satisfy federal, state and local requirements and to help ensure that employees are always paid for all hours worked, including any permissible deductions and consistent with any pay day requirements. When it's time to choose your payroll provider, asking the right questions can help you choose the right partner for your business. Questions such as "Do you understand the needs of my industry?" and "How secure is your service?" can help you determine whether the provider has in-depth knowledge of the specific challenges your company may be facing and whether they will help your business with its compliance challenges.

Read more: Top 5 Questions to Ask Payroll Providers

Making the Switch

What if you have a payroll solution that isn't working? Thankfully, new technologies make it easier than ever to switch: Cloud-based providers can often handle the logistics and integration, which may help your business make the switch more easily, and online solutions now allow you to manage payroll data anytime, anywhere. As one successful small business owner explains, by partnering with an experienced payroll provider that understands your needs, you can help free up more of your time to focus on growing your business.

Read more: Why Business Owners Should Consider Switching Payroll Providers

Small businesses pave the way for American economic growth and stability. Stay the course with effective payroll management.

We hope you've enjoyed celebrating National Small Business Week with us. To stay up-to-date on all the latest trends and insights for small and midsized business owners throughout the year, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

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