7 Principles for Selecting the Right Payroll Outsourcing Service

By Marianne Chrisos - Last Updated on January 6, 2020
7 Principles for Selecting the Right Payroll Outsourcing Service

Paying your employees – and yourself – is a key component to owning and running a business. Making sure that everyone gets paid in full, on time, and in accordance with local and federal laws is a must for any modern business.

Why you should choose payroll outsourcing

Outsourcing your payroll can be beneficial for your small business or startup. Small Bix Trends, in conjunction with Paychex VP Andy Childs, notes, “a company had one person performing all of the payroll processing functions. The company is now outsourcing the functions as a result of thinking ahead. They chose to outsource the functions to reduce the risk of the payroll not being processed, to manage growth by anticipating the increased payroll responsibilities that will be required as the firm grows and hires more employees, and to keep up with technology, such as pay cards and direct deposit. Ideally, outsourcing achieves three main goals: It frees up time and resources to focus more on your core business. It gives you access to more technology and expertise to perform payroll well. It reduces costs and risks.”

Not every small business owner or startup entrepreneur is a finance or payroll expert. Often, small businesses and startup ventures don’t have the resources – either people or money – to have their own in-house HR operation. Ultimately, outsourcing payroll can help make sure that your business remains compliant in one of the most important HR responsibilities.

Most important features to look for in choosing a payroll outsourcing service for your business

Here’s what to look for when choosing from payroll outsourcing services.

  1. Features and benefits: A good payroll outsourcing service is going to offer more than just some accounting features and tax filings. It should also allow you to choose how you can pay employees, direct deposit, paper checks, or prepaid debit cards. It’s also important to make sure that all the deductions and administrative tasks are covered by the vendor, garnishment payments, paid-time-off management, workers’ compensation administration, unemployment insurance, and detailed payroll reports. This is for the benefit of both you and your employees.
  1. Easy to use: Outsourcing payroll doesn’t just mean sending data to a 3rd party and never seeing your payroll information again. There will always be some review and hands-on tasks needed. Whether it’s an employee self-service portal that will allow your workforce to download their paystubs, review W-4s, and more or a login that enables owners and managers to double check PTO, time clock punches, and other info, the platform and service interface should always be easy to use.
  1. Price: Many things go into the price of payroll outsourcing services. Many of them have a contract requirement that means even if your business grows enough to warrant having an in-house payroll administrator, you might end up having to honor your outsourcing commitment. Other cost considerations include understanding if you pay for extra features, for payroll cycles run, per employee, and more. These costs can add up and make it difficult for a smaller business to manage or justify.
  1. Company character: You want to make sure that you’re not just focused on cost, however. Working with a service provider that has a positive reputation can help give you extra peace of mind and knowledge that you’re making a good investment for your business. Do they have customer testimonials and referrals available? Do they have a good maintenance record so that you always have access to your payroll data?
  1. App integrations: Can your payroll provider integrate with existing time and attendance systems and accounting software? This will help you create a better experience for your business stakeholders and employees, as well as help your business more easily grow and scale over time.
  1. Customer service: You don’t have to be an HR expert in order to run payroll – that’s the point of utilizing payroll outsourcing services. But should you have questions and issues, you should make sure you’re working with a provider that can provide dedicated support and answer your questions.
  1. Self-service portal: Not every company needs self-service functionality for their work team, but it’s a good feature to be able to offer incoming team members. This allows employees to download pay stubs for their own financial needs and records, as well as access year-end tax forms and another paycheck related information.

One of the most important things to focus on when looking for the right payroll outsourcing service focus on getting the most features to help support your human resource operations. It’s important to prioritize your specific business needs to ensure that you have the best possible experience – and give your employees, contractors, and other paid professionals the best possible experience.

Finding the best payroll process system for your business important. It helps streamline your business operations, save your business stakeholders time, reduce costly errors, and keep your budget accurate and employees happy. If you choose to outsource your payroll, it’s important to remember these factors to keep your payroll running smoothly. This will keep your business able to retain talent and also give you a better, more realistic view of your budget and expenses, all of which impact the future success of your business.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a company near Dallas and contributing writer around the internet. She earned her master's degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University in Chicago and has worked in publishing, advertising, digital marketing, and content strategy.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a c...

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