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7 things you need from a payroll provider

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Payroll can be done by employees in the internal departments of a company. However, many companies prefer to outsource their payroll to professional cloud-based payroll service providers because it saves them time and money. As convenient as it is, it is very important to choose a provider that meets your exact needs. Here are a few considerations to consider when selecting a payroll provider.

Cost

This is one of the most important considerations to make when choosing a payroll service. Avoid payroll services that come with hidden fees and costs. Many clients sign up for payroll services only to realize later that the amount owed is more than what they expected to pay. Be sure to obtain a transparent payroll structure from your service provider so that you do not end up going beyond your initial budget. A payroll may look cost effective but might have additional costs for regular activities that might go beyond the expected cost. Most reputable providers will have a cost listed on their site (most have a basic fee + a small fee per employee or per batch of employees). Some sites will ask to set an appointment to discuss pricing. Finding a payroll service that is transparent is just the first step.

Convenience

Running payroll should be a hassle-free process that can be done using a mobile or computer device. When selecting a service provider, business owners should consider the ease of access. You do not need to be confined to the office or behind a phone for hours every time you need to run payroll. Technology has made it much easier to conduct payroll services. Consider choosing a payroll service that provides ease of access and a simple, easy to use interface that should only take minutes to finish.

Service options

Since payroll providers are unique, the payroll services offered are also different. Some payroll services come with more features and better packages than others do. To cut on expenses, choose a provider that offers most of the expected services such as automated tax payments, employee reimbursements, vacation and sick day tracking, filing employment related taxes, payroll reports, and direct deposit. It is important to know the full list of services you are getting in the payroll service package you select. The services can include time and attendance, accounts, and HR. Research different payroll service providers and compare their packages and benefits before choosing the one that best suits your needs. This will help you avoid paying for more while getting less.

Set up

Find out the technology and features of your intended payroll service provider. Some providers use old technology or software while others use paper-based systems. This makes it difficult for you to customize your payroll and integrate it with other organizational platforms.

Switching from a paper based payroll system to a paperless system does not require much training. The transition is often easy and seamless. However, consider choosing a payroll service that comes with simple applications that are easy to use. Be sure to evaluate the technology of the payroll service you intend to use to determine its functionality and compatibility with your internal payroll system. Cloud based payroll platforms are advanced and come with application programming interface making it easier for them to be integrated with other systems.

Partners and integration

Avoid payroll services that cannot integrate with accounting and HR software systems. The ability of payroll service to integrate with accounting software platforms allows you to obtain better results, more control, and greater flexibility. Choose a payroll service provider that understands the needs of your business. For example, it is unwise for a small company to choose a payroll service that caters to multinationals primarily.

Take time to meet the payroll service provider to determine how well informed they are about your business. The provider should understand your business niche and the challenges you encounter. Some large payroll service providers do not offer direct access to payroll specialists and instead, manage accounts using system specialists. Such specialists handle clients’ operational and technical issues and redirect payroll queries to a third party.

Time and attendance management

Collecting attendance and time data is an important element of payroll service. Some providers do not have an attendance and time system. Inquire how the provider collects data considering that competent providers should have the ability to provide fully integrated attendance and time systems.

Exit strategy

You might want to change service providers or switch back to handling your payroll in-house. In such cases, it is important to know if your payroll provider has an exit strategy that may involve handing over the payroll service back to you or another payroll service provider.

This post was contributed by Payroll Express, a cloud based cheap payroll service provider located in Idaho that specializes in small business payroll and customer service.

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