At some point in the life of your business, you may be faced with the decision about whether to enlist the help of an external payroll provider. Choosing a payroll services provider for your small business may seem like a daunting task, but the alternative of managing your payroll in-house can be time-intensive and even costly to your business.
If your business is just getting started, there are several important tips for getting started with payroll services. If you are an established business owner who has decided to transition away from a do-it-yourself payroll process, these considerations can help get you started as you compare payroll service providers.
Explore your options
There are many payroll service providers that offer solutions for small businesses. This means you may have a lot to consider when choosing the right partner for your business. Ultimately, the provider you choose will become part of the team that helps your business operate productively. Invest time in researching payroll companies that specialize in small business services. You’ll want a payroll provider that understands your business and can provide specific recommendations.
Identify your business needs
What you need from your payroll provider will be unique, and based on factors such as your company size, payroll frequency, industry type, and desired services. When exploring your options, take note of the different payroll solutions that are available, and consider which services would be most helpful for your business, including those that are most important to your daily operations. For example, your company may require the ability to import multiple files, such as separate bonus and payroll files, at one time, from one location. Be prepared to address these services with the payroll company you choose.
Establish your previous history
Although the payroll service provider you choose will manage your payroll records moving forward, past records are also important (this includes employee social security numbers, your business’s federal tax identification number, and much more). Any recent records, especially from within the past 12 months, can help set a precedent and help guide your payroll services provider. Gather recent records and have them easily accessible during the transition period in case your provider has questions.
Consider mobile capabilities
Many reputable payroll services provide technology for managing payroll on-the-go, which can be beneficial for both employees and managers. When employees are out in the field or otherwise not near a work computer, entering and tracking time from a mobile device can help with accurately tracking time — meaning, costly errors, and overpayments can be mitigated. Additionally, mobile payroll tracking can help managers spot potential scheduling conflicts or overtime issues before they happen, allowing them to proactively manage your employees and your business. Spend some time discussing this feature with the payroll providers you’re considering, and ask for guidance in setting it up to work with your business if needed.
Once you’ve assessed these and other factors, explore options for a payroll solution that fits your specific business needs.