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5 Questions to Ask Payroll Providers


Once you have a good idea of your business needs for the coming year, including how many full- and part-time employees you may hire, which payroll and tax responsibilities you may outsource, and what kind of value you expect for your budget, be sure to ask these vital questions to potential payroll providers:

1. What types of payroll services do you offer? 

Compare your list of needs — today and in the near future — with each payroll provider’s services, from individual tax and salary calculations to direct deposit, payroll tax return filings and payments, garnishment payments, and employee self-service. Then ask if they offer related services that could benefit from integration with their payroll system, like Paychex does with 401(k) administration and health insurance, in case you decide to outsource benefits management now or in the future.

2. How much experience do you have as a payroll provider? 

There are thousands of payroll providers out there, from small, local firms and online-only payroll apps to more recognizable regional and national companies like Paychex — which pays 1 in 12 U.S. private sector employees. It’s usually a good idea to avoid the latest flash-in-the-pan payroll provider unless they can prove that they’re financially stable and will still be there for your business when you need them years from now. After all, you’re entrusting them with your important payroll and tax funds, as well as the security of your employees’ social security numbers, bank account details and other personal information.

Paychex has over 45 years of experience working with businesses of your size, in your industry. They know what it takes to run payroll for your type of business.

3. Is your payroll software current and easy to use? 

Payroll outsourcing is only as easy as the technology that drives it. Is their payroll software easy to use? Does it allow you to securely enter payroll online or from your mobile device? Can your employees see their check stubs and Forms W-2 from their phone, too?

Something else to consider: Do they incrementally improve their software over time as with Paychex Flex®, our powerful, cloud-based HCM solution, or do they completely overhaul their system every few years? If their software doesn’t continually innovate, you could get caught in the middle of a complete payroll system overhaul where the final product looks and works nothing like what you originally purchased.

4. Is payroll support available when and how I need it? 

Don’t subject yourself or your employees to the feeling of having a question that no one’s around to answer. Insist on 24/7 U.S.-based phone support. Paychex also offers the option to work with a dedicated payroll specialist during typical business hours and chat-based support when you need an answer right away and you’re not at your desk.

5. Do your payroll services provide good value for my money? 

Bargain-basement payroll providers might seem promising on paper, but as with everything in business you get what you pay for. Make sure you get precisely the level of service you need today, with the ability to add services as you need them.

Transparent pricing is important as well, especially when you need to stay conscious of your cash flow. Avoid signing up with a new payroll provider and discovering that the price you agreed to has been inflated by hidden charges. Reputable payroll providers like Paychex explain their pricing up front.

Choosing a new payroll partner service may be one of the most important decisions you make for your business. These are just a few questions to ask payroll providers. Be sure to take the time to prepare your own questions as well. Together, they’ll help you evaluate which company will be the best to work with now and in the years to come.

This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.
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