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Choosing a Payroll Service Provider: A Checklist for Small Business Owners


You've weighed the benefits of outsourcing your small business payroll — you want to save time and effort, prevent costly errors, all while working with a provider that can help you meet regulatory government and tax requirements. You also see the advantage of being able to focus on what you do best — running your small business. It makes sense for you and your organization to outsource payroll, but how do you decide on which payroll service provider is right for you?

Often certified public accountants recommend that small businesses use professional payroll service providers — but not all providers are created equal. Use this helpful checklist when deciding what provider to use for your small business payroll needs.

1. A point of contact

You don't want to leave your employees' personal payroll information in the hands of just anyone, and you want to be able to reach more than an automated call center if you need assistance. A payroll service provider should ensure that every single one of their clients can reach a single point of contact to service all of their payroll and tax needs. They should also have a knowledgeable specialist to help with employee onboarding and YTD balancing, as well as a service-focused sales representative that will ensure you receive all of the payroll services your business requires.

2. A personalized approach

When it comes to payroll, there's no "one size fits all" approach. Is your payroll service provider willing to take an in-depth look at your business structure, and customize your payroll services according to your needs?

3. Leading technology

As a business owner, it's crucial to have on-the-go access to important tax and payroll information anytime, anywhere. Most providers offer online payroll software that is powerful, dynamic, and easy to use. Some even allow full website functionality from a tablet app, or accessibility to your smartphone to access payroll, benefits, and HR. You'll save time answering your employees' payroll questions by granting permission to access their own personal payroll, HR, and benefits information online.

4. Experience you can trust

Payroll and business taxes can be tricky, that's why it's crucial to choose a reputable payroll service provider. Do your homework to find a payroll partner that offers not only experience, but accuracy, reliability, and top-notch customer service. It's a bonus if the payroll provider you select offers other helpful tools like human resources, employee benefits and 401(k), accounting and finance, and hiring services — freeing up even more of your time to focus on running your small business.

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.