You know the benefits of outsourcing payroll, but is your current payroll provider missing the mark? Switching providers can be difficult, so be sure to know what makes an exceptional, proven payroll provider — so you won’t need to switch again anytime soon.
Even when you’re dissatisfied with your current payroll process, you may feel reluctant to switch payroll providers. Familiarity can be comforting, but the benefits of making a change may far outweigh any initial reluctance to shake up the status quo.
To work with a top payroll company, one that can meet your needs now and as your business changes and grows, you’ll want to research many providers, from local and app-only to regional and national companies. But what should you look for? What exactly makes a payroll provider exceptional?
To help you on your way, we’ve compiled six vital traits of a top payroll company.
It’s traditionally been difficult to switch payroll providers. Your data needs to move from your current system to the new one, processes need to be maintained, and regulatory obligations need to be met. Handling the transition on your own or choosing the wrong provider can result in lost time, inaccuracies, and potential penalties right from the start.
A top payroll company should have a team dedicated specifically to getting your account set up and running, from working with you to collect the necessary paperwork to balancing your year-to-date payroll data.
Payroll support when and how you need it
Think about a time you couldn’t get an important question answered because it was after typical business hours, or the person on the other end of the line didn’t have the knowledge or experience to help.
Some of the best payroll providers offer flexible support options, from 24/7/365 U.S.-based phone support to online chat, to a dedicated, highly trained payroll specialist on call from 8 to 5, Monday to Friday. You shouldn’t have to seek help at your payroll provider’s convenience. Your convenience and the time you save are what matters.
Automatic payroll tax administration
Payroll taxes can be complex and regulations may change. Your new payroll company should not only be able to help you process payroll for your employees, it should help you calculate, pay, and file your payroll taxes with the appropriate agencies. To that end, your payroll provider should employ a dedicated team of compliance professionals who maintain a strong relationship with the IRS, state and local agencies, so you have the information you need to automate payroll tax administration and help to keep your business compliant.
Specific payroll experience and knowledge
You shouldn’t have to teach your payroll provider how to run your payroll. A top payroll company will have already had decades of experience working with businesses of your size, in your industry, tackling the payroll challenges that you’re likely to face.
On the other hand, your payroll company should be able to teach you. Since no one enjoys operating in the dark, consider a payroll company that gives you access to information about paying employees and complying with the latest payroll taxes and regulations.
With knowledge comes power. And in payroll, that power means the ability to easily enter and submit your data yourself if you prefer. Not every business needs a payroll company to take care of everything at all times. Some just need access to a powerful, easy-to-use payroll system so they can take care of processing payroll themselves.
A top payroll company should be able to offer full-service payroll solutions, but also be willing to support capable business owners who are happiest when controlling certain aspects of their company’s payroll process.
Smooth buying experience
After putting in the effort to research several payroll providers, you shouldn’t have to deal with a company that makes it difficult to purchase their services. Choose a company that makes it easy to buy and get you set up and running payroll with as little disruption to your business and your employees as possible.
Consider too that some companies offer more than just payroll services. It may make sense to integrate related services with your payroll system, such as time and attendance, or HR administration. Those companies can be a great choice for payroll, but be sure to state your intentions up front so they aren’t continually trying to sell you on services you’re not ready for.
If wisdom comes from knowledge, then there can be no knowledge without education. When you decide to switch payroll providers, take some time to learn about them and their services. Are these payroll companies competent, stable, flexible, and easy to work with? Hopefully, these seven traits of a top payroll company will help you make a smart decision.