Payroll Service Information

How to Choose a Payroll Service

Be as diligent in picking a payroll service as you are in any important business decision. Here are some great questions to ask when choosing a payroll outsourcing partner.

This is the third article in a series of articles on how to choose a payroll service.

Previously, we gave you our list of things to look for in a payroll service and followed up with even more things to consider when choosing a payroll service.

If you've stuck with us so far, you really are a glutton for punishment. Nonetheless, here is the last of our questions to ask when getting a payroll service. Enjoy!

What's The Payroll Service's Back Office Technology?

Old technology can sometimes be problematic. It's important to be sure that your payroll provider is staying abreast of the latest technology because that usually means they are able to offer you newer and better features over time.

How Is Their Customer Service?

When you have a question about payroll and need to reach your customer service rep, will you have to wait in a phone queue for twenty minutes? Once you're on the phone with a rep, will they be able to answer your questions quickly and accurately? Are there other ways to get answers to your questions without having to pick up the phone?

What's Their Turnaround Time for Setting Up a New Payroll Service Client?

Once you give them your payroll information, how fast do they process it? Some payroll providers allow you to see the results in real time before committing and others will simply accept your data from you and process it by the end of the next business day. Being able to see and change the information prior to approval can avoid costly and embarrassing mistakes.

What Types of Payroll Reports Do They Give You?

Most payroll providers offer standard reports that are sufficient for the vast majority of businesses. If you are a large, complex company that needs to create and receive customize reports for some reason, ask the provider how they support customized reporting.

Does the Company Offer Other Services Besides Payroll?

Some payroll providers dabble in other areas. You may want your payroll provider to do other things for you or you might want them to stick to their knitting and focus exclusively on payroll. Find out what else they do. They may provide benefits consulting services, banking services, or accounting services for example. Some small businesses like a payroll provider who can do many things for them; others like a payroll provider that they know is exclusively focused on being good at payroll. Ultimately, it's a question of personal preference. If you do end up talking to a provider that offers bundled services, don't assume that it's necessarily a good deal; occasionally, you'll find upon close examination of the pricing that you can purchase the services separately for less money.

What Incremental Payroll Services Do They Provide?

In some cases, you'll find there are some nice extras that the payroll provider will handle for you. For example, they may take care of procuring payroll supplies for you and do so at a significant discount from what you'd pay if you did it yourself.

Is Your Payroll Data Secure? Will Your Data Be Treated as Confidential Information?

It's perfectly acceptable to ask the payroll how they ensure that your data is secure and that it will be kept in confidence. Most payroll providers have addressed this issue but it's always best to ask.

Can The Payroll Service Provide You With References?

Happy and satisfied customers are the best indicator that a payroll provider knows what it is doing and provides good customer service. Ask the payroll provider to provide you with two to three references.

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