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Choosing the Right Payroll Company for Your Small Business

As your small business transitions from start-up to growth mode, you may find that you don't have the time to manage payroll or the budget to hire onsite staff. If you're considering outsourcing payroll services, it can be difficult to know where to start. This guide will help you choose the right payroll company for your small business.

Choosing the Right Payroll Company for Your Small Business

Choosing a payroll company with years of experience serving the needs of small businesses is critical. If you opt for a less experienced payroll service simply because it’s cheaper, it could end up costing you more over time. From penalties assessed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to paying employees the wrong amounts, mistakes like these could threaten the bottom line of your small business.

Understand Your Payroll Needs

Before you start evaluating payroll services for small business, consider the following factors:

  • How many employees do you currently have?
  • The physical location of each employee
  • How often do you pay your employees?
  • The method used to pay your employees.

You’re now ready to begin researching and evaluating what various payroll companies offer.

Comparing Payroll Providers

Searching online for payroll companies in your local area and asking other small business owners in your network for recommendations are ideal ways to start the evaluation process. Pricing, features, services, and the company’s reputation all deserve your equal attention. Consider making a side-by-side comparison of cost and services to help make the decision-making process easier.

Knowing the reputation of the payroll service you’re considering hiring is crucial. Be sure to search online for review websites that publish the feedback of actual clients. Look for feedback that is positive overall and a payroll service that takes proactive steps to address any complaints. The Better Business Bureau provides letter-grade ratings for businesses based on customer feedback, which is also helpful.

Features to Look for in a Quality Payroll Service

Ideally, you want a payroll processor that offers an all-in-one package that includes every service you need. An ala carte-type system can also work well, which means that you choose only the services you need as your company grows. Here are several examples of outsourced payroll services:

  • Payroll processing and distribution of employee checks
  • Submits payroll taxes and reports to the IRS and your state government
  • Gives you the ability to approve payroll online
  • New hire reporting
  • Employee self-service options, such as viewing paystub and W2 information online

The company you hire should have a proven track record of accuracy, full security options based on who needs access to which payroll features, flexibility when you need to make changes, and an easy-to-use system for you and all your in-house employees.

After evaluating all features, services, and prices, weigh what you will receive against how much you will pay for it. You also want to consider how much your time is worth when making this decision. For example, if your profit is $100 an hour and the payroll company saves you 10 hours a week, compare the $1,000 to what you are paying for services.

Make Sure the Service Provider Offers Excellent Customer Support

When selecting a payroll service provider, it's important to make sure they offer excellent customer support. Look for reviews that indicate the provider responds quickly and has multiple methods of contact, such as phone, email and text. This will ensure that any payroll issues are addressed promptly and efficiently.

Don’t Forget to Check References

Besides reading online reviews, ask the company to provide additional references whom you can contact directly. Any business that refuses this offer may have something to hide. Ask the references about their experiences in working with the provider, the quality of their customer service, the accuracy of the payroll information, and the security of the online systems.

Steps to Ensure a Smooth Transition to a New Payroll Provider

If you currently work with another payroll company, find out when your contract expires before switching to a new one. Next, sign a contract with the new provider after ensuring you understand all the terms. You then want to fill out all necessary authorization forms with your bank and attorney to allow the new payroll company to issue checks in your company’s name. The last step is to enter the information your new processor will need into their system.

Contact Exact Payroll to Discuss Your Small Business Needs

By partnering with Exact Payroll, you can enjoy peace of mind as a small business owner, knowing that your payroll is in good hands. With 23 years of experience, we would be grateful for the opportunity to be your company’s new payroll processor. Please contact us for more information and to obtain a cost estimate.

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