1. Platform Accessibility and Ease of Use
The payroll processor that you choose should be accessible from the internet and a mobile app. This lets you update information from any location, even after business hours. Ideally, it should also include employee self–service so that staff members can easily change their deductions and control or view benefits, such as their 401k accounts and PTO. Ideally, the service will also provide digital pay stubs to individuals who receive direct deposits.
2. Payroll Services and Features
It's best to find a payroll processor that offers a wide variety of features and options, even if you don’t need all of them right away. Desirable features include tax services, multiple payroll submission options, benefits handling, plenty of payroll delivery methods and new hire reporting. If the provider supplies a range of services and package options, you’ll be able to scale your payroll services as you hire more employees and your company expands.
3. Tax Services and Payroll Deductions
Make sure your payroll processor can handle all of the taxes and deductions for your employees. The provider should be able to process applicable federal, state and local withholdings, such as the tax that funds unemployment benefits.
4. Benefits Packages
If your company offers PTO, vacation time and retirement accounts, choosing a good payroll provider means that it will be able to manage these accounts for you. Ideally, the processor will let employees view their available PTO or vacation time and request time off using an online form. They should also be able to review their 401k contributions and account balance while making adjustments as necessary. Some payroll processors can help with scheduling by allowing employees to request changes and swap schedules with other staff members when desired.
5. Submission Options
How would you like to submit your payroll? Most business owners prefer to have a seamless submission process, which means that they might choose a payroll company with an online timekeeping system. However, if that doesn’t fit your needs, you can look for other submission options.
Alternative methods include emailing or faxing your payroll spreadsheets to the provider. It may also be possible to call the company on the phone to report the number of work hours and provide payment information.
6. Payroll Delivery Options
Most staff members prefer direct deposit, so the first payroll delivery option you should look for is electronic deposit. For employees who favor checks, you need to make sure the processing company offers convenient options, such as courier delivery or standard delivery through FedEx, UPS or USPS. Another solution involves receiving checks via email and printing them with your company's laser printer.
7. Ability to Budget and Control Payroll Costs
Payroll is one of the most expensive costs for a business. For this reason, it’s important to choose a payroll service that allows you to view your payroll expenses and hours worked in real time. It should also let you establish a payroll budget.
8. Ability to View and Print Detailed Reports
To get a better idea of where your company spends its money, look for a provider that offers job-costing services. These services should include cost-per-hour reports and cover overall payroll expenses, costs for accounting services, payroll earnings, payroll deductions, tax deductions, workers' compensation costs, union fringe benefits and any additional deductions your company may have. They ought to provide month-end and year-end tax forms and reports as well.
9. The Cost of the Service
You should always make sure that the cost of the payroll service is affordable for your company. This typically means contacting the provider and discussing the types of services you need along with the size of your payroll and the number of people your business currently employs. Generally, a payroll service charges either a flat rate or a percentage of your total payroll.
Payroll Processing with Exact Payroll
When you need reliable payroll services that allow you to choose your level of service, look no further than Exact Payroll. We offer scalable services that include payroll processing, employee self-service and tax services as well as GL, 401k and union reporting. We also offer multiple methods to submit your payroll documents and different ways for employees to receive their pay.
To learn more about our payroll processing services, contact us today.