Originally published in Small Business UK, 13 January 2021
For small companies and start-ups, outsourcing payroll services has numerous benefits. Imagine a business that was founded a year or two ago and employing around ten people. There is no human resources division yet. The owners do not have a deep understanding of wage payments, legislative benefits, taxation, and regulations. Engaging an expert can help not only free up time, reduce lost opportunity cost and ensure compliance but also allow people to focus on what’s most important: the customer.
However, there is now also a payroll software market that can run on its own and needs relatively little technical knowledge. And many HR operations and legal transactions can be carried out using the same programme. In other words, instead of paying a large fee directly through outsourcing a payroll firm, it is possible to manage the payroll operations of a small start-up by buying software.
So, how do you choose the most convenient payroll service among numerous payroll service providers? Here are some features that you may want to keep in mind.
Privacy of data
All payroll providers provide a broad range of services – payroll processing, filing and paying payroll taxes, reports, mobile connectivity, integrations and others. Never neglect the protection of payroll data for something else.
Be mindful of the payroll service provider’s past – any lack of detail or previous reference works can certainly cause you to give up on that vendor.
Data security and data access
Information Protection and Payroll are two sides of a coin, whether in-house or subcontracted. More care and attention is needed when the data of the employees is in the hands of third parties.
Learn how the payroll service secures information and confidentiality. Ask how the provider has been able to avoid data attacks in the past. Learn what steps they use to retrieve the data when needed.
Employee self service features
Paper-based payroll has now completely moved to an evolved digital model. Check if the software enables your employees to see their payroll documents.
Choose a payroll service that provides the Employee Self Service (ESS) plan. This makes a simple link between workers and their payroll and creates a more digital company culture.
Free payroll trial, if applicable, will be most appropriate as it is providing you experience beforehand.
Customer support provided by the software company
A payroll service provider can cause a call for any payroll/tax failure in your business. Therefore, you need to find a payroll service that will give you quick customer support and solve your problems.
Pricing and costs
A reasonably priced payroll service that performs the work hassle-free is the worth of your money. As the owner of a small enterprise, ‘How much?’ is actually a priority when considering a payroll service. Be aware of secret fees and the exact pricing method until you settle on a payroll service. For example, if you have freelance employees or you need to pay for consultants on an irregular basis, then your software plan should be flexible to meet this need.
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