Hiring the Right Payroll Services for Small Business
Would You Pass a Payroll Services Success Test?
Pop quiz! If your company was a student in school and it had a pop quiz on payroll services for small business, would it pass? If the answer is “no”, then you may be inadvertently holding your company back from achieving its true success potential.
In fact, if you don’t understand the pros and cons, then it may mean that if the task is performed in-house, it is not being performed at its very best. If you are already outsourcing, it could mean that you have not chosen the best service provider for your organization, and you weren’t even aware of it.
Remember that by hiring a payroll vendor, you’re supposed to be saving your company time, resources, and cost. If you haven’t made the right selection, you won’t be reaping those rewards.
It’s time to hit the books, cram for your exam and take this pop quiz to make sure that when you’re ready to hire, you know what you’re doing. If you already have hired, you’ll be able to make certain that you’ve made the right choice.
Pop Quiz Question 1 (4 points) : Did your choice come with recommendations or references?
Though it is easy enough to find companies that provide payroll services, they are not all created equal. The internet and yellow pages can provide you with a large number of candidates, but unless you know something about their actual abilities – not just their claims – then you could easily fall victim to a scam or find yourself working with a company that is unable or unwilling to meet your expectations.
Though referrals are the ideal, if you cannot obtain one for a payroll provider, make sure that you obtain at least three references.
Bonus question (1 point): Did you check the references? Remember that you will only be able to benefit from references when you actually contact them!
Pop Quiz Question 2 (3 points): Did you identify your account representative?
Though you may have spoken with a salesperson from the provider you hired, you should also know who is responsible for actually handling your account. After all, this will be the person who is managing all of your payroll tasks, so it is a good idea to know who this individual is and be comfortable contacting him or her when needed.
Keep a regular communication open with your account representative so that you have a good idea of how things are progressing, whether he or she is facing any struggles with your account, and to make certain that any questions or misunderstandings can be clarified before any problems can arise.
Pop Quiz Question 3 (5 points): Did you find out about all of the fees up front?
Find out right away what the fees are and know exactly what is covered by those fees. This will help you to recognize whether or not the vendor you are considering is able to provide the services that you need and at a price that you are willing to pay. It will also help you to compare the costs of multiple possible service providers.
Bonus Question (1 points): Did you discuss other service options for a better fit for your business? It can’t hurt to ask about different service packages, or a-la-carte pricing that hadn’t been mentioned, to see if you can save money by either making sure that you’re not paying for additional services that you don’t need, or that you’re not subscribing to a service that offers less than you truly require.
Pop Quiz Question 4 (5 points): Did you preview the provider’s interaction software?
When you work with a payroll services vendor, then you will likely be provided with accounting software so that you can automatically upload the payroll data that they require in order to complete their services. Each service company chooses its own type of software and its own method of interaction.
It is important to know this information so that you can be certain that the software will be compatible with your systems and that it will function properly. You also need to make sure that it is a software that is fast and easy to use. If it is a challenge to upload your data, then you will lose valuable time struggling to use the program.
If the service involves web-based software with a login and password, make sure that you investigate the security measures that have been taken to ensure the safety of your confidential payroll data.
Pop Quiz Question 5 (1 point): Did you check to make sure that the vendor offers direct deposit?
Though direct deposit may sound like a standard feature, not every payroll vendor offers this service. That said, it is extremely important for convenience, as well as to ensure that your company will save money on its payment process and will minimize the opportunity for error.
How did you do? If you scored 20 out of 20, then you can take comfort that you’ve made the most important efforts to ensure that you’ve chosen (or will be choosing) the right vendor for your company.
If you scored less than 20, then you will need to study harder and make sure that you consider each of these elements for the provider you have already chosen, or the one that you are currently seeking.