How to Evaluate Your Payroll Service Provider
Choosing your payroll service provider should not be a hasty decision as you are entrusting the provider with your business's data and its most vital department and processes. Every payroll service provider offers different services; while most could be common, some can be unique, so it is important that you find the payroll service provider that will best benefit your business.
Before we get into what you should look for when evaluating the reliability of your payroll service provider, let us explain your two payroll provider-type options.
1. Payroll Software
Payroll software is a very common investment for businesses nowadays and could be a great option for yours. Why so? Well, payroll software offers several benefits to any advanced payroll function at a relatively low cost.
Payroll software can provide you with the following benefits and features:
- Automated payroll runs
- Automated tax filing
- Employee self-service portal
- Time and attendance software
- Analytics and reporting
2. Payroll PEO Outsourcing
Outsourcing your payroll functions with a PEO, a professional employer organization, is your other option for a payroll service provider. A PEO is basically a firm that offers business outsourcing services, especially for employee management, HR, and payroll. More PEO services include:
- Talent Acquisition
- Human Resources
- Risk Management
- Tax and Benefits Administration
When you hire a PEO company to outsource your payroll software, your business will be assigned either a team of payroll professionals or one professional that will handle and take responsibility for all your payroll functions.
The benefits of hiring a PEO for payroll outsourcing include the following:
- Burden relief from employment administration
- Access to a team of professionals
- Reduced liability due to improved employment practices
- Competitive employee benefits plans and prices
- Boosted productivity and profitability
Now that you know your options and their benefits, here is what you need to consider when evaluating your payroll service provider, so you can choose the best for your business.
1. Their Reputation
Reputation matters most whether you opt for a payroll software provider or a PEO company. A company's reputation can inform you how well a business delivers its services. Customer reviews and testimonials are the best indicators of a company or a software's reputation.
You will want a payroll service provider that does what it promises to do while providing your business with a return on your investment.
2. Their Services
You will also want a payroll service provider that provides you with the services you need. Whether it's software or employee leasing, you want to get your money's worth. Knowing which services they provide and which ones you need can help you narrow down your options and ensure the best reliability from the provider you get.
3. Their Prices
The price you pay for a payroll service provider should not be a burden on your business's budget but an investment. A good practice is comparing the costs of many payroll service providers, so you know the average expected payout, so you do not end up paying more than you need to.
4. Customer Service
A provider's customer service is also an important factor to consider. You will need a payroll service provider that is always ready to help you if you face any problems or technical difficulties. The best providers should provide access to 24/7 customer service either over the phone, by email, or by text.
Depending on your business size and goals, your payroll service provider should be able to scale with it. Because as a business grows, it will require more capabilities in its payroll functions, and whether you choose a software or a PEO company, you want them to provide still what you need as your business grows without having to switch providers and pay more.
Paychex is our top recommendation for one of the best payroll service providers. Paychex is an A+ rated and accredited business by the Better Business Bureau and is trusted by over 700,000 organizations nationwide.
What makes Paychex our top recommendation is its versatility in its services. You can either subscribe to get its payroll software in monthly plans or hire the company as a PEO for your payroll functions.
Paychex offers three subscription plans for its payroll software:
- Paychex Flex Essentials - $39/month, + $5 per employee
- Paychex Flex Select – Quote-based
- Paychex Flex Pro – Quote-based
Each plan comes with a set of features and benefits, and so you will need to contact Paychex's team to get a personalized quote for your business. As for its PEO services, you will also need to get in touch with it, so you get the customized price for the services your business needs.
2. Intuit QuickBooks
For our second recommendation, we present you with Intuit QuickBooks. QuickBooks is a giant payroll and accounting software provider that offers a complete set of comprehensive features that your business will surely benefit from.
As a payroll software provider, you will be given the following features:
- Mobile payroll application
- Automated payroll runs
- Automated federal and state tax filing and payment
- Time tracking software
- Project management tools
- HR solutions
- Compliancy alerts and law updates
QuickBooks bundles its accounting and payroll software together in three monthly subscriptions:
- Core + QuickBooks Simple Start - $70/month + $4/month/employee
- Core + QuickBooks Essentials - $95/month + $4/month/employee
- Premium + QuickBooks Plus - $155/month + $8/month/employee
Paycom is our last payroll software provider recommendation. Paycom also delivers a bunch of payroll and HR features and benefits that provide its reliability as a service provider. Its features and benefits include the following:
- No setup fee
- Self Service App
- Single HCM platform for all HR tasks
- Payroll Management Features
- Human Resource Management Tools
- Time and Labor Management tools
As for its pricing, you will need to contact Paycom's team to get a customized quote according to your business's size and needs. You can do so easily right from their website.