Payroll is a significant time commitment for any small business owner, but part of that necessary admin that keeps the doors open. Not all small businesses are the same, and any quality payroll provider must be able to match your specific needs. While you may not be an expert in payroll, our six tips of things to consider when choosing payroll services for your small business will give you the essential considerations to keep in mind when selecting a payroll provider for your small business.

These are the top things to consider when choosing payroll for your business: cost, payroll taxes, security, customer support & migration, partners and integration, and free trials.

How much do payroll services cost?

For a lot of small businesses, the first question that likely spring to mind is: How much will it cost? You want services that are affordable and get the job done.

Because there are different pricing structures, it’s not always easy to compare apples to apples. Most providers charge a flat monthly fee, plus an additional fee for each employee. Be careful, because there can be some extra costs too.

Some payroll providers charge fees for initial setup, paying employees in multiple states, or for generating tax forms like W-2s and 1099s. There may also be charges for things like tracking paid time off (PTO), amending payrolls after you’ve made a clerical error, or getting help with an IRS notice. Before you get started, outline everything you’re going to need from your provider so you can get a more realistic sense of how much payroll will cost. And be realistic about how likely you are to do things like amending your payroll. After all, we all make typos.

How Do I Calculate Payroll Taxes?

The payroll service provider that you choose should be able to process the typical state and federal level tax deductions and filings. Be sure to ask any out of state providers if they can handle the different regulations for taxes in your area. Also be sure to mention to the provider if you have any employees that are working out of state.

Consider the payroll services’ tax processing management. Make sure that you can view deductions in a customized report. Know what actions the payroll provider takes if mistakes are made. Knowing these small details will help you in deciding whether the provider you are looking at is capable of adequately handling your taxes.

What are the security concerns for my Payroll Software?

What happens if someone gains access to all your employees’ Social Security numbers and other personal information? That sounds like a nightmare for both employers and employees.
Security is an important aspect when choosing a payroll system. Make sure you know how the provider secures employee information. And the payroll system should be bonded and insured and include high-security encryption, like banks. That way, you can trust that the information is safe.

How do I do Customer Support & Migration?

Because payroll never takes a vacation — it is crucial for any good payroll company to offer strong support when you have problems or questions. When determining the level of support provided by a payroll provider, some questions to ask include:

• What professional payroll certifications do the support staff have?
• Will I receive a dedicated account manager and team?
• Is the support staff available via phone, chat, or email?
• What is the average response time of a support request?

And don’t forget the process of migration. It can seem like a small thing, but handing over the keys to payroll is a process that might test your team’s patience. Are you going to have to input all your employee information yourself? Is your payroll provider willing to help you migrate to their service or provide any resources to make it easier?
Since this can be the most stressful part of outsourcing payroll, you should make sure you know what to expect up front.

What Integrations Should I Look For In PayRoll?

You want to stay away from payroll providers who are unwilling to partner and integrate with other HR and accounting software systems. When a payroll provider’s system is easily integrated with other types of accounting software platforms, you have greater flexibility, more control, and better results. Similarly, it is also essential for the payroll provider to partner with workers comp and benefits providers that understand small business needs to provide the most complete payroll package possible. Gusto provides an all in one package of Payroll, Benefits, and HR for small businesses.

Why is A Free Trial Important for Payroll Software?

When you find a payroll solution you think will work for your business, check to see if the payroll provider you are considering offers a free trial. The free trial allows you to learn the system with a hands-on approach and temporarily run your payroll at no cost to you. This way you can test out the features and get an idea of user experience. The winning product should offer a healthy balance of functionality, price, and user experience.

Choosing a payroll system does not have to be difficult. But it does involve comparing payroll providers. Deciding on the payroll system that is right for your business depends on your lifestyle, budget, and level of payroll-related knowledge.

Click HERE to compare our selection of PayRoll software to find the one that is right for your business.

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