If you are considering moving payroll services to a cloud provider, you are presented with a solution to really increase the efficiency of your HR department. But, with such an important aspect of managing your human capital, and the expense associated with improperly paying payroll taxes, you want to do a bit of homework and choose your provider wisely.
Here are just a few tips to get you started.
Determining Exact Needs
This might sound a bit obvious, but many companies don’t carefully consider their payroll needs and all the myriad services they are providing. Failure to do this can lead you to choosing a provider that isn’t as suitable. Full-service providers usually provide a number of basic services such as pay via direct deposit, new employee reporting, tracking paid time off, guaranteeing accurate filing of payroll taxes, deducting benefits, deducting 401(k), IRA, and handling other sorts of earning and deductions such as bonuses, garnishments and tips.
Handling of Payroll Taxes
Mistakes in the realm of payroll taxes can be costly to say the least, and mistakes can easily be made, which is why many businesses opt to have a skilled third party handle it to ensure proper calculations and timely filing. You probably want to steer clear of services that require you to do this on your own by accessing their applications online, or that charge additional fees to handle this aspect of your business. The ideal provider will handle all of this for you, without you needing to do anything.
While price shouldn’t be a sole driver, it is probably important so you must carefully consider this, and make sure you have a full understanding of what a provider charges to manage employee payroll. Carefully compare services to determine who is providing the best value. Most charge a monthly subscription fee, along with a per-employee fee. Many provide a free trial to give you an idea if their services work for you—take advantage of this.
Matters of Security
Handling payroll involves storing a lot of sensitive information about your business and your employees. Always check up on the level of security employed by the provider. They should be using the highest level of encryption available, the same used by online banking services, such as 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard. Firewalls should be in place, as well as two-factor authentication. The provider should also be backing up data several times throughout the day.
Find out about the data center used to store their information. How is it protected from natural disasters andu break-ins? There should be multiple levels of security, such as biometric scanning, keycards and PIN number restrictions. There should also be numerous security cameras and security staff round-the-clock.
Carefully evaluate the customer support provided by each provider. You want to look for a couple of different things. First, it should provide detailed tutorials and FAQs. Second, you should have access to real-live support though various mediums including phone, online chat and email. Don’t assume 24/7 service—if that is something you want, check if it is feasible.
Option for Employees and Contractors to Access Payroll
Make sure you choose a provider that gives your employees and contractors easy access to their payroll information. Most should do this by providing personal portals. Don’t make any assumptions here, and make sure you have a full understanding of how this aspect of the program works.
Integrating Existing Account System
Check to make sure the payroll solution is able to seamless integrate with your accounting software systems. Most do support the most common programs such as Quicken and Xero. Again, don’t make any assumptions here, and confirm your current system will be compatible.
When choosing a payroll provider online, it is important not to only think about your current needs, but future as well. As your business expands, and your staff grows, your payroll needs will grow. Choose providers that have the capability to support a growing business. Get an idea of how much expansion will cost over time as well.
By following these tips, you can choose your provider with confidence.