How to Choose the Best Payroll Service
Looking for a guide to best practices in cost-effective, efficient payroll service options? Many of our clients ask us about payroll services. Our role in leading or supporting human resources includes helping our clients secure the best payroll service tailored to their individual needs.
Because we are not brokers, we don’t play favorites or maintain a financial relationship with any payroll firm. This independence, this objectivity, enables us to screen and get every client the best payroll service at the lowest cost.
Payroll management can be complicated or straightforward, depending on the number of employees and the payroll processes involved. To avoid errors, small and large organizations often turn to payroll service providers for well-planned and effective payroll administration. Selecting the best payroll service is essential. What constitutes “best” for you is based on your organization’s size, payroll processing budget, and how much payroll responsibility you want to maintain. What should you look for?
Services and Price
The best payroll service organizes all employee payment tasks and files employee taxes. When choosing a payroll service, it must perform such necessary HR activities as calculating wages and keeping track of employee work hours, withholding deductions and taxes, printing and delivering checks or direct deposit, and paying employment taxes. A good payroll service’s primary features include: attendance management, overtime management, allowances management, leave management, and report generation. Determine how you are being charged for each service provided and don’t buy more than you need.
Simplicity and Ease of Use
The best payroll service should be simple and easy to access and use. You must have easy access whenever you need it, depending on what management reports and employee information you need. This includes comprehensive employee details and a full history of past and current pay slips. A good payroll service allows you to change employee data easily, manage employee loans, and transfer funds electronically to all major banks and payment services. When you choose a simple and easy-to-use payroll service, all balances and details are displayed in an easy-to-understand and straightforward format, allowing you to budget online and plan staff costs.
Security and Responsibility
When picking a payroll system, look for security features that guard against information tampering. The payroll service provider you select must be credible and a brand recognized for providing quality. Once you choose your payroll service, it is you who decides how much control you want. The best payroll service allows you adequate control and the option to view all information and previous reports. Clarify responsibilities with them so you know what to expect from the payroll service provider and what they require of you, and when.
Payroll service needs are unique for every organization, and the specific tasks vary. The payroll service you choose should generate customized reports and be flexible to your company’s particular needs. The best payroll service should be scalable as your organization grows. It should be able to expand with your organization to ensure you gain the planned benefits. And you need to choose a service compatible with your way of doing things, one that is flexible to automationfor speed and accuracy. If you have multiple organizations, choose a payroll service that functions well with your other companies.
Discuss your specific requirements with the provider to ensure you are on the same page. An excellent payroll service provider understands your objectives and suggests solutions. Be keen to understand the functional and technical aspects of the payroll service agreed on. When choosing a payroll service, select a provider dedicated to the project to ensure ongoing customer support, customization, and upgrades. Establish the after-purchase care you expect, the terms of your maintenance contract, and confirm that the payroll service you choose has an easily accessible help desk.
Training your employees and HR team on the new payroll service is vital to successful implementation. You don’t want everyone reverting to the old ways of doing things. Instead, they should adhere to the new payroll procedures to ensure you get the best out of your new payroll service. That means selecting a service provider with adequate online support and training manuals to ensure that both the HR team and employees can easily access the training materials needed to use the service successfully.
When choosing a payroll service, it is crucial to consider a provider who will let you test the service to determine suitability, so you can be sure you get the precise service you need. Senior management, your HR team, and other critical employees should all perform the service test before you buy. Test driving will determine if your team will be comfortable with the new program. Many payroll services have portals where you can simulate the use of their products. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence can be invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.
In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.
Mark A. Griffin is President and Founder of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.