What to Look for in a Payroll Service
To close out our discussion of payroll for the month, it’s important we talk about what to look for if you’ve made a decision to outsource your payroll. This is often a great step that can save you time, money and headaches. Still, not all payroll services are created equal, so be on the look out for the following when you do your search:
- Make sure tax management is included – If you’re thinking about signing up for a “full-service” provider and they’re offering a super low price, make sure they’re not skimping on the essentials. The service should truly assume liability for your taxes, including talking to the IRS on your behalf. Paying your employees is the easy part. It’s tax management where a good service really makes the difference.
- Online service – You should have the option of entering your payroll online, from home or on the road. Business owners today are on the move constantly, whether it’s traveling for business or working remotely. It’s 2012. You should be able to run payroll on your smartphone or tablet. Make sure you watch a demo from the service provider you’re considering. The process should be quick and easy, and something you can do without any further training.
- Customer service – We all have questions at one time or another, and when you call your payroll provider you want answers from real people. You don’t want to sit on hold listening to an automated message. Try calling customer service to see how long it takes to get connected to a live voice. Email and live online chat options should also be available. Check to see if the company has won awards for its customer service.
For more on payroll, be sure to look back at my previous blog entries this month.
Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought-leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, President of SurePayroll, writes the Managing People column on INC.com and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.