Let’s face it: There are some aspects of business that are just down-right boring. For many business owners, processing payroll is one of these things. But does that mean you should hand it over to someone else? Maybe.

For businesses both big and small, outsourcing can be a useful, time-saving and cost-effective tool. There are many reasons why hiring an outside firm to handle all functions of payroll can be beneficial to the growth of your business. Depending on the extent of your business’s payroll requirements, outsourcing payroll can in fact save money and time – and protect you from the hassle of missing tax filing deadlines, paying unnecessary fees and making errors.

If you’re considering outsourcing your payroll, here’s what you need to know before you make the leap.

Your Needs Come First

Assessing your business’s payroll needs is the first step to making a smart outsourcing decision. How many employees do you have and pay regularly? Do they work different hours each week, or are they on salary? It’s also crucial to consider your own needs as a business owner: How involved do you want to be with payroll processing? What’s your preferred method of communication? Asking yourself these questions will help you determine what your looking for in a payroll processing company.

If your 5 employees are receiving the same amount on their paycheques week after week, and you decide that you want to personally see the numbers on each paycheque – then, well, outsourcing payroll probably isn’t for you. Decide what you’re able and willing to adjust with regards to your payroll system in order to work with a good processing company or achieve a lower rate.

And that’s okay. Outsourcing payroll is an important decision – one that shouldn’t be shrugged off or taken lightly. Determining that outsourcing payroll will adequately address your needs and those of your business is necessary, first and foremost. After that: choosing a company that makes your needs their top priority.

Choosing A Company Who Puts Your Needs First

Deciding that you’re ready to outsource your payroll is just the first step. The payroll processing company you choose will have a big impact on your business, finances, employee morale – and your stress. Here are a few things to look for in a payroll firm:

  • Quality customer serviceRates that reflect the size of your business
  • Resources for your employees
  • Guarantees against filing errors – or a promise to take responsibility for any that occur
  • Good reviews and references from satisfied customers
  • Located nearby, in case you have to speak with your provider in person
  • Tax filing services, if that’s something you’re interested in outsourcing as well

There are certainly other factors to take into account when choosing a company to handle your payroll. These will become clear when you take the time to ask yourself (and answer) questions about what you want from outsourcing and what your business needs are.

Whittling It Down

As you near your final decision, be sure you’ve asked all the necessary and applicable questions. Remember that you have options, and that a little extra time spent choosing the right payroll processing method will help you run your business more efficiently moving forward. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask of potential firms:

  • What kind of customer service can I expect for both myself and my employees? Can they contact you directly with questions or concerns?
  • What actions will you take if I, or an employee, come across an error?
  • What are the features of your tax filing service? What fees or interest charges will you take responsibility for? Does your service include filing local taxes?
  • How much does your service cost in the first year? What kind of increase can I expect after that?

As you navigate through the decision process, you’ll quickly understand the difference between a quality payroll processing company and one that might not fulfil your needs. Remember that the sales representative you’re speaking to will be delighted to tell you about all the benefits included in their services. It’s up to you to determine what you need.

Talking to a customer service representative before committing to a company can help you get to know the firm better. Be clear about what you’re looking for, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. These small tips will go a long way when it comes to outsourcing your payroll.