We all know the great reasons for outsourcing payroll services. Small business owners realize that it’s more cost-effective, more reliable, and just plain simpler to find a payroll expert to outsource to. The problem is that finding the right outsourcing service is not always easy and often, the services you’d like are either not available or are only available from large companies that specialize in servicing very large enterprises.
Yet there are many outsource companies offering services to small businesses. The trick is finding the right one for your needs.
To begin with, look at your business and its needs carefully. If you are doing your payroll in-house currently, then you’ll want to look at your process and see how it can not only improve, but what needs you have that would require fulfillment by an outsourced provider. Your payroll is not just checks to your employees, of course. You have governmental obligations, such as taxes and with-holdings, forms, bookkeeping and bank records, and more. You may offer your employees retirement benefits or matching, insurance coverages, bonuses based on performance, etc. All of that has to be accounted for.
Going through these not only shows you how much you could save (in time and frustration), but also shows you what you’ll need to know when negotiating with an outsource provider.
Knowing what you need will help narrow down the options. Many outsource providers are nothing more than freelancers with payroll tracking software. For some, this may be enough to cover needs, but for most, that’s not much better than what they already have. Finding a more reliable, larger, and more competent firm is usually what a business owner will really need.
Look for an outsourcing firm that has been in the business for years, holds membership in important accounting associations like the Canadian Franchise Association, and which is backed by well-respected ownership.
Canadian needs are specific as well, so be sure they can offer full government remittance payment services (likely your most difficult payroll task), guarantee they won’t incur penalties for late payments on these, and are fully compliant with all relevant laws and regulations for payroll on your behalf.
Having a customer service representative specifically assigned to your business makes it easier to liaise with the outsource provider about your needs. Full reporting and easy access to payroll information and accounting is also a must. In today’s age, a payroll service provider that can offer emailed pay stubs, electronic processing and payments (direct deposit), and similar services is also a must.
When you make your choice, be sure you’re getting exactly what you and your company needs. Finding the right payroll processing service can be the ticket to more growth, better management, and simpler employee relations..