What to Look for in a Payroll Service

If your business is expanding, or you’re tired of doing payroll yourself, it may be time to look for a payroll service to do it for you. 

Perhaps you’re looking to make that transition, but you’re still a bit hesitant. Choosing the best payroll company for your business is a big step, but if you know what to look for in a provider, it doesn’t have to be as stressful or as daunting of a task as it may initially seem. 

Overall, the main factors you should focus on when searching for a payroll provider are (1) a streamlined process that can meet the needs of your company and (2) get checks to both your employees and the IRS on schedule. 

Adherence to Tax Laws

Making a payroll mistake will cost you. The IRS is quick to penalize businesses that make payroll errors because it costs them money and time. So, if nothing else, look for a payroll provider who follows tax laws to a T and stays updated on the latest tax changes. They should file all documents on time and send checks on schedule to avoid a mark from the IRS.

Streamlined Data Management 

Any company that has employees also has a slew of data concerning those employees. A good payroll service should make data management easy for you. Look for a provider who can centralize your records, minimize data entry, and provide a web-based platform for you to view real-time data. 

It’s also a plus, if they are able to integrate with your own accounting software (or provide suggestions on the best software to use) because it means a simpler experience for you.

Dedicated Customer Support

When something goes wrong with your payroll, you want immediate assistance. 

Look for a provider that has excellent customer support. It’s even better if your chosen provider will assign a dedicated team member to help you so that you don’t have to deal with new people every time you need to speak with someone.

Questions to Ask a Payroll Company 

Part of choosing a payroll service involves a thorough interview process. Now, you don’t have to interview every company in town since that would be a time drain. Just choose the three options that look best for you and interview them.

Before you sign any agreements, always remember to ask your top prospective payroll companies a few questions. Ideally, they should tick all the marks above and be able to provide the answers you’re looking for as well. 

  • How often will I receive reports?
  • How long will it take to fix an error?
  • Do your fees change or increase annually?
  • Will I be assigned a designated rep to handle questions or issues?
  • Do you charge additional fees to file taxes in multiple states?
  • How fast (on average) is turnaround?
  • Do you offer any retirement or extra benefit plans?
  • Can you integrate your services with my accounting software? (if you have any)
  • Who is liable for mistakes if they are made?

Those questions are a general guide for what information you may want to know. However, you’ll likely have additional questions to address your company’s specific needs. 

If you are looking for a payroll service provider, John Freeman CPA works with companies to provide high quality, personalized payroll services. Call 319-396-5660 for a free consultation.

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