Traditional or manual payroll solutions are prone to error, complicated, and require repetitive calculations. Therefore, it’s time to onboard an automated service for the task. An online payroll software provider can help small or medium businesses reduce errors and costs and free up your time to focus on boosting your business. In this article, we detail the main questions you should ask when searching for the best payroll software vendor for your business.
- What specific services do you deliver?
There are numerous online payroll providers to select from, so you’re spoilt for choice. To shortlist and pick the right one, you should identify your payroll requirements and check if the service can meet them. Most automated payroll vendors offer a range of services, including access to an array of one-click, customized accounting reports.
Top providers deliver the following complete payroll solutions and services:
- Manage new hire reporting.
- Pay contract, salary, and hourly employees through direct deposit.
- File accurate payroll taxes.
- Monitor paid time off (PTO) accumulation and utilization, including sick days and vacation.
- Handle different deductions and earnings, like reimbursements, bonuses, garnishments, tips, and commission.
- Deduct HSA (Health Savings Account), IRA (Individual Retirement Account), FSA (Flexible Spending Account), and 401(k) contributions.
- Deduct benefits such as insurance and health.
- What is your setup process?
After you make your decision and select an online payroll software service, you can immediately access your dashboard and set up your account by adding users and employees. Since the service is cloud-based, you’d be able to run your company’s payroll from any place, anytime, using any internet-ready device including a smartphone or tablet.
- What are your prices?
Online small business payroll software vendors offer a monthly or yearly subscription and your fees will depend on the range of services you wish to avail. Besides, you may need to pay a small monthly charge for each employee. Several services offer a free trial and you can sign up and test-drive their features to check if they fit your needs.
- What security measures do you use to protect sensitive data?
It’s important to safeguard your firm’s accounting information and be confident about data security as it will be stored in the cloud. Select a provider that uses advanced encryption standards to prevent password and login theft.
Online payroll services typically use the same stringent security technology utilized by online banks. They deploy two-factor authentication and firewalls to shield your confidential account information, including personal details, social security numbers, and passwords. Also, the data should be constantly backed up to several secure centers every day so that you’re able to access it even if there is an emergency in your office.
- Do you manage payroll taxes?
A quality payroll service will handle your company’s payroll taxing filing and compliance needs in a timely and accurate manner. This includes state unemployment insurance and state and federal unemployment and income tax. Also, the provider will process your employees’ year-end W-2 and 1099 forms.
Beware of vendors that ask for extra fees to calculate, pay, and file your company’s payroll taxes. Do the research and pick a service that can handle all of your firm’s tax compliance needs, including federal and state tax payments, and annual and quarterly filings – paperlessly and automatically – with minimal involvement on your part.
Other questions that you should ask while selecting a payroll service
Apart from the above mentioned five important ones, you can also ask the following questions to zero in on the best provider:
Are your data centers secure? Where are they located?
The payroll vendor should safeguard its data centers that will store your confidential business information from natural calamities and break-ins. Each data center should deploy multiple security layers, including PINs, retina scans, keycards, and biometric scanning. Security cameras and onsite staff should monitor each location round the clock to prevent unauthorized entry.
What types of customer support options do you present?
A good payroll vendor will offer 24/7 customer support on multiple convenient channels, including phone, chat, and email. In addition, they will also provide self-help resources like online tutorials and FAQs so you can find answers on your own. However, if you need to call the service’s support team regularly, then their work quality may be poor. So, select an online solution that has a simple-to-use interface that makes payroll work for you.
Can my contractors and employee access their personal payroll details?
A good vendor facilitates this by giving contractors and employees personal portals and lifetime accounts that allow them to onboard themselves, view their pay stubs forever, edit their information, and more.
Can I integrate my currently used accounting solutions with yours?
Most payroll services can seamlessly and swiftly integrate with commonly used business accounting tools. The provider should allow you to connect your accounting platform from your user dashboard. This integration will eliminate the need for manual entering and reconciliation of payroll.