Many small and medium sized businesses are still processing their own payroll and going through the pain each pay period to complete the process. Payroll has been considered an outsourced task for decades and there are many companies willing to provide this service. If you would like to know what you need to look for and what questions you should probably ask to ensure a great fit with your company, please read on!
- Look for Service: You don’t want to be in the middle of entering your payroll data into a company’s system only to have a question that when you call you cannot get an answer. Payroll is a time sensitive task. You want to be able to call and speak to a live person, and not have to put aside what you are doing to hear back. When I processed payroll, I wasn’t relieved until the send button was pushed and I certainly did not want to extend the process any longer than was necessary. Ensure you have a trusted companion to speak to if ever necessary.
- Look for a Match to your Skills: Payroll providers provide all types of services – from entering data off the time sheets to processing payment to third parties. All services do come with a cost. If you are a numbers person, you may be comfortable with entering your own data and watching your own accuracy. You may also feel comfortable requesting reports and forms directly off the payroll system. If you do not have good attention to detail, perhaps the data entry and processing should be looked after by those that have. Look at and ask for processes that will fit to your own abilities for a best least cost and stress free payroll solution.
- Look at Price: Be wary of basing your decision on price alone – especially if you think you may need assistance at some point. For some providers, customer service is sacrificed at the expense of keeping costs, (and thus price) low. You want to establish a trusting relationship with your payroll provider. If you find a provider who assigns a consistent person to your account, and knows how you do things, you will feel most assured when doing payroll. In fact, this ‘person’ may even be able to fill in for you during an unexpected absence, giving you peace of mind that if need be, a payroll run can be processed by your payroll provider in an emergency.
- Look for Convenience: Today, you can have your employee’s paystub delivered to their email on payday instead of having to deliver them. Payment can be made directly into employees’ bank accounts on payday – a service most employees appreciate. Payments to third parties like the CRA and your benefits provider can also be arranged to be taken care of by your payroll company. Many tasks such as these can make processing payroll much less cumbersome, providing you with increased efficiency to take on other, more pressing tasks. Most providers also have cloud based platforms so that you can even process payroll from your laptop at your favourite coffee shop.
- Look for Ease of Use: Some computer platforms used by providers are not as user friendly as others. For example, a provider’s platform may mimics a spreadsheet thus requiring your payroll staff to be trained in Excel. With today’s advancements in technology, there should be no reason to expect your payroll provider to offer anything less than a user-friendly system.
If you are still on the fence about outsourcing your payroll, consider this: the time (and costs) it takes to reconcile your bank account for all the payroll items withdrawn on your account, the worry and responsibility to pay the CRA on time, the reconciling needed to enter the journal entries (our system provides you with a custom entry), and the anxiety of not knowing if you are doing ‘something’ right.
At Blue Canvas Workforce Management and Payroll, our professional payroll team can put those worries and fears at ease. We will be there to help, coach, train and advise so that your payroll entry day is as painless as possible. Contact us today. We’d love to show you how easy it is for you to take the next step in processing an efficient payroll.