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    Choosing a Payroll Service: 5 Questions to Consider

    payroll service

    Choosing a Payroll Service: 5 Questions to Consider

    February 17, 2022

    The US payroll services industry has been amassing a growth in revenue of around 4.3% every year. More companies are realizing the huge benefits that outsourcing can bring to their organization. But when finding the right service, do you know the questions to ask?

    No two companies are the same, so you must do your research. Read on as we discuss the essential payroll questions you need to ask. 

    What Is a Payroll Service and What Do They Offer?

    A payroll service is a company that takes responsibility for all of your payroll duties. This can include calculations, dealing with employee benefits, taxes, and deductions. Other duties can include onboarding new employee data and handling withdrawals and deposits. 

    Payroll services can be a physical company or they may be a software system. Online payroll services tend to exist in the cloud. Some of the services offered by both are listed below. 

    Payroll Processing

    This is the method by which your employee's pay is calculated each month. Taxes, social security, holiday pay, and overtime are some of the factors that influence it. Payments are then made to employees. 


    Filing taxes for your employees is an arduous task. They have to be correctly filed and paid to local state and federal authorities. At the end of the tax year, more filing has to be done correctly and submitted. 

    When this is done incorrectly, you can face fines and penalties. A payroll service ensures this does not happen, and when it does, they will pay for the mistake. 

    Paid Time Off Management

    Your employees will have designated hours related to sick and holiday pay. A payroll service can keep track of this. In some instances, they may even be able to deal with the approval process for requesting time off. 

    Payroll Questions

    With so many payroll providers out there, it can be hard to find the right one. Below are our essential questions to ask any possible company you may deal with. 

    1. How Often Is Tax Table Compliance Updated?

    New tax bills come into effect quite often. As new laws pass, you don't want to get left behind as it can result in heavy payouts later down the line. Make sure your payroll service updates every time a new bill is brought in. 

    2. Does It Have Other Clients in the Sector?

    Being specific to your industry is not an essential prerequisite for the payroll service you choose, but it can be a great advantage. Certain roles and responsibilities may lend themselves to your niche, and if the company has experience dealing with them, it can help in some situations. Make a general inquiry asking if they have dealt with similar businesses before. 

    3. How Does It Work With Employee Benefits Offerings?

    You will already have a lot of systems in place. These may include software and ways to manage workflow. Ensure the company can integrate these to deliver employee benefits such as sick leave and paid time off. 

    4. How Will They Scale the Service?

    Most businesses will have growth in mind, so it is essential that your payroll service can grow with you. Share your plans for expansion and how you will grow over the coming years. See how they would handle this as you bring in more employees and different scales of pay. 

    5. How Do They Stay Secure?

    Choosing a payroll processing provider involves a large degree of trust. Companies will be handling your financial details and employees' personal information. A breach of security could have major implications. 


    One area that needs a little more research is the communication methods employed by the payroll service. You need to be kept in the loop about what they are doing. In turn, you should make sure you are updating them on your own practices and policies. 

    Start by asking how they report back to you. Most payroll companies will provide regular reports on employee pay and data. If you have the time and want more detailed reports, ask how you go about getting them and if they are a regular occurrence. 

    • Do they offer software training?
    • Are online transactions free?
    • Are forms weekly or bi-weekly?
    • On signing, how long will it take until they can begin processing?

    You should also check their customer service. Start by finding out if they have specific working hours or if they are available 24 hours a day. If you have a 24-hour operation or global company, then you may need one with constant customer service. 

    Benefits of a Payroll Service

    There is a wide range of benefits to outsourcing your HR processes. The most important are listed below. 

    Manage Regulations

    As a business owner, you have a lot to keep up with anyway. As your industry, customer needs and competitors change you need to adapt. Adding the need to comply with changing payroll regulations is an addition you don't need, which a service can take off your hands. 

    Saves Time and Labor

    Payroll is a huge drain on your time and resources. Often cited as one of the biggest challenges for small businesses, even micro organizations can need to employ full-time staff members to deal with it. This allows your labor force to concentrate on more important factors such as following up on leads. 

    Help You Adapt Quickly

    If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the needs and plans of businesses can change in an instant. Be it a fast scaling up or down, having the freedom to adapt quickly is essential in a post-pandemic environment. 

    Doing this without a payroll service means hiring extra staff. With a company doing it for you, you don't need to worry about the added burden. 

    Finding a Payroll Provider

    Now that you know the benefits and payroll questions you should ask, start shopping around. Make sure you find a service that fits your needs, providing excellent communication and services. 

    Ignite Consulting and Servicing should be your first stop. We have payroll processing as well as a number of business services. Contact us today and see how we can help your business grow!

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