Whether you’re an office manager, or a business owner trying to do the jobs of several people, payroll is an important aspect of running a business. Many managers and owners choose to outsource payroll because it’s time consuming, and requires a great deal of knowledge. Having an outside company handle payroll not only saves you time, but helps you avoid costly and sometimes embarrassing errors. Options range from companies with do-it-yourself software platforms to Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) that assume a high level of responsibility and liability on your behalf. Here are some things to look for when choosing a payroll company or PEO.
1. Look for more than a self-service technology app
With many payroll companies, you get the basics, and the rest you do yourself. A payroll company typically has you or your employees enter data into a software program. From there, the company will calculate tax deductions, create checks, make direct deposits and generate basic reports. While payroll processing like this is certainly helpful, you’re still fully responsible for important things like tax remittance, wage garnishments and compliance with major laws and regulations like overtime. With a PEO like FrankCrum, you get much more than just a basic software. FrankCrum has trained staff to audit and catch mistakes, certifying your payroll every time. You also gain access to hundreds of customized reports. In addition, a PEO will compile and file your taxes, with checkpoints along the way.
2. Look for a company that shares the liability
You don’t want to risk a mistake going unnoticed. Compliance is key. Assuming you’re not an expert on tax and labor laws in every state, you want to make sure all your bases are covered. Payroll services will have an option to file and pay payroll taxes for you. They will also handle W-2 distribution at tax time, but if a mistake is made, it’s you who is on the line. Make sure you’re using a company that pays taxes when they are due and guarantees the accuracy of what’s being submitted. PEOs assume the liability for tax compliance and will take care of any penalties should the need arise. That gives you real peace of mind.
3. Customer Service is Key
Customer support is an important factor in partnering with a payroll company or PEO. Some companies only offer a 1-800 number for assistance, and that could leave you waiting on important information for a long time. If a designated payroll representative will not be handling your account, make sure to speak with the customer service team ahead of making a commitment. You may also consider requesting references from current clients to get a better idea of the level of customer service provided.
If you choose a PEO like FrankCrum, you have a dedicated payroll coordinator to work with you during each payroll cycle. That means the team of experts knows your needs, your business, and you, personally. The coordinator can also help guide you to other services and benefits you can receive from the PEO, all of which set you up to be more efficient, compliant and free to focus on other aspects of your business.