Startup Advice

Tips for Choosing a Payroll Service Processor

December 13, 2016

With consistent payroll comes consistent mistakes, mistakes that cost you. Not to add the cost of maintaining and performing payroll services. So it’s only fair that you’ve decided to outsource your payroll services. But then there is an overwhelming process of finding the right fit.

The main thing to remember is that there is no universally perfect service that serves every market out there. However, by specifying and narrowing down your requirements, you can choose one that serves your company the best.

Payroll service provider.

So before you get anxious about making this decision, consider these few tips:

Make sure it’s easy to process:

Identify how you would like to process the payroll – online, via email, fax or phone.

Online payroll service companies are the easiest and most popular to use. They automatically calculate regular rates per pay period, overtime rates, tax withholdings, net amounts, employer taxes, and holiday pay. The systems also apply necessary benefit deductions and track PTO/vacation/sick payments. It then makes payments to employees through direct deposit or check.

Alternatively, you may also choose to send your information via email, fax, or phone call; let your payroll service representative run the payroll and send it to you for review prior to processing. Make sure your payroll service has a designated payroll representative for your company in order to Maintain consistency. Believe me, calling 1-800 numbers every time you need to make a small correction or run an unscheduled payroll can be very frustrating.

Multi-State Employer/Multi-State Tax Filing:

If your company is a multi-state employer, it is important to make sure that your payroll service files tax reports and processes tax payments for all of the states that hold company employees. Otherwise, you will have to file reports and pay taxes manually, making it possible  to make mistakes such as missing a deadline. It also adds internal administrative costs. Keep in mind that the burden of company registrations with new states fall on the employers; however efficient payroll service systems can provide the necessary information for registration as well as the ability to follow up on missing information3

Check Online and Mobile Access:

Everything is accessible online these days. Most people don’t like receiving paper pay-stubs via snail mail anymore. The accessibility of paystubs and tax forms online at any point of time has become highly convenient. Most payroll services offer employee access to systems for reviewing payment information and downloading tax forms. Some payroll services even offer mobile apps for the convenience of employees as well as employers.

Benefit Bundle features:

Several payroll processors work with benefit companies to incorporate benefits in their services. Usually, a payroll and benefit bundle is good for both the employees and employers due to superior benefit plans for cheaper costs. Do some research on what benefits payroll services offer prior to signing the deal.

System Integration:

Payroll services can integrate a variety of payroll related programs, such as accounting software, HR software, and time and attendance systems. It is important to keep in mind that some payroll systems can only integrate with certain programs. If integration is important for your company, research which programs integrate properly prior to choosing payroll services.

Reporting methods: 

Most payroll processors provide detailed wage and labor reports. Payroll Journal and Employer Liability reports are two key reports to consider when choosing a payroll provider. However, if your company has a more complex payroll, you may need additional reports (ex: detailed report by department, departmental summary, report by location, etc.). It is important to be aware of certain payroll services that offer custom reporting tools instead of defaults reports, or don’t offer complex reporting at all.


Payroll processing costs may vary from as little as $40 to a few thousand dollars per month depending on the company size as well as several service specifications. This includes online self-processing or personal representatives, benefit bundle administrations, add-on HR services, and various system integrations.


It is important that the needs of your company are considered when selecting your payroll provider. Through the careful evaluation of your options and interests, you will be able to choose a payroll processor that works with your company as efficiently as possible. And then, it’ll be a perfect match made in accounting!


Category: Startup Advice