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When to Say Goodbye to Your Current Payroll Provider

November 3, 2015 | posted by David Evans, CPA
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Payroll is a must-have for most businesses, but payroll providers are not one-size-fits-all. Whether payroll is an in-house function, or you elect to outsource your payroll, make sure your process is efficient and keeps you compliant with all FLSA, IRS, state, local, and other payroll tax laws.
 
Take a look at your current outsourced vendor and the dealings you have had with them over the past year. If any (or all) of these red flags are appearing, it may be time to start looking elsewhere for payroll solutions.

 

6 Signs it’s Time for Payroll Change

 
1) You dread having to contact them.
Questions or issues may arise during the course of a pay period, but just how easy is it to contact this nationwide or online-only payroll company? All you have is a 1-800 phone number, so when you call, precious time is wasted following prompts and menus in an attempt to reach an actual person… who then still ends up transferring you to the (hopefully) right party. You should feel at ease that your time is respected, questions are answered fast, and issues are addressed immediately with your payroll provider.

 
2) You don’t know who you are going to speak to.
Without naming any names, some big-name firms are simply known for their high turnover rates. If you choose to outsource payroll, partner with a firm where you can feel comfortable forming and developing a relationship with your payroll specialist(s). Payroll will go a lot smoother when you are working with people who are familiar with your account, your business, and your industry. No one wants to deal with a different person time after time.

 
3) You get told no… a lot.
No, we can’t run that type of report; no, we can’t correct that in time; and no, that’s not an add-on we can provide. Sound familiar? Payroll comes in all different shapes and sizes, and as your business grows, your payroll capabilities should grow alongside of your company. If your provider can’t handle adding on your new employees fast enough, isn’t offering more virtual and digital solutions that streamline your operations, or just is not adept at providing enough HR compliance guidance, start evaluating the offerings of other payroll providers. You don’t have to feel trapped with a provider that you’ve outgrown.

 
4) You’re paying for services that you’re not even using.
Vice versa from #3, some larger providers try to bundle their payroll and HR services together and make you feel that you must have certain services that in actuality, you never even touch. This can drive up your monthly costs sooner rather than later. When it comes to payroll, custom packages should be a no-brainer.

 
5) You have doubts about their timeliness.
It’s not just your employees that depend on seeing that paycheck in their bank account on time each pay day – your payroll provider or in-house team also has to be extremely timely in paying payroll taxes and in filing your payroll tax forms. Otherwise you face penalties and fines from the IRS that you, the employer, are responsible for. If you sense even an ounce of mistrust or disorderly practices when it comes to payroll, it’s in your best interest to go with another provider.

 
6) You’ve been on the hook for their mistake one time too many.
While employers need to know that they are the ones ultimately responsible for all timely and accurate filings, occasional error is a reality. However, if you’re facing error after error on their part, it’s time to reevaluate your vendor relationship. Your payroll provider should be dependable and keep you on the right track each and every pay period.
 
 

Questions to Ask a New Payroll Provider

 
If these six scenarios are making you rethink the quality of your payroll, shop the marketplace and make sure you are selecting the best partner for your business. A good payroll provider has been in business for more than just a few years, has a positive and trustworthy reputation, and will put you at ease knowing your payroll tax obligations are in the right, experienced hands.
 
The following questions can aid you in your search for the new, perfect payroll provider:

  • Who will be handling my account?
  • What services and reports can you provide?
  • Will your payroll software integrate with my existing system(s)?
  • How will our company’s data be kept safe and secure?
  • Can you handle my company’s growth and/or turnover?
  • How are payroll taxes handled and filed?
  • What is the turnaround time and process to get started (including any training and submitting necessary information/documents)?
  • Do you work with a recommended accountant, financial advisor, or HR consultant?

 
 
 
The best time to switch payroll is by January 1st, which means you still have time to assess your current payroll provider situation and inquire with a new one. Abacus Payroll prides itself on a personalized, no-hassle experience. If you’d like to ask about a non-obligation quote, contact us today.
 


About the Author: David Evans, CPA

Dave is an Associate Partner and Director of Small Business Services at Alloy Silverstein. Certified in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Dave has over 25 years of experience in providing accounting, tax, management, and consulting solutions in both the public and private accounting industries. In his role as Director of Small Business Services, he helps small business owners implement customized systems to make the paperless transition to the cloud, specifically for accounting, bookkeeping, and business process outsourcing, which also extends to payroll operations.