18 Jan Payroll 101: Services & Plans For Business Needing To Outsource
Even the most experienced personnel realize that managing payroll is a headache. When a tax filing omission is committed or a law is broken a company may face a severe penalty. Put simply, a dysfunctional payroll system can cause a business to collapse financially.
Some businesses prefer to have their payroll in-house as they feel that it is more cost-effective and practical than outsourcing. They are also protective of wage information and don’t want third parties to learn of confidential matters. They also have the option to perform important tasks when emergencies arise.
Smaller companies with stable staff who earn fixed salaries and incur minimal changes in their tax obligations think they are better off with an in-house processed payroll system. However, most companies eventually discover that it isn’t really that practical. It isn’t cheap and the personnel in-charge of the payroll needs to stay on top of any recent changes in payroll procedure and have access to a good payroll program to minimize any mistakes.
Payroll becomes a headache when there are lots of changes in each pay period. With employees working varied hours a week or with high turnover rates, the payroll service will be more time-saving and cost-effective if they are outsourced. In addition, a payroll service is very useful for paying payroll taxes efficiently an according to the letter of the law.
How to choose a payroll provider
Payroll firms should have good customer service skills as well as efficient management systems since their clients will need to communicate with them closely on a frequent basis.
Asking business owners for recommendations of payroll services that are reliable and dependable in terms of performance and service is a great place to start. Alternatively, you can search for A+ rated BBB accountants online.
It is important to find a local payroll service. When outsourcing something as important as payroll you want to make sure your business partner is close by and easily accessible. You can pop into their office to make sure their business model runs smoothly. You can even stop by to pick up the occasional emergency check.
If your company needs to manage some in-house functions, choose payroll services that will work only on the payroll services that you want. Among the other important aspects to consider when choosing a payroll service are the types of payroll service features they offer, the tax services they can do, payment options for the employees and the types of support that is expected from them.
What are the services provided by payroll companies?
Most payroll providers provide the following basic services:
- Calculating payroll as well as the other obligations for every employee.
- Printing and delivering of checks and providing management reports.
- Sending paychecks to employees depending on the company’s schedule, which can be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly or annually.
Some payroll companies also offer automatic check signatures, envelope stuffing, and they also deposit the checks directly. If they have to provide W-2 forms, companies pay around $1 for each form.
Many payroll services tie up with 401(k) companies for mutual fund plans with contributions that are automatically deducted from the employees’ paychecks. Small businesses need their payrolls outsourced as they grow and there are difficulties handling the payroll systems. Larger companies need to outsource theirs as it is more complex.
Most payroll services offer filing state and federal taxes for the business. Oftentimes this will be at a minimal service fee or without any fee at all. While most payroll firms will assume penalties for erroneous filing, the company may still pay for interest charges.
Also, if you need to calculate payroll for local or city payroll taxes, you need to make sure that the payroll provider offers this by inquiring about this service from them. Among the accounting & tax services that payroll service providers offer in varying levels are: tax accuracy guarantees, payroll tax filing, paying payroll taxes, new employee reporting, and the W-2 and 1099 processing.
Regarding payment options, you can use the checklist below to see which of them you need and are offered by the payroll provider. At times, even if you don’t feel the need to use it in the present, you will eventually realize that you need it later on. There may be more payroll firms that offer various services at the same rate as others who have less.
Payment options offered by payroll services can include the following:
- unlimited monthly payrolls
- paying salary employees
- paying hourly employees
- paying contracted employees
- direct deposit
- pay cards
- printing checks on site, check signing and stuffing
Most companies already use accounting software in their payroll system. Hiring a payroll company with accounting software such as QuickBooks, Quicken or Sage 50 is a big plus to your company’s payroll system.
A payroll firm should not only efficiently perform the payroll services but should have a high level of customer service. Make sure that the payroll company provides full help & support features such as affordable care act support, phone support, live chat, forums, email, online resources, 24/7 live support and a dedicated account specialist for your company. Payroll is a sensitive matter and there must always be somebody to communicate with anytime of the day.
Most payroll services don’t offer services related to filing payroll taxes electronically as part of their package. Actually, it may seem difficult but businesses can easily perform it on their own. Using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), the company can transfer funds electronically when they need to pay taxes. Companies need to pay taxes electronically when they have started paying taxes of more than $200,000 (since 1998). When this happens they are required to pay tax after every two years. As an example, if a company has paid $210,000 in 1999, it is required to pay taxes electronically again in 2001.
Payroll may be difficult to handle but with the help of payroll service providers, business owners can free up more time to focus on the business’ growth and core competencies.
Empire Tax Professionals, Inc. 5 Pennsylvania Plaza #2325, New York, NY 10001 (212) 300-5776 empiretaxusa.com