Managed payroll services can save your company time and money, and by outsourcing payroll services to experts, you can also avoid legal hassles. There are several different types of payroll providers you can consider. The first two types, payroll service providers and reporting agents (PSPs and RAs respectively) provide specific services. A PSP can prepare your tax returns for you, but allows you to sign and file them. An RA does everything a PSP does, but also signs and returns the tax returns for you.
If you are interested in more comprehensive payroll services, consider using a professional employer organization, or PEO. A PEO is a full-service payroll management company which can also take care of your other human resources needs. PEOs take care of tax returns from start to finish and may also take on other managerial responsibilities as co-employer.
Most modern payroll outsourcing companies allow you to simply outsource the technological end of your payroll needs and otherwise keep your HR employees in-house. There are a lot of great online services now which allow you to input your own information and do your own calculations, but with advanced software which gives you a higher degree of control and which streamlines complicated payroll processes. These services are similar to traditional PSPs, RAs, and PEOs, except that the “outsourcing” is given to a software program and not a human being. This is increasingly the direction which payroll services are moving in, as you will see when you review our top 10 companies below.
Tips for Choosing a Payroll Outsourcing Service
Whether you’re looking for small business payroll services or you are a larger company looking for a payroll management solution, there are a number of factors you should take under consideration when you are selecting a company to assist with your business.
- Decide first how much control you want to retain over your payroll and other aspects of business pertaining to your employees. Do you want a company that can function as co-employer, or would you prefer to maintain full control over all operations? Do you need services provided by actual human beings, or will a software solution streamline your operations enough to serve as a solution? The best solution is the one which will work for your company.
- Create a list of your needs. Do you just need a company to handle tax and salary calculations and reports, or do you also need the company to be able to work out benefits plans and take care of recruiting and other responsibilities? What about special features? Some payroll service providers will also offer 401k plan management and more.
- Compare prices, but also check for hidden fees and other unexpected charges you might incur. Does the service charge a flat monthly rate, or is it per employee per year? Will you be charged automatically when a new employee joins your staff? Are there any “processing” fees to be charged weekly?
- Can the payroll service you are considering integrate with your existing HR software? Will it be a simple matter to view your company’s own payroll history, or will it be hard to access information?
- Reputation and customer service. These are both areas of trust. If a company has a history of excellent reviews and referrals from its clients, that is usually a good indication they are good to work with. You should get in touch with the customer service team to ask any questions you have. This not only helps you clarify, but also tells you whether their employees are knowledgeable and helpful—and what kind of experience your employees can expect if they have a question for the new payroll managers.
Here are the Top 10 Payroll Outsourcing Companies
1. Intuit. Originally known as PayCycle, this service was purchased by Intuit. You probably are familiar with Intuit’s tax preparation software and services; Intuit is among the best-known companies in this realm and has a stellar reputation. Intuit’s online services are software based, but they offer a full suite of applications including software that helps you with your recruiting needs. You can select a plan where Intuit prepares and sends your taxes for you or simply prepares them, and you send them. Low monthly rates make this service accessible and convenient for many large and small businesses.
2. Paychex. This is another very popular option for small- and mid-sized businesses who are looking for a bundle of comprehensive payroll services for an affordable price. Automatic payroll entry and the option to review before you submit adds flexibility to their plans.
3. OnPay. OnPay is a service used by many small- to mid-sized businesses to reduce paperwork and save time and money processing payrolls. Like Intuit and Paychex, this is an online software-based solution with low monthly rates, starting at just $39.95 per month.
4. SurePayroll. This small business payroll solution has been acquired by Paychex, and you can expect the same top-notch customer service from SurePayroll as you can from Paychex. Monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly payment plans add flexibility to budgeting and scheduling.
5. ProPayroll. This company has affordable rates and places a high emphasis on customer service. You take care of your own payroll needs with the online software, but an agent is always standing by ready to assist you when you have a question or need assistance.
6. MyPayrollHR. If you’re looking for a company that provides a simple flat rate and no hidden fees, MyPayrollHR is a reliable solution. The price you see quoted for their services really is the price you’ll get. For small businesses trying to save money, this can be vital.
7. ADP. Like Intuit, most people have heard of ADP, which means that you already know the strength of this brand and why so many businesses rely on them to provide trustworthy, powerful HR tools and payroll solutions. The starting price is a bit higher, however, owing to the strong reputation of the brand and the significant influx of business they attract.
8. PayUSA. This is a fully scalable online payroll outsourcing solution which allows you to support an organization with as many as 1,000 employees, and also gives you options for handling hourly and contract wages (not just salaried wages).
9. Coastal Human Resources Group. This service is offered by a small business in Alabama and is available to customers in the southeastern part of the U.S. They are well known for providing excellent cost tracking and reporting services.
10. Bank of America. This is the payroll management service offered by Bank of America to its members around the country. It’s a good way to save costs if your company already banks with Bank of America. Unfortunately the service is not available to companies that conduct their banking elsewhere.
Payroll management outsourcing used to be a lot more expensive, but prices have dropped in recent years thanks to the advent of payroll management software. This makes payroll outsourcing an advantage because it is much more affordable to small businesses. There are still traditional payroll outsourcing companies out there as well, but computers are swiftly taking over calculating and reporting duties. This saves money on overhead, savings which payroll outsourcing companies can then pass along to you—and customer service is still there standing by when you do need a human being to assist you.