If you’re running a business and have employees, then using a payroll service is likely to save you a great deal of time and money against the commitment you’d need in order to do it successfully on your own.
However, going out and finding a payroll service can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know what it is you’re looking for. Here are some pointers that will help you find what you’re looking for.
Where to Look
The obvious place to start looking for payroll services is Google. Doing this will find you thousands of potential payroll partners. Some of these will be established names in the industry that you’ve probably already heard of, and will definitely provide you with a useful service, although they might not be cost effective given that they are probably geared towards larger businesses.
If you already employ an accountant to manage different aspects of your financial affairs, then they can probably offer you payroll services, too. They might even have special business packages that enable you to take advantage of reduced rates, or have payroll taken care of as part of the wider package.
What to Look For
As previously alluded to, the best payroll services are going to be the ones that are best suited to your company. Therefore, if you are only paying yourself and one other person, for example, a payroll service or accountant that specialises in small business payroll completion is definitely your best option.
Such services will always be tailored to the needs of businesses such as yours, and they won’t come with large fees. Larger payroll companies, who work on behalf of other large businesses, often have a team of people working solely on payroll for one company. Even if you don’t need this, you’re likely to be billed as such.
It is also worth asking what services a particular payroll company offers. Do they have an online interface where you can simply input data, or do you have to physically send-off timesheets each week to ensure employees get paid on time.
It might be more cost effective if you find a payroll provider that charges on a per employee basis. If you have very few employees, this can often be a lot cheaper than paying for a service that a business might base on an average of calculating payroll for 100 employees each month. While there might come a stage where fixed pricing is cheaper, in the early stages of a business, in particular, per employee billing is often worthwhile.
Be sure to check that other additional needs, such as the production of P45, P46, P11D, and other payroll documents, come within your package, so your costs don’t start mounting up.