Questions for Online Payroll Services Providers

  • Online Payroll Services

With the advances in technology, few businesses have to struggle with manual payroll processes prone to human error anymore. Automated online payroll services supported by the cloud save money, reduce mistakes, and save time and effort that could be better focused on other vital business operations.

Consider these important questions that you should get answered when looking at online payroll providers:

What services does the processor provide?

Make sure the processors you are looking at provide the best payroll software for what your company needs, and compare their offerings with the offerings of similar services.

Complete online payroll services should include:

  • Payments via direct deposit or pay card
  • The ability to have printed paychecks delivered or printed at the employer’s location or access paystubs online.
  • New hire reporting
  • Time tracking for paid time off (PTO), including sick time and vacation days.
  • Accuracy-guaranteed payroll taxes and W2 and 1099 processing.
  • Benefits deductions for health and insurance benefits, 401(k), flexible spending (FSA), individual retirement accounts (IRA), and health savings accounts (HSA) contributions.
  • Processing all types of earnings and deductions including bonuses, reimbursements, commissions, tips, and garnishments.
  • Employee self-service access
  • Time labor management tools and integration with outside services
  • Point-of-sale (POS) integration
  • Full Human Resource Information System (HRIS)
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance
  • Benefits administration with integration

What is their pricing structure?

Ask about licensing or subscription fees and what services they include. Make sure you understand bulk minimums and maximums, per-employee or per-check fees, and terms of any free trials.

How are new clients set up?

Ask about the implementation process and training, including whether or not there are fees for additional training.  Ensure that documentation exists so that you can reference it when necessary.

How does the provider handle payroll taxes? 

Good online payroll services should file payroll taxes accurately and on time to keep your business in compliance, including federal and state income taxes, local taxes and unemployment insurance taxes.  Look for a service that will handle payment, and quarterly and annual filings automatically for you, preferably without extra charge.

What kind of security does the service provide?

With the huge security breaches in the news lately, accounting privacy and security is a vital concern with critical payroll data in the cloud. Review encryption standards and compare them between providers, look at firewalls and authentication methods, and backup operations for security and accessibility.  Ask for a copy of the online payroll service’s SSAE16 report.

In addition, ask how the provider protects its data center and look for multiple layers of security like biometric scanning for access, keycard and PIN number restrictions, security cameras, and onsite staff.

What are their customer support practices?

Ask the provider how they deliver customer service and look for providers who deliver support via multiple options, including phone, chat and email.  Find out if they will dedicate an account manager or single point person for your account, or if they have a phone tree.

Will your employees and contractors will be able to access their own payroll information?

Look for employee payroll software with portals that allow employees to access their pay stubs, edit personal information, and enter changes to W4 forms and other information.  Find out if there are messaging capabilities and places to add important links that employees need to access on a regular basis.

Can they integrate with your accounting system?

Look for online payroll providers that can integrate with your accounting software systems so you won’t have to purchase any further components or do manual entry.  Most commonly, this includes a G/L file that is mapped to match the chart of accounts and can be imported after every payroll.

Will they scale to your business needs?

Look for the ability to scale workforce solutions and add additional employees and users.  Find out about additional modules that may be important in the future, such as Applicant Tracking, HRIS tools and Benefits Administration, and ask about the costs of doing so.

Contact us to have all of these questions answered and learn how online payroll services can help make things easier for you.

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About the Author:

As Director of Operations, Jessica oversees the day-to-day operations for payroll, human resources, tax, finance and client affairs. She also plays an active role in formulating corporate strategy and developing client programs. Jessica believes a company’s success begins with its people. She strives to build a team encompassing excellence and professionalism, and to play a large role in developing the staff on an ongoing basis. Her passion for strong client relationships drives her in ensuring that clients receive the highest level of personal service and the best products in the industry. Jessica joined PAYDAY in 2004, and quickly advanced to Development Coordinator in 2006, when she took charge of Human Resources. She was promoted to Director of Operations in September, 2011.

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