Paying your employees, including yourself, is a crucial part of any business. But payroll management can be a complex process that saps valuable resources every day. Not only do you have to keep track of how many hours employees work, but you also have the responsibility of managing issues like changing health care laws, PTO accruals and payroll deductions. Then you have to stress over filing and paying taxes the right way so you don't end up with auditors calling you over mistakes from years past.
If you have been handling payroll in-house, it might be time to relieve the daily stress on your business by outsourcing to an online payroll service. Most services guarantee both your payrolls and taxes are done right the first time with minimal effort on your part. Some of the best online payroll services for small to medium business that we've found are Intuit, ADP and ProPayroll. You can also read our articles on online payroll services to learn more about the best solution for your business.
There are a number of criteria to consider when choosing the best online payroll service to fit your business. Many services let you choose what responsibilities you want to handle in case you want to continue managing some areas in-house. Regardless, important aspects to consider include what type of payroll features a service covers, the level of tax services it offers, what payment options are available for your employees, and the level of help and support you can expect.
A payroll service should cover all the basic issues you might encounter in payroll. This includes keeping track of PTO accruals, employer contributions for various benefits, and any payroll deductions or garnishments. The service should offer flexible payroll software that lets you run and export various payroll reports so you can keep track of how well your company is doing and transfer information to other programs or people. Most services should also have varying online access for both you and your employees so you can continue managing your business efficiently.
Managing payroll is a complex enough task without having to worry about your business's taxes as well. Good payroll services offer to file and pay your company's taxes for you. The best offer a tax accuracy guarantee, meaning they'll take responsibility for any errors that come up. Some services also handle the processing of W-2 and 1099 forms, although most of them manage it for an additional charge. You should also count on the option for the service to report new employees.
There are several ways to get paychecks to your employees. Many services give you the option of direct deposit, checks or pay cards. Depending on your business, you may need to pay hourly, salaried or contracted employees, or a combination of all three. You'll also want to consider how often you run payroll, as some services limit how many payrolls you can run in a month.
Help & Support
Good help and support when you need it is a vital component of any online service. You should be able to contact the company in multiple ways, such as by phone, email or live chat. If your business runs on weekends, you'll especially want to consider services that offer 24/7 support. Some of the best companies assign dedicated account specialists to your business so you can be sure your account is getting the most consistent and efficient attention.
Even if you know how to do payroll already, you can still find numerous benefits in switching to an online payroll service. A great company makes the day-to-day process easy and gives you peace of mind that when tax season rolls around, your business is well taken care of for you.