There are many benefits to be gained from using an outsourced payroll provider.
You no longer need to have your own payroll department, which removes a substantial burden. And outsourcing eases the pressure of being fully responsible for ensuring employees are all paid correctly and on time. But of course, it’s important to choose the right provider.
That means doing your research – so here are some suggestions about what you should be looking out for when you’re putting together your shortlist.
What level of customer service can you expect?
It’s really important that your outsourced payroll provider offers an excellent standard of customer service and communication. You must be able to easily get hold of someone to help with any queries that arise and know you can rely on them whenever you need them. Find out if you will be provided with your own dedicated account manager or access to a support team. Ask about what is the usual mechanism for communication but also what would be the process if a particularly urgent query suddenly cropped up.
We’ve always made exceptional customer service a priority and we know how much our clients value that (as you’ll read in this article, we’ve had some great comments including that the team has “consistently been brilliant”).
How effective is the payroll software?
You might not need extensive interaction with the payroll software that’s used by your outsourced provider. But it’s still important to understand what it can do – after all, it’s going to be processing your company’s highly sensitive data so you must have confidence in it.
Find out about the approach taken to ensure the software is kept secure and up to date so your company remains fully compliant with all payroll requirements. Check if there will be additional costs as a result of software upgrades too.
It’s also worth finding out whether there’s scope for integration with existing systems or even whether it would be timely to introduce other software you’ve been considering, such as HR software, which is specifically designed to work with the payroll software. Explore any other features on offer too – for example, CPS has a history of innovation, including the development of a smartphone app that provides employees with a range of highly flexible self-service options.
Do the payroll reporting capabilities offer what you need?
While you might not be physically running the payroll, there will inevitably be times when your business must access the information held within the system.
So take a look at the payroll reporting capabilities available. How easy is it to run reports according to what you might need? Can the software offer the flexibility and level of detail that might be required within a given timescale? Will the reporting capability enable you to take advantage of real-time analytics? Make sure that any provider you are considering can offer you a high degree of flexibility: our cloud-based payroll software ensures clients are able to access payroll data quickly and easily from any location.
How well established is the payroll provider?
Take a look at how well established your shortlisted outsourced payroll providers are. That obviously includes how long they’ve been operating for. But it also includes relevant experience within your sector, and experience in a range of payrolls across different industries. Don’t feel uncomfortable asking about a company’s track record – a good provider will be happy to demonstrate their expertise by highlighting work they’ve done. Look at any client feedback available via case studies and testimonials too.
We’ve been operating for over 20 years, and during that time we’ve developed an excellent reputation for providing high standards of payroll processing to our clients across the UK. In fact, some of our clients have been with us since those very early days which is a real testament to the service we offer.
Does the payroll provider have any accreditations?
When it comes to reassuring yourself about the competence and capability of a potential payroll provider, take a look at their accreditations. They are a useful indicator of a provider who is consistently meeting and maintaining high standards. We hold a number of payroll provider accreditations and also have several Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), qualified team members. Our processes and people are expected to meet very high standards to ensure our clients get the best service possible – and rightly so.
Does the provider have the ability to cope with complex payrolls?
What level of flexibility is available when it comes to tailoring the payroll software? This will be less of an issue if you have a fairly straightforward payroll, but if your business has a high level of complexity – perhaps due to historical rate agreements or multiple shift patterns – make sure your potential payroll provider has the capability to handle it.
We have become a popular choice for companies seeking high quality technology that can be adapted to meet very specific requirements. Several clients have told us one of the major reasons for choosing us was the degree to which we could create highly bespoke software for efficient and accurate complex payroll processing.
How will the payroll transition be managed?
Finally, find out about the next steps. Ask what the implementation process involves, who you would be liaising with and whether they can offer you any guidance about effective communications with employees and managers in your company to help them come on board. It’s also important to find out what training will be available as and when required.
You’ll find more information here about the payroll outsourcing transition process. And if you would like to learn more about our outsourced payroll services please do get in touch with us.