Outsourced Payroll – 6 Ideas To Consider Before Making A Decision
Knowing exactly what to consider when outsourcing payroll can feel like quite a challenge. There are undoubtedly many benefits to outsourcing a payroll: not only will a company have the reassurance of knowing this critical business function is being handled by highly experienced professionals, but it can also enable them to focus more on other strategic priorities.
But with a number of companies offering outsourced payroll services, it can be difficult to know where to start with making your choice. It should be a given that a payroll provider will keep all of your company’s information secure, and make sure that it is fully compliant at all times with its payroll obligations. But beyond that, how do you choose? Here are some points to help you find the right payroll provider for your company.
1. Which payroll activities will you need to outsource?
There can be variation across companies in terms of what they want to outsource. So spend some time defining the payroll services you need from an outsourced payroll provider. This will help you get a clearer idea about the type of service that will be most appropriate for your business and the level of outsourcing that will benefit you most. Many companies prefer to hand over the full running of their payroll, but it is possible to opt for a partial outsourcing solution too with some payroll activity being retained in-house.
Don’t worry about having absolutely every detail listed at this stage. But a clear overview of the activities that will potentially need transferring over will provide a solid foundation for starting your search for an outsourced payroll provider.
2. How much experience does the provider have?
Longevity isn’t an automatic guarantee of quality. But it does signal that the company is likely to be well established and have a solid client base of satisfied customers. Do you need a provider who has relevant sector experience? Even if that’s not essential, ask about their experience of running a range of payrolls across different industries: another sign of a seasoned and versatile provider.
Take a look at any client feedback that’s available too, such as case studies and testimonials, as that will give you useful insights into their approach to customer service, expertise and reliability.
3. Is your proposed provider accredited?
Another useful indicator of the standard of service and expertise you can expect is whether a provider has any industry-relevant accreditations. So when thinking about what to consider when outsourcing payroll, it’s worth taking the time to check out the industry standards that a payroll provider’s systems and services meet – look out for bodies such as the CIPP (Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals) along with quality standards like ISO 9001.
Do they have membership of any other relevant organisations? It’s also important to make sure that an outsourced payroll provider will be able to deal with HMRC on your company’s behalf too.
4. How effective is the payroll provider’s approach to communication?
Given that your payroll outsourcing company will be carrying out such a fundamental function for your business, it’s critical that you have confidence not only in the services they provide but also in the way they communicate with you. After all, they could be handling more or less every aspect of your employees’ salaries and you must be reassured that if you need to talk to someone, you can get hold of them quickly and easily.
So it’s important to ask how they manage their communication processes. Will you have your own account manager for example, or will there be ready access to a support team with key points of contact who can help you quickly and efficiently?
The implementation process will rely on excellent communication between you both as well, so make sure you are as confident as you can be that the steps they have in place will enable as smooth a transition as possible.
5. What level of flexibility will be needed?
While some payrolls are fairly straightforward, that’s not always the case. For some companies, one issue to consider when outsourcing payroll is how accommodating the payroll provider is capable of being. Can they offer you a customisable solution that can be adapted to cope with all of the intricacies of your payroll, and be adjusted to reflect variables like different overtime rates and working patterns? Be wary of a provider who tries to force your payroll to work within the parameters of their payroll software.
Think about what other features you could need too – would employee self-service options prove helpful later down the line? Or might you need the payroll software to integrate with other business information systems, particularly HR-related systems? It’s useful to start forming a view at this stage so you can raise it with your proposed outsourced payroll provider to explore the level of flexibility available.
As well as needing the payroll software itself to be flexible, look out for evidence that you’re talking to payroll providers who are genuinely keen to invest time in getting to know your business and understand your exact requirements.
6. Could there be any surprise costs?
Finally, when thinking about what to consider when outsourcing payroll, make sure that you enquire about all of the costs involved. Some payroll providers might charge separately for software upgrades or additional draft pay runs for instance. So make sure that you understand whether everything is included in the price per payslip or if there are any other costs that you need to factor in.
If you are looking for an outsourced payroll provider then why not get in touch with us?
Corporate Payroll Solutions has been operating for over 20 years. We pride ourselves on our superb reputation for reliability and providing our clients with exceptional standards of outsourced payroll processing. We’re also very proud of the fact that some clients have been with us more or less since we started which we believe is a powerful endorsement of the services we have provided them with.
If you would like to speak to a member of our highly trained and qualified team to find out more about our outsourced payroll services then please do telephone us on 01442 285460. Alternatively, you can complete our contact form and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible.