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Payroll Services Buying Guide

Overview | How It Works | Advantages | Disadvantages | Things to Watch

Things to watch out for

Aside from the disadvantages already mentioned, there are a number of things you should be aware of as regards payroll services:

  • Make sure they provide a high level of customer service. In particular,

    - Will they provide a single point of contact who is available to deal with any queries on a day-to-day basis?
    - Are they flexible enough to deal with adjustments after the provision of the initial information?

  • Look at the adequacy of security procedures regarding the data held.

  • Evaluate their ability to create a smooth handover from your present payroll procedures.

  • If the service provider's business is primarily payroll, they need to have a substantial client base to ensure stability. An ideal provider should support several hundred clients.

  • Since every industry has different processing requirements, make sure the provider has experience with companies similar to yours. Check out references if necessary.

Other buying suggestions:

  • Negotiate the contract well. There are so many outsourcing companies now that deals seem easy to make. However, when writing the contract, think about:
    - How will adjustments to the payroll be accommodated?
    - Will these changes be included in the price, or be billed on an individual basis?
    - If your company is taken to court on some payroll issue, who is liable?
    - What is the frequency and type of reports that will be available?
    - What is the charge for additional reports?
    - For how long will the contract apply?

  • Once the contract is signed, don't assume that everything will go as planned. Manage the relationship with your provider by constantly evaluating how satisfied your internal customers are with the system and providing feedback to the provider.

  • As a precaution, carefully review the first paycheques issued as well as the money paid to cover taxes


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