For any business, outsourcing its payroll function is like giving out critical business information to a stranger. Therefore, for most businesses, the decision to outsource their payroll function is a big commitment. One wrong move in the wrong direction will not only lead to miscalculations but also a waste of time, as well as reputation damage. On the other hand, choosing the right payroll provider can lead to seamless payroll cycles without any a headache or runaround.
Partnering with one of the top payroll providers is a smart move for small businesses as it can alleviate them from the time-consuming tasks of managing their payroll. However, not all payroll providers have the resources or the skillset to deliver the level of service that your business demands. Selecting the wrong payroll provider can cause even more stress. Here are the six most important questions you should ask a payroll provider before outsourcing your payroll functions to them.
Question #1: How will my business benefit by outsourcing payroll function to your firm?
Payroll processing is a complicated business operation. Even with experienced employees, there is always a risk of theft or tampering with business records for personal gain. By contrast, outsourcing your payroll function to a stable and experienced payroll provider can offer the much-needed safety and security for your confidential payroll data. In addition to taking frequent backups and managing multiple server locations, a professional payroll provider like QXFA will invest in state-of-the-art systems for storing and protecting your payroll data. At QXFA, one of the largest payroll providers, a key feature of our payroll service is providing access to experienced payroll professionals. We aim to deliver a consistent and proficient service to our clients with the highest level of professionalism.
Question #2: What all services do you offer?
Most payroll providers offer a variety of services, in addition to cheque processing and tax services. It would help if you decided in advance which all tasks you need help with, and then start your search for the potential vendors who offer those services. There are hundreds and thousands of payroll providers in the market to choose from, and narrowing your search criteria will knock quite a few names off your list.
Question #3: Do you have any existing customers or success stories in our industry?
Check credentials and request industry references from businesses similar to yours. You can also speak with some of your potential vendor’s existing customers and ask for their feedback about service quality. Looking for word-of-mouth recommendations is any day better than searching for online reviews when making a strategic business decision.
Question #4: How will you ensure data security?
Payroll data is a trove of sensitive information about your business and employees, and your payroll provider should take this seriously. You can ask the potential vendor to walk you through their data storage system and pay attention to how data is stored and protected. It would help if you looked for encrypted offsite or cloud storage systems to ensure that your critical data is backed up in case of any unforeseen circumstances. In addition, do not shy away from enquiring about encryption, password protection, firewalls, anti-intrusion systems, and software updates. There’s no denying the fact that even the most airtight security procedures are prone to security breaches. In the rare event of any cyber fraud happening, what will be your vendor’s response plan, and will your payroll processes suffer downtime?
Question #5: What are the terms and conditions for termination of the contract?
While this may sound pessimistic, but circumstances may change, and cancellation may become a necessity. Usually, it is the client who decides to terminate the contract because of either organizational re-structuring, or changes in the business model, or if your payroll provider fails to deliver quality services. Regardless of the reason, if you ever need to terminate the contract, what will be your escape strategy and who will own your data? In order to understand the terms and condition, make sure to read the contract small print, so you know exactly for what period of time you are committing yourself.
Question #6: What are the costs involved?
Take a critical look at the detailed pricing structure up-front in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on. Any top payroll services provider worth its salt will never include undisclosed fees – what you see is what you get, and this should ensure your peace of mind. However, be suspicious of the vendors who are reluctant to break down quotes. Finally, compare the final pricing structure against your employing staff and purchasing software in order to get the complete pricing picture. Most certainly, outsourcing your payroll function will help you save a significant amount of money and efforts year-on-year. In addition, your access to skilled resources will help you maintain an edge over your competitors.
Outsourcing your payroll functions can be an effective way to reduce paperwork and keep your payroll processes updated as per the tax regulations. Hiring a payroll provider is not only relatively inexpensive but is also a valuable option for most small and medium-sized businesses.
How we can help
As one of the leading high-volume pay & bill providers for the recruitment industry in the UK and EU, we run a tight ship. Annually, we process over 1M timesheets with an average accuracy rate of 99.8%. Not only have our services helped many of the leading recruitment agencies to streamline their payroll processes, but we have also helped them save up to 50% on operations costs. Here’s an example: How an agency saved over 6.5 million pounds by partnering with QX.
To learn more about how agencies can achieve payroll operational excellence, please get in touch with us.