Managing payroll can be a demanding task that consumes a significant amount of time. While some businesses opt to manage payroll internally, others prefer to delegate this responsibility to external service providers. Outsourcing payroll is a widespread practice with various pros and cons. Explore the whole concept, discover the benefits payroll outsourcing offers, examine potential drawbacks, gain insights into the operational aspects of outsourcing payroll, and evaluate the standard services provided by external payroll management companies.
What does outsourcing payroll mean?
Engaging in payroll outsourcing involves enlisting the services of a third-party payroll entity to oversee the administration of your company’s salary and wage processes. Certain payroll outsourcing firms focus solely on payroll duties, while others extend their services to encompass various HR-related tasks alongside payroll management.
Exploring outsourcing payroll pros and cons
Understanding the pros and cons of payroll outsourcing can help you make a better decision before engaging in this practice. Learn about its benefits and limitations below:
Saving time is essential. Handling payroll manually is time-consuming. Payroll officers need to find and keep track of various details, such as benefit deductions, wage garnishments, paid time off, unpaid time off, state taxes, and federal taxes. This task can be challenging for one person, especially if they have other job duties besides payroll. When you outsource payroll, you free up your team from these tasks and save valuable time.
Maintain accurate taxes
Tax rules can be confusing, and they change a lot. Without the right knowledge and training, employees might make mistakes in payroll taxes that can be expensive. When you outsource payroll to a specialized company, you can be sure that the people managing your payroll are trained and qualified to handle the tax part correctly.
Frequently, especially for small or medium businesses, outsourcing payroll is a money-saver. The expenses in time and resources for doing payroll within the company are usually higher than the monthly fee of a dedicated payroll service managing the process.
Securing computers can be expensive. Lots of small businesses may not have enough resources to correctly encrypt and store important data, such as details about employee bank accounts. However, most payroll companies use advanced security measures to keep their clients’ information safe.
Small businesses often have one person handling payroll. If that person gets sick or goes on vacation, managing payroll becomes a big challenge for the company. With a payroll company, you don’t have to worry about relying on just one person because the company has a team to make sure your payroll is taken care of.
Eliminate software issues
People who handle their own in-house payroll usually use software to track hours and calculate earnings. However, these programs can cost a lot and might need frequent updates to work well. Opting for a payroll company gets rid of this expense.
Even though trained payroll professionals are more reliable than less experienced in-house employees, mistakes can still occur. If a payroll company makes an error on an employee’s paycheck, the correction process might take longer compared to managing payroll in-house.
Certain payroll companies include extra services or benefits in their payroll service package that your company might not actually need or use. In such instances, you could find yourself spending more money than necessary on outsourcing your payroll.
Even though the majority of payroll companies implement strong digital security measures, data breaches can still occur. Relying on an external payroll processor doesn’t guarantee absolute data protection.
Missing or incomplete data
Because there’s an extra step involved in sharing wage and employee information with the payroll processing company, if you overlook a crucial detail or if the company misplaces the information, it can lead to delays in your payroll processing, potentially leaving your employees without their paychecks.
How does payroll outsourcing work?
Whether you handle your payroll processing internally or delegate it to an external company, the steps are comparable. Here’s a detailed guide outlining the process when outsourcing your payroll:
Selecting a company
To kick off the outsourcing of your payroll, begin by choosing a company. Some companies specialize solely in payroll processing, while others handle a range of human resources tasks as well. Identify a trustworthy company that provides the specific services you require.
Provide necessary information
To initiate payroll processing, you’ll have to furnish the payroll company with initial details to establish your account. Additionally, you’ll need to provide ongoing information such as hours worked, time off, and bonuses. This enables the company to accurately compute and distribute paychecks for both you and your employees. Typically, payroll companies request the following information for all employees:
- W-4 tax forms
- Any state-specific tax withholding forms
- W-9 tax forms for any independent contractors
- I-9 forms
- Job application
- Bank information for direct deposit
- Medical insurance details if applicable
- Retirement plan information, if applicable
Based on whether your employees are on a salary or hourly basis, you’ll be required to monitor and submit timesheets to your chosen payroll company. Numerous external payroll processors employ digital time tracking software that is accessible to them, you, and your employees, simplifying the time tracking process for all parties involved.
Approve payments and amounts
Once the payroll processing company has gathered all the necessary information, you will furnish any details regarding wage garnishments or bonus payments. Additionally, you will need to approve the total amounts for your employees’ paychecks.
Manage tax and withholdings
Prior to the payroll processor issuing the checks, they need to subtract the employee-selected withholdings and mandatory state and federal withholdings from the net pay amount.
Administer the checks
The payroll processing company disburses payments to your employees, either by issuing physical checks or through direct deposit directly into their bank accounts.
Reporting payroll is a crucial aspect of the payroll process. The external payroll company will take care of essential record-keeping tasks and ensure that all required reports are submitted to the relevant parties or organizations on your behalf.
Discover the benefits payroll outsourcing offers for a simplified process
Ready to streamline your payroll process and maximize efficiency? Explore the benefits of outsourcing payroll for your business today. From time savings and accurate tax management to enhanced data security and expert support, outsourcing payroll offers a range of advantages. Make an informed decision by weighing the pros and cons, and discover how the outsourcing process works with a step-by-step guide.