Once you have even a single employee, payroll becomes something you need to handle. There are many rules surrounding pay, ensuring it is completed on time and that tax and national insurance are handled correctly. That’s why many businesses are turning to an outsourced payroll provider to handle it for them. But what questions should you be asking such a provider before you make an agreement with them?
1. What outsourced payroll services do you offer?
Top of the list should be around what services they offer, and if those fit your business needs. There are dozens of services and you only want to pay for the ones you need, so it is important to lay these out and highlight the ones that are important to your company.
2. What is your pricing structure?
Alongside the type of services on offer, the cost of them is another key consideration. Cheapest isn’t always best of course, but you do want to ensure you are only paying for those services that you need. Bespoke packages are ideal for this.
3. How does it work?
What is the structure of the payroll system? Will you have a payroll officer and is there a Disaster Recovery Plan? Making sure all your questions are answered not just at this stage but once you are using said payroll system is really important. A reputable payroll company should be able to deliver to your expectations.
4. How easy is it to integrate with your current system?
If you already have some sort of payroll system in place, how easy is it going to be to integrate the two? Will you need to do a lot of work or can it be a relatively simple process? It is worth exploring this before committing so at least you know what to expect.
5. Can payroll services be altered as needed?
While you don’t want to be altering your needs every month, there are times when you might need to change the services or scale things up – a new project, new staff or a new location. Whatever the need, you want to know how easy it is to make the relevant changes with your payroll provider.
6. What data safety do you have?
GDPR means questions about safety, particularly of personal data, are hot now. You want to ask your potential payroll provider what level of security they have in place to protect sensitive information.
7. What is their customer service like?
You might not need to be hands-on with payroll – that’s the point of outsourcing it. But if there is a problem, what’s the customer service like of the provider? Can you ring, email or instant message them? And what’s their opening hours for such queries?
8. Can employees easily access their payroll information?
Your staff need to be able to access their information and therefore a good payroll service should include some integrated HR solutions to allow staff to do this. How can this be done and how secure is the process?
9. Can pay slips be issued in digital formats?
As businesses move away from being paper-based, digital pay slips are a big benefit. You want to know if your payroll provider can offer this option in a secure and confidential way so that employees can get access to the information.
10. Do they have a service guarantee?
A service guarantee is about professional standards, protecting your information and the quality and accuracy of their service. Look for this before you agree to work with a company.
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