A great place to start researching possible payroll agencies is the Better Business Bureau. Before settling on an agency, you will want to do several things: check its efficiency and accuracy history, read feedback from past and present customers and talk to those businesses directly if possible, and find out if the agency is bonded or insured. Create an all-inclusive chart to compare prices and services of basic plans for a visual aid and reference piece. Make sure that the service you choose is accessible and easy to use. Knowing how long the average client stays with a particular agency can also be helpful, since switching services is a daunting task and usually an ominous sign. Once you've narrowed down some agencies, contact them and ask plenty of questions. Go over all the fees and ask if there are other charges outside the scope of the normal payroll process. If additional fees do arise, will those be invoiced automatically at that time or will advance notice be given? Find out if your regular charges will be grandfathered if rates and fees are raised in the future. Be sure the payroll service guarantees that they will accept liability for penalties resulting from late or inaccurate payments. You will want a payroll company that works with and for their clients. Their first and foremost business goal should be following the Federal and State laws and guidelines regarding payroll. From there, a reputable company will process the payrolls accurately and timely and listen to the needs and wishes of the client. You will be communicating regularly with your payroll provider, so make sure there will be a designated account representative or team that will see to your account. As you have already learned, each company provides differing services. Most payroll processing companies do more than just calculate payroll and tax obligations for each employee; they also deliver and print checks, issue W-2 forms, provide management reports, do automatic check signatures, envelope stuffing, and direct deposit of checks. Because of this, they will need to know pertinent information about your company including name, address, Federal Tax ID, your payroll bank account number, etc. This is standard"do not be afraid to provide this information.
How To Choose A Payroll Company
November 4, 2010
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Adam Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Phoenix, Ariz.
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