Let’s face it, payroll can be a real pain. For small business owners with limited time already, manually recording payroll, filing payroll taxes, and doing everything else required with employee wages can be overwhelming.
If you only have limited experience with and knowledge of payroll requirements, you may even incur payroll tax penalties when you fail to follow compliance regulations. Then you have to know how to resolve mistakes, all while running your company and trying to keep everything afloat.
Any of this sound familiar? You’re not alone. Thousands of small business owners struggle to find a payroll system that’s the perfect fit. But without such a system, they may end up spending more time and money trying to fix payroll penalties that could have been avoided with a reliable payroll solution.
So, what’s to be done? That will depend on your particular business and how much time and money you want to invest in payroll. However, in this complete guide we’ll address frequently asked questions small business owners have to help you find a solution that’s best for you and your company.
The fact of the matter is that your business needs you, but it also needs a dependable payroll system to meet compliance guidelines. Keep reading to find out how to choose a payroll provider or software that will solve the pain points you encounter as a small business owner.
In this guide you’ll find answers to the following questions about payroll for small business:
For starters, do you even need a payroll software? The answer to that question will depend on if you have any people under your employment or if they are self-employed contractors.
If you do have hired employees, you will need some sort of payroll processing solution for tax purposes. Employers are required to deduct a portion of employee’s paychecks for Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment taxes.
Classifying if your workers are employees or independent contractors can be tricky. According to the IRS, this is dependent on the business’ relationship with the worker as well as the amount of control they have over that worker.
Generally an employee will have a regular working relationship with the business, sometimes receiving benefits and a written contract of employment.
Keep in mind, though, that for some types of business entities even the business owner is considered a paid employee (looking at you, S-corporations). This means that you will still require to process payroll even if you are the company’s sole employee.
Talk with a tax advisor or certified payroll professional if you are unsure about which workers within your company are employees vs. independent contractors. The bottom line here is that if you have any employees, it’s time to get a reliable payroll system.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. As discussed earlier, choosing a payroll solution is no easy solution, especially for small business owners with enough on their plate as it is.
Continue using this guide to help you navigate your options and decide on what you want and what will work best for your company’s specific needs.
When you’ve determined that, yes, you do need a payroll system, the next step is to look at all your options.
Overwhelmed yet? Payroll can be exhausting for any business owner. But that’s why payroll outsourcing is often the solution that many entrepreneurs and small business owners need.
What makes payroll outsourcing a smart solution for your small business?
Some business owners with few employees wonder if the cost to outsource payroll is even worth it. But look at the time you’re spending on payroll compliance every pay period. Look at where your efforts would be of better benefit to your company. Look at the costs of that wasted time and incurred penalties.
When you look at the full picture, it becomes clear that payroll outsourcing is worth it. By saving time, avoiding payroll mistakes, and streamlining your processes, you end up saving your company more money and keep the employees you do have happy.
That being said, some payroll companies will be more expensive than others. For a less expensive solution, finding a smaller, local payroll processing company may help lower costs.
Imagine handing over all your payroll responsibilities to a competent payroll company, responsibilities like (but not limited to) the following:
All the payroll services sound amazing to free up your time and keep your business moving forward. But now, how do you choose a payroll service provider? Every business will prefer different payroll providers for various reasons. Nevertheless, you’ll find a few key features to look for when choosing a payroll company for your small business.
For example, not every payroll service provider will offer the same level of reliable customer support. Many payroll companies are big-wig corporations with an 800 number to call. But your small business deserves more personalized attention.
Local payroll management companies like Alliance Resource Services provide each client with a payroll representative that understands their particular business. When you call in for help, you aren’t directed to a general customer service agent, but a certified payroll specialist who is already familiar with your company. That’s the kind of service you want.
Another must is an automated payroll software. It’s time for your payroll to go paperless with an efficient system that takes care of all employee wages, direct deposits, tax forms, financial reporting, tax compliance, and more with just the click of a button.
If the payroll processing system you’re considering requires you to keep inputting information manually, you can do better. The top payroll companies will offer full automation for everything from initial onboarding to sending out an employee’s last pay stub.
Under this automation also falls the need for an easy-to-use payroll system. The software you are provided with should be simple to navigate for both employers and employees. Look for simple, yet comprehensive payroll software and payroll providers that offer training for how to use the system so that you aren’t left in the dark.
Having experts at the helm is a good idea for any business operation, particularly with payroll. Every year, new tax changes are enforced, making the need for certified payroll processors even more important.
Search for payroll outsourcing companies that gets your company the experience and expertise it needs to avoid payroll penalties. If your payroll manager isn’t one with sufficient experience and a thorough understanding of how to process payroll correctly for your business, that provider is not the right fit.
You may think that hiring that in-house payroll specialist is the solution to this, and it can be. But who’s to say that the accountant you hire has experience with a business like yours? How long will it take for them to adapt?
Outsourced payroll managers, though, have worked with several different businesses in various industries. They understand your business because they’ve helped others just like it. So you can feel confident that your payroll is in the best hands, while you go run your business.
What most hired payroll accountants also can’t offer you is an all-in-one human resource management system. After all, payroll comes down to more than just processing employee wages. Benefits also need to be taken into account, time and attendance tracking will factor in, new hire onboarding should be seamlessly connected to your payroll system, and so on.
A payroll provider that doesn’t provide you with an integrated system for your multiple HR administrative tasks can decrease your company’s productivity by increasing time spent on these necessary tasks.
Instead, look for a payroll provider with that all-in-one software that eliminates the need for multiple systems. This will be convenient for your own reporting purposes as an employer, but also will be a lifesaver for employees who want to view their pay stubs, request vacation days, and sign up for benefits all in the same place.
One of the most common questions we hear from business owners looking for a payroll processing company is, “How much does it cost?”
In the long run, payroll outsourcing is often more cost-effective for small businesses compared to hiring an on-staff accountant. You’ll not only have to pay them a salary, but you’ll also have to pay for other staff to manage the rest of your company’s HR responsibilities.
But with an outsourced HR and payroll company, you’ll save more money without needing to hire so many different department heads. When you go with a local payroll provider like Alliance Resource Services, you save even more than you would with the big-name payroll companies that offer the 800 number service and charge you for more than you need. Alliance lets you pick and choose just the services that your company requires to provide the ultimate service at a more competitive cost.
What we’ve found in our years of payroll processing experience, is that some payroll systems are simply better than others. But how can you decide which is the best payroll software for your small business?
In the end, it will come down to the needs of your business and the conveniences that a modern payroll software should provide. Our team at Alliance Resource Services uses an integrated payroll software from PrismHR for a number of reasons, but particularly for a few key features that make for an exceptional and reliable system all around the board.
With so much information and time-consuming details that go into payroll for small business, pick a solution that will offer you some relief. To the business owners that want to avoid making payroll tax mistakes but don’t know how, to the ones who want a better system than inputting numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, to the dedicated entrepreneurs who want to get back to growing their business but don’t have the time or resources on top of payroll processing—we offer the solution you’ve been needing.
Alliance Resource Services solves all the pain points small business owners face with payroll. We understand how hard it is to keep your company payroll compliant when payroll taxes change all the time. We are a payroll processing company you can outsource to manage payroll, provide you with a small business payroll app and software, file taxes on time, and more.
Streamline payroll and other HR services all from one outsourced company with years of experience and personalized service. We offer the personal touch you won’t get from big HR and payroll processing companies. Instead, we communicate with you one-on-one to find customized solutions that will save you the most time and the most money.
You have so many options that claim to be the best payroll service for small business. But let our local team show you how easy small business payroll can be. Let us take the weight off your shoulders so that your company can thrive.
For any additional questions you may have about payroll for small business, contact our certified payroll specialists today.