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How to Choose a Payroll Provider

Are you considering setting up payroll for your business or transitioning to outsource your payroll processing to a provider? Are you unsure where to start or how to choose one? As there are multiple available, the key is to do proper research and choose one that offers the features that best suit your business needs.

It will also be important to review fees in great details and compare apples to apples, since each provider will offer different fees depending on services and features you choose.

Once you make the decision to outsource, the following are some of the points to consider before signing up for a long-term contract.

  • Payroll processing options: does the provider offer you multiple choices?
    • Employer processing the pay through the provider’s software
    • Contacting the provider and processing by phone
    • Option of using timesheets/timecards for hourly employees
    • Automated processing if employees are on salary
  • Payment options: are you able to process payment through direct deposit as well as manual cheque?
  • Tax filing services: does the software allow for filing periodic deductions at source payments to the government or does it offer year-end services to file payroll summaries and issue employee T4/RL1 slips?
  • Reporting tools: your software should provide you with reports that will make your daily and monthly accounting operations easy to understand and share if need be
  • Employer software interface: in this day and age, it should be easy for you to access the various functionalities to process the pay, update employee profiles, view reports, etc
  • Employee portal: the look and feel and overall employee experience is crucial!  A good payroll provider interface makes it easy to navigate through view pay stubs, retrieve year-end tax slips, make vacation requests…
  • Integration with your accounting software: the more you can automate certain portions of your operations, the more time and energy you will save.

Note:  If you are currently processing your payroll manually, make sure to discuss what is the best timing for payroll transition and seamless data transfer to avoid errors. Choose your timing wisely!

The reputation of the provider is also an important factor to consider as you need their expertise to rely on processing your pay, ensuring proper setup and making sure that government filing deadlines are met.

If you offer group benefit plans, it is also important to ensure that the provider is familiar with tax implications for both parties (employer and employees) involved.

  • Time and cost savings: by using a provider, it allows you to focus on your business growth and in the longer run the benefits of using a provider will outweigh the costs.
  • Reduction of errors: you will be free from frustrating mistakes due to manual calculations.
  • Operations automation: bank on the ability to issue pay slips for employees without additional effort on your part.
  • Government compliance: providers ensure you are compliant with government filings, payroll laws and regulations. They are familiar with all tax updates and make the changes necessary to comply with these updates, freeing you from having to follow closely and interpret new rules.
  • Attentive customer service: these providers deal with hundreds of customers like you:   you can rely on their expertise and count on their timely support, even in difficult times.
  • Streamlined internal communication: self-serve portals make things easier to access by both employer and employee.
  • Data security: keeping employee sensitive information is crucial. Most payroll providers offer security measures to ensure there is no data breach, including multi-factor authentication and data encryption.

Whether you have just a few employees or manage a large team, it is worthwhile to consider using a payroll provider. In fact, we recommend it to most clients, even start-ups, as the features and benefits outweigh the costs in a short matter of time.  The best place to start is to inquire with your accountant, as they have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the selection process and work hand in hand with the provider. you choose!If you have questions or would like to help in selecting the payroll provider that is right for your business, please contact our Accounting and Bookkeeping team.

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