An increasing number of companies are enlisting the help of a payroll provider to assist with this tricky but essential business operation. There are many options available for payroll services and it can be difficult to know where to start and what to look for.
This article will provide you with some tips for navigating this process and asking the right questions so you can identify which payroll service provider is right for your Hawaii business.
Understanding the capabilities of a payroll provider
A payroll company’s basic services include calculating payroll and tax obligations for each employee, printing checks, and providing management reports. However, some payroll providers are fully integrated into your business to work seamlessly with your system applications, offering a variety of human resources outsourcing, such as benefits administration, health care plans, risk and safety management, and education and training services.
With that in mind, the first step in selecting the best payroll service for your company is to determine your scope of needs—are you simply looking for payroll processing? Or could your organization benefit from features that a full-service HR company provides? Start by making this determination to help narrow down your options.
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What to look for in a payroll service provider
No matter your needs, there are a few key things you should expect from a reputable payroll service provider:
Experience and credibility
Ensuring that your employees are paid promptly and without error is a top priority, so don’t leave that responsibility in the hands of a company with little to no experience. Make sure the company has a history in Hawaii and fully understands our unique market. Ensure that the company has a proven history of strict financial stability and regulatory compliance. Furthermore, look for a provider that is accredited by the Employment Services Assurance Corporation and a member of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations.
Quality customer service
Your payroll provider should offer a high level of customer service. You will need to communicate regularly with your provider, so getting in touch with the company and finding the answers you need should be an easy and pleasant experience. Find out if you will be talking to someone locally or sent to a mainland office.
A high quality payroll provider will incorporate technological advancements into their process. Does the company offer an integrated human resources information system, online time & attendance software, and customization abilities? Is the system supported locally or by a mainland vendor? Will you and your employees have on-demand access through this web-based system?
To avoid being surprised by agreement terms or hidden fees, make sure that the provider clearly defines the responsibilities of each party. Read the fine print carefully to be sure the service rates you are quoted are the ones documented in your agreement. You should also inquire about cancellation policies and how difficult it is to get out of your agreement if necessary.
Other questions to ask a prospective payroll provider
When evaluating your top picks and after considering the above criteria, these additional questions will provide you with a clearer understanding about whether or not the service is right for your company.
- What services are included?
- What is the setup process?
- How are payroll taxes handled?
- What add-on services does the company offer?
- If a mistake is made, how is it addressed?
- How is sensitive data protected?
- What is the ratio of trained payroll professionals to clients?
- If your needs evolve, what kind of flexibility does the provider offer to meet your changing needs?
- What do current and past clients have to say about the provider?
- What is the company’s reputation in the community?
Taking the time to research the payroll services available in our community and asking the right questions will ensure that you select the one that best fits the needs of your business, and in turn, reduce the amount of work you’ll have to do later on.
To dive deeper and learn more about selecting a payroll provider in Hawaii, download our free 10-page buyer’s guide on HR Outsourcing.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should first consult their attorney, accountant or adviser before acting upon any information in this article.