Payroll service is an essential business practice – like sales or customer service. It can be a tricky, complex, and complicated process with ever-changing regulations and rules, and the impact of some errors can be far more serious than just an employee’s cheques being in error. Many of these mistakes can get you a really rough time, not from employees, but from folks you already don’t care to know – state and federal law enforcement officers.
While pay services offer an attractive and valuable alternative to in-house processing, this is true only when chosen correctly and monitored by someone (like a professional freelance accountant or bookkeeper) who knows the basic compliance rules.
When a payroll service company is chosen correctly, they provide a less expensive, simpler means of paying employees and filing the compliance tax returns each quarter, not to mention protecting you from the liability associated with preparing payments, it is important to remember:
THEY, the payroll provider, are responsible for calculating pay from the information provided to them and remitting your tax payments and filing your returns on a timely basis.
YOU, the user of the payroll service (freelance accountants, bookkeepers or business owner) are responsible for:
Knowing the basic rules of payroll and asking the provider the “right” questions about their services as it relates to your company. Bear in mind even if you ask the “right” questions the sales representative, who sets up your account and the customer service representative whom you deal with after your account has been set up, may not have the correct answers no matter how large or small the company! Here’s an example of an incorrect set-up that ended up costing a client of mine almost one-hundred thousand dollars. Click here.
Understanding exactly what services the payroll service provider performs for you and how those services affect your cash flow. For example, does the service you select debit the entire net pay and taxes amount from your checking account or do these amounts clear individually on your bank account?
With payroll service companies now providing an internet option for the convenience of processing, the burden of entering information accurately and correctly belongs with the business owner or the bookkeeper performing this task on their behalf. Mistakes can result in additional processing fees being charged.
Quarterly refresh you working knowledge of the basic compliance rules.
Develop a relationship with ONE payroll provider that you like working with and TRUST. My success has come in getting to know one sales person and asking to have one customer service representative who I can go to no matter which company my client works with to get good answers to my questions. I never force my clients to move to the payroll company I prefer, but once I gain their trust I do suggest that we move to my favorite because of my working relationship with them and usually can obtain better if not competitive pricing for my client.
If you process payroll on behalf of your client, standardize the format in which your client provides you the payroll information. This will eliminate the guess work. Don’t forget, even though your client is outsourcing their pay, the burden of the responsibility for accurate payroll compliance relies with the business not the payroll service provider which is why they need you! Click here for more information: http://payrollserviceaustralia.com.au