If you’ve been handed the task of choosing a payroll service provider for your company, you may be wondering where to start and what to look for. If you get a headache thinking about the hundreds of regulatory changes that occur every year, you’re not alone. Outsourcing your payroll can save you time and money, not to mention a headache or two. Here are five things to consider when choosing a payroll service for your small business:


An experienced payroll provider will be able to cover all of your business’ needs, including web-based and traditional payroll processing, time and attendance solutions, employee screening and background checks. A good payroll service will work with your business to fit your exact needs. Additionally, check to see if the payroll provider has worked with a business in your industry before. This will help you be confident that the company you choose is ready for the specific challenges of your industry.

Options and Features

Ensure that the provider uses software that’s capable of delivering all of the services you desire. Find out what basic features the software offers as well as additional features that are available. As a small business, you may not need as many options as a larger business, but it’s still important to know what’s available. To streamline payroll and employee time tracking, you need a payroll provider that can ensure accuracies and quickly remedy discrepancies.

Trust and Security

When you hire a payroll provider, make sure you hire someone you trust with the sensitive data involved in handling payroll and taxes. Look for an established payroll company with a strong history, client testimonials and a solid reputation. Do your research online before making a commitment. Read reviews online and ask for recommendations within the business community. It’s common for businesses to give referrals, especially if they’ve had a great experience with their payroll providers.

Customer Service

You’ll want to communicate regularly with your payroll provider. Look for a provider that offers strong customer service. When you’re having a problem, you’re going to want to talk with someone who has a real understanding of your business and its challenges, not a random sales representative. Make sure the payroll provider you choose offers support each day – not only on specified days, such as when your payroll is processed. Realistically, you’re going to have questions on other days that will need immediate attention from a customer service representative.


Although price isn’t everything, it’s important to understand what services are included in the price you’ve been given and what features are extra. It’s good to compare price, but remember that the cheapest option isn’t necessarily going to be the best one. In the end, the cheaper option may end up costing you more if you don’t get what you were hoping for.

As a business owner, you know that payroll is an important part of doing business. Choosing the right provider, for the right reasons, will help make the process as streamlined as possible.