Top things you need to consider when choosing your payroll provider

1. Simplicity - A fully outsourced payroll service is supposed to be exactly that. Many HR departments outsource their payroll expecting to do a lot less of the admin but end up doing around 70% of the work. It really shouldn’t be this way, find a payroll service that is simple and straightforward. After all, the aim here is to reduce the amount of admin work your HR department has to do on a month to month basis so that they can focus on strategic duties. Make sure before you select your payroll provider they send you a service level agreement detailing what your responsibilities are, this is usually a good indication of how responsibilities are split. If the service level agreement doesn’t go into much detail, then ask your potential provider to walk you through what a typical month/week would look like.

2. Support and service - Nothing is worse than a payroll provider who doesn’t answer or respond quickly to queries, after all we are talking people’s salaries, so if something does go wrong you should be entitled to a quick response. Try and find a payroll provider who can offer you an account manager or someone who is a direct contact. When they arise, payroll issues tend to be a matter of urgency and therefore you need a provider who will treat them as such. A dedicated account manager or point of contact will put you at ease.

3. Futureproof – GDPR, Auto Enrolment, Making Tax Digital, RTI… the payroll world is evolving very quickly. In the last few years we have seen many new pieces of legislation introduced, such as GDPR, and we are expecting even more changes for the future. Choose a provider that pays attention to these changes and will be ready as they are introduced. When selecting a provider feel free to ask the question, “so what changes do you see coming up in payroll?” Someone who is on top of their game should be able to give you a clear answer. Going back to having an account manager, a good payroll provider should give you an account manager and this person would keep you updated, so you are never caught off-guard.

4. Transparent pricing - By outsourcing your payroll, you are sure to save a lot of money and time for your business. But make sure you find a provider who can offer very transparent pricing. They should make it very clear what costs are included, both fixed and variable. The fewer variable costs the better, think about it like a phone contract you don’t want to find out what the variables are at the end of the month after you have made phone calls abroad. The same applies here, try and get as many elements as possible fixed and for the variables make sure the terms and conditions are clear as to when they apply. There shouldn’t be any surprises and if you provider is a good one they should be promoting transparency from you too. Any small print that they don’t want to elaborate on is usually a red flag, run the opposite direction!

We hope these tips help. Get in contact with Quinton Oakes at or give us a call.

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