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June 23, 2016

When should you Outsource your Payroll?

outsourcing the running payrollSetting up a small business on your own isn’t an easy task. As a one man band you have to learn how to deal with every business function from marketing to IT. One area of your business where it really pays to outsource is in the finance department and hiring a qualified accountant makes a lot of financial sense for most businesses.

Once your business starts to grow though and you begin taking on employees, the temptation is to move more and more of the businesses functions in-house. Whilst this can make sense in some areas, with payroll it really does pay to outsource.

In this article I want to look at four areas where outsourcing the payroll function can save your business a lot of money and time and prevent difficulties further down the road as you expand your workforce.

Resource Savings

Time is money in business and payroll can be very time consuming. As your business expands so too will the time needed to perform the payroll function in-house. Investing in payroll software can also be expensive and keeping it up to date is another drag on your time and resources. Factor into this the training needed to bring staff up to date with the software and any updates and developments and you can begin to see the constant drain on resources that doing your payroll in-house can be.

Staff Recruitment and Absence

One of the clear benefits of outsourcing payroll functionality to an accountancy firm is the stability and consistency it brings to developing expanding businesses. All businesses are vulnerable to the danger of key talent leaving them for sunnier pastures and retaining staff is a core part of HR strategy, especially in the early days. Outsourcing payroll effectively removes the worry of having to recruit and train a new staff member to perform this vital business function on which every employee depends. For smaller businesses, having a single individual in charge of payroll also comes with inherent risks in terms of unplanned absence. Payroll isn’t something that can be put off, so if your payroll administrator is off sick then someone else will need to fill in for them, diverting their precious time away from their core duties.


In accounting, accuracy is paramount. The UK’s laws around payroll are strict and any mistakes due to human error can and often do result in fines. Not only is this an unnecessary and unwelcome cost, it also means your payroll administrator has to go back over their work to identify and rectify the error. Accountancy firms deal with payroll every day and have the systems and oversight procedures in place to avoid these kinds of accounting errors. Not only this but HMRC’s rules and regulations are prone to change, meaning re-training your payroll staff. The Real Time Information for PAYE changes introduced in 2013 for example, now means companies have to send a Full Payment Submission to HMRC before every payday as well as a monthly Employer Payment Summary. This can mean 76 online declarations a year. That’s a lot of man hours.

Flexibility and Scalability

Creating a successful business is harder than it’s ever been. Recent research from the Harvard Business Review suggests that the average dying age of a publically listed company is 31 years (down from 55 in 1970). Small businesses have to grow and adapt rapidly if they are to be successful and that means so too do their workforces. Unlike many other business functions, payroll isn’t just desirable but required. The consequences for not paying your staff or getting this wrong can be devastating, with the risk of serious damage to the internal reputation of your company and some fairly irate employees. Outsourcing payroll means you can scale your business quickly without the burden of having to grow your payroll functionality too. Accountancy firms have the staff and the resources to handle your growing payroll needs. For seasonal businesses who take on a lot of additional staff in certain months, this can be a real lifesaver.

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March 18, 2012

What the Right Payroll Company Can Do For You

Payroll companies are one of the more popular services available to companies of all sizes.  Essentially, this type of partner takes over management of all the payroll functions, including providing an easy way to calculate wages and salaries for each of your employees.  Services of this type also take on the tasks of calculating taxes, withholding the right amounts and even making sure the money is sent on to the right tax agency.  Choosing to use a payroll provider instead of managing the process in house offers other benefits, some of which are directly related to the employees.

For business owners

Choosing to outsource the payroll can make a big difference to the bottom line.  Since there is no need to maintain full-time personnel to manage payroll functions, that helps to decrease company expenses.  Lower business expenses means more of the generated income is net profit, which is often the source that funds bonuses, commissions, and raises for employees.  Those savings also mean that the company can build more of a nest egg, which in turn means that employees can worry less about the company going out of business.

Since there is no in-house payroll team, that means the process of preparing the payroll is not slowed down by absenteeism or sickness.  There’s no need for another employee to take over and muddle through, while others try to cover his or her job responsibilities.  Outsource providers deal with that type of issue, and absorb the cost of making sure the weekly, biweekly, or monthly payroll is accurate and issued on time.  A bout of the flu going around the office does not mean anyone will be paid late.

Calculating and withholding taxes is a time consuming task, even for a small business

With a competent payroll service managing the job, all you have to do is make sure the money is on hand to pay the taxes.  The service prepares the forms and remits all the tax payments, including taxes withheld from employee wages and salary right along with the employer taxes.

Going with a service also means you always have access to the latest information regarding taxes and changes in payroll laws.  There’s no need to spend time and money making sure employees are up to date on these issues before they calculate a payroll, since the service is making sure their staff is constantly updated.

Employees often benefit from the use of a service simply because that typically means the option to enjoy direct deposit.  A competent service will ensure the payroll is calculated and the deposit is initiated in plenty of time for it to post to the employee’s checking or savings account without fail.  Many payroll service providers also offer online access to individual employee payroll accounts, allowing the employees to easily look up and even print data for tax purposes.

The right payroll service will take one concern off the shoulders of the business owner and make it possible to focus more on growing the company.  At the same time, the right service also makes life a lot easier for employees, since wages and salary are always received on time, taxes are calculated properly, and they can look at their payroll histories whenever they like.  Given that using a service is less expensive and also ensures access to fully qualified payroll professionals, looking into this option just makes sense.

Indie journalist Patrica H. Hugley frequently blogs about finances and payroll companies, this is one of her many great blogs – Enjoy!

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