November 22nd, 2011 Archive

It Pays to Outsource your Payroll Solutions

November 22nd, 2011 by Adaire in Sharing Success

I still remember the day I nailed my first job. Looking back, it was so funny how all I could talk about was what I would buy when I got my hands on my first paycheck. I couldn’t make up mind if I wanted a new pair of jeans or a makeup kit. :) My family warned me not to count my chickens before they’re hatched, and another relative sternly advised me not to be too eager to spend my money on fripperies. But I didn’t care. It was my first paycheck and I planned to spend it any way I pleased.

Then when pay day arrived, I got a shocker. The amount I received was over a hundred dollars short. I brought it up with my supervisor, who also did payroll duties. We went over the number of days and hours I worked. She then apologized for her oversight and promised she’d get it all straightened out. I had to fill out a payroll discrepancy form and wait until the next pay cycle to get the amount owed me.

My supervisor was no accountant. She happened to be a Jack – or rather Jill – of all Trades at the small company that employed me that summer. She was a good supervisor but her plate was always so full with tasks that were better left to someone else.

“Someone else” meaning a real payroll accountant who is better qualified to handle employee wages.

Unfortunately, not all small to medium businesses are able to keep a team of accountants on staff so they’ve got other people on deck doing the math. But if you don’t have qualified people crunching the numbers AND they also don’t have the proper tools to work with, you run the risk of experiencing accounting mistakes. Nothing is more demoralizing for an employee than to see that his company messed up his paycheck AGAIN.

Fortunately, small and medium business owners these days have solutions to their payroll accounting woes. They can actually outsource their payroll requirements. There are many payroll service companies that can do the job for you while you focus on other pressing matters. While you take care of your business, they take care of the numbers in the background.

You might ask, what exactly are the advantages of hiring a third party to handle your company’s payroll? I believe Andrew Stratton has the simplest answers to that question. He wrote this great Small Business CEO Magazine article, “Small Business Payroll Solutions” that tell us what they are.

  • They can handle your payroll needs with accuracy. No more half-baked math for you! :)
  • They get the job done while adhering to the latest rules and regulations of business accounting and principles.
  • They can do much more than employee’s paychecks. You can trust them to correctly handle debits cards, direct deposits and tax-related concerns.
  • They will keep you up to speed on your company’s finances and compliance.
  • They can service you wherever you are based, thanks to telecommuting opportunities provided by the Internet.
  • They charge reasonable rates. You save money by outsourcing instead of maintaining bookkeepers on staff. Your bottom line will thank you for it! :)

While you’re gathering your short list of third-party payroll solution providers, why not also look into getting your own bookkeeping software for your business? A growing business such as yours may not be able to afford bigger staff to do your books yet, nor afford the software that larger companies utilize. But there are bookkeeping software that can still meet your accounting and database requirements.

When shopping around for one, what exactly do you need to look for? Here are some great tips from Ron Aldo whose article “Small Business Bookkeeping Software” was also featured in Small Business CEO Magazine:

  • A small business bookkeeping software should have standard bookkeeping operations such as “accounts payable and receivables, price quotes, merchandise stock, (and) orders.”
  • Each function of the software must be integrated into each other. That means that you shouldn’t be constantly entering previous data for another function. It should save you time, which translates to money in the long run.
  • The software you select must have a reporting function so you can check on how your company is doing.
  • In business, numbers are king and one of the things that can tell you if you’re thriving or struggling is a clear report stating your expenses, debts and earnings.
  • It must have an audit trail feature that tells you who accessed the system down to the last detail. This is an important asset security for any business owner.
  • It must be accessible and user friendly. As a business owner who may be traveling from one location to another, you don’t want a business software that restricts you to your headquarters. It’s important that you can access this software anywhere and anytime so you can be on top of any changes and trends within your business operations.

As your company grows, your needs change and you need more people on board to help you. Make outsourcing and alternative software solutions your best friends until the numbers tell you, “Now you can increase your staff.” :)

Adaire


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