How to you choose the right payroll partner?
Although there are processes and data involved in payroll, don’t forget that at the heart of a good outsourcing experience is trust in the provider and confidence in the people you are dealing with. For the arrangement to work there needs to be a solid understanding of the capabilities and services being provided.
Underpinning the relationship must be trust that the payroll provider has the resources and technical ability to deliver a competent service.
But all payrolls are not equal and many industry sectors have special requirements or nuances of their payroll that require specialist knowledge and experience. It may be that there are variable contracts, short approval times or high numbers of non UK workers. Whatever the make-up of your payroll ensure your provider has the expertise to handle it.
Supplier or partner?
You want to be working with a payroll provider who is not purely interested in short term gains. A company that is willing to spend the time to get to know your business is proactive in their recommendations and can grow and change with your business.
Going the extra mile
Your provider should be open to being in contact regularly and be forward-thinking in the recommendations and information they give you. After all, the world of payroll is never a static one.
You should be given a dedicated named contact (or team) in order to give business continuity. And, like all good business partnerships, the outsourcer should build a relationship over time by staying close to your business so they become part of your team.
An important factor in finding the right partner in any business area, but especially something as sensitive and crucial as payroll, is their attitude to people.
What are their levels of staff turnover?
Do they empower their staff to deal with queries and be proactive for their clients?
It is a sad fact that the payroll outsourced industry has in the past been driven by the cheapest ‘per payslip’ price.
Whilst on the surface this may look like good news for you as the buyer, the reality is that all too often this is achieved by stripping out costs for things that actually have to be provided, such as starters and leavers. These ‘additions’ then get added on leaving you with unexpected, and unbudgeted for, costs. Make sure you understand everything that is and isn’t included in the price quoted.
Although some of the more pragmatic facts such as price will play a part in your choice of payroll partner, don’t forget some of these ‘softer’ factors. If you are to build a long and successful partnership with your payroll supplier, these are areas that need to be considered at the outset.