How To Evaluate Payroll Service Bureau Software

Literally thousands of companies offer payroll service bureau software and are competing for your business. How do you wade through the sheer volume of information to choose the best payroll business software for your specific needs?

First, it helps to break down payroll providers into size; this will at least reduce the number you are considering.

payroll service bureau software

Large Payroll Providers

Large, national companies who provide payroll business software have many positives:

They are very stable, safe choices. Most of these payroll providers have been in business for decades, and are going to be around for years to come. With national payroll business software, you have no need to worry about the company going out of business suddenly or being bought out by another company.

Large business payroll service bureau software goes beyond plain-vanilla payroll and provides the ability to handle more complex situations. Should your small practice grow larger, these national payroll providers can move up with you to provide enhanced services and technology.

A national payroll outsourcing services company does have a few negatives, however:

  • National payroll business software is usually the most expensive.
  • If you are assigned a great customer service representative (CSR) to help you with your payroll service system, you may not keep the same CSR for very long; with large payroll providers, the CSR is where most operations people begin on the career ladder. This means the best CSR's move up to other positions, the worst are let go, and the mediocre stay indefinitely. In addition, many national payroll providers are increasingly outsourcing their customer service offshore to places like India; if you would prefer speaking to an American CSR, you may be more satisfied with a medium or small payroll provider.
  • Large payroll providers may not move as quickly to provide the most up-to-date technology. Though this may seem counter-intuitive, it is actually rather difficult for the larger payroll service bureaus to change payroll platforms quickly; they have many, many clients which will need to be moved over to any new payroll service bureau software which takes time and resources. What you may get instead is an old platform which is "dressed up" to look more sophisticated than it really is.
  • Medium Payroll Service Bureau Software Providers

    Medium sized payroll providers are usually regional players. While they offer fewer features than the national payroll service systems, most businesses will probably find they offer all that is necessary for efficient payroll outsourcing.

    Medium sized payroll providers usually charge less than a national payroll service, which is attractive if you are not interested in the extra features the larger payroll services provide.

    This sized payroll service provider, however, can be targeted to be purchased by the larger, national payroll business software providers. If that happens, you will probably be forced to change payroll service bureau software platforms to conform with the services the new company provides. Getting to know the new system can be time consuming, and frustrating if you were satisfied with the system you originally decided upon.

    Small Payroll Service Companies

    Small Payroll Services usually offer the least expensive option, but with a bit more risk: these companies may be the least stable, being most likely to either go out of business or be bought out by a bigger company. While they offer the fewest features, a small business will probably find all the features they need.

    Recommendations and References

    After you have decided which size payroll provider is best for your situation, get recommendations from trusted sources, such as your CPA. Also, be sure to ask each payroll provider for references. You will get more information from speaking to current clients than you ever will from their website.

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