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Payroll Services Explained: A Smart Businessowner’s Guide
Payroll Services Explained: A Smart Businessowner’s Guide
July 25, 2019 / Sarah Pritzker
Payroll Services Explained: A Smart Businessowner’s Guide
July 25, 2019 / Sarah Pritzker
It's no secret that managers and employers hate payroll. It takes hours to process, requires mind-numbing attention to detail, and comes with hefty repercussions if you screw up. No, nobody likes doing payroll. Fortunately, in 2019, the smart business owner knows that they don't have to anymore. With payroll services like Gusto and Intuit, you can have your entire payroll processing automated. So, everything is done automatically, without your input, and free from costly human errors.
Not sure what a payroll service is all about and whether or not it can help your business? Check out this comprehensive guide to payroll software and discover what you’ve been missing out on until now.
What is a Payroll Service?
Payroll services are any type of service that processes your company’s payroll for you. These services come in several forms, including full service and software. While some corporations opt for a full-fledged payroll service, most businesses prefer the convenience and security of payroll software. We’ll get into a few of the differences below, but suffice it to say that both payroll services and payroll software add tremendous value to your business with features like:
  • Tax filing and compliance adherence
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Paycheck stub generation
  • Detailed record keeping
  • Syncing with other business applications
  • Attendance tracking
  • Vacation and sick day calculations
Many payroll services will even provide HR benefits and services, hiring and onboarding, and accounting services. So, you really get a ton from this one piece of software.
What’s in it for Me? Payroll Services Benefits
Payroll services sound great. But you’re a savvy business owner, so you’re going to need to see the money. What can payroll software do for your business? How will this type of service benefit your company? And will the costs outweigh the advantages gained (ROI) at the end of the day? Let’s take a look.
Increased efficiency
Studies have shown that payroll processing and accounts balancing can take 40 hours a month for the average manager. 40 hours a month! That’s a tremendous amount of time that one of your top employees can use to do other, more important tasks (like managing their team, allocating resources, or analyzing data for better efficiency). With payroll software, your manager doesn’t have to do a thing. The system is automated, so everything runs hands-free. You set it and forget it, freeing up your most valuable employees to do the work they’re really good at and are needed for.
Plus, payroll is a tedious, annoying task. Taking this time-consuming frustration off their plates can only help to increase productivity and bolster more positive attitudes around the workplace.
No human error
Another extremely important benefit of payroll software is the lack of human error. According to statistics, businesses paid out more than a billion dollars in fines, miscalculations, and redistribution fees caused by improperly processed payroll. Mistakes happen. We get it. You may have put a period in the wrong place. You leave out an important digit. You press delete on the wrong cell. Unfortunately, these little mistakes can add up to major issues and costly fines for businesses. Payroll software eliminates this pricey issue.
Tax compliance
Just when you thought payroll services couldn't get any better, they go and throw in tax compliance and filing into the mix. Tax filing is another time-consuming and frustrating task nobody likes to do. To make matters worse, tax regulations are constantly changing. So, unless you have someone with their finger on the pulse all the time, you are likely to make mistakes in your tax calculations (and an expensive mistake, to be sure). Fortunately, payroll software takes care of all of your tax filing and compliance requirements. You'll be fully compliant, always up to date, and calculator-free. What a relief!
Payroll software also offers better security by keeping your sensitive data in-house (a benefit the software option has over the outsourced payroll service option).
Find the Best Payroll Services Out There
Ready to take this arduous task off your plate? Then check out our top picks for best payroll services in 2019.
  • Great option for small and medium businesses
  • Tons of integrations
  • Customer-centric work ethic
  • Mandated deductions require manual updates
  • Weekend support needs work
Gusto is easily one of the most popular payroll software options today. How do we know? Just ask one of the 40000+ customers currently using the service. With a focus on quality service regardless of your business' size or industry, Gusto has a reputation for delivering superior services to startups, SMBs, and medium-sized businesses of every kind. And what an array of services. Gusto offers payroll processing, HR benefits, onboarding, time management, and more. No wonder so many companies trust Gusto with their business.
  • Lots of HR benefits options
  • Full service or DIY options
  • Includes multi-state tax filing
  • Must contact sales for pricing details
  • Personal account manager only available after signup
ADP has been in the business of payroll processing for decades, so it certainly knows what it’s doing. The beauty of working with ADP is that you get everything handed to you on a silver platter. This service takes care of all your payroll needs from start to finish, and you don’t have to worry about a thing. For those who want more control, ADP offers a comprehensive and intuitive online dashboard where you can upload information, make changes, and set up permissions with ease.
  • Tremendous name in the industry
  • Mobile-friendly system for easy, on-the-go access
  • Identity theft protection available
  • Hard website to navigate
  • Pricing isn’t clear
Deluxe is not your typical payroll service. In fact, Deluxe is a financial company providing a wide range of services to businesses, including logo design, business checks, email marketing, and social media management. Payroll is just one of the many feathers in Deluxe’s hat. With such a huge business, you can be sure you’re getting top quality services, including perks like an all-inclusive payroll system that is easy to use, sleek mobile app for on-the-go access, and full tax compliance. Deluxe also has great customer support.
  • Strong set of additional features
  • Full tax compliance and filing
  • Resource management for increased ROI
  • So many features can get overwhelming
  • Basic plan doesn’t offer much
If you have a business, you've no doubt heard of QuickBooks. This strong accounting software is the backbone of a staggering 4.6 million companies, those who've entrusted their most complex and sensitive details to this reliable service. So, when QuickBooks offers payroll software, you can be sure there will be a long cue lining up to participate! In addition to all the usual payroll services, Intuit by QuickBooks offers even more value with features like invoice management, comprehensive reporting tools, receipts management. It's details like these that really make Intuit a cut above the rest.
  • Free magstripe reader
  • Includes built-in payment processor
  • Great choice for mobile and micro-businesses
  • Not as many integrations as other competitors
  • Lacks certain features
Square is an advocate for the little guys. An excellent choice for freelancers, micro-businesses, mobile businesses, and small to medium-sized businesses, Square really caters its offerings to those who are too small for the major corporations to notice them. The list of features is pretty impressive for such a small company too. You can get full tax filing and calculations, an employment management system, and syncing with Xero software for effortless data integration. Square also tosses in tons of freebies like free magstripe reader when you sign up.
Take a Load Off With Automated Payroll Software
Nobody likes doing payroll, and with such great alternatives, why would you even bother? Employ a reliable, efficient, and affordable payroll service to do your dirty work for you. And then you can kick back and enjoy the perks of more time on your hands.
By Sarah Pritzker
Sarah Pritzker is a professional writer who loves scouring the web looking for the coolest products and services at the best prices. Sarah writes for Sarah has lived and traveled all over the world, but has finally settled down with her family in the Middle East - and yes, she misses winter!