Professional payroll companies should, at the very least, be competent in processing your payroll and payroll taxes promptly and accurately. After all, payroll tax laws are complex and constantly in flux — that’s why you’re hiring someone to get the job done right! But the service experience shouldn’t end there. Here’s our checklist for you, the payroll client, so you can make an informed decision about the quality of service you’re getting from your payroll provider.
1. They answer your phone calls (or emails).
What happens when you need to get in touch with your payroll company? Do you need to navigate a menu of options, or enter a five-digit extension? Are your emails answered by a human, or a robot?
When you try to get in touch with your payroll provider, it’s best to have an real human on the other end. This should be someone who is familiar with your account, so they can answer any questions, concerns, or complaints in a timely manner.
Bottom Line: Make sure your payroll company gives you appropriate, prompt responses!
2. They address your concerns.
As a small business owner, you’re going to run into your fair share of tax notices from the state and IRS. Some of these letters can seem intimidating, or you may have questions about what next steps are needed.
Your payroll provider should be responsive to your concerns about your payroll taxes. Sure, many of these letters are simple notices, but you’re bound to have “what should I do next?” questions. It’s important to you and your business, that you understand what these notices are, and why you’ve received them.
Bottom Line: Make sure your payroll company adequately
addresses your concerns!
3. They listen to your complaints.
What happens if your employees’ checks aren’t going to the right place? Or if you need to make a correction to your account?
Of course, no one ever wants to talk about things going wrong. And most payroll companies will do their best to avoid issues. But if a problematic situation ever does come up, you should feel confident that your payroll company will handle the issue in a prompt and professional manner.
Bottom Line: Make sure that you can trust your payroll provider to correct any issues that may come up!
4. They’re helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable
Who do you get when you need to ask a question? Is it some data entry clerk? Is the person on the other end of the phone just going through a task-list of questions? Or do you have to wait for a call-back while your question is escalated up to someone who is actually knowledgeable?
When you speak to your payroll provider, you deserve to talk to an actual payroll professional. Talking directly to a payroll expert means that you get simple, straightforward answers to your questions. They should make you feel comfortable and confident when it comes to your payroll and payroll tax compliance.
Bottom Line: Make sure that the person your payroll company has you talking to is a payroll expert!
5. They value your business.
Are you just another account that someone’s been tasked with? Would they personally handle an unusual request for you, or call a tax authority on your behalf? Do they take the extra steps to make you happy and keep you as a customer?
Your payroll provider should respect and value your business. This is actually where you’ll see a lot of payroll providers cutting corners, especially large and regional operators. Surprisingly, they expect to lose 10-20% of their clients every year, but this is just a calculated trade-off between losing clients and increasing revenue per client. In other words, they can afford to lose you. That’s why it’s important to choose a payroll provider that cares about your business. You know you’ll get better service when their goal is to keep every client happy.
Bottom Line: Make sure you’re receiving value from a payroll company that values your business.