How to determine the best payroll service for your business

You want to pay your employees on time. You also want to keep up with all those other payroll-related items, like keeping up with tax documents. But that’s not your strong suit. You are an entrepreneur, not an accountant.

Fortunately, many providers offer payroll services. And many companies in the United States take advantage of those services. According to a Deloitte survey, North American companies lead the way in outsourcing when it comes to payroll solutions. Almost seven out of 10 organizations that rely on payroll services are satisfied with the results.

How to determine the best payroll service for your business

Of course, not all payroll providers are suitable for all companies. If you are trying to find the right combination between best payroll services, use the following tips to guide you. They will help you identify which provider is most likely to meet your current and future needs.

1. Choose a payroll service that fits your business size.

Small businesses and startups typically have fewer than 50 employees. On the other hand, enterprise-level companies may have several hundred or thousands of workers. So as you can imagine, the payroll service that is right for one type of business is wrong for another.

Even if one of your personal contacts at another corporation praises a payroll service, do your homework. Don’t sign a contract until you know if it suits your needs well. Otherwise, you could end up overpaying for bells and whistles or not getting exactly the right fit.

2. Find a provider with an optimized reporting platform.

Do you want to check your payroll? You should be able to find everything you need by logging into a cloud-based portal. Ideally, you would hit a few keys and be able to navigate your books effortlessly.

As you may suspect, not all payroll systems are intuitive. Some require more of a learning curve than others. Some are just not easy to follow without a lot of practice. So make sure your payroll service provider’s interface matches your level of technology comfort. Or, find one that matches the comfort level of the person on your team who will be working on your payroll on a regular basis.

3. Give your employees access to view their pay, and more.

You probably have at least some tech natives on your Gen Z payroll. In fact; you can have quite a few of them. According to The New York Times, teens are land high-paying jobs at record rates. Even if they are new to the world of payments, they will want to learn the rules sooner rather than later.

Many payroll services allow your employees to view and download payment information online. Make sure you understand precisely what workers have access to. Remember: you will be one of those workers too, as you are also on the payroll. Stronger systems can even help employees improve their financial literacy when it comes to figuring out tax withholding.

4. Find a payroll services partner with highly qualified customer service.

As a business owner, you know the importance of providing first-rate customer service to consumers. Insist on investing your own money in a payroll provider that does the same. If you don’t, you may end up with more questions than answers, and your employees might as well.

What kinds of customer service options are good to have in a payroll service provider? Of course, it’s always nice to see a provider offering self-service 24/7 through AI-enhanced chats. However, sometimes you will want to speak to a live representative. Make sure you can reach someone during your normal business hours. (This may mean choosing a provider in or near your time zone.)

5. Choose a payroll service that can be integrated with your current software.

Do you use an accounting program or other financial management software? You probably don’t want to give it up, especially if it’s working fine. Accordingly, research payroll service providers with platforms that integrate with technology in their stack.

Of course, if you’re using an old platform, you may not find a service that integrates seamlessly. That is understandable. The same is true if you improvised your payroll system years ago instead of choosing something “out of the box.” Still, if you can make your life easier by not having to invest in more products, you will end up saving money.

6. Compare your payroll service to your corporate growth goals.

You say you want to scale quickly in three years, taking your company from 25 employees to 250 employees? First, you will need to find the right payroll service solution. The last thing you want to do is have to reinvent the wheel in 36 months.

When you start evaluating payroll services, find out which ones can grow with your organization. Even if you have to buy a service that is a little “big” for you now, you might be happy later. Switching payroll services midway can be infuriating and clumsy, especially if you focus on other areas at the same time.

7. Compare the pricing plans for each payroll service. (But don’t get too carried away).

You are in business to make money, which means you want to manage your financial resources. However, you cannot afford to be a penny and a fool. So, when reviewing payroll pricing plans, look for one that fits your budget. At the same time, avoid yielding to the impact of the sticker.

Remember that it takes about five hours on average to calculate employee payroll taxes. (And that’s per pay period). Think of all the money that can be saved internally by outsourcing that one service, let alone other services. So yeah, you want to make sure you get a good deal. Don’t forget that you are paying someone else to do the payroll so your people can focus on other tasks.

Hate the idea of ​​keeping your payroll internally or worse, running payroll manually every week, another week, or month? Then check out the payroll services on the market. You are sure to find one who is ready to support your business and keep your team members happily paid on time, at all times.

Image credit: tima miroshnichenko; pexels; Thank you!

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson

ReadWrite Editor-in-Chief

Brad is the editor who oversees the contributed content on He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at

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