by Michael Alter, CEO and President of SurePayroll
One of the greatest recurring expenses for a small business is payroll. Its impact goes beyond the bottom line as small business payroll is about paying mortgages, feeding families and not running afoul of local, state and federal regulations. Approximately 33 percent of small businesses nationwide trust their payroll to an outside source.
When it comes to your payroll – you want to ensure you have peace of mind. Not only that your employees are paid accurately and on time, but also that your taxes are being filed accurately and on time. And there is a lot of sensitive data at stake. There are services that can really help small business owners. Asking the right questions and demanding the answers will help protect your business.
I suggest small business owners ask the following questions:
1. Is the provider registered with and do they have any complaints registered against them with the Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau or state Attorney General’s office? Check out complaints – not just whether there are complaints but also the nature, and whether or not those complaints have been resolved. Also you’ll want to know if there has been a rise in complaints in recent months or years.
2. Has the provider passed appropriate IRS assurances?
3. What is the credit report score of the company? You may want to run a credit report on the provider for a small fee so you can get a clear window into their recent credit history.
4. How many clients do they serve and for how long? Ask them to list clients who have been with them for many years. Then call a few. Ask whether they noticed any service issues. Ask if the clients have had problems with filings in the past. Ask whether any of those clients verified that filings have indeed been made.
5. How does the provider keep your information secure? There is a lot of sensitive data at stake. You’ll want to ensure the company provides cutting edge security technologies and techniques to keep your data secure and available when you need it. Ask if their data center is alarmed and monitored 24/7.
President and CEO of SurePayroll Michael Alter is responsible for the overall business model development, strategic planning and day-to-day operations for SurePayroll, a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex®. Alter joined SurePayroll in 2000 after more than five years with McKinsey and Company, where he was a founder and leader of its Service Operations Practice.