A summary of payroll options for small businesses
As a business owner, you often have to wear many hats, like hiring manager, customer service manager or vice president of operations. With all these responsibilities, it's hard to find the time to do what's most important - building business and sales. One of the most time-consuming roles you may have to take on is payroll manager. Due to the time involved in processing payroll, calculating pay, setting up direct deposits and paying taxes, many employers are choosing to outsource payroll, freeing themselves to work on other aspects of their business.
If you think that you might benefit from outsourcing payroll, it's important to do your homework and understand the options available to you. According to Focus.com, these are some of the most popular:
- Intuit Online Payroll: If you use QuickBooks accounting software, you may want to consider using it to pay your employees. Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, offers a payroll module that can help you process payroll. You don't even need to have QuickBooks to use this Internet-based payroll service.
- SurePayroll: Another online payroll system is SurePayroll. A nice feature of this program is that it files your payroll tax returns for you. The maker of the program, Paychex, will also assist you with the IRS if questions come up.
- XpressPayroll: Available from CompuPay, XpressPayroll was designed to help you process your payroll more efficiently - "in seven mouse clicks," to be exact. It offers "tax filing, compliance and payment for all payroll taxing authorities for one state; direct deposit for all employees; check and report printing on your site; online pay stub detail and W-2 forms; a general ledger link; and online reports."
- Paychex: If you're looking for a more sophisticated Web-based system, you may want to consider Paychex online services. You can access a range of features, including multiple rates of pay and complex deductions, 401(k) information, and workers' compensation modules. Paychex can even post payroll data to your general ledger program.
- PayCycle Inc.: This program supports both employee pretax contributions and employer contributions to health savings accounts. It also supports electronic filing of the new IRS Form 944.
- ADP EasyPayNet: A popular choice of many business owners is ADP EasyPayNet payroll service. It offers direct deposit as well as tax depositing and reporting. ADP will even stuff payroll envelopes.
- Peachtree: This small-business accounting program, available from software company Sage, comes with a payroll module that manages direct deposit, provides tax filing, and arranges for pay stub or check deliveries.
- Ovation Payroll: If you're in the retail, legal or accounting business, you may be interested in Ovation. This online payroll company has experienced specialists in these industries.
- PayUSA Inc.: Established decades ago, PayUSA has built its reputation on its Payroll in a Flash service. The company prides itself on delivering reports and check images within hours of receiving your payroll data.
When shopping for payroll providers, be sure to choose one with experience in tax filing and payment. According to Focus.com, the IRS estimates that the average business spends $845 in penalties on miscalculated taxes. Talk to your accountant or tax advisor before making any major decisions.