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By Dianne Rudolph

Topics: Payroll


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You’ve decided to outsource payroll. It’s an effective, popular decision that comes with perks. Payroll can be one of the most time-consuming tasks in your business, and it’s never over. Your HR staff will finish one payroll cycle just to begin another one almost immediately.

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Payroll processing is also much more intricate than most people believe. When you can save yourself time, money, and some headaches, it’s little wonder why more businesses are turning toward sending their payroll activities to outside experts.

Of course, when it comes to partnering with an outside vendor, you have options. As with almost anything, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to payroll service providers. If you’ve been wondering if you’ve made the wrong move and it’s time to switch payroll companies, keep an eye out for these five signs.

1. You Can Never Get a Hold of Them

Whether you’re sending email after unanswered email or you end up on hold for what feels like hours, you just can’t get a response from your payroll provider. It can take weeks to sort out what should be a simple correction or to get an answer to a question.

Delays and problems are almost inevitable when communication breaks down between the provider and the client. If you can’t get your provider on the line, it’s time to switch payroll companies.

2. There’s a High Error Rate

Do you feel like there’s a new error from your payroll company every time you turn around? It’s not an uncommon feeling for those who have sent their payroll activities out of house, unfortunately.

High error rates are particularly common with the largest payroll providers. Worse, they’re usually the ones you have the most trouble getting on the phone. Are you really saving time and money if you’re spending hours sorting out a new payroll error every week?

Chances are you’re not, and that’s why it’s time to switch payroll companies.

3. There Are Hidden Fees

This is another common tactic from the big payroll service providers. The hidden fee crops up seemingly from nowhere. You may argue with the provider, trying to convince them this was included in your services, but they’ll eventually wear you down.

Most of the time, these fees are for services you thought were included. The contract was vague or the wording was designed to make you think you were getting more than you actually were. Most often, hidden fees are charged for services you actually need. Maybe you thought you had tax services only to realize you have to pay the company extra to actually send out the W-2s they prepared for your employees.

If you’ve been stung by hidden fees, it’s time to switch payroll companies to a more honest and upfront provider.

4. Deadlines Are Missed

What other obvious signs should you look for if you’re wondering if it’s time to switch payroll providers? Missed deadlines.

Your payroll provider should be in a position to meet your deadlines almost without exception. While there can be extenuating circumstances, most of the time you’re going to know about the situation.

If, on the other hand, payroll is often late or you’ve had to pay penalties to the IRS for late remittances, it’s time to cut your losses and switch payroll companies. This company is costing you more than they’re worth in terms of additional fees and stress.

5. There’s Always a New Agent

How often do you talk to the same person about your account? Do you find yourself explaining the years’ long history of your account every time you get on the phone, inevitably with a new agent?

High turnover means you’re getting poor customer service. It’s time to switch payroll companies and find someone who can offer you the best in customer service.


Dianne Rudolph

Dianne is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Paymedia, LLC. She has a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry. Skilled in crisis management, business planning, customer acquisition, and coaching, she is a strong sales professional with 25 years of experience in the payroll industry. Through Paymedia, she offers clients results through iSolved, a platform that meets their needs today and that they won’t outgrow tomorrow. With five years' experience as an entrepreneur, Dianne has also taught herself how to launch and manage a successful business from the ground up. She lives has two grown children. As an empty nester, it gives Dianne time to pay it forward in her free time. Her mission is to help and give back. Her true inner peace is found at the beach and through yoga and massage.

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