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Whether you employ 7 or 7,000 staff, payroll is a necessary part of running your business. But there are many benefits to getting someone else to take on the often complex task of running your payroll for you.

There are hundreds if not thousands of companies out there offering payroll services, and choosing between them can be a complex and time-consuming task in itself. However, by understanding what options are available to you and not being afraid to discuss your needs with potential new business partners, you can give yourself the best possible chance of finding the right payroll provider for you and your business, at the right price.

Benefits Of Professional Payroll Services

Looking after the legal side

From holiday pay to the minimum wage and from the living wage to the apprenticeship levy; understanding the many legal obligations related to calculating exactly how much you need to pay your team every month can be incredibly complex. There can be stiff penalties, or even the prospect of a naming and shaming from HMRC, if you get it wrong.

An issue that brings us nicely onto:

Dealing with HMRC

If you’re running a business, the chances are you’ve had dealings with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs before. Although it’s a necessary part of running a company, we all know it can be incredibly time-consuming waiting on hold to speak to the tax office – time which you could better spend running your organisation. Letting a professional payroll services company manage your day to day relationship with HMRC will save you time, and the legal headache of worrying about passing on all the correct information.

Real-time information (RTI)

With the recent requirement to present payroll information to HMRC in real time, many businesses have had to pay for costly payroll software. Payroll companies can handle this onerous task for you, running their own software, saving you the upfront cost of setting up your own HR payroll system or having a dedicated payroll department with its own costly software to maintain, manage and update.

Additional benefits

Many payroll companies UK can offer you additional benefits and services within your contract. These may include:

• Access to employee assistance programmes
• Enabling your team to purchase childcare vouchers
• Offering benefits such as staff discount or cycle-to-work schemes.

Payroll providers, because they are working with a number of companies at any one time, can buy into schemes like these in bulk and so may be able to offer considerable discounts over running a scheme in house.

Specialist advice

When problems do arise, such as disputes over tax, holiday pay, or the minimum wage, professional companies can provide you with the specialist advice – and often legal support – you need to get your company back on an even keel, and keep business going in the meantime.

Pensions auto-enrolment

With new regulations regarding pensions, especially the highly complex issue of auto-enrolment – managing payroll solutions has become even more complex than ever. Professional payroll providers are experts in ensuring that you meet your obligations to your employees, and can take the worry, stress, and cost out of setting up and managing your workplace pension.

A professional appearance

Image matters, even within your own team. Payroll companies will produce professional, personalised, and legally compliant payslips, P60s, P45s and other documentation for you as part of the payroll services they provide.

Payroll documents

Choosing Between Payroll Providers

So, once you’ve decided to work with an external company to look after your payroll UK rules (especially in the public or charity sectors), you need to find the best value for money. This isn’t only about the headline cost, though; it’s important to take into account what level of service you can expect for what you pay.

You should also carefully consider what you need from your payroll providers, so that you can ensure that any quotes you get from payroll companies include all the services that you will need. Use Cost Compare Limited to find the best and most cost-effective payroll provider for your business.

As well as the list above, some key considerations when choosing who will provide your payroll services should be:

Capacity

Especially for large companies, does the potential payroll provider have the capacity to manage your contract with them and run your payroll? If not, are they willing to take on extra staff, or invest in new solutions, to enable them to meet your needs successfully?

If the answer to these questions is no, you would be well advised to look elsewhere. Small and medium sized businesses may have less to think about in this area, and so a wider range of payroll companies to choose from. That said, if you are in this group, you should still consider carefully the ability of the payroll company you choose to deliver the services they offer, and look elsewhere if you’re not satisfied.

Other services

Many payroll solutions are offered by large providers who may also be able to support your business in other areas. These could include accounting, general HR or recruitment to name but a few. If you are looking for any other business support services at the same time as your new payroll provider, are any of the companies you are considering able to offer you a packaged deal?

Often, by taking more than one service from the same company you will be able to negotiate a significant discount compared to separate contracts. You will also have the peace of mind of only needing to pay one regular bill, and reduce the complexity of running your business by only having to deal with one other company.

Local companies vs. household names

Another consideration – and this one is probably more personal to you and your business – will be whether you want to deal with a large, national or multinational company to run your payroll, or whether you are more comfortable with a local firm where you can put a face to the name.

For some, going big will be the only viable option. However, many small and medium businesses will be able to work with a local payroll provider or accountancy company to obtain all the payroll services they need.

Payroll, pen and calculator

The bottom line

At the end of the day, business is about making a profit, and it can be extremely tempting to try to run and manage everything yourself to keep costs down. Nevertheless, bogging yourself down with running your payroll will only give you less time to invest in doing what you are good at – running your business.

Contracting with a payroll services company will ensure that you maximise the time that you and your team can spend doing your jobs, running your business, and making a profit.

Your business will also benefit from a reduced risk of mistakes and errors in your payroll, something which will please your employees, and keep you in the HMRC’s good books – potentially avoiding costly penalties and a bad record with the tax-man.

Choosing the right payroll solutions, and making that relatively modest investment in a payroll provider can also help you with staff recruitment, by offering additional employee benefits.

Perhaps most importantly, though, payroll companies can provide you with something which – to any business owner – is priceless: peace of mind. Peace of mind that your team are being paid on time. Peace of mind that you are meeting all of your legal obligations. And, peace of mind that no longer will there be any more late nights, up until the wee small hours running payroll at the end of the month.

To find the best payroll provider for you, start comparing today. Through Cost Compare Limited, we show you the best deals on a range of services and payroll companies.