5 Questions for your Payroll Service Providers
From lockdown measures to the economic uncertainty, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all businesses. Every business has had to review how they do business and how to deal with the unknown.
Managing a recruitment agency is a significant and time-consuming task. Finding and placing candidates, dealing with clients, large volumes of administration, the list goes on, and this is without having to worry about the intricacies of recruitment payroll.
On top of this, recruitment agencies have unique needs when it comes to processing payroll, there is a magnitude of legislation in place to protect temporary workers such as minimum wage regulations, the agency workers regulations, holiday accruals, SSP and much more. In addition, there are different types of staffing solutions including temporary workers, salaried staff and those on long-term contracts that could raise issues with maternity and paternity, which is why many use an outsourced provider.
For recruitment agencies, reviewing how you do business could mean downsizing your PSL to a few reliable payroll service providers.
As an expert PAYE umbrella company, we at Unified Payroll have put together five questions agencies must ask payroll providers to ensure their candidates are always paid. These questions will help you decide if you are currently using reliable payroll service providers and what to look for when looking for new payroll companies.
What Business Continuity Plans Do You Have in Place?
The only thing more conventional than "keeping the books" is screwing them up. This is why contractors want assurances that they will be paid on time, without any hassle.
Choosing the best and most reliable payroll service for your needs can help you to reduce bookkeeping and other errors.
When the UK government put the country into lockdown in March, many businesses were forced to work from home. Some companies used their tried and tested continuity plans which were already in place. In contrast, others had to scramble around to cope, which ultimately impacted candidates being paid on time.
As it is with businesses, change is something that is a foregone conclusion and a given. Thus, it is imperative that vendors be key players when ushering and implementing change within the company structure.
When choosing a PSL you should consider:
- What add-on services do you offer, what is included, and what is not?
Many payroll service providers offer a variety of add-on services besides simple payroll and tax accounting, such as accounts, time and attendance, employment law, migration, workplace health and safety and HR.
Make sure you ask for such add-on services. That way you can save a lot of money and improve efficiency.
- Does my payroll provider’s customer service provide value?
The right customer service team can help you get the most out of your payroll solution. When evaluating your payroll system – and comparing others – the customer service model should be a top consideration.
If the only customer service offered is a “Contact Us” page or call centre number on the payroll provider’s website, this should be a red flag.
Business owners should expect live, real-person support via email, phone, and chat, in addition to detailed online FAQs and tutorials.
Look for a payroll provider that offers a dedicated customer service team. This team will know your account inside and out, making them better equipped to answer any questions you have – and help you get the most value out of your payroll and talent management system in your time of need.
- Can your service scale up or down to meet my business needs?
Your payroll needs will grow proportionate to your business and staff growth, so you will want to make sure that your online payroll vendor offers the ability to add additional users and employees to your account.
To ensure that the vendor can handle your needs over the long haul, ask which added services can be offered over time and for how much.
- Does my payroll system provide the insights I need to measure overall business health?
Your payroll system should provide robust talent management analytics so various stakeholders in your company can gauge overall business health. These insights include, turnover analysis, benefit plan spend, wage spend, headcount analysis, new hire analysis and employee profitability.
Using this data, you can be better equipped to make key business decisions, such as hiring or letting go of employees based on business need and improving business operations if you see high turnover rates.
Is Your Invoicing and Payments Process Straight Forward?
For a contractor to be paid on time with an umbrella company, the invoicing and payments process must be quick and easy to follow. Your payroll service provider having an efficient and straightforward process saves time, reduces stress, and allows payments to happen on time. If the invoicing and payments process is confusing to you as an agency, it will not be easy for your candidate, which could result in late payments.
An umbrella company with an easy invoicing and payments process saves you time, takes away stress and allows your candidates to always get paid.
A straightforward process is the goal, but to accomplish this task does your payroll service provider assist you with the following.
- What happens when tax filings are wrong?
- Can they process payslips for all types of employees?
- Can they pay your employees by both direct deposits and physical checks?
- Does the software calculate and track PTO or vacation days?
- Can employees easily access their own payroll accounts?
What Accreditations Do You Have as a Payroll Service Provider?
It is one thing for a payroll provider to say they provide a reliable payroll service, but it is better to ask for proof to verify this. A diligent and trusted umbrella company will have accreditations with industry compliance bodies like FCSA or Professional Passport. FCSA and Professional passport conduct regular audits to ensure that their accredited members are compliant and efficient while meeting the highest standard of payroll.
These accreditations give you the agency the assurance and certainty that the internal payroll processes and expertise of your payroll provider meet the golden standard for the temporary employment market. The evidence of these accreditations will always be available on the FCSA or Professional Passport websites so you can always fact check umbrella company accreditations.
What Do Contractors Say About Your Payroll Service?
As a recruitment agency, your success as a business relies on the level of payroll service your candidates receive. It is easy for payroll service providers to promise a good level of service, but it is best to hear how an umbrella company is doing straight from their contractors.
Service review websites like Trustpilot or Feefo allow you to see contractor reviews of payroll service providers. Looking at these first-hand reviews will allow you to gauge if a payroll company consistently pay their contractors accurately.
How Can Your Payroll Service Support the Legislative Changes of the Future?
This year has been a year of many changes from the government applying lockdown measures to IR35 being postponed until April 2021.
Most industries have plenty of red tape to contend with. But few can match recruitment for touching on so many areas of tax, NI, and employment legislation. Handing payroll over to a dedicated payroll provider means compliance becomes their problem, not yours.
With all this uncertainty, you need to ensure your payroll service provider has the expertise to support you and your contractors through the legislative changes that may occur in the future. As rules change, your payroll provider should be on top of it, and you will have recourse against them if they’re not.
Asking accredited payroll service providers about their support for IR35 is one of the best ways to ensure you and your candidates are in good hands.
An accredited payroll service provider will be able to guide and support you with IR35 and other future changes, so everyone is on the same page and more importantly paid with no problems from HMRC. An accredited umbrella company will have the expertise, processes, and best practice for IR35 while being regularly updated on the latest legal developments and best practice.
Is my business compliant?
Keeping up with constantly changing compliance regulations can be a never-ending cycle, and your business can face steep fines or lawsuits for seemingly simple mistakes.
What you should look for in a payroll provider: Partner with a team that has compliance experts with a strong understanding of federal and state-specific regulations.
So, Who Do I Pick as My Payroll Service Provider?
If you a looking for a reliable and trusted umbrella payroll company Unified Payroll is the only choice. As one of the few umbrella companies to have FCSA and Professional Passport accreditation, our service, knowledge, and expertise are unmatched.
We can answer all the above questions with ease, but more importantly, we can prove that we pay candidates on time every time.
If you have any questions about referring candidates to us, HMRC guidelines, IR35 or AWR legislation, you can contact our expert sales team.
If you want to discuss Our sales team are available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.