Choosing a Payroll Service: A Buying Guide for Businesses

Looking for an online payroll service in 2018? Here’s all you need to know about what an online payroll service is, what it provides and how to choose one. In the event that you already know very well what you’re looking for, visit our best picks site to see those we recommend, and a complete list of others that may work for you.

What’s Online Payroll?

Online payroll services operate in the cloud. They don’t really require any software to be installed or looked after, and businesses can manage and run payroll from everywhere. They may be used to pay full-time and part-time employees as well as deal and freelance employees.

How do you think you’re managing payroll?

  • In-house
  • Using a payroll service
  • Not currently control payroll
  • Other

What to Look For in a Payroll Service

Not all payroll serviceproviders offer the same degree of service. The experts we spoke with said there are a few specific services and tools smaller businesses should look for from a payroll provider, including:


Besides payroll control and the handling of most tax responsibilities, LaMarche said businesses should find out if the service offers direct deposit, multiple wage rates, garnishment repayments, paid-time-off management and detailed payroll reports.

Ease to make use of.

The payroll service should not be too complex to understand. It should have a clean and easy-to-use program which allows you to run your payroll and add employees into the system in just a matter of minutes, instead of a subject of hours.


Businesses want to discover a service they can afford. “Small businesses should ensure that the price of the payroll service meets to their budget structure before committing,” Rietsema informed Business News Daily.

Furthermore to cost, additionally you need to determine if a deal is necessary. Many services are powered by a month-to-month basis with no long-term contracts, while some require annual commitments.

Proven specialist.

LaMarche said it’s important to discover a provider that comes with an established background.

“I don’t typically advise that a company be the first individual with a new payroll system,” LaMarche said. “Payroll is a crucial area of the business to get right. Without correct payroll, employees won’t stay; no employees equals no business.”


You want a payroll service that integrates with the programs you already are using. Ralph Matlack, director of product management for Intuit’s Small Business Payroll, said there are several payroll integrations that can simplify the financial lives of small enterprises.

“A few of the most popular ones include integration with accounting software, which allow payroll solutions to sync data in the accounting general ledger,” Matlack said.

Another important integration is with time and presence systems.

Now that you have the basics, you might be prepared to make some decisions about which online payroll service is right for you. If you want to see our advice, check out our best picks for online payroll services.

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