1. Is your provider using a secure and up to date, cloud based platform?
Your payroll software platform should be easy to use and quick to set up. How flexible is the system to cater for the changing needs of your business, is it scalable? Does the system integrate with your accounting software? Can you run reports or have reports automatically sent to staff within your business? Where is the data stored and what backup procedures are in place?
2. Will you have a dedicated payroll consultant?
As with any business partnership, fit is important. Likewise, payroll outsourcing arrangements are critical to your business. Ultimately, you need to know that your service provider clearly understands your needs. Some payroll providers are highly segmented. This means that you may need to deal with a few different people. Above all, you should seek to have consistent contacts from implementation through to go live and beyond.
3. Exactly what services will be provided?
It’s important to receive a clear list of each of the services that will be provided including a list of specific reports. For example, are superannuation payments on your behalf included? Similarly for STP reporting and PAYG lodgement options? Don’t be afraid to ask for all of the items on your wish list. It’s fair to expect that you may not get everything, however its best to know up front.
4. How do you manage time and attendance or rostering?
This is often overlooked. There are some highly flexible time and attendance and rostering systems available. Do you need remote sign on or sign off? Is there an app for mobile devices? What about manager dashboards and real time monitoring?
5. What is available to support Award Interpretation and automatic pay rules?
There are many media stories about companies ‘who should know better’. For instance, companies that have misinterpreted complex Award Conditions or underpaid an allowance. Accordingly, ask about embedded Award interpretation, ATO updates and automatic pay rules management.
6. Are you Single Touch Payroll Compliant?
Your payroll provider should have STP lodgements available at no extra charge.
7. What other support services can you provide?
In addition to the questions above, ask about additional services. For example employment law, HR management, recruitment and workplace health and safety. As you grow, it’s great to know you can talk to someone who already understands your business.