Is your business struggling to run payroll inhouse? Are you worried about being stung by large fines for missing compliance filing deadlines which dent both your bottom line and market reputation? Perhaps you don’t have the time, budget or resources to recruit, train and keep in-house payroll or HR professionals. Or maybe you just want to focus on growing your business rather than the complexities of payroll? If so, the time has come to look to an external provider for professional payroll services.

What are payroll services?

Payroll services are a wide range of activities carried out by third parties for companies who don’t wish to run payroll internally. These activities include calculating staff pay, processing payslips, calculating tax or other mandatory contributions, while keeping accurate records that are compliant with local and overseas legislations. You have the option to choose between partially or fully managed payroll services, depending on how much control you wish to keep. The beauty of this approach is that with a tailored payroll solution, you can scale your support up or down, according to your specific requirements.

There are multiple benefits to be had from handing over this responsibility to the experts, and the six main ones are listed below.

  1. Streamline your payroll processes to boost productivity

    Your company can take advantage of the best people, processes and technology available without having to invest in a larger in-house team. You stay productive and your pay machine keeps running, with minimal involvement from you. This saves you a serious amount of time, when 70 per cent of global payroll processes can be automated by consolidating the management of multiple payroll solutions onto one platform.[1] Just imagine where you could better focus your energies if not hamstrung by repetitive payroll admin.

    Plus, a decent payroll solution will use a cloud-based system, resulting in few errors from connected, automated software. This has massive implications for your business - when errors in calculating and paying taxes are the most common and expensive payroll mistakes.[2] Another huge benefit of this optimised payroll is easier access to accurate data and insights for reporting purposes, helping your teams make more informed strategic decisions.

    Automated, cloud-based payroll also offers your people the ability to self-service. Using their mobile devices, they can update or view their payslips and other workforce information, saving payroll staff (inhouse or external) from a steady stream of admin-related queries. This frees up your teams to focus on more strategic activities that contribute to business growth.

  2. Connect HR with payroll for better reporting

    While we’re talking about time, ever had to log in and out of a dozen different systems just to run one report? The word of the day is integration. Automated, cloud-based payroll will be accessible from one centralised platform. This means when you need to grab up-to-the-minute data for that boardroom presentation, you can do it – fast. Plus, when there is full integration between HR, payroll and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, everyone sees the big picture.

    What we’re talking about here are scalable, modular payroll systems that grow with you. You can scale cost-effectively while catering to your wider employee management needs. Perhaps you want to focus on attracting more top talent and need workforce insights to inform your new hiring strategy. Or you desperately want to keep track of time and attendance across the business now that the majority of staff work remotely. The answer is to start with payroll services, then add on HR, time, talent and other modules as and when you need.

  3. Control your cash to create more resilience

    According to ADP research, 97 per cent of those surveyed see payroll information as a major consideration in cost management strategies.[3] So picking the right payroll services provider goes way beyond making cost-savings, but it’s a good place to start. Better payroll accuracy is going to pay dividends for you, particularly when pay accounts for up to 60 per cent of a company’s business spend.[4]

    When it comes to payroll accuracy, you need to have confidence that the figures are right. Even one error can mean a delayed payroll and dissatisfied staff (who may vote with their feet if this is a regular occurrence). With payroll optimised and digitalised, your outgoings are simplified, with just one regular payment going out to the payroll provider instead of multiple payments to individuals. Plus, the best payroll services providers automatically update their software to maintain compliance. Now you can avoid unexpected expenses or penalties for late or inaccurate tax filing.

  4. Take care of your talent and build your brand

    Partnering with a reputable payroll services provider helps your organisation punch above its weight, as now you’ll have access to market-leading benefits and development programmes through its client network. With pay that is accurate, paid on time, and easy-to-access information, you could notice an uptick in employee engagement. This should be welcome news, as losing and having to replace valued members of staff is costly and time-consuming.

    Plus, integrating your payroll and HR software takes it beyond just transactional efficiencies into a more holistic human capital management solution. It becomes easier for teams to collaborate within the business, for managers to monitor performance and access smart data. Life becomes easier for all stakeholders, and before you know it, you’re on your way to building a great employer brand.

  5. Minimise your risk in a fast-moving landscape

    Regulation is ever-increasing, and indeed since March 2020, ADP compliance experts have dedicated 169,000 hours, or 96 years, to COVID-related legislation.[5] So do your business a favour and reduce your liability by having professional support and advice on tap from a payroll services provider.

    However, compliance isn’t just about box-ticking, it has wider implications. Worried whether your company’s hiring practices are discriminatory? Keen to improve workplace health and safety? Want to ensure that your tax obligations are met for both employees and the business? A robust customer service approach from your payroll services provider will lower your risk and address these issues.

  6. Spend time productively to focus on your strengths

    You and your teams want to focus on the bigger picture, not get snarled up in payroll admin. When your payroll services are catered for, you’re free to do what you do best, while the payroll and HR professionals take on the administrative burden.

    More time to focus also enables you and your teams to look at wider employee management, whether that’s motivating and training existing employees, or implementing flexible working policies.

    The other bonus of optimised payroll services is that now everything’s in place to help you get moving fast. You have best practice advice from certified professionals on a local and global basis on all payroll or compliance queries, or to help you navigate the move from paper to cloud-based systems.

Questions to ask

Making the move to transform your payroll can seem daunting, so here are some key questions to ask a payroll services provider:[6]

  • How much will it cost?
  • Will my accounting software integrate easily with your systems?
  • What if I need help, before or after business hours?
  • How do you pay employees if a disaster strikes?
  • How much time do I need to spend on payroll with a third party?
  • Will the provider handle my local taxes?
  • What if I already employ an accountant or bookkeeper?
  • Can I start any time of the year?

Make life easier and work with ADP

Running payroll is one of the most important responsibilities of any business, but there’s no unwritten rule that it has to be the most stressful. Work with a respected payroll services provider like ADP and free yourself from the admin burden, while supporting your business to become more resilient.

ADP has over 70 years’ experience of providing managed payroll services to a wide range of clients in 140 countries. If you’d like to talk to a payroll expert about how ADP can help your organisation, please get in touch.

[1] Immedis blog, Supporting CFO Effectiveness with Global Payroll Technology.

[2] ADP, Choosing the right payroll provider, 2019.

[3] ADP, Take a new look at pay: The potential of Payroll. Global payroll survey, 2021.

[4] Deloitte analysis, Labor spending or overspending? 2017.

[5] ADP, ADP Global Payroll: Leading with compliance, Safe and compliant global payroll, 2020.

[6] ADP, Choosing the right payroll provider, 2019.