How to Choose the Best Payroll Company for Your Small Business

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Choosing the best payroll company for your small- or medium-sized business is a very important decision. Should you go with a giant national payroll company, or with a local company? What are the differences between the two, and what questions should you ask when researching payroll companies?

To get some in-depth answers to our questions, we decided to speak with Bill Elkins, the VP of Sales at Baron Payroll. Bill has a long history of helping businesses streamline their payroll processes while also staying compliant with federal and state regulations. Here’s what he had to say.

BP: Bill, it’s a real pleasure meeting with you today. We look forward to hearing what you have to say about choosing a payroll company.

BE: Thank you, it’s great to be here, I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you.

BP: How would you describe a small business? What about a mid-sized business?

BE: In the payroll world, a small business has less than 25-employees. And a medium-sized business has between 25 and 100 employees.


BP: When should a business think about hiring a payroll company?

BE: When they have employees, and a successful business they wish to protect. This is especially true in New York, where the HR rules and payroll regulations are complex and change often.

BP: Besides saving time, what other benefits are there to outsourcing payroll?

BE: Payroll companies are great at making sure your payroll taxes are paid on time, so you don’t get hit with huge fines and penalties. They also provide electronic record-keeping so you can easily retrieve all your mission-critical HR and payroll data whenever you need them.

BP: Why is it that so many businesses outsource their payroll?

BE: That’s an easy question. Thanks to the complexities, economies of scale, and low cost—it’s a no-brainer!

BP: I imagine business owners must feel relieved to have this chore taken off their backs.

BE: Many business owners tell me they can’t believe they waited this long to outsource their payroll and HR functions.

BP: What are some other things local payroll companies excel at?

BE: As a New York business ourselves, we inform business owners of the ever-changing New York State labor laws. New York has some of the most complicated regulations in the US. At Baron, we’re on top of all of them.

BP: Are there advantages to working with a local payroll company as opposed to one of the larger national mega payroll companies?

BE: Yes, there are many advantages. Such as easy communication, New York expertise, and the consistency of working with the same person for years.

BP: When or why should business owners consider switching to a new payroll company?

BE: If you’re working with a company as big as ADP or Paychex you would be lucky to get another human on the phone. You could be waiting for hours! And even then, it’s not local support.

BP: Are local payroll companies somehow safer than their mega-payroll company counterparts?

BE: Yes. One of the reasons is that national payroll companies are bigger and more attractive targets for cyber-attacks and data breaches. Who needs that? Smaller payroll companies have the advantage of being nimble, flying under the radar, and making your sensitive employee data safer from criminals.

BP: Is it true that many businesses working with national payroll companies are paying for services they don’t need and not getting the critical services they require?

BE: Yes. It’s always amazed me that larger payroll companies often prioritize sales goals and stockholder returns ahead of their customer’s needs.

BP: That’s interesting. Can you elaborate on critical services New York business owners are often missing?

BE: Sure. The biggest service by far is time and attendance. Every New York business must collect daily time records, document meal breaks, and track paid New York sick time.

BP: You mentioned customization earlier. Can you elaborate on this?

BE: Yes. Every business operates differently, including the way they handle payroll. Our approach is to examine your current payroll process, suggest ways to make it easier, and then configure our technology to accomplish this. Finally, we’ll teach you how to use the system.

BP: How does Baron Payroll’s cost compare with the large national companies?

BE: Nine times out of ten, our prices are lower. Our pricing also includes critical services they might not be receiving such as time and attendance.

BP: Can you elaborate on HR services?

BE: HR is complicated, especially in New York. Don’t go it alone. All it takes is one disgruntled employee to contact the Department of Labor, and your business will suffer the consequences.

We offer two types of HR services. One is the HR technology, which is part of our cloud-based software. It allows you to do electronic onboarding of employees, benefits onboarding at open enrollment, asset management, compliance/reporting, and stores employee HR documents such as performance reviews, incident tracking, and more.

HR Exports is our second tier of HR service. This service provides HR business professionals who can address your questions about managing employees and HR concerns.

BP: Have you ever had a situation where you had to rise above and beyond the call of duty to help a client in need?

BE: Yes. One time a client called with an emergency. Their payroll person had been hospitalized. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a backup person who could do payroll. I rushed to their office, sat with them, and helped them get their payroll completed on time.

BP: Bill, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you for your time.

BE: You’re welcome.

Contact us to experience the Baron difference for yourself.

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