Money Matters

Problems with payroll taxes? Why you should take action this year

If your business' payroll taxes are a challenge, here's why you should adopt a better solution now instead of toughing it out until the next calendar year.

Year-end activity for payroll tax compliance is just around the corner. For many small businesses, payroll year-end is a tedious event that’s exacerbated when paired with outdated or inefficient management tools. 13% of US small businesses say accountancy for payroll taxes takes up most of their time spent on admin, and 12% say general payroll tasks are the biggest time traps. The right payroll management solution for your business will help you stay organized and accurate for continuous compliance throughout the year.

If you’ve already been feeling the crunch of managing federal payroll taxes, you may be considering switching your management system. Conventional thinking about the matter would suggest you wait until the new calendar year before switching to give your business a blank foundation to build on. Digitization, however, makes the switching process so easy that it doesn’t make sense to keep managing inefficiently in the interim. Here are the most compelling reasons why upgrading your payroll services solution early makes for a better year-end payroll processing experience.

Data migration is less trouble than you think

Before the Digital Transformation age, the idea of migrating layers of data from one platform to another would be torturous. Today’s onboarding experience is much easier without the manual elements slowing you down. Instead of having to dig for your company’s payroll tax and employee records, many providers have built-in intelligence and self-configuration that accounts for compliance, regulation, best practices, and common errors. Plus, many solutions offer elevated customer support to help you understand how the solution works with your existing data.

Get an accuracy makeover for your payroll taxes

Sage research shows one-in-three small businesses report spending more than 80 hours – that’s two work weeks – prepping for tax season. Today’s tools use smart learning to automatically record and track the necessary data for your organization’s tax scheme, which makes end-of-year reporting easier to manage. Switching payroll service providers is an opportunity to examine (or re-examine) how accurately you collect and store data. If you’re experiencing fines and penalty fees due to miscalculations, starting fresh with a new provider could mean a more detailed review of your existing data and the eventual end to those occurrences. For example, automation within today’s payroll tax software solutions typically includes Form 941 – Employers Quarterly Federal Tax Return. Since data is automatically monitored and updated once you’re an official customer, your quarterly and year-end reports are accurate every time.

Catch sudden changes before they become problems

As your company continues to build and expand its workforce it’s important to constantly audit your payroll process. Another bonus to switching providers sooner than later is the sooner you have a more efficient platform, the sooner you can use its tools to pinpoint any potential discrepancies that could turn costly. For example, an ideal solution offers a comprehensive audit for each quarter versus just year-to-date and current quarter. This gives you an earlier trail on abnormal changes in data so you can investigate and action if needed.

Leading solutions also offer historical analysis for correct W2 filings to catch any retroactive discrepancies – another immediate benefit of upgrading your provider. With a simplified view of all your company’s payroll tax data and pre-configured report generation, payroll becomes a speedy process and the time spent managing and validating data can be put to other use.

If you don’t have a system in place to regularly check for compliance, your organization is vulnerable to discovering inconsistencies when it’s too late. Businesses that implement processes to control compliance are more prepared in case of an audit and can catch costly inconsistencies in advance.

Get dedicated support tailored to your business

Your new provider will want to make onboarding as easy and pleasant as possible for you. They will also want you to recognize the value in their service early in the experience to earn your trust. That said, providers should assign a dedicated customer service representative to each customer. This will ensure you speak to the same person throughout the on-boarding process and for any additional assistance so the nuances of your business’ payroll taxes are covered. There are no surprises because of poor filings, or deductions with incorrect taxations because your dedicated rep has walked your data through the available accuracy controls. The end result is you’re more in control of payroll management and can spend more time analyzing the data versus gathering and organizing it.

Give your business room to grow

Do you plan to do any hiring or expansion over the next 60 days? As your business grows, naturally your payroll needs will grow as well. What’s sufficient for your business today may not be once you add more staff or contractors. And if you’ve already identified areas where your provider isn’t efficient as-is, it’s likely your expansion will only intensify the inefficiency. Your new provider should offer features that support your business goals and can expand at the same speed as your business does. Find a payroll software designed to make your life easier whether your business has 1, 10 or 100 employees.

In summary

Cloud software for payroll management offers many benefits and the right solution for your business is the one that simultaneously saves you time while accounting for accuracy. The latest versions of payroll software are built from the ground with consideration for regulatory requirements like local tax laws, making it more difficult to make a mistake.

If the payroll software you use today doesn’t include technology stacks that can automatically adjust to all the compliance and regulations twists and turns and other traditionally manual processes, you’re missing out on new levels of productivity and increased flexibility. Treat the switch to a more efficient solution with urgency. It will take your current challenges off your plate and allow you to manage your business more closely.

Are you in the market for a new payroll service provider? What are your top priorities in your search? Let us know in the comments below.