Considerations when reviewing payroll

There are three key areas to consider when delivering payroll in-house.

1. Resilience

How confident are you that your employees will be paid on time if your main payroll processor or bookkeeper is unable to deliver through illness or holiday?  Many businesses become over-reliant on just one person for this critical area, and so any disruption can present a major risk.

2. Technical knowledge

It is imperative that all legislative changes in relation to auto-enrolment, payrolling benefits in kind, IR35, and CJRS are managed, not to mention routine changes in the budget.  If your in-house team struggles to understand and implement these regulations, your business is at risk of non-compliance with HMRC and Pension Regulator rules.

3. Cost

With considerations around having a large enough team to cover absence, training costs to remain up to date, and software costs it is certainly worth considering whether outsourcing your payroll might bring a cost-saving as well as mitigate other risks.

Checkpoints for outsourced payroll provisions

If you outsource your payroll service at present, you may feel that you have covered the key risks, but there are still several areas to consider.

The last year has been challenging for all businesses working remotely, and this is no different for payroll bureaus.  Has your provider been able to maintain service levels during this time, delivering payroll accurately and on time, and crucially protecting your data whilst working remotely?

You should not have noticed any difference in service level if your provider has the right tools in place. 

Has your provider supported you with accessing CJRS?  Again, a payroll bureau that is committed to supporting its clients will have been able to offer support with the CJRS application process, and while many are charging to cover their time you should not have felt that this new legislation has incurred significant cost.

The last area to consider in terms of outsourced provision is the flexibility of the service.  You should expect your provider to agree to a timetable with you that suits your business, and that gives appropriate amounts of time for each stage in the process.  You should also expect them to make the process of providing payroll inputs as easy for you, the client, as possible.  This could involve taking inputs directly from your HR system, offering tools for you to maintain your own data, or agreeing on a template to be used that is simple and effective for you to complete.

Is the service you are receiving meeting all of your needs or theirs?

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