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By: Arlette Measures
How Should a Vendor for Payroll Accounting be Selected?

When selecting a right vendor for payroll accounting, it is important to ensure that your vendor has experience in providing payroll services for your industry. For example, if you are in the restaurant industry, then the vendor should understand how to work with tips. If you are in the retail industry, then the payroll accounting vendor should understand how to work with bonuses based on sales.

Consider the following before hiring a payroll vendor:

• Ease of setup and overall ease of use.

• In the U.S., is the vendor a member of the APA (American Payroll Association)?

• Do they have a proven ability to met tax deadlines?

• Can they pass a background check, including a check through the Better Business Bureau?

• Do they use accountants and individuals that are financially savvy and comfortable with financial calculators?

• A good payroll accounting firm will use due diligence to find out answers to questions, such as the amount of vacation that employees had, overtime hours and more.

• Does the firm file taxes electronically as well as by mail? It may be important that your company has options when it comes to filing.

• Is the vendor able to electronically file state employment taxes in a particular state?

• The company should have access to all tax and reporting forms.

• Does the vendor have the ability to pay 1099 workers such as contractors? •The company should provide a detailed end-of-year report of the business's payroll situation on an annual basis. Some companies also provide detailed monthly reports.

• Is customer service widely available anytime you have a question?

• What is the cost of payroll processing? It's wise to weigh this factor along with quality of service and features, rather than basing your choice on savings alone. • Will the company provide options for your business growth if you take on more employees and payroll expenses?

• Is the vendor able to export payroll data to various accounting software packages?

• Is online help and technical support available?

Vendor References Of course, you will want to check the references and reputation of any new provider you are considering. Just as perusing a vendor's website can provide you with information about their services, a reference check can inform you about the quality of those services. References can give you an idea of how well a vendor meets a deadline, responds to queries and provides support.

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