Experts Weigh In: How do you handle payroll?

Idea_Thinking_Woman2Payroll can be tricky for small business owners. It’s a lot to learn if you want to tackle payroll on your own, and it can be costly to hire on a new employee or use an outside service. We asked our small business experts how they handle their payroll:

“We are a small organization with anywhere from 4 to 6 employees. In spite of the higher overhead, we use Paychex because of the ease of use and because of the clarity they provide while filing taxes.” –Denise Castronovo, Castronovo Chocolate 

“My brother and I own an insurance agency with about 20 employees. In 2010 when we hired our first employee, I researched payroll options extensively, and ultimately chose a program by Intuit (QuickBooks) called Assisted Payroll. I key the payroll on this end, but it uploads to Intuit who manages all the taxes and does a direct deposit into our employee’s bank accounts. Most important, they calculate and file our quarterly and annual payroll taxes and pay them straight out of our account, which saves me an enormous amount of time and headache. So worth it!” – Danielle Kunkle, Boomer Benefits

“For a small business, outsourcing payroll is the only way to go. There are so many things a small business has to do to remain agile, relevant and customer-oriented, the back-office tasks need to be as automated as possible. Sometimes, this means outsourcing. When it comes to taxes, insurance, bonding, payroll and hiring, it’s best left to the professionals. Outsourcing payroll frees employees to do what they do best. It allows a business to focus on its core competencies. When a small business owner spends time on payroll, they lose the creative spark that drove them to be a small business owner in the first place!” – Ryan Hulland, MonMan

“Angela Ferendo is in charge of our payroll. We handle payroll in-house through Xero. Xero makes it easy for us to handle our finances and payroll so we can spend our time focusing on growing our business, says Angela.” – Slyde Handboards, slydehandboards.com

“We’re a company of 8 employees and we use ZenPayroll. Myself and our CEO use it to run payroll ourselves. It’s inexpensive and a delight to use.” – Skyler Slade, Tandem 

“Here at Quality Logo Products we use a combination of everything, really. We have one team member whose entire job is payroll and employee benefit management. We also utilize various processing tools like ADP for disbursement, reporting, and compliance management. 

It’s really important to make sure that if you don’t 100% know what you’re doing (when regulatory compliance is involved), you hire lawyers, accountants, and professionals to compliment your internal team. If you try the fake it till you make it approach you might end up learning a lesson that costs you or your company its life. So don’t do that! As such and specifically with payroll in mind, we utilize ADP to assist with local, state, and federal compliance regulations. Companies not only need to be compliant today, they have to be on the cutting edge of changes (like ACA reporting for 2015-2016), so that they can be just as safe tomorrow. Minimizing your liability and minimizing employee waste (trying to figure it all out new laws) is the name of the game!” – Mandy Kilinskis, Quality Logo Products

“Our bookkeeper takes care of our payroll. As a small business it’s important to me to find things that I am able to delegate. My bookkeeper is reasonably priced and does a great job so it was easy for us to have his company take care of it. It’s also important to have those connections in the community.” – Cindy Jones, Ph.D., Sagescript Institute

“We outsource. It is a necessary evil, unfortunately, because it takes a lot of the stress out of managing the taxes, workers’ compensation, etc.” –Raylene Hoover, Your Critter Sitters

“We outsource, a company of 12 employees, all part-time hourly, Our specialty is arrrrrgh product not payroll!” –Matt Slaman, Pirate Life

“My husband and I run a small content marketing agency, Eucalypt Media. When it was just the 2 of us, we had our accountant manually process the tax distributions on our own salaries, but now that we’ve added a third full-time employee, we wanted to find anautomated payroll system. We just started using a software tool called ZenPayroll, which processes our payroll and takes out applicable taxes automatically. We’ve been really happy with it so far!” – Kathryn Hawkins, Eucalypt Media

“As the head of a small business that acts as an external CFO for many other small businesses, I know the importance of proper payroll handling. We use both ADP and Paychex for ourselves and our clients, depending on which they prefer. Both outsourcing payroll companies are relatively inexpensive, efficient, easy to use, and have mobile apps so each employee can log on individually to access their own payroll information. Most importantly, they have the liability for any payroll tax mistakes they make. Liability is key 
when it comes to payroll taxes.” –Dawn Reshen-Doty, Benay Enterprises, Inc 

“I run a global marketing company I started 14 years ago and we use Paychex. It has worked really well for us to outsource our payroll, they always have the tax paperwork out right away in the new year and it is a very effective and cost efficient. There is no need to hire someone to do this when it can be handled so easily for a small fee.” –Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls

“As a small company with only 7 employees, we handle our payroll in house with our one person accounting department.” –Scott Pulaski, Piasa Armory

“Although we have a part time accountant we outsource payroll processing. I have been with several companies over the years but have been using Paychex for several years. The price is reasonable and they handle all payroll tax issues, payments etc. It would probably cost me more to bring it in house. One tip I would offer other business owners is to get competing quotes every year or two. If you find a better deal elsewhere, try to negotiate better terms with your current payroll processor. I’ve saved money doing this.” –Steve Bazil, The Bazil Group

“I subscribe to the business philosophy that you should only do what only you can do, so we outsource our payroll to Payroll Network. We’ve been doing that since we opened our doors, and I believe that it’s one of the keys to growing at an exceptional rate.” –Ben Landers, Blue Corona, Inc.

“After a long process of shifting from desktop to online versions of Quickbooks, which was much more difficult than it should have been because they have no feature to import data, I’ve shifted to a biweekly payroll for my five-person company. Employees keep track of their time in Minute 7 and when the end of the pay period arrives I check that program for employee hours and enter that information into Quickbooks. I have a bookkeeper who oversees payroll and ensures that taxes are paid through Quickbooks, and she also handles biweekly statements to clients. What I learned is that I’m an SEO expert, not a payroll expert, and having someone to keep an eye on things is crucial for any small business owner.” –Geoff Hoesch, Dragonfly SEO

“I outsource my payroll to Tamara at SBF Payroll in Phoenix. Early on I tried to do everything in-house and I realized my time is best spent on growing my business not crunching numbers.” –Emily LaRusch, Founding Bettie

“We have a senior staff member in charge of payroll; it is handled in-house. We use FreshBooks to make the process simpler and more efficient.” –Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers

“At Raster, a mobile app development company, we outsource our payroll services. As a small business, we are busy enough as it is without having to worry about modified business tax, tax bonds and filings. Our view is, why take on the risk and stress of handling this manually when for little cost you can offload it to a professional service that handles it for you, ensuring you stay compliant, current and legal. Easy decision for us.” -Spence Johnston, Raster

“As a small business owner trying to handle all of my employees’ payroll can be tedious. To ease my process I use my accountant to obtain quality professional assistance. There are other ways to handle payroll tax, but hiring a reputable accountant was the most cost effective for my business.” –Lisa Chu, Black N Bianco

Have questions about payroll, or looking for a good service? Give us a call at 1877-692-6772!

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Deborah Sweeney

is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best.