Service. You wonder whether your new supplier can handle your unusual needs. And you can only ask. Your task is to ask for references in your size and type of business. Smaller suppliers may only be able to get close but that is OK. You're interested in how, not what, service is provided. Ask the references for other reference back to the provided that they did not provide you with. Only in this way you may get your best information.
Technology. New technologies play the leading role nowadays. That's why you should know whether the supplier is up to date on payroll technology. It is not so easy to improve a system for hundreds of thousands of users. Even for the major payroll suppliers it is the hard task. And what is more they will always be slower to change. And it is because of size and inertia. Nevertheless, you want to talk about paperless payroll, online payroll, payroll debit cards and employee self-service. So, even the very small payroll service suppliers can't afford the newest technology. And this changes all the time.
Professionalism. You should ask many questions that concern this area. Find out how long as the company been in business; if they have standing in the community; whether they are an EFTPS batch filer meaning they have at least 100 clients they file tax deposits for.
Ask whether they have qualified payroll professionals and CPAs on staff to handle problems. You should know that without a CPA on staff you will have two choices. It means you will either have to deal with the IRS yourself or pay your regular CPA to handle the problem. In case your CPA does not deal with payroll tax problems on a regular basis it will be time wasting for him, and high-priced for you.
Cost. What concerns costs, you have to ask yourself one question. And this is how important is cost in the mix of factors in making a decision on which payroll service provider you choose? Do not choose an outdated technology. Because getting the best price and that technology, you will then spend hours every pay period fixing their mistakes. Then you will have to spend hours appeasing your employees. At last you will spend hundreds of dollars with your CPA fixing an IRS error because the new payroll service provider has no CPAs on staff. Can you see some profits?
Location. There was a time that location of a payroll company was important, delivery of checks and reports, long distance phone calls, local banking relationships and so on. But things had changed. Nowadays email and FedEx allow your payroll service supplier to be located everywhere in relationship to your business. Paperless payroll location makes it absolutely irrelevant. Because everything is handled over the Internet and all money is moved through the banking system electronically.