Looking for an affordable payroll service in Australia as a small business can be a difficult process. Below, we look at our top recommendations to help you get it right.

What should I look for in a good payroll service?

Preferably, the payroll outsourcing you use should be a full service option that provides you with the tools [and specialist services] you need to get the job done. Of course, while this sounds good on paper, in the end cost will play a huge part in the option you choose. Look for services that offer several different levels of payroll service, starting with a bare-bones basic option with the option to add extra services tailored to your needs, and not bloated by ‘additional features’ that are no use to you even when you are the one paying for them.

A basic service should focus only on what you are looking for- payroll outsourcing. It will likely exclude tax issues, but should handle pay checks. As your organisation grows, you may want them to take over payroll tax issues, provision of required documents annually, and system set up. You may even need to look for a service that will ultimately be able to handle the full tax needs of your company. As explained here: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7509-best-payroll-services.html

How do I know if it’s a good payroll service?

Of course, anyone can advertise convincingly in this digital age. How do you know you are getting what you are promised? You’re looking for a company with a fast turn-around, and a company that’s clear about how liability is calculated in the event of there being a mistake. While they obviously cannot assume liability if you make a mistake, they should be willing to do so in the event they make an error. You also need to know what services are included in the core fee you are paying, and what are counted as add-ons. For example, will you be charged for adding or amending payroll? Should you budget for an annual fee increase?

Other things you may need to know for your payroll outsourcing, is how often you will receive detailed reports. As you, not the firm, will ultimately be held liable for taxes due with the revenue department, you should be confident that you are fully informed on what is going on at all times. If you already use accounting software within the business, you will want them to integrate well together as well. You may want to spend a little time discovering how they handle backups, both on a security level and so you can rest assured you will not lose all of your data in the event of an emergency.

What else characterizes good payroll outsourcing?

Customer service is, of course, king. Know when and how you will be able to contact the service, as well as who you will be speaking to. Will it be a changing agent, or the same person handling your case every time? If you operate across state boundaries, you may also need to check that they can file in the two states in question. More details in our post here.

Overall, good payroll outsourcing is a case of matching the payroll service in Australia you are interested in to the needs of your business.