Meeting with a Payroll Processing Service - What to Ask


I own an Internet business. I've been in business for a couple of years now and I'm doing pretty well - but the workload is becoming too much to handle on my own. I recently moved out of my home office and into a "real" office outside of my home. I will be hiring my first employee within the next month.

I'm totally new at this hiring-somebody-to-help-me-thing and I don't want to tackle payroll processing on my own. I am meeting with a sales representative for a payroll processing company today. He's going to try to sell me on their services.

What questions should I ask him when we meet today? I'll need to know all the basics, but I'm going to try to not sounds like an idiot. :) What should I be wary of with payroll processing companies?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your replies.


asked Aug 27 '10 at 00:40
166 points
  • I have worked with 5 payroll processing companies so far. Paychex is the only big company that is bearable. ADP is absolute disaster, they screwed up 3 times in 3 months and I had to dump them, because our employees lost their patience. Quickbooks Payroll is somewhat decent, but at least once per year there would be an outage. I am sure there are smaller players out there you could look into, but I usually let someone else let them work out their kinks. Our employees deal with enough beta stuff. – Apollo Sinkevicius 12 years ago

2 Answers


Payroll is largely a commodity so any reputable provider will deliver you with the same net result - paychecks and payroll tax filings. As such, the issues you need consider are service reputation, pricing, and specific services needed. Do you want direct deposit? How much do they charge for year end W2s or 1099s? Do they email you notices of payroll filings and forms when they are due? Do they e-file forms for you? In addition, larger payroll services have additional offerings such as employee screening, 401K management, and worker comp policies.

Since payroll is closely related to our business of time clock software, we work closely with a number of payroll services and software companies. We really feel SurePayroll stands out as a full service, low cost provider that has fabulous customer support. We've partnered with them to offer a flat rate price for their payroll service to our customers.You can take advantage of the pricing in this link even if you're not a user of our Virtual TimeClock software.

answered Aug 27 '10 at 01:11
Keith De Long
5,091 points


Definitely learn how they handle 1099s. They can be a huge hassle.

In general, the ancillary offerings through a payroll provider (employee screening, 401K management, and worker comp policies) either come bundled with their PEO service, which might be a good fit for your company but that's a separate decision from payroll. If you are getting them outside their PEO services, then they're just reselling you third party products and you can do better elsewhere by benchmarking and comparing. Most of their 401k plans are terrible and you should contact a few insurance brokers to ensure you get the best rate for workers comp.

answered Jun 12 '12 at 06:08
11 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: