Global Payroll
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Top 20 Questions To Ask When Outsourcing Payroll

As your company expands, it only seems natural to outsource some auxiliary functions to dedicated professionals. Global payroll is one of the top functions that companies look to outsource. 

Outsourcing your global payroll goes a long way in establishing a successful business. While letting you focus on your core HR activities, you also get expert help for your payroll regulation. 

They simplify your processes and make things easier for you. However, the process of selecting your payroll isn’t. There are several service providers out there and it simply makes it hard to swim through and choose one that satisfies your payroll needs.

We hold the beacon for you by bringing you a list of twenty mandatory questions to ask when outsourcing your payroll. 

Let's dive in.

How Does Payroll Outsourcing Work

The first step in outsourcing your payroll activities is identifying what your requirements are and what you expect. You will have to comprehend a clear-cut idea of what services are your needs of the hour.

The next step is to find a suitable provider. To do this, you will have to do some careful research. And this guide helps you with that.

Once you’ve selected a provider, you’ll have to set up an account on their platform. This account will allow the provider to access your payroll information, such as the number of employees, their attendance report, daily logs of working hours, etc. Vacation policies, sick days, benefit co-pays, and more also go into calculating their payroll.

This information allows the provider to implement and manage a payroll system that aligns with your other activities. Depending on the country and the internal payment policies, they disburse funds from the company to pay everyone on time.

Why Outsource Payroll

Having your payroll process outsourced to a quality payroll provider can hit several high spots. 

Frees up time and lets you focus on your core activities and strategies

Managing your global payroll in-house can be extremely time-consuming. It requires efforts to strategize and implement a streamlined process. 

Thus, outsourcing your payroll frees up your time and lets you focus on other essential HR functions. 

Reduces cost

The cost of managing an in-house team dedicated to payroll can hit the roof. Outsourcing can reduce that cost by a substantial amount.

Access to advanced technology and experts

Besides working on your crucial HR functions, managing your payroll cannot be your priority. 

Thus, partnering with a payroll provider equipped with the latest technology and the payroll experts onboard seems fit. You can efficiently manage and regulate your payroll without having to spend your time and energy.

Enhanced data security

There are several risks involved in managing your payroll internally, including data mishandling, data theft, server, and network vulnerabilities, etc. You can avoid such risks by transferring your payroll responsibilities.

In a nutshell, through payroll outsourcing, you can avail an efficient team equipped with advanced technology at just a fraction of the cost of an in-house payroll team.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Outsourcing Payroll

Before you dive in to search for the right payroll provider, you need to define your right. Of course, there isn’t one vanilla approach and the process differs based on how your business works. Thus, identifying what is suitable for your company is the first step.

Only then will you know what payroll requirements you have and can ask the right questions. Else, the several different offerings up in the market can be confusing and deceiving. Don't let yourself in without knowing the depth.

Let me list some basic questions to ask yourself.

  • Why are you outsourcing?
  • What are your need-of-the-hour services?
  • Will any provider be able to fulfill your requirements and simplify your process?
  • What would be your overall budget for the outsourcing process?
  • What business values must the service provider hold? (etc.)

These questions give you a clear idea of what you must look for in a payroll provider. They help you frame a checklist and filter suitable providers.

Questions to Ask Your Potential Payroll Provider

Having set definite expectations from your potential providers, we can move on to the questions you should ask before choosing your payroll provider.

1. What services do they offer?

This is the foremost question you should be asking the service providers. It is crucial to first understand whether they will be able to tick all those boxes in your checklist. 

If they do not offer some, you will have to assess how important that service is for your payroll regulation to run smoothly and then take a call.

2. Are they compatible?

It wouldn’t help if you are Mars and the provider is Venus. 

To ensure a smooth partnership, you must evaluate their missions and vision and how they go about their everyday activities. More importantly, do their goals align with yours? 

3. How do they guarantee data security?

Data breaches are becoming more frequent these days. This makes storing and handling data difficult. It involves several risk factors. Thus, it is necessary to know what steps they take to ensure data security.

You must be aware of the levels of security they can provide and what vulnerabilities you might be facing. This risk analysis allows you to foresee them and make an informed decision.

4. How transparent is their pricing structure?

Reduced costs are one of the reasons why you go for outsourcing. The last thing you need is to pay for hidden ones. 

Analyze the following factor to ascertain the utility and worthiness of their price.

  • Pricing structure
  • Various pricing models
  • Flexibility
  • The features or services included in each model (etc.)

A flat fee structure is the best option. However, it can also depend on the services provided. Thus, do complete research on their pricing structure and ensure you pay only for what you receive.

Several providers offer free trials typically ranging from one to two months in duration. This makes it easier for you to test their platform and services, compatibility, etc., before fully committing to the partnership.

5. How user-friendly is their platform?

Simplification is the key. You should not have to take separate training to handle their platform. 

As soon as you sign up, you should be able to immediately set up your account, log in to your user dashboard, configure and add your employees and users. You should also be able to access and run your payroll account smoothly from any device.

Further, it should also be user-friendly for your employees. They must have all the payment details and policies they need, in a single platform. 

6. Will they take care of local taxes, laws, and compliance?

As a global company, you must ensure that your payroll laws are compliant with that of the governments in different countries or states. 

Thus, you must check if they have the necessary systems in place to handle the changing laws of all the countries you are present, and if they will abide by the federal tax norms with punctuality and accuracy.

7. Can they make international payments and handle multiple currencies?

As a global employer, you have employees working from different countries. It thus becomes a requirement that your provider can facilitate international payments and can handle multiple currencies. 

It also requires the handling of different modes of payment facilities available in different countries. Your provider must have provisions to include these and have a streamlined process to ensure that payment becomes effortless. 

8. Will they be able to provide a payslip for international employees and other contingent workers?

Contingent workers such as freelancers and contract employees do their own taxes. Thus, the provider should be able to furnish digital payslips securely and confidentially. 

9. How will they manage time and attendance?

Manual tracking of time and attendance can be tedious, especially with employees working in different time zones. An optimized payroll structure also depends on these factors.

Your payroll outsourcing providers must be able to have the technology to automate these processes. They must have an automated system to accommodate contingent workers. Furnishing online timesheets or facilities where employees can record their working hours will help.

10. Who is dedicated to serving your payroll account?

You shouldn’t go through a customer service portal every time you have a query. We advise you to ask if they provide a dedicated professional, well-versed with the ins and outs of the software to assist you at every step. 

Also, a payroll specialist working closely with you would have understood your business needs and how you function. Thus, they can come up with solutions and customizations that suit you the best. 

11. How approachable are they in your time of need?

In a time of crisis, you must not be going through several steps to talk to a customer service professional. Help must be just a phone call away. 

This is another reason why you should have a dedicated payroll specialist. Enquire if they would appoint one such professional and how quickly they would respond to calls. The professional can understand the crisis far better than a random customer service executive and also come up with quick resolutions.

Also, it is essential to question them regarding services during weekends, vacations, and other off-days. Some services provide 24x7 on-call services with immediate help. Thus, analyzing their service availability is a crucial point to ponder over.

12. Do they update and improve their technology?

Payroll service providers simplify your payroll through automation. The advanced technologies they use gives them the cutting edge over the in-house methods.

Asking about the technologies they use and the measures to improve is crucial in understanding how adept they are with the growing technology.

13. What other services do they provide?

More often than not, payroll providers also offer other HR services.

It can include:

  • EOR services to help you recruit global talent from different countries without you having to establish local entities everywhere.  
  • PEO services to assist you in staying compliant with local labor laws and regulations
  • Assist you in disseminating global employee benefits to your remote employees across the globe.

Partnering with such holistic services providers is an added benefit as the integration is seamless.

Humblebrag warning!

Multiplier, a SaaS-based EOR solution, offers all of the above. You can now handle all your essential HR activities from a single platform. We provide a hassle-free service at an affordable and flexible price range. Check out our pricing to know more.

14. Experience of existing clients

If you are planning to be one of their clients, you might end up having the same kind of experience. Thus, analyzing what their existing customers have to say about them beforehand is proactive and essential.

This can be easily verified as most providers' websites have client stories, to begin with. Read what they have to say and decide if that is what you want to experience. 

15. What training and transparency do their service provide?

You shouldn’t have special training to understand how they work, and neither should your employees. Thus, make sure their services can be availed easily. 

A hassle-free setup with a streamlined, self-explanatory workflow helps you work with the platform and avail their services at ease. 

Also, you are revealing your confidential data to them. In turn, they must provide transparent service with no hidden mechanisms. Thus, check what levels of transparency they provide. 

16. How your employees will be supported?

You aren’t the only person working on their platform. Your employees will also use their platform to get details of payments for loans, banking, and other financial needs.

Hence, it is essential that the outsourcing service provider offers assistance to your employees and responds to their queries. 

17. What other platforms can they integrate with?

No service is standalone. All your platforms and services must play in harmony to sing a symphony. Their payroll service is no exception.

Ask and analyze how compatible their platform is and how easily it can be integrated with all other services you work with. 

For example, when employee benefits such as hikes or profit-sharing are conferred, they must immediately reflect on their dashboard. That is how seamless the integration must be. Else, it would just have a counter-action and make your other HR processes complicated.

18. Will they work closely with your financial team?

Your in-house financial team takes care of the finances related to your human capital, their salary, tax contributions, added benefits, and so on. Thus, your payroll specialist must work closely with the finance team to understand the finance system of your company and set up your account accordingly.

Also, check if they have options to customize your account and services depending on your organizational structure. 

19. What happens when you scale your business?

Their services must not support only your current business needs. 

You cannot have multiple service providers to take care of your growing needs. They must be able to grow to extend their services to your future needs as well. Thus, check if they can scale up their services as you scale up your business. 

20. What termination agreements do they have in place?

Similar to hassle-free onboarding, there should also be a smooth offboarding in place. Check how the exit procedures work and what is their minimum contract period. Some offer monthly contracts, while some providers offer six-month to one-year contracts. Choose a time span that suits you.

You should also enquire about their notice period. This helps you access the financial risks you might have to capitulate. Assess these risks properly and choose a provider who provides minimal to no financial risk.

They should also be able to transfer back your files and data securely to your in-house team without any slip-ups.

Conclusion

Outsourcing your company’s payroll, when done right is an excellent way to save time and focus more on your core functions. Choose the right vendor who can provide the services you need today and the ones you might need tomorrow and the day after.

We at Multiplier, strive to offer you a hassle-free, seamless payroll service. 

It is safe to say that we have befitting answers and services to the above questions and beyond. Check out our Global Payroll services.

We go beyond a payroll provider. We offer other HR services too. A single stop for all your HR needs.

We equip you with the crucial and most advanced tools you require to manage your HR from a single platform, thus, integration is made effortless. 

Contact us to learn more.

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