Payroll Administration: Should You Complete It In-House or Outsource?
by Arina Smith Business 30 July 2021
Every day, millions of business owners have to decide which tasks they would like to handle themselves, which ones they would like to hire someone to handle, and which ones to outsource. There are clear pros and cons of each approach, and business payroll administration has to find a balance.
Businesses will often outsource tasks to save money, open up time and opportunities for owners to focus on the business, ensure jobs are handled by experts, and improve their services. Unfortunately, payroll administration is one of the functions that are commonly outsourced.
Why Do Businesses Outsource Payroll?
One of the main reasons why businesses outsource payroll administration is that it can be very complicated and requires a lot of knowledge and time to handle correctly. This issue is further compounded if the business hires across the globe and needs to take payroll across different countries and jurisdictions.
Another reason is that many businesses do not have the resources to perform payroll administration in-house. Many businesses also outsource many of their financial functions, so outsourcing payroll is always easier for them.
Below, we will look at the pros and cons of outsourcing payroll versus handling it in-house, so you can see which approach would work better for your business.
You may like also: Keep Your Outsourced Payroll Safe!
How To Handle Payroll In-house?
Businesses that want to control all of their functions and take pride in how they are received will often choose in-house payroll. The problem with in-house payroll is that it can be very complex to handle, and any errors in payroll administration management have to be absorbed by the company. The company has to find someone to take responsibility for these mistakes.
The success of an in-house payroll system often depends on who is doing the payroll administration in the system they have in place. Companies with payroll experts working for them can comply with the rules and regulations that govern businesses in their jurisdictions. However, a significant problem that companies face is that the demand for payroll experts far exceeds their supply.
Another challenge businesses have to think about is that their payroll administration system has to be flexible enough to accommodate changes to the industry while remaining stiff enough to ensure the company is compliant with all rules and regulations.
This challenge is so severe that some businesses choose to use legacy payroll systems to avoid learning new strategies and practices and avoid having to ensure the new system keeps them compliant. Unfortunately, these systems are often inefficient and can sometimes not be in line with the latest rules and regulations.
Businesses that want to avoid all these headaches will often turn to outsource.
The Advantages Of Outsourcing Payroll
Outsourcing is seen by many as the solution to most of the problems; that businesses face with payroll, which is valid to a large extent. Payroll outsourcing is excellent for scaleups, startups, and small businesses that have limited resources. It is also great for companies that want to be compliant with the latest regulations but whose systems cannot allow them to be.
- A major reason for outsourcing payroll is to avoid the complexity that comes with payroll administration. Payroll administration is tedious and time-consuming, sometimes utilizing resources that could be used in other areas that bring a business more successful.
- Staying on top of the latest regulations while ensuring everything is done right is often difficult for many businesses, so payroll outsourcing seems like a great idea. Businesses that want to save money and time and allow managers and owners to focus on running the business will often turn to companies like G&A Partners for their payroll administration.
- Companies like these usually offer customized and flexible payroll administration solutions. As a result, they scale with the business as it grows and helps companies save time and money.
- Instead of tasking accountants – who may not be able to provide advice or support business-making decisions – with handling payroll, businesses can rely on companies that help eliminate the burden of handling payroll.
In-House Vs. Outsource Payroll: Which Is Better?
Managing payroll in-house means you will have to burden your accountants with additional tasks or hire someone to handle payroll. In addition to their salary, you might also need to pay for software, training, maintenance, and implementation. Contrary to this, payroll outsourcing services can help you to avoid all of this.
- Second, payroll administration is so complex that many business owners who attempt it are often late in disbursing payments to their employees. There is also the risk of errors when calculating pay for shorter shifts or overtime. This can frustrate employees and lead to reduced productivity. If you do this regularly, you might also be liable for fines and penalties, especially if you also make mistakes when calculating taxes.
- Lastly, there is always the risk of fraud when you task an employee to handle payroll. They may create ghost workers who receive a salary that goes to the person handling payroll.
It may seem like handling payroll administration in-house is terrible, but it does come with some advantages. These include being in total control of salary information and other sensitive data, not paying for payroll services, not having to worry about software integration issues with a third-party company, and lots of flexibility in paying employees.
Outsourcing payroll administration comes with some advantages and disadvantages too. The downsides include: having to pay for the service; hidden fees that you may not know about; turnover at the payroll provider that could impact your operations; having to jump through hoops to obtain employment and other data, and not having control over data and additional sensitive information.
On the other hand, outsourcing can help you avoid compliance fines and penalties, increase the accuracy of your payroll and tax calculations, reduce time spent on administration, ensure employees are paid on time, and ensure any payroll issues that come up are handled right away.
There are clear upsides and downsides to handling payroll in-house and outsourcing it. If you are a smaller business that cannot afford payroll administration, it would be better to make everything yourself. However, if you are a more significant business concerned about taxes, penalties, compliance, and accuracy of your payroll, outsourcing to a reputable firm might be your best bet.