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February 22, 2017

Have you just started your own business and are about to take on a set of employees, or perhaps you’re the owner of an established business but are struggling to keep on top of your payroll? Whichever applies to you, here is a short guide to choosing an online payroll service that will do everything you need it to:

What is an online payroll service?

Operating in the virtual cloud, online payroll services allow business big and small, to manage and operate their payroll from anywhere in the world. Of course, your full and part time staff can be paid this way, just as any contract or freelance workers that you engage with, can.

What services do online payroll services offer?

An online payroll service will automatically calculate the wages of each employee, every pay period. The service accounts for differing shift patterns, overtime, taxes and holiday pay, along with Social Security and any other benefit deductions. Payments are then made to employees by direct deposit or check. 

Most online payroll services are capable of withholding employee taxes, filing quarterly payroll tax reports and even pay taxes to the relevant state and federal agencies. They can also issue W-2 and 1099 forms to employees at the end of the year.

If your business is already using payroll related systems like accounting or human resources software, or even a time and attendance system, an online payroll service can happily integrate with them, making life even easier for the business owner. 

In general, employees are given access to the online payroll system to view pay stubs, end of year tax forms and PTO balances. 

Most of the payroll services operating online will report any new staff that you employ to the government, on your behalf. 

Any online payroll service worth its salt will keep an accurate record of vacation and sick hours that employees have built up, and keep track of how much they’ve used, to avoid costly mistakes for business owners or disgruntled staff disputing how many of these days they’ve earned. 

Detailed and accurate wage and labor reports should be provided by any good online payroll service, enabling business owners to have a deeper insight into how their business is functioning. 

To keep up with the latest technology, modern online payroll services will have an app or a mobile friendly website that allows business owners to manage things from wherever they happen to be, and on whatever device or mobile platform they happen to be using. 

What are the advantages of using an online payroll service? 

The main advantage of using an online payroll service means that payroll can typically be run in a matter of minutes, and will include all the work that you would otherwise had to have completed yourself, such as payroll calculations, payroll tax payments and end of year tax forms. 

Using an online payroll service gives you peace of mind in so many ways, but saving you time and effort is surely the greatest advantage. 

Often, an online payroll service is more secure than an in-house payroll management system, and better at keeping up to date with state and federal rules and regulations, and ensuring that you comply with them. 

You will of course have to pay for an online payroll service, but it means that any employees previously working in payroll, would be free to work in other areas of your business, preventing you from having to take on new staff and perhaps even increasing efficiency. 

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