Outsourcing payroll: ten benefits to your business
by Rob Stokes
Published on 16th December 2019
As an employer, payroll is among the most important tasks for your business for many reasons, so why would you then consider outsourcing payroll?
Paying your staff on time, and with the correct amount, is
not only a legal requirement it is ethically and morally the right thing to do
and is one of the factors that helps engender loyalty among your staff. After
all, who wants to stay with an employer who is an unreliable payer or who pays
the wrong amount?
However, running a payroll can be time-consuming, is highly
regulated, with frequent changes and easy to get wrong if you lack up-to-date knowledge
and experience. The process can seem overwhelming and so is prone to human
error. Often there are many elements to calculating an individual’s pay which
then need to be itemised on the payslip, adding to the administration burden
already suffered by the employer.
No wonder, then, that so many employers face the weekly/monthly
payroll session with something approaching dread.
There is another option, however: outsourcing payroll. At
Optimum, we have an experienced team led by Tahera Begum, who run the payroll for many
of our clients. They are delighted to have handed over what was, for them, a
distraction from other business tasks. Although, as an employer, they still
retain overall responsibility for payroll, the practical side is now being
Benefits of outsourcing payroll
There are many headaches and responsibilities that come with
running your own payroll all of which can be alleviated by outsourcing this
vital business function.
Here are just ten immediate benefits
- Saving time. Running the payroll can be time-consuming
and a distraction from your primary role of running your business. By
outsourcing your payroll, all you need do is provide information on standard
hours worked, plus any variations such as days off for sickness or holiday, any
redundancies, pay rises, taxable expenses and so on. The payroll will be
seamlessly run and your staff will be paid the correct amount and on time, with
all returns filed on time.
- Keeping compliant. There is a hefty legislative
side to payroll and many rules and regulations that must be adhered to. These
include pensions through automatic enrolment (AE), National Minimum Wage (NMW),
National Living Wage (NLW) and GDPR. By outsourcing your payroll to a
professional, you can trust that you will be fully compliant. If, for example,
there is an increase in the NMW, or the employers’ and employees’ contributions
to AE pensions need to increase, these changes will be instigated automatically
by your payroll professional, subject to your agreement.
- Pension scheme compliance. Under AE legislation,
employers have to create a pension scheme for their staff and then opt their
staff into the scheme. However, not all available schemes fully comply with
automatic enrolment rules. Here again, your payroll professional can review the
pension scheme you use and advise on a move if necessary.
- Accuracy. Using a payroll professional removes
the risks of errors, as they are experienced in reviewing the output of payroll
- Fielding queries. If there is a query from an
employee, for example over their pay, then you can quickly refer to them to
your payroll team, again saving you time in dealing with or researching the
issues. Similarly, any pay or benefits related queries from HMRC can be dealt
with by the payroll team.
- Access to information. All employees need to be
provided with a payslip, either electronically or in printed format, including
some predetermined information. However, these can easily be mislaid. Should an
employee need a fresh copy, they have access to an online portal which they can
log into and review their payment history and be able to retrieve payslips.
- Employee retention. Paying wages accurately and
on time will enhance your reputation as an employer people want to work for, so
another benefit of outsourcing payroll is it can assist with employee retention
and employee attraction.
- Professional support. At Optimum, our payroll is
one service of our business, so our payroll clients also have access to
accountancy, bookkeeping and legal
services. The accountancy
services, in particular, complement outsourced payroll.
- Cost. It is a common held myth that outsourcing
your payroll will be a large expense. In fact, when you factor in the time
saving and licence fees you will be saving in software, which will now be
provided by outsourced payroll, then it becomes a very cost-effective option.
- Finally and most importantly: peace of mind. By
outsourcing your payroll you take a weight off your shoulders. No longer will
you have to make time to pay your staff and then remember to pay HMRC three
weeks later. This will all be done for you.
CIS, construction and outsourced payroll
Whilst outsourcing payroll is
always an option for employers, regardless of their business, there is one
sector, in particular, that can benefit from outsourced payroll: construction.
Here, the Construction Industry Scheme, or CIS, operates. Contractors must register for CIS and the construction companies employing them have to deduct a proportion of their wages, at different rates subject to their registration status, to pass on to HMRC as contributions towards their tax and National Insurance.
It is a complicated scheme to be
part of and, to ensure accuracy and compliance, it is advisable to outsource
this as part of your payroll.
Owner managed businesses and outsourced payroll
If you have a limited company and
you are your only employee, you might feel outsourcing payroll is unnecessary.
However, it has been demonstrated that mistakes can be made, even where there
is a single payee.
For example, at Optimum we have
been assisting new clients who historically have been paying themselves and inadvertently
omitting to pay their full National Insurance contributions. We are now helping
them to make up for this, by topping up their NI. However, had their pay been
dealt with by an outsourced payroll team the NI contributions would be up-to-date.
Outsourcing your payroll means
you have compliance covered, frees your time for you to work on your business and
allows you to access advice on tax efficient salary setting.
If you are struggling to make
time for your payroll, or have any concerns about being compliant, or simply
want some help and advice, please
get in touch with Tahera and the team here at Optimum. We would be happy to