For small businesses, processing payroll can be a complicated and time-consuming task. Among other things, payroll functions can include anything from determining employee wages and withholding taxes to updating vacation and sick pay and deducting employee-contributed payments for benefits.

Because payroll is so complicated, many businesses use an outside service such as ADP or Paychex. The cost of using one of these services averages about $3 per check.

In general, outsourcing payroll can cost half of what it would to do it in-house. Hiring an outside service also eliminates the need to hire a full-time payroll manager, and you’ll free up time to work on other aspects of your business. Other advantages include:

Convenience. With outside services, you simply telephone their offices, give them the hours, deductions and salary amounts of your employees, and the firm processes the check. Many services also let you update employee payroll information on their Web sites.

Functionality. Many payroll companies also handle employee retirement plans and direct deposit. And a number of them provide management reports, calculate employee tax obligations and prepare W2 forms for their clients.

Accuracy. Payroll firms know they must do an accurate job if they want to keep your business. And you can also count on them to stay up-to-date with new tax laws related to employee payroll.

It’s a good idea to get at least three quotes before deciding on a payroll service. Many payroll firms let you do this right on their Web sites. For example, to get a quote on ADP’s site simply enter your ZIP code, employee head count and how often you pay your employees. You should also speak with other small business owners who outsource their payroll to find out how much they pay and if they are satisfied with their service.

Check Services (Payroll Services)

ADP Payroll Services: | www.adp.com

At ADP, small business is our business. We created a division specifically to address the unique needs of small businesses. ADP provides the services, tools, and resources that give small businesses a competitive edge without overburdening their budget.

Paychex Payroll Services: | www.paychex.com

Payroll services – Paychex: payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for any size business – payroll tax preparation, 401(k) recordkeeping, section 125 plan administration, workers’ compensation, time and attendance systems, and more.

PayCycle Payroll Services: | www.paycycle.com

PayCycle is a complete Internet-based, automated payroll solution for small businesses.

Intuit Payroll Services: | www.payroll.com

Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small businesses, consumers and accounting professionals.

SurePayroll Payroll Services: | www.surepayroll.com

SurePayroll is the leading Web-based payroll provider for small businesses. Process payroll in less than 3 minutes with FREE Direct Deposit and guaranteed tax filing.