When to Switch Your Payroll Service Provider?

payroll service provider

At which point you would need a switch over to new payroll service provider?

More often companies reach crisis point before making a decision to change. This puts people, systems and relationships under pressure, which shadows the business growth and at times most valuable employees may under perform and this may result in business losses.

Here are the few important signs when you should consider a change in your payroll processing.

Multiple Payroll Frequencies

In multiple payroll frequency, employees receive payroll at different time cycles. they expect you to be prompt at all the times, viz., daily, weekly, or monthly payments regardless of whether you do it yourself or hire a payroll service provider. Particularly, in this situation, your payroll errors must be avoided and you don’t want to have to be under extreme pressure. Payroll error puts you in the high drama action with employee needless to mention their agony and your frustration. In order to avoid this, it is more advisable to choose a qualified payroll service provider like CheckMark.

Business Expansion

The business is growing and you are adding new employees to your business to handle your customers better, however, you’ve end up with on-boarding loads of new staff onto your existing payroll system. Can you handle it? If you’re not prepared or your system and procedures are not scalable you could be in trouble. This is also about your ability to add to strategy – a core value from payroll. Having a payroll specialist like CheckMark with a dedicated account manager to handle this critical part for you can be a great reliever so you can concentrate on your core business process.

On Top with New Rules

Staying on top of new rules, new procedures and implementation deadlines, as well as running your normal payroll, is difficult. Thousands of small businesses make mistake by not staying up-to-date and it is not an easy job too and by all means, you don’t want to be one of them. If you have a staff dedicated to doing this it may help you but what if this employee do not turn up on the crucial days, then you are asking for trouble. You can avoid penalties by hiring a payroll specialist who will do the job for you with guarantee and CheckMark does gives you the edge.

Losing Trust

If you’ve lost trust in your payroll provider or staff member doing your payroll it can be hard to get it back. If the communication is stalled and you can’t easily pick up the phone to quickly resolve anything, it’s time to change. Try CheckMark and experience the new way of doing payroll processing with trust and guarantee.

Time is Money

Small business owners are involved in many business activities and take more than one role to accomplish the business goal. Time plays a vital role and you can’t waste a minute to be at top of your competitors. If you think you are saving money by spending more time doing payroll processing then it is time for you to evaluate and take informed decision and look for payroll service provider who not only handles it better but also keep it low cost.

CheckMark has a team of dedicated professionals who have been handling payroll processing for clients spread across the US. Our clientele is pretty diversified and we take pride in having successfully delivered our promise of trust and quality since last 3 decades. For more info please feel free to get in touch with us at 800.444.9922 or you may drop in a line at salesinfo@checkmark.com.

Checkmark Payroll 16.0 is Now Live with Additional Features

Checkmark Payroll 2016

The latest update of Checkmark payroll software 16.0 is full of new enhancements ensuring employers process payroll effortlessly. We release updates annually based on the feedback provided by thousands of small business owners using Checkmark payroll software.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the recently added features of Checkmark payroll software 2016.

New Employer Payments

Employers can now setup and create ACH payments to their bank or through National Payment Corporation to pay their Employer payments, such as tax payments and payments for deductions (401k, insurance, garnishments, etc.).

New Option for Employer Payments

New Calculation Method

We added another option to the Calculation Method in Accrued Hours. You can now accrue hours on a quarterly basis.

New Calculation Method

New Report Added

The new report will combine the Employee Earnings Register and the Employee Hours Register into one report.

New Report Added

New Report Added

1099 Export Option

The new option will enable the employees to export their company information from Payroll software to CheckMark 1099 Software program in a matter of time. All the employer has to do is to just export the company information in a text file (.txt extension) with a click of a button and upload it to the CheckMark 1099 Software.

1099 Export Option

Expense Allocation to Departments/Jobs

The new feature will empower the employer to distribute the tax expense accounts into multiple departments and even, the different expense accounts within the department accounts.

Expense Allocation to Departments/Jobs

New Option in Deductions

There is a new option in the deductions match to be able to take a % of what is deducted from the employee’s check. Deductions can now be matched on employee contributions.


So, what are you waiting for?  Get started by updating your Checkmark Payroll Software today! Click here to update your payroll software.

How to Choose Reliable Payroll Services for Small Business

payroll services for small business

How much time do you waste in gathering time cards, adding hours, calculating taxes, paying employees and filing taxes? According to a study, on average, 7 minutes are required for preparing, computing, and verifying time cards. If you prepare 50 time cards weekly, then it will take approx. 6 hours of your precious time. This time period is just for preparing time cards, and the time will add up for the further processing of payroll.

During the initial phase of the entrepreneurial journey, as a small business owner, you have to wear multiple hats but that doesn’t mean you waste your time in non-revenue generating activities. Remember, “Time is of the essence” and it is one of the greatest resources for small business owners around the world.

Additionally, in order to grow your business, you need time to be on your side or else your old-fashioned ways of calculating and administering the payroll process will not only hinder but also stagnant the potential growth of your business.

According to a survey conducted by OfficeMax, small business owners cumulatively waste 4 billion hours each year in administrative and supervisory tasks. If you are one of them, then you need to seriously consider the following two options:

  1. Payroll Software + Accountant/Bookkeeper
  2. Outsourcing Payroll Services

The former is suitable if you want smooth, accurate and in-house payroll process while the latter is appropriate for small business owners, who want to focus more and more on developing and increasing business across horizons.

CheckMark’s simple and affordable payroll services for small business are specially designed to unshackle owners from cumbersome and time-consuming activities and help them in increasing their business revenue by managing cash flow, following tax rules and providing time.

Choosing the most reliable and affordable service provider is always a herculean task for business owners. However, ensure that the following services are provided under one platform:

  • Calculation of employees’ wages and disbursing them via direct deposit or checks
  • Creating paycheck for your employees
  • Withholding, filing and paying employees’ taxes to the appropriate state and federal agencies
  • Issuing and filing employee W-2 and 1099 forms at the end of the year
  • Reporting new hires to government
  • Additional services such as benefits administration, retirement services, vacation and time-off calculations

The most effective payroll service company helps small businesses in reducing cost, eliminating liability and saving time. Below are some of the questions you should ask yourself before selecting a payroll service provider. If the majority of the answers are “Yes,” then no need to search for the second option, since you have hit the gold spot. The questions are:

  • Is the company trustworthy and dependable?
  • Whether my data can be safe and secured in their hands?
  • Whether they accurately withheld the state and federal taxes or not?
  • Whether they file and pay taxes to the IRS on time or not?
  • Are they aware of all the payroll tax requirements and deadlines of every state in the United States of America or not?
  • Are the costs transparent and affordable?
  • Whether they have any hidden or annual maintenance fees?
  • Will the simple monthly pricing based on the number of employees suits my business?
  • Whether they have clients in the USA or not?
  • Do they have a decent customer and tech support?

Effective and accurate payroll process is important for the satisfaction and productivity of your employees. A simple error can cost you dearly and low the morale of your employees. With CheckMark small business payroll services, you can rest assured that your company’s payroll data and the information is in safe hands. The following are our payroll service plan for small businesses:

  • Basic– Processing your payroll and direct deposits in bank accounts. All you need to do is to submit your payroll data online to us and we will take care the rest of the process.
  • Pay & File Pro– Dedicated payroll specialist will take complete responsibility of filing and paying your federal, state and local payroll tax. (Basic package benefits included)
  • Pay & File Complete– Dedicated virtual HR department will assist you to stay in compliance with laws and regulations. (Basic and Pay & File Pro package benefits included)

Our qualified and professional team understands every IRS law and will work along with you in growing your business to next level. If you are looking for affordable, dependable and accurate payroll service for your business, then don’t look beyond CheckMark, USA’s most trusted and reliable payroll solution provider.

Choosing a Payroll Services Company – Part 2

Payroll Services Company

Click here to read the Part 1 of the same post…

Choosing a Payroll Service: FAQs
Below we have mentioned few of the popular questions that you should be asking your prospective payroll services company:

  • Additional fee in filing taxes for multiple states?
  • What is the response time like?
  • Who is liable to mistakes committed by the payroll services company?
  • Reporting structure and time frame?
  • Services include retirement plans?
  • Turnaround time in correcting a mistake?
  • Additional admin charges in adding or updating employee payroll details?
  • Rate of increase of annual fee – if any?
  • The data that you get from them, can it be integrated with your accounting software?
  • Customer service availability?
  • Will be assigned dedicated personnel?

Choosing a Payroll Service: Take a Trial
It is often seen that the initial questionnaire may lead to some untruthful responses from the payroll services company and to doubly sure it would be wise if you could talk with their clients. It would be a good opportunity for you to know the prospective payroll services company’s turnaround time, data accuracy anything in particular that matters to the smooth operations of a business

Another way of knowing their services and their quality first hand is by giving their customer support a direct call. It would give a fair idea as to how seriously they take their business when it comes to dealing with clients – as sometimes for a really good payroll Service Company the person on the other side of the call would be polite and smart or else you may her someone reading a predefined script.

Additionally, you should also get the quoted price for all the services that you intend to use this year and if possible try the get the price for the next year as well. This would assist you in deciding whether or not the payroll services fall within your budget or not.
If possible try to get hold of their reports – That’s another way of knowing whether their process is of worth and is simple to comprehend or they are complicated with useless details.

Similarly, try to get a feel of their web platform software. This would ensure that at run time you follow the instructions in the software fairly well and that it is user-friendly. This would be beneficial for not only you but your employees too.

Choosing a Payroll Service: Signed-Up…What’s next
At the time of signing up of contract make sure what the payroll services company expects out of you in terms of documentation and data.

You have to proactively arrange all the employee files with complete details viz- Names, Addresses, Wages and Deductions if any. Additionally, you may need to make arrangement for bank direct deposits in terms of checks etc.
It would be good to plan out a reporting schedule with the signed-up payroll service company, also determine the time schedule week wise and month wise as to when you are supposed to login into their system to give in details. On your part in the initial time span keep an eye on your bank account movements. It is often seen that few companies keep running their old payroll systems along with the new payroll services for the initial period to check if the figures tally.

If in case you are not satisfied with the signed up payroll service company the best time to switch over is either at the beginning of the year or quarterly.

Choosing a Payroll Services Company – Part 1

Payroll ServiceOutsourcing payroll services is a life saver especially for small business owners with limited man power resources and if you sign-up with a reputed company you can be sure of their best practices and professional approach.

But to choose the best among so many payroll service companies, all claiming to be prompt at their job is a tedious but fruit bearing exercise.

We have compiled a series of factors that would assist you in choosing a suitable and dependable payroll service company for your business.

Choosing a Payroll Service: How to Fish
You may start with a basic search on your favorite search engine for payroll service and chances are that you may end with thousands of results to choose from. Ascertaining quality service provider from the search result is a hard task but is not impossible if you break down the results systematically.

For beginners it is advised to first focus on those service providers who are referred through your known ones. This gives an opportunity to know first-hand what role the outsourced payroll services plays and what are the pros and cons. Primarily, it would assist you in crystallizing your thoughts whether you need a third party payroll service or you are better off hiring an in-house staff.

Be aware to not to straight away fall for large payroll service providers as they might try to up-sell other related services in the package that you might not need like time management or human resources. This will turn out to be an expensive affair for your small business model.

It would be a good practice to assess your business requirements before signing-up a contract. Lament over your business plans for the coming year. Ask straight pointed questions and make notes – question like do you want to have human resources services in the service bundle along with payroll, is the payroll service provider capable to handle different federal and state taxes, how much growth in terms of human resources you expect in form of full-time, part time and contractual hires, what budget you have set aside for the payroll service etc. These probing questions always assist in crafting your exact business requirements before you sign-up a payroll services company.

Additionally, you could be running a business which has union workers. Before signing-up a payroll services company make sure if they have handled such cases. There could be a number of things which are not part of the usual business practice. For instance if you run a restaurant, the servers are tipped on top of the bill. The payroll services company that you want to sign-up should be aware of how to file taxes for such cases. Considering all the factors in length and breadth of your business practice you may end up with a much narrowed down list of choices.

You may also search online for comments and reviews about the payroll services company through Yelp and other business review websites.

Choosing a Payroll Service: Service Portfolio and Pricing
With the filtered list of payroll service providers you should try to map all your business requirements with the service palette that the payroll company has to offer.
Basically the payroll whether you opt for an in-house payroll software or hire payroll services company it is supposed to perform three major tasks – That it pays your employees promptly on time and accurately, it calculates your taxes accurately and files the same on time so as to keep you compliant with the law and keeps you safe from IRS penalties. You should always ensure that the payroll services company that you sign up is following best practices and has a trustworthy standing among its customers.

After you have pinned down the list of prospective payroll services company it is time now to revisit your list of immediate essentials in terms of services that you want from the payroll company, moreover, it would also be good to check for custom requirements that you would need upfront and those that are not charged extra viz – W-2 forms, online pay stubs, employee time tracking etc. It would turn out to be a good deal if you get these extras and more at no extra cost to your pocket.

As a crucial check before you freeze a payroll service company it would be a good to have, if the payroll company has web platform for its services. This would ensure that the data integrity is maintained and the system remains error free. Often, contemporary payroll companies will do a reentry of the data that the user has sent across giving rise to data duplication. In short, a payroll services company having web platform to perform its task is a good have.

The pricing model when you sign-up with a payroll services company depends on the number of employees and the services bundle that you agree upon –still it makes sense to be clear whether you will be charged by the month or by payroll period. Some payroll services companies have ready-made packages with varying features and options and of course different pricing. You should be wise to not to fall for an all-inclusive services bundle initially. It is suggested that you start out small with basic package and then upgrade as you go ahead.

It is also observed that some of the payroll services company would seize your taxes at the time doing the regular payroll, this way they accrue interest on the amount till it is time to file the tax. Taxes have to be filed within a certain time, few of the payroll companies would take money from you but wouldn’t file the taxes till the time window exist. Thus earning interest on your money and you in turn might be facing cash-flow issues.

Though there is nothing illegitimate about such a practice, but if the payroll services company doesn’t do it – it is a benefit for you.

Contd. in Part 2

Benefits of In-House Payroll Software for Small Business

payroll software for small business

As a small business owner, you need to be really concerned about having an accurate payroll system for your business because both employees and US government are dependent on you for their wages and taxes respectively. Many employers spend long hours calculating payroll manually in excel sheets, which is nothing short of wasting valuable time and effort.

When you have spent a significant amount of time and resources in hiring, training and managing your employees for growing your business, then having a smooth and reliable payroll software for small business will not only help you in increasing the morale and productivity of your employees but also helps you in paying the appropriate taxes to IRS on time.

Thus, in-house payroll software is a must-have for small businesses even if you have only one employee. However, there are some important aspects of effective payroll software, which you need to keep in your mind before buying.

Run Payroll in Minutes, Not Days

Payroll software for small business automates payroll process from start to finish irrespective of the size of your company. All you need to do is to enter the number of hours your employee has worked and the software will run the payroll for you quite accurately in a matter of time.

Automatic Calculation of Taxes

Since, every state in the US has different tax rules and regulations, it’s important to obey guidelines specific to your state because improper calculations can impact both employers and employees. Payroll software automatically calculates and withholds federal as well as state payroll taxes, social security taxes, and Medicare taxes allowing you to take a deep breath of relief.

Tax Filing Like a Breeze

Paying taxes accurately and on time helps you in avoiding getting penalized by IRS. Many employers take this matter on a lighter note and pay the consequences at the end of the year. Being an employer, it’s your utmost duty to file the appropriate taxes like W-2, W-4, 1099, 1095, etc. promptly to the government. With payroll software, you can e-file the tax forms directly to IRS with the click of the button.

Unlimited is the New Black

Most cost-effective payroll software for small businesses limits the number of employees. With CheckMark payroll software, you can add unlimited companies, unlimited employees and off-course run unlimited payrolls without any additional cost or hidden fees.

Pay by Check or Direct Deposit

Depending on your business, you can pay the wages by check or direct bank deposit.  However, if you love to pay via cash, then it’s not a big deal.

Export Data to Your Preferred Software

The most-wanted feature of any payroll software is to have the compatibility of exporting the data to their existing accounting and HR software. CheckMark has their own accounting software – MultiLedger, which is one of the most powerful and accurate accounting software in the industry. You can easily export the data to MultiLedger with a simple click.

Stay Informed About Tax Updates

Since we have already mentioned above that the Internal Revenue Service updates tax regulations every year. It’s important for every small business owner to stay informed and knowledgeable about the tax updates. With payroll software, you need not have to worry about it because it is updated every year for a small nominal fee.

No Hidden Fees

Many payroll software has dual pricing policies i.e. monthly base price for the software and employees. For example, if you have 10 employees in your company, then numbers will look like:

Monthly Base Price: $40

Employees Fees ($5×10): $50

Total: $90

Annual Charges: $1080

Whenever you hire a new employee, you have to pay additional fees and believe me, it might look inexpensive, but in the long run, it will burn holes in your pocket. As a small business owner, you know how the small costs will add up too fast over the course of the year if you are careless. That is why many of the small businesses in the United States prefer in-house payroll software for a one-time fee.

It’s Time to Grow Your Business

Everyone knows that small business owners wear many hats. But the problem is that they start to spend and waste more time in non-revenue-generating activities such as HR, accounting and payroll to save money even though there are many inexpensive and affordable solutions available in the market. However, sooner or later, you have to abandon the idea of using any crappy software or maintaining spreadsheets in order to start thinking about developing your business.

This is where CheckMark helps small businesses in automating their payroll processes without any worries so that they can invest their valuable time and effort in growing their business to next level. Our in-house small business payroll software fits any type of business and has the ability to grow along with your business. Thus satisfying all your business needs by reducing the risks and saving you money.

Small Business Payroll Services

Payroll ServicesIn the USA it is mandatory for employers to pay for Medicare, Local, State and Federal Taxes for their employees. In the process the employer deducts a portion of taxes and fees from the employee paychecks. Needless to say all these transactions are recorded for audit and reporting purposes.

Payroll Services – What does this entails
A payroll services company does all these activities for a fee, so that the business owners can use their time for other business activities. Once a contract is signed between the business owner and payroll service company all that the business owner has to do is to provide the service company with list of employees, hours that they worked and adjustments therein. The payroll services company then processes this data, does a fund transfer from the employer account to the payroll service account and disburses the salaries either through standard checks or direct bank deposit. The same is intimated to the employer through payroll and tax reports.

In addition to the standard payroll management services offered, payroll service companies like CheckMark, Inc. offers additional services such as benefit administration, retirement services, vacation and time-off calculations etc. The spectrum of services offered encompasses tax payments, labor management, tax compliance etc. The fee charged for handling these tasks depends of the account size which normally revolves around the no. of people on the payroll list.

Payroll Services – Evolution and Ticking
Many companies big and small have laid the baseline format for the payroll service industry operations and the field seems to be still evolving with the advent of new technology and working methods. Today a signed-in employer can enter his payroll information into the services portal and get the transaction done within minutes. At any point in time the employer can view their records with click of a button and also update the same at run-time. Reporting is fast, accurate and saves the employer from IRS penalties.

Payroll Services Company – How to Choose
Of course it is also true that there have been instances of fund theft and misappropriation due to computerization. It is still recommended to research for the various options available in terms of the payroll services companies, their work practices, reputation and customer testimony. Care has to be taken as the signed-up payroll service company will have access to the most confidential records of the employer. Also, if payroll Service Company fails to file for taxes on time, the signed-up employer’s company will be held responsible and will be liable for prosecution and monetary penalties. All that said, the signing up of a payroll service company has long list of benefits which cannot be overruled viz: more time for the employer to focus on main business activities, don’t have to hire a full-time accountant for payroll purposes, gets his payroll work done as per the best practices in the industry etc – to name a few.

10 Signs You Should Invest In Payroll Service

Payroll doesn’t have to be hard. Payroll Software fits the bill for many companies and is a great and affordable option for them. However, it doesn’t fit the bill for all. If you’ve struggled with any of these 10 signs, consider contacting us for a free payroll services quote and let’s see if we can help you out!

1.      I don’t have time for payroll! Payroll Services is a quick and easy submission of hours every payroll period. Your payroll specialist handles the rest. No more midnight troubleshooting.

2.      I don’t know a thing about payroll. If you are totally clueless about payroll, it might be best to leave it to payroll specialists.

3.      I need to focus on the core of my business. No shame there. Payroll is easy to take off your plate.

4.      Complicated tax structure.  So you live in one of those places that has what feels like a bazillion local and state taxes with all these different rules. Well, you can make that someone else’s problem.

5.      When are taxes due? IRS loves late payments…means extra income for them!

6.      I’m not organized. Payroll and payroll taxes require good organization to be accurate and timely.

7.      It’s the bane of my existence! If you hate it, might as well pass it off to someone who likes it and spend more time doing what you are good at and enjoy.

8.      Payroll taxes are daunting and stressful. You aren’t the only one. They also don’t have to be stressful to you.

9.      Paying employees is stressful and confusing. Taxes, deductions, additional income, vacation…they all add up!

10.   I’m worried about IRS penalties. No one likes penalties. Payroll Services assume the liability if they make a mistake.

Learn more about our Payroll Services or ask for a free quote today!