Dispatches from a Small Business
Anyone use Paycom for payroll? Considering switching there from ADP, both for cost and what I think is a better IT platform.
We use paychex which I hate. I don't know anything about paycom but would appreciate a followup blog post once you have more information.
How much cheaper are they? They don't advertise their prices, which is annoying.
My company has varied in size from 30 to 300 employees over the years and we've always just used Quickbooks to do payroll ourselves. We acquired some operations along the way that used ADP, but we couldn't understand why. The cost of payroll for us was a whole lot less doing it ourselves than ADP did previously for those operations. Even at the peak of 300 employees paid every other week, payroll was only about a 5 day a month job for our bookkeeper. Now it is about one hour a week for a weekly payroll for each on site manager, and I remotely approve what they've entered in Quickbooks before they print out checks. End of quarter and end of year are very easy in Quickbooks. Overall, I don't like Quickbooks because they have no real competition, but their payroll is sure easy once you get used to its quirks.
My company's in the HR/payroll business. Our customers tend to be more manufacturing, but we also have some with a lot of temporary workers or high-turnover fields. Drop me a line if you might want some information.
I have Paychex, used to have ADP, neither were particularly brilliant. Would love a follow up post once you sort it out.
Payroll services, which can best be described these days as "pay delivery" systems with the advent of direct deposits, are a waste of time and money.
The dirty little secret is that all these companies do is calculate and write the payroll and make sure the government entities get paid. The preliminary work of setting up employees, administering changes/terminations and calculating payroll hours remains with the client companies.
It is far easier and much cheaper to enter the information into Quickbooks and let that program generate the payroll and calculate the payments due third parties. If the payroll system isn't working well in this circumstance, you can deal with your own payroll administrator directly.
As I recall, you had problems delivering paychecks to your widely dispersed employees on timely basis because many of them did not have bank accounts. I suggest that you contact the local depository banks that you use out in the hinterlands with the intent to set up employee bank accounts for all of those folks with a bank-aversion. Wire the funds to these accounts and inform your employees that they have no other pay delivery option.
Pay delivery services are more expensive then in-house solutions, however, you need to balance cost with regulatory exposure. There are a number of Federal and state regulatory and taxing authorities that could take an interest in your employee payroll/benefits/remittance performance. And the regulatory reach will expand significantly under the new healthcare law. Unless you are a big company that can afford on staff expertise, an outsourced service may make sense to stay on the right side of the rules. Lots of reasons to roll back the Nanny State.
Quickbooks (or Peachtree or any of the other popular PR software houses) will update for changes in regs and any accountant worth his salt can run an in-house payroll system. ADP, Paychex and the other services are scrambling with discounted service offerings of 401K plan administration, UC administration, etc. to stem income losses resulting from ongoing bailouts from their expensive PR processing service offering. Warren's favorable price bid from ADP is an indication that they are hurting.
"Wire the funds to these accounts and inform your employees that they have no other pay delivery option."
Two words: Pay cards. They're not a great solution for someone with a bank account, but for the unbanked, they are a decent alternative. I would imagine that most of Warren's employees of the older semi-retired type wouldn't find them very useful.
Gadfly, "making sure the government gets paid" including all the way down to the city level, and keeping up with all the tax changes that happen every year, is a pretty big batch o' work, especially for multistate companies. Warren's written quite a bit over the years about how much red tape he goes through dealing with petty bureaucracy--hiring a payroll company to do that dirty work, especially when you operate in, what, 10 states, makes a lot of sense.
Warren – I recommend that you take a look at Alliance Payroll. They are an owner operated, independent payroll provider with a solid reputation for customer service and no-nonsense pricing. http://www.alliancepayroll.com
I no longer deal with Payroll, but when I did I was unable to find a service that was not at least as much work as doing it myself. Each business is different but in my experience there were so many unique attributes to each run of payroll or each employee than services were unable to accommodate - or it they tried got wrong. Fixing service errors is extremely time consuming. In the end I developed my own system fed directly from my own business records. The development costs were large - though spread over a very long time frame, but the operating costs were negligible - far lower than providing the service with the information they required - much less dealing with their errors. At one point I dealt with a small local service, they were generally affordable, far more flexible than the larger services, and as they actually wanted my business they tend to try to take better care of me.