Should I outsource payroll?

by | Feb 15, 2023 | Business tips

Running a business comes with a lot of responsibilities. You hardly need us to tell you that, especially if you’ve been in business for a while.

With so much to do on top of the day-to-day of money making, sometimes a bit of help can do a world of good – it’s why personal and virtual assistants are so popular.

But often, a generalist won’t cut it, because some tasks that draw you away from your business and customers are specialist jobs: in particular, payroll.

But outsourcing payroll to someone else seems like such an easy fix – is it really such a good idea?


What is payroll outsourcing?

Payroll outsourcing is where you hire an internal individual, team or organisation to handle your payroll for you. You give them the information they need to do the job, and they take it from there.

The level of service you get can vary in price accordingly. You might just want the basic service – pay calculation, payslips and the like – or the full monty, including pension admin and auto-enrolment.

Traditionally, businesses have tended to go to specialist payroll companies or bureaus for their needs, but accountants and bookkeepers are just as likely to be able to help you.


Benefits of outsourcing payroll

Outsourcing your payroll obligations carries with it a number of significant benefits.

First, and (in our opinion) most importantly, outsourcing frees up your precious time – time that would be better spent focusing on your core business activities or recharging at home. You won’t have to spend as much time looking for a specialist, and certainly won’t have to train them if you outsource payroll!

Outsourced payroll specialists are just that – specialists. They know what they’re doing, the common traps to look out for, and the best practices for efficiency and accuracy.

Some will also use state-of-the-art technology to make sure they can easily share your staffing costs with you, while keeping your data completely secure.

Of course, outsourcing your payroll doesn’t come cost free, but have you considered an in-house payroll specialist’s hiring and training costs? Do you even have an extra desk and computer in the office for them? It can actually end up costing a lot more to get in someone new than outsourcing it externally once you work all the costs out.

The same goes for your payroll systems – instead of paying for a new system, you can just outsource. Sorted!


Disadvantages of outsourcing – and how to counter them

Outsourcing comes with some disadvantages, though; the trick is to understand and mitigate them.

A lot of clients we talk to about outsourcing payroll are worried about losing control over the activity that’s carried out, without maintaining full oversight of the process.

You might also be worried about less access to your payroll data, as communication could become more strained and difficult.

Both of these points can be mitigated by choosing an outsourcing provider worth their salt. Such a person or organisation would place communication at the heart of their business model, and would always want you to feel like you’re part of the process, if that’s what you want.

Furthermore, there isn’t much reason to worry about a specialist changing the way your business approaches payroll – the best providers will talk with you to arrange a working process that suits your business, and they might even have suggestions to improve it.

No matter your business or situation, one piece of advice will prove useful for everyone: get in touch with any potential outsourced payroll specialist to see what they can do for you and how – or get in touch with us to get our take on what you need.

We offer specialist payroll services that help ambitious businesses get back their time. Talk to us about your needs, and we’ll show you how we can help.


The information provided is of a general nature. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice from an appropriate professional before you take any action or refrain from action. Whilst we endeavour to use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate, complete, reliable, error free and up-to-date information, we do not warrant that it is such. We and our associates disclaim all warranties. The information can only provide an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice.

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