Any employer who is considering engaging a payroll/tax/HR services firm should make sure they select a firm which is financially solid, has significant tax expertise, is insured and bonded and which has resources in place to avoid disruption to online processing. Looking at a demo of a really “cool” HRIS system which has data dancing from mobile apps to payroll and on-boarding from the recruited candidate to the employee payroll record has a definite “cool factor”, BUT you must make sure your selected payroll/HR/tax vendor also has the following core functions and skills in place to properly meet your needs with excellence and to protect you in the event of an error/tax issue.
AccuPay has long had a Peace of Mind Kit which we provide to prospects/new clients to help them perform “due diligence” on us as a services provider, who in most cases has access to their bank account for tax impounding and tax payment purposes.
The primary components of our Peace of Mind Kit are summarized as follows:
We provide the contact details for Regions Bank, which originates our ACH direct deposits and which reviews our financial statements and tax returns on an annual basis, as part of their ACH credit exposure review of AccuPay. It is very important that you make sure your payroll/HR services firm is financially solid. Our Peace of Mind kit provides you with the name and phone number of our account representative at Regions.
INSURED AND BONDED
AccuPay purchases E&O insurance and has an employee bond in place which protects both our clients and us in the event of errors, such as tax deposits, or misappropriation of funds from our escrow account. Most payroll companies have substantial amounts of funds in their tax escrow accounts. Our Peace of Mind Kit contains copies of our E&O policy details as well as our escrow account bond.
EFTPS ENROLLMENT FORM
You can use the EFTPS/IRS form in our Kit to enroll in the federal EFTPS system and as such monitor your service provider’s tax deposits to your IRS accounts. The IRS holds an employer responsible if any tax deposits are made late or not paid to them, so it is important that an employer enroll in the EFTPS system so they can manage/monitor their IRS tax payments. Some employers may choose to have their CPA firm or financial planner monitor those payments for them.
TAX EXPERTISE AND TAX COMPLIANCE TOOLS
Make sure that your payroll/HR company has extensive knowledge about federal, state, and local income taxes as well as unemployment tax laws of various states. AccuPay’s Tax Director is a long-time CPA with extensive experience in payroll tax matters, and our Tax Manager is certified in both payroll and human resources. We also license an excellent payroll tax reporting system called MasterTax, which is a tool we use in managing taxes in all payroll tax jurisdictions. We also frequently review tax concepts internally with our staff, as to retirement plans, pastor housing allowances, work visas, how to tax bonuses, etc——-Tax is not “cool” but it does become very important when an employer receives a tax notice. AccuPay’s policy is that we resolve every tax notice on the same day we review it, or at least commence the resolution process. We also keep our employer-clients ‘”in the loop” with status reports as we resolve any tax notice
Tax Expertise is the most commonly overlooked service provider component when an employer is reviewing HRIS system software——Make sure your payroll company is exceptional in IRS and multistate/local payroll tax issues!!
RESOURCES FOR AN ONLINE WORLD
With a rapid trend towards “paperless payroll”, make sure that you payroll company can meet your payroll deadlines with accurate payroll checks and timely tax deposits, when technical issues arise. AccuPay has multiple internet carriers to serve our clients if the “cable is cut”, or one of our carriers has a technical problem. We also have a commercial generator which “kicks in” when the overall power goes out (which actually just happened a few weeks ago—-no power, but we were able to continue working with the backup power generator.)
NOT COOL, BUT OH SO IMPORTANT
In addition to seeing a presentation of a mobile app or automatically completed W-4 for a newly onboarded employee, make sure that the above fundamental/core resources are in place with any payroll company you are considering.