When a payroll company like ADP or Paychex comes to your business offering a fully outsourced payroll solution, do ever ask them what that actually means?  Does it sound as if they will take care of everything and you can focus on other more important things like staying in business, or going on a much needed family vacation?  “Finally,” you think, “I can stop worrying about compliance and payroll taxes and let someone else do all the work.”

I’d say if that is what you think, you are half right.  These providers will process your payroll and they will file your taxes and they will make sure to follow the law…as they interpret it.  But what you will soon learn is that they need to train you, or someone at your company, on how to use their system.  “But wait a minute, I thought I was outsourcing payroll, why do I need training?” you think.  That is the other half of the equation.

Payroll companies in general will in fact process your payroll, they will make withdrawals from your account, they will cut checks, they will even wire money to the appropriate government agencies.  In fact they will do pretty much anything you tell them to do.  But therein lies the problem.  You need to tell them what to do.  You need to instruct them.  You need to check their work.  You need to do a lot of things to make sure your payroll is being done correctly.  After all, they will do pretty much anything you tell them to do.

But how will you know what to tell them?  How will you know what they are doing is right, or wrong for that matter?  In this situation you are going to either A) still be directly involved, trained, and ready to monitor all transactions; or B) you are going to need to hire a payroll specialist, payroll assistant, payroll administrator, payroll guru or whatever other clever title you come up with for the position.

Stop right there.  Hire someone?  Is that really fully outsourced payroll?  Not really.