If you’re reading this blog, you might be a current or past BWLK client, a friend or acquaintance of one of our partners/employees or someone who found us through Google when looking for an experienced and effective accounting and financial planning firm in Northeast Ohio.
What you may or may not realize is that most CPA firms – including BWLK - are more than one-hit wonders and handle a plethora of financial and accounting services for their personal and business clients. That’s right, you heard it here first – we do more than taxes! What kinds of financial services do we offer? We’re glad you asked.
Starting with this blog – and monthly throughout the rest of 2019 and into 2020 – we will highlight some of the most important services our accountants perform for clients every day. The goal is to educate individuals and business owners about our capabilities and the ways we can make their lives easier. Our work saves our clients time, money, stress, potential mistakes (and consequences), downtime and unnecessary risk.
One way we help the overworked internal accounting departments at small and medium-sized companies is by handling their entire payroll process.
Payroll-related activities include calculating payroll each time period, printing, signing, and distributing paychecks or pay stubs, computer software and program maintenance, training and support, keeping up with changes in tax rates/laws, preparing and remitting payroll taxes and returns to government agencies, W-2s, garnishments, new hire reporting and generating reports for in-house and accountant use.
Outsourcing the payroll process frees up the department’s staff to handle a boatload of other important accounting functions like monthly accounting, payables and receivables, cash flow management, business taxes, budgets, expense reports and more.
Businesses gain several specific benefits and advantages by outsourcing the payroll process. We’ll examine a few below.
Accurate reporting requires complete and correct employee records. Some companies find it difficult to make this happen without having the appropriate technological resources in-house. Outsourcing payroll to an accounting firm can help these companies improve accuracy and lower operating costs by providing the necessary software to streamline the process.
The direct costs of processing payroll can be greatly reduced by working with a payroll provider. While big businesses can afford to maintain large payroll departments, small and medium-sized businesses don’t usually have that luxury. If your business has fewer than 30 employees, there’s a very good chance you can save money by outsourcing your payroll operations.
Working with a partner with its own system can make the payroll procedure more efficient and help business owners and their employees focus more on core company practices. Knowing that the payroll process is being handled by professionals with the right expertise and tools allows business owners to turn their attention toward improving other elements of the company, including customer service.
Improved government compliance
Obviously, businesses and organizations must follow federal and state payroll and tax regulations to avoid expensive penalties. Most often, these fines occur due to late or incorrect filings or reporting. In addition, these government requirements are always subject to change.
If human resources and payroll employees aren't familiar with codes or aren't able to consistently monitor for alterations, companies could face even more costly fees. Accountants are constantly staying up to date on law and requirement changes to ensure that clients are meeting all obligations as part of their payroll process. Companies trying to handle payroll internally could miss even the most minor law change, which could cost them a lot of money, time and hassle when it comes time to dealing with the IRS.
Payroll processing is a complex and potentially risky business operation. Even with the most trusted employees, there is always a risk of identity theft, embezzlement of funds, or tampering with company files for personal gain.
Even if you have honest people administering your payroll, there is risk when using in-house payroll software. Is the company’s server secure? Is the firewall good enough? Is employee data safe?
These concerns can keep a business owner awake at night. But most accounting firms have technologies that can spot and alert clients to various types of payroll fraud. They have invested in state-of-the-art systems for storing and protecting data because it’s part of the service provided to clients.
To learn more about BWLK’s payroll services and how your business can benefit, call the Salem office at 330-332-4646 or the East Liverpool office at 330-385-2160.