Once you have decided to outsource you will need to choose the right school payroll company.
While there are now a huge number of payroll service providers in total yet there are still a relatively small number of specialist academy and school payroll providers. The majority of school payroll companies are UK based, but you’ll find that some providers have overseas servicing units. This type of arrangement may or may not work, depending on how efficient they are, what time zone they work in and how aware they are of the pretty unique legislation and compliance required to get school payroll spot on.
All of that said, even if you choose a UK schools payroll company, you need to due your due diligence with care. Here just some of the things you should be asking your shortlist of providers:
How much educational payroll experience do they have?
Most payroll providers will have a range of clients, from a whole variety of sectors. That doesn’t mean that they’re not specialists in educational payroll, but you do need to make sure that they have sufficient experience and expertise in dealing with the school sector and its peculiarities. Doing payroll for schools is very different from payroll in any other business environment and you owe it to yourself to find out that your preferred providers all have insight into the intricacies of schools payroll.
What is their procedure for getting to know new clients?
Any good payroll provider will appreciate that no matter the sector, no two clients are ever the same. You should be looking for your preferred providers to be saying that they invest the required time to get to know their new clients before doing any payroll activities on their behalf. Only by working this way can you be sure that your provider will truly understand your current situation and be able to anticipate your needs in the future.
What sort of flexibility do they have in their packages?
It may well be that you have decided only to outsource part of your payroll at the start. If that’s the case, it’s important to choose a provider that has a sufficient range of experience and packages available to satisfy your needs as they grow and change.
Are their prices fixed?
A commonly voiced criticism of payroll providers is that there are hidden charges, or that final bills are higher than their clients had envisaged. It’s essential that you establish that your provider’s charging structure is completely transparent and free of nasty surprises.
What guarantees and assurances are on offer?
A payroll provider who is confident in their service will offer not only a guarantee that your payroll will be done accurately and on time, every time, but they will have assurances to back up this guarantee. On the basis that you need to have 100% confidence in your provider, this is a really important point to establish.
How long do their clients tend to stay with them?
Although this may seem like an odd question to ask a payroll provider, the response will be a good indication of client satisfaction. A good payroll provider will see clients come and go from time to time, but will go the extra mile to keep their clients long term whenever they can.
How accessible are they?
Working at a distance is a great way to operate, but it’s essential that you have a point of contact who’s there for you and familiar with your business to reassure you if there are problems as well as resolving queries as they arise. Ideally, they should be telling you that they’ll proactively be looking for ways to operate your payroll more effectively and more efficiently on an ongoing basis, but this is a lot to expect.
Do they speak your language?
While payroll has a whole language of its own, a true payroll professional will never speak to you in jargon; they’ll have ways of describing things that will never leave you feeling perplexed or confused.
At Payplus we tick all of these boxes and a whole lot more, so if you’d like to test us out, why not get in touch today? That way we can reassure you that we deserve a place on your shortlist of school payroll providers.