Cyber-crime is on the rise. It seems like we can’t turn on the news without seeing reports of a new data breach or phishing scam stealing the personal information of hardworking business owners and their employees. With so many weak spots online, business owners are forced to ask: how safe is an outsourced payroll service? It makes financial sense to outsource non-essential tasks like payroll and timekeeping management, but what assurances do you have that these services are safe?
The Technical Side
As more aspects of everyday jobs become computerized, we have to evolve and learn to work smarter with the best tools we have available. We recognize that many small business owners don’t have the time or desire to handle back-office tasks. Being able to outsource these duties keeps costs down for you, and lets you focus on the core tasks of running your company. Since you’re entrusting sensitive company and employee information to your payroll service provider, here are some things to keep in mind about outsourcing these duties:
- Make sure your provider has secure, password-protected logins.
This one seems like a no-brainer. Most online transactions rely on a username and password these days, from shopping to banking to checking our email. If you’re working with an online payroll service provider, make sure they offer you secure webpages that let you create unique usernames and passwords, so you can safely and securely share and view your company’s data.
- How does your provider backup their system?
When sensitive employee and business information is stored on a computer, you want some assurance that your data is safe. If you’re thinking of working with an online payroll provider, be sure to ask how often they back up their system.
Computer crashes and viruses are more common than you think—in the event of a crash, how would your provider back up their system, and how often? Do they have on-site and remote servers to send data to? Are they backing up your data once per day or once per week? How much information could you lose in the event of a destructive virus or computer crash? These are vital questions to ask your provider to make sure your information is protected.
- Does your provider have multiple server locations?
Your local computer isn’t all that’s at risk. What happens if there’s a major storm or freak accident that wipes out your server? What if you lose all your data for the entire year, or further back? It’s up to your payroll service provider to think of these worst-case scenarios, and work with you to prepare for them. Make sure to ask if your provider has multiple server locations. If a major storm hits one server, you’ll want to make sure they have a backup in place.
The Human Side
These are just the technical parts of outsourcing your back-office tasks. The digital aspects of payroll and timekeeping are important, but there are other benefits to consider. Think, for example, of how outsourcing payroll responsibilities could reduce the risk of errors.
Back-office tasks aren’t usually a business owner’s main area of focus, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re working hard talking to your customers and expanding your business. You may not have the time, the desire, or know-how to make sure things like timekeeping and payroll are managed correctly.
Outsourcing these duties makes sure you have a team dedicated to getting the job done right. You hand over these tasks to a qualified group that does this work day-in and day-out. They know how to do the work quickly and expertly, so you don’t have to second-guess yourself or correct any mistakes. Your payroll is in the hands of an professional, saving you time and protecting you from liability if there’s a mistake.
Finally, we think it’s important to know who you’re working with. That’s why we prefer to have a face-to-face meeting with our clients. You get to know our team, and we get a closer look at the unique needs of your company. This lets you see that there are real people behind the screen working hard to make sure your payroll and bookkeeping needs are met, and gives you a greater sense of security that your data isn’t just being sent into the ether when you connect with us. We value the relationship between a business and it clients, so we make sure we’re available to you in person.