What to Look for in Online Payroll Services for Small Businesses

Nov 22, 2022 12:00:00 AM

As your business grows, you will need help managing and processing payroll. Online payroll services can provide everything you need to pay your people accurately and on time. However, while just about every payroll company will offer similar services, they aren’t all cut from the same cloth. Some companies will serve your business needs better than others, so it’s essential to know precisely what you need from a payroll company. 

Here’s what to look for in an online payroll service provider for your small business. 

Verification Testing and Accurate Processing

Accuracy and compliance are the most important when it comes to payroll. You want to know that everything is correct before payroll is submitted and that all the correct tax documents are collected. 

Verification testing is a feature that identifies inaccuracies before payroll is submitted and allows you to adjust accordingly. These tools can also make compliance recommendations. 

Look for online payroll providers that offer check-editing capabilities on payroll processing that will ensure your returns are error-free and bring potential data-validity issues to your attention. 

Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics tools help you gain valuable payroll insights while also catching inaccuracies to maintain compliance. These tools help with year-end reporting, comparative benchmarking, custom calculations, approval flows, and more. 

You may also look for companies that provide a report writer and manual check calculators for help analyzing your payroll.  

Self-Service Tools

Self-service tools allow managers and employees to access certain information without bothering payroll or HR teams. Self-service tools can have different features depending on the payroll company.

Manager self-service tools typically help save time for management with notifications, employee filters, time-tracking tools, and other features. 

Employee self-service tools allow employees to manage personal data, make time off requests, and view paystubs and tax documents. 


If you have software you already use, like a general ledger or time tracking software, you may want to choose online payroll services that will integrate with your current tools. For example, some online payroll providers will provide integration that allows for importing hours worked and pay data for increased accuracy. 

Service and Support

One of the biggest differentiators you’ll see between payroll companies is the level of service they have to offer. Some companies provide you with tools and leave you to your own devices, while others have high-touch service and reliable representatives. If excellent service is essential to you, look for companies that offer the following types of service and support: 

  • No call centers
  • Dedicated point of contact
  • Support based in the U.S. 
  • Industry experts
  • High-touch customer service

You may also be interested in looking for companies that provide online training and resources. 

Customer Reviews

If you’re looking for a payroll company for online payroll services, you should start and end your search by browsing through customer review sites. This will give you an idea of what you want to look for, the features available, and the pain points other businesses have encountered with their payroll companies. 

Review sites for online payroll services: 

Here are a few things to check out when perusing the review sites: 

Cost: Look for positive comments about costs and features if this is a primary concern for your business. You may see reviewers complain about hidden fees and paying premium prices for average services, and those are the companies you may want to avoid. 

Product Scalability: If your business is growing, look for online payroll services with scalable product offerings that can scale with your needs. Reviewers may comment on how their payroll company was able to scale with them or had more to offer than just payroll. 

Customer Service: Many payroll companies will use call centers or robotic answering services that can make it impossible to get the help you need. If customer service is important to you, look for reviews that speak to easy access to representatives and great service. 

Easy to Use: Some online payroll software is old, complicated, unintuitive, and lacks proper integrations, making processes slow and prone to error. If you want to make sure your payroll services are easy to navigate, look for reviews about how easy products are to use. 

An Online Payroll Company that Stands Out

In the end, you want a payroll company that will be a perfect fit for your business. Proliant offers online payroll services with all the tools you need for guaranteed accuracy and compliance. Our tools are also easy to use and come with industry-leading customer service. Keep an eye out for our great customer reviews on review sites like G2, Capterra, Software Advice, and GetApp. 

If you’re interested in learning more about online payroll services for your small business, schedule a meeting with one of our experts. 

About Proliant

Proliant puts the human in human resources. We provide a fully integrated, cloud-based HCM solution that simplifies payroll and HR processes. The company serves small to large clients in multiple industries in all 50 states and is committed to providing the highest quality customer service in the industry.

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