Payroll outsourcing is a growing trend for companies operating in the Asia-Pacific region. That’s due in part to cost savings, but the complexity of managing payroll and compensation packages in Asian markets is a big factor, too. For those businesses that have decided that outsourcing payroll is the right course of action, the next challenge is choosing a provider. In a crowded market, not all providers offer the same services – or the same quality. The following are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a provider:
One important consideration is a company’s geographic footprint. Smaller businesses that operate in only one country might prefer a specialized, “one-country” vendor for the depth of their knowledge. Global vendors, on the other hand, have broad experience, but they sometimes lack depth into the laws and regulations of particular nations. Pan-Asian providers offer another option, with in-depth expertise on a regional level.
Vendors offer a variety of services. Businesses first need to decide which processes to outsource and which to keep in house. Then, they need to choose a vendor that can meet those needs. Options include things like:
- Simply calculating compensation
- Printing checks or managing direct deposits
- For printed checks, stuffing envelopes
- Tracking and reporting sick days, vacation time, etc.
- Handling tax-reporting functions
Access to cloud computing has lowered the barrier to entry, so there can be a wide variety in the quality of different vendors. It’s critical to choose one that has a proven track record. Questions to ask them include:
- How long have you done business in the countries where we operate?
- How have you resolved problems such as payroll errors? How quickly can you rerun an incorrect payroll?
- Who is responsible for penalties if you report taxes incorrectly?
- What technology do you use, and how frequently do you update it?
- What are your security protocols?
- How many clients do you have, and how long have you worked together?
- Can these clients provide references?
If a vendor does provide references, don’t skip the step of contacting them. Ask why they chose the vendor, what they like, what they don’t like, and whether they would choose the same vendor again.
When comparing costs between two vendors, it’s important to make sure you’re comparing like-to-like services. That means asking detailed questions about the pricing structure:
- What is the cost of basic service, and what functions involve extra charges?
- Does the basic price include correcting mistakes? Or is rework extra?
- How long are these prices in effect? Are they introductory or long-term?
- Under what circumstances are price increases allowed during the contract period?
- Under this pricing plan, which tasks do you expect our employees to perform?
- Does this pricing plan include a dedicated contact, or will we be working with a call center?
Choosing a payroll services provider affects everything from employee morale and regulatory compliance to risk management and financial accuracy. Use these tips to choose a vendor that’s a good match for your organization.