How to choose the right payroll service for your hospitality business

How to choose the right payroll service for your hospitality business
Photo: Stokkete, Bigstock

As outsourcing and cloud computing becomes more popular with business owners due to the time and cost efficiencies, one of the most straightforward tasks to transition is payroll.

In the hospitality industry, payroll is crucial yet somewhat annoying, i.e. it needs to be done, but it takes up valuable time that could be spent running the actual business. All the more reason to look into a payroll service to relieve you of this work.

What tasks can be handled by a payroll service?

Payroll processing: The automatic calculation of what is owed to each employee per pay period. This will account for varying rates, overtime, holiday pay and taxes amongst other things. Payments will then be made via direct deposit.

Taxes: An automatic withhold of employee taxes as well as the filing of tax reports.

New hire reporting: Handy considering the turnover rate in the hospitality industry.

Integration with other systems: Most payroll services will integrate with various accounting software or HR systems.

Self-service: A system that gives employees access to view pay slips, and EOFY statements is always favourable.

Remote access: Look for a mobile app or mobile-friendly website so you can manage payroll remotely.

Reporting: This is crucial to understanding how your business operates and correct budgeting.

What will a payroll service cost?

With most solutions that can be customised to suit your needs, the pricing will vary. There will always be a standard pricing structure often charged monthly, but most will charge based on how regular your payroll period is.

There can often be multiple pricing plans depending on the level of service your business requires. It’s best to consult what options are available to you and customise your plan to your needs.

Which service is right for your business?

payroll services
Photo: Megaflopp, Bigstock

As the features can vary per payroll service, here are the top nine things to look out for to ensure you choose the right one:

  1. Features including multiple payment options, wage rates, and detailed payroll reports.
  2. Ease of use with a simple interface that requires little training
  3. Price, make sure you can afford the system, and you are not paying for things you won’t use
  4. Good reviews, make sure the system has been tried and proven by others
  5. Integration with your existing programs
  6. IT Support in case something stops working
  7. Minimal outages as updates can be great but not if they interrupt your operations or delay payments
  8. Self-service this saves time and increases employee satisfaction
  9. Additional features, so long as you will actually benefit from them

Employees and non-employees

A factor that affects a number of industries, but especially those businesses in hospitality, can be the need to pay non-employees like contractors and suppliers. Where your employees are processed through the payroll system with automatic deductions non-employees will be handled differently.

Non-employees will often submit an invoice which produces a whole new level of organisation to your payroll requirements making the task even more complicated. This is why outsourcing payroll to an independent bookkeeper is often favoured to reduce the chance of human error caused by cumbersome and time-consuming processes.

HR compliance

We’ve heard the horror stories of cafe owners who are fined for exploiting their workers. What about the times it is done unintentionally?

The hospitality industry can sometimes be a revolving door of workers with varying employment conditions and needs; it can be challenging to keep track of this let alone ensure you are compliant.

A dedicated payroll service eases this burden by removing the risk from your HR activities. It works to support the records you are required to keep via an organised system including attendance records, payroll, wages, WHS and many more.

Stick with your industry

The most significant benefit of payroll services is the work they save you. Where possible, however, it’s best to stick with providers who not only understand the hospitality industry but can account for its individual needs.

Bookkeepers can help by providing:

  • Outsourced payroll solutions for your business
  • Personalised service from a dedicated and experienced payroll specialist in the hospitality industry
  • Fixed fees for tailored services that meet your requirements

Speak to a professional today about removing the burden of processing payroll while giving yourself the peace of mind that it will always be handled without any issues.