Human Resources — #payday

How Your Business Can Benefit From Outsourcing Payroll

How Your Business Can Benefit From Outsourcing Payroll 0

Outsourcing companies play a crucial role in the growth of businesses. It’s now commonplace to see major players in the marketing world commission outsourcing firms to handle core and non-core responsibilities.

With the complexities and intricacies involved in payroll, a lot of companies and businesses are now resorting to a permanent solution: hiring payroll providers. This decision, over time, has proven to be a wise and sustainable choice.

If you’re wondering whether your business will benefit from a payroll outsourcing service like Consultant In-A-Box, you’ve come to the right place.

Benefits of outsourcing payroll

Below are some key areas your business will benefit from payroll outsourcing.

Saves Time

When it comes to businesses, time is directly proportional to money. A lot of time goes into payroll processing that it is often difficult to keep up with other core responsibilities.

Manually processing payroll requires undivided attention. An employee’s net salary needs to be calculated accurately, deducting taxes, pension and healthcare, and including several allowances. And that’s just a single employee.

The action needs to be repeated for the remaining employees, and that can be mentally exhausting. Outsourcing this vital responsibility to payroll providers will save time that can be channeled into a venture that is more productive.

Reduces mistakes

Another benefit of outsourcing payroll providers is that administrative and financial mistakes are reduced to the barest minimum. For instance, when an employee’s work hours aren’t imputed correctly on the timesheet, it may result in a salary decrease (which affects the worker negatively), or an increase (which affects your business).

When an employee receives less of their deserving pay, they may decide to seek resolution in the court of law, and this invariably impacts your business.

To refrain from making costly mistakes like this, the expert service of a payroll provider is necessary.

Improves data security

When it comes to payroll processing, there are so many dangers involved. Some of them include payroll fraud (which affects 27% of all businesses worldwide), identity theft, and embezzlement of funds.

Even if you’re confident about the security of your payroll software, one can never be too confident in matters that pertain to money.

Contracting a payroll outsourcing service like Consultants In-A-Box will ensure that your company’s data is well protected. Leading payroll providers make use of state-of-the-art tech to store payroll information that cannot be breached.

You can rest assured that your business won’t suffer a financial hit internally when you hire a payroll provider.

Leverages on modern technology

Everyone is saving their data information to cloud-based systems, and it is only necessary to hire a payroll provider with a cloud-based system. Modern payroll outsourcing services utilize these systems to foster data security and manage information.

This invariably means increased payroll efficiency, reduced financial costs, and hitch-free processing of payments.

Offers Professionalism

Payroll outsourcing services are leading experts in the field of payroll processing. These companies understand and navigate the many complexities in payroll and give their best to clients. Some of their impressive responsibilities may be tasking for the administrative officer in your firm. They include:

  • Adhering to federal and state tax laws.
  • Accurately deducting social security, FICA, and healthcare fees.
  • Updating W-9 forms to accurately make tax deductions.

Ensures compliance with government laws

It’s difficult to keep up with all the federal and state laws pertaining to employee allowance. Your business needs to remain on the side of the law always. That’s why it’s so beneficial to hire the services of a payroll outsourcing firm.

Consultants In-A-Box is a leading payroll outsourcing service whose mission is to provide lasting solutions to the financial needs of your business. Do contact us today.


How to Protect Your Business Against Fradulent Payroll Providers

How to Protect Your Business Against Fradulent Payroll Providers 0

Many businesses, small or big, are suffering from a different kind of pandemic today: payroll fraud. A record 27% of businesses the world over are currently under attack from this accounting fraud. While this fraud can be typically traced to workers with ill intentions working within a business, it is often advised to hire the services of a professional payroll provider.

Payroll providers are expert agencies that offer effective and safe payroll processing for businesses. While they are tasked with navigating all the intricacies involved in payroll systems, can they really be trusted with your company’s financing?

While there are reputable payroll providers like Consultants In-A-Box out there to entrust your business payroll processing, we can’t help to disclose that there have been a couple of bad eggs in the business, soiling the hard and success of good payroll outsourcing companies.

In this article, you will learn how these fraudulent payroll providers operate and how you can prevent your business from one.

Causes of Payroll Fraud

Fraudulent payroll providers cripple the finances of many businesses through the following methods:

  • Ghost employees - If your business is fairly large, it is tasking to know all your employees by name or the actual number of your staff size. Fraudulent payroll providers exploit this common flaw by creating a fictional worker(s) and inputting their information along with genuine workers on the payroll list. The company ends up paying that ghost worker’s salary which is collected by the payroll providers. In some cases, these providers may use the names and details of former employees to trick businesses into paying them.
  • Falsification of timesheets - Some fraudulent payroll systems deliberately increase the number of work hours by a staff (whom they must’ve connived with) to have a bigger paycheck.
  • Payroll impersonation - Fraudulent payroll providers may ask your employees to update payroll data through a phishing website made to look genuine. They’d steal this information and make alterations to it on the genuine website.
  • False commission - It’s commonplace to see some businesses giving commissions to employees. A deceitful payroll provider can deliberately increase the commission of workers to make them earn a larger pay. This stunt is pulled by illegally increases the target sales and other marketing bonuses.

With the aforementioned ways in which businesses can be affected by fraudulent payroll providers, how do you ensure your business is well protected?

How To Protect Your Business From Fraudulent Payroll Providers

The steps below will guide you on how to prevent payroll fraud from scandalous providers:

  • Properly vet payroll providers. This is the important step to make before hiring a payroll provider to handle your company’s payroll. Ensure that they’re adhering to the regulations of the SEC and can also provide proof of their liability insurance. Also, ensure that their customer service is top-notch. Your business deserves nothing short of the best.
  • Check out reviews. When selecting a payroll provider to work for your business, you should the internet for user reviews. Reviews reveal a lot about a payroll provider you’re planning to work with.
  • Request for further certifications. You need to request for further verification from governmental agencies before hiring a payroll provider.

We at Consultants In-A-Box take pride as permanent solutions to your business’ payroll problems. We combine professionalism with a wealth of experience to deliver the very best for your employees and business. Do reach out to us today.

Six Payroll Challenges For Small Restaurants

Six Payroll Challenges For Small Restaurants 0

Managing a small restaurant is no easy feat. One would be dealing with several things all at once; coming up with strategies to drive sales, training employees on great customer service, and implementing customer reviews, and a more pressing issue: payroll processing.

Many small restaurant owners are having a difficult time meandering through the complexities of managing payroll, unlike other small businesses. You can’t afford to make mistakes while managing payroll. Mistakes often led to paying penalties which may affect your business.

You don’t want that.

In this article, we discuss some of the various payroll challenges for small restaurants and cafes.

Minimum Wage and Overtime.

Since 2009, the federal minimum wage has remained $7.25 per hour. However, states, cities, and counties have implemented a much higher minimum wage for employees. If the state and the federal minimum wage is different in the state your business is situated, you’d have to pay your employees a higher rate.

In the event that an employee exceeds 40 hours per week, he or she must be paid one and a half times more than their regular pay per hour.

When it comes to overtime, a lot of restaurant owners get it wrong. For some employers, calculating overtime fees of workers is still a challenge. There’s a seemingly overtime wage difference between tipped and untipped employees.

  • For tipped employees. The overtime wages for a tipped employee is ascertained from the full minimum wage.
  • For salaried employees. The overtime wages for a salaried employee is calculated on how his or her salary is set up and how many hours they worked.

Meals as Fringe Benefits.

Most restaurants offer meals to their workers, especially kitchen staff, who are always on duty. The IRS regards this as a fringe benefit. As a restaurant owner, you have the ability to exclude these meals from your worker’s wages. As long as the meals are provided to your workers on the premises, and they don’t go elsewhere to look for food, you can deduct the meals.

Most times, restaurant owners get this mixed up and this poses a problem for their business. However, it would be unreasonable to place charges on doughnuts, coffee, or any other meals taken by employees working overtime.

Too Many Forms.

Another payroll challenge restaurant owners face is the number of paperwork piling up on their desks daily. Having to sort out of the onboarding process for new employees, processing payroll, and of course, staying on the side of the law regarding tax laws.

When you consider the different wages of workers, expenses made, and the revenue flowing in, this can pose a serious payroll challenge for owners of small restaurants. It is highly recommended that you use payroll software or hire the services of professional payroll providers to handle all the complexities of tax and payroll.

Possible Discrimination on Job Applications.

As an employer, there are certain questions you’re prohibited to ask a potential employee, in order to not face lawsuits. Some of them include:

  • Asking about previous arrests or convictions.
  • Asking about their age.
  • Religious holidays
  • Disabilities

Offering Parental Leave and Paid Sick.

One payroll challenge small restaurant owners face is the understanding of how sick and parental leaves work. An experienced payroll provider is what your business needs if you cannot handle this issue yourself.

Payroll Fraud.

Payroll fraud is one of the crippling challenges of small restaurants. If unchecked, your business could take a serious hit. Some employees with ill intentions may illegally log in time which they never appeared on their timesheets. Handing out this responsibility to a payroll provider will save your business in the long run.

Should Small Businesses Outsource Payroll

Should Small Businesses Outsource Payroll 0

It is commonplace to see small business owners tackling a lot of issues that demand equal attention, and at the same time. Coming up with strategies to boost business sales and productivity, prepping your staff, and taking charge of your finances—especially managing your payroll—can be exhausting.

That’s why businesses are now leaving this task to professional payroll providers. If you’re wondering whether it’s a wise business decision for your small business to outsource payroll, the answer is a resounding yes.

In this article, we will discuss what payroll providers are and the benefits of outsourcing one for your small business.

Who are Payroll Providers?

Payroll providers are expert agencies hired by businesses to handle their payroll processing in a professional and hitch-free manner. It is very vital, even as a small business owner, to outsource payroll.

Benefits of Outsourcing Payroll.

Outsourcing your payroll to payroll providers come with many benefits. Some of them include:

Increased productivity

Time is money, even for small businesses. And when it comes to payroll, it is a time-draining exercise. Having to calculate a worker’s allowances and taxes, deductions, overtime, paid time, and ensuring that state and federal regulations are strictly adhered to can be really stressful.

However, when you outsourcing payroll to an expert provider, like Consultants In-A-Box, you as a small business owner will have more time to focus on other strategic tasks that will boost your bottom line. Also, this will also aid the employee in your accounting department to channel their energy to another productive venture for your business.

The staff size of your business doesn’t matter. When you think about the time you’d spend in preparing W2s, the importance of outsourcing it to payroll providers becomes crucial.

Reduced mistakes

When it comes to payroll processing, mistakes may arise, especially when it is done in-house. Payroll mistakes impact your workers and your business. The IRS also frown frowns at payroll mistakes and would not waste time issuing penalties to you.

As a business owner, you’re responsible for whatever happens, good or bad. And that’s why it’s important to contact your payroll to experts who are equipped with the knowledge of federal and state regulations and the changes in tax rates. More so, you need a payroll provider that will be able to implement these figures in your payroll effectively.

Team of experts

Because new tax laws and regulations are made almost every year at the state or federal levels, your business must continue to ensure that it is on the side of the law. This is why you should outsource payroll.

Payroll providers are experts in the business of accounting and HR. These experts are well aware of the ever-evolving intricacies of payroll, and you can always count on them.

Eliminates payroll fraud

Currently, payroll fraud affects 27% of businesses worldwide. It is reported that businesses with less than 100 employees are more likely to be affected. Even if you trust your workers, there’s a potential risk of being defrauded from identity fraud, embezzlements of funds, ghost employees, illegal filling of timesheets, and many more.

You may not have the time to properly and closely monitor your workers in the accounting department. But you can invest in a more sustainable solution: hiring payroll providers.

Reduced costs

When you think about processing payroll in-house, you’d have to factor in a lot of things. Some of them include calculating payroll, printing, disbursing paychecks, keeping up with tax laws, generating reports, etc. This often results in spending more money than you bargain for.

When you compare it with payroll outsourcing costs, you’d see that it is more cost-effective to hire a payroll provider.

Consultants In-A-Box is a leading payroll provider, tasked with delivering the best payroll solutions for small and large businesses. You’re just a click away from transforming the financial aspects of your business. Reach out to us today.

A Guide to Paying Remote Employees and Contractors

A Guide to Paying Remote Employees and Contractors 0

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head when paying remote employees? Did anyone ever teach you how to pay an independent contractor properly?

Business owners today are met with a wide range of challenges, but none present a higher risk to your company than your payroll procedures. You need to ensure your payroll process is as efficient and error-free as possible.

Of course, that means understanding the differences between an employee and an independent contractor. Furthermore, you need to understand the different state laws when paying remote employees.

For any new small business owner, this might seem like a lot to learn. While it’s tedious in nature and not the most exciting task you’ll have as a business owner, it’s all the more necessary when keeping your business in good standing -- with customers, employees, the IRS, and the governments.

Luckily, you’ll also have the help of payroll software, which can manage a lot of these state and federal laws for you.

Understanding State Withholding Taxes

When paying remote employees, one of the most common mistakes a business owner makes is assuming you pay state withholding taxes in the state where your business is set up. This is not true.

For the most part, you’re going to be paying state withholding taxes in the state the employee works -- not where you work. That means if your business is set up in Los Angeles, CA and your employee works remotely from Buffalo, New York, then you’ll have to pay state withholding taxes in New York -- for that employee.

You can start to see how this can get messy when you have remote employees working all over the country. It’s also a large reason why most people decide to hire an independent contractor in today’s climate, which leads us to our next point.

Understanding the Two Types of Remote Workers

Remote workers come in two forms these days -- an employee and a contractor. Knowing how to pay contractors properly and paying remote employees correctly are two things every business owner needs to know before hiring anyone.

Let’s take a closer look at each type of remote worker:

  1. Remote Employee - subject to withholding half of the payroll taxes from their paycheck and paying the other half of payroll taxes yourself.
  2. Remote Contractor - not subject to any withholding or tax payment because the contractor handles it themselves.

You can see why many businesses today are more attracted to the remote contractors, but that doesn’t mean remote employees don’t come with benefits too.

In fact, each state has different ways of classifying workers, making it your main duty to ensure all workers are classified properly. This is in your best interest and will help you avoid any penalties or fees sent down by the government.

How to Pay Contractors That Work Remotely

When compared to paying remote employees, learning how to pay an independent contractor is far easier and requires less work. This is largely due to not having to pay state withholding taxes, which saves any business owner a massive headache when doing payroll manually.

It should be noted that your business might be subject to paying backup withholding taxes if the remote contractor is working in a non-resident state. This is one of the laws and regulations that varies by state, which is why it’s always important to check each state’s laws when hiring employees.

If you’re paying remote contractors for work they completed, there are generally only two forms of paperwork that need to be managed by the business owner -- the W9 and the Form 1099-MISC.

Let’s take a closer look at each document:

  1. W-9 - this is a ‘Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification’ and must be filled out before you can pay a remote contractor. It’s what gives you the information needed for the second form we’ll talk about. Backup withholding might be necessary if the wrong identification number is given.
  2. Form 1099-MISC - this is the form you fill out at the end of the year for tax reasons and must be filled out for any contractor you paid more than $600. It’ll tell the government how much was paid to the contractor so they can keep tabs on all the workers in the United States that owe taxes.

You’ll save a lot of time when doing payroll with independent contractors, but make sure you keep accurate records of both of these forms, as well as any payments made to them, which is essential to maintaining good relationships with the government.

Paying Remote Employees for Their Time

When it comes to hiring and paying remote employees, the level of difficulty is raised. First, you’ll have to determine whether they are an in-state employee or out-of-state employee.

In order to figure that out, you need to understand the difference between the employee’s resident state and non-resident state. The resident state is the state the employee lives in, while the non-resident state is the state the worker commutes to for work but doesn’t live in.

Once you understand the difference, ask yourself two questions:

  • Does your remote employee do their work at home or do they have to travel somewhere to complete their work?
  • Does your remote employee live in the same state your business is registered or do they live in a different state?

If either of these is unclear, use their W-9 to learn their resident state and don’t be afraid to ask them whether they work from home or not. You’ll want to know this information because you’ll be withholding taxes in the state your employee works, whether that happens to be their resident or non-resident state.

Paying Taxes for In-State Remote Employees

When paying a remote employee that works in the same state you registered your business in, then you’ll have to both withhold taxes from your employee’s check and pay state unemployment insurance in the state your business is registered in. 

This makes it easy for a small business owner because you don’t have to deal with any different laws in other states. It should be noted, however, that some local regions require a local income tax to be withheld as well.

There’s only one incidence where things can get tricky and that’s if your employee works in your state, but lives in another state. Normally this would be handled the same way as an in-state employee, but that changes when the two states have a reciprocal agreement with one another.

So, what is a reciprocal agreement?

A reciprocal agreement is something that’s signed between neighboring states. It states that employees working in a neighboring state from their resident state, they can withhold their taxes in their home state instead of their work state.

For example, both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have a reciprocal agreement with each other. Illinois is another state with a reciprocal agreement, but they have it between four states -- Kentucky, Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Reciprocal agreements are crucial because it saves the employee from having to file two state returns every year. They’ll be eligible for certain tax credits, but it still makes tax returns extremely frustrating year after year.

If you have the right payroll software, it could help make things easier for both you and the employee when dealing with reciprocal agreements. Some software programs even let you do a courtesy withholding from the employee’s check to avoid surprises down the road.

So, how do you set up reciprocal withholding?

Setting up reciprocal withholding with an employee isn’t a difficult process, don’t worry. First, your employee will be required to fill out a non-residency certificate. This certificate is what notifies the employer and government that the employee is excused from tax withholding in their work state.

The business owner won’t have to do anything with this form, except store it away for record-keeping. Once you store it away, contact your payroll provider and explain to them the situation so they can set up the correct withholding amount in the right state for you.

If your employee doesn’t have a non-residency certificate, they can get one by contacting their state’s tax agency.

Paying Taxes for Out-of-State Remote Employees

When paying and withholding taxes for out-of-state remote employees, the process is much different than in-state employees. It largely requires three steps to complete the process properly -- registering, learning, and taking action.

Let’s take a closer look at each step:

1.   Registering

The first step in the process requires you to register your business with your employee’s home state. It’s one of the tedious things you need to do with each employee, even if you have employees scattered across the country.

In some areas, you might have to register your business with the various local tax agencies, labor agencies, and unemployment agencies in the home state. Of course, that’s only if it’s required in that state.

2.   Learning

The second step in the process requires you to learn the different pay and labor laws inside your employee’s home state. There is a wide range of laws you need to understand if you want to avoid errors, mistakes, and penalties.

Some of the things you might want to learn include:

  • Does the employee’s home state require you to offer worker’s comp insurance?
  • Does the employee’s home state require you to give breaks? And do those breaks have to be paid?
  • Are there any local income taxes that need to be paid in your employee’s home state?
  • What are the state’s requirements for overtime and does it benefit the employee more than federal overtime laws?
  • Does the employee’s home state require you to withhold state disability insurance?
  • What laws and regulations does the state have regarding delivery of paychecks? What about an employee’s final paycheck?
  • How often does your employee’s home state require you to pay them? Do they differ from your own state’s requirements?
  • Does your employee’s home state require you to provide the employee with a paystub when sending out paychecks?
  • Does your employee’s home state have a minimum wage requirement? What about the local agencies?

Once you can get these questions answered, you’ll have a much better idea of what you need to do when paying your remote employees that are out-of-state. It always helps to write down the answers to these questions in an accessible place so you don’t forget.

3.   Take Action

Now that you have the information you need, it’s time to put that information to good use. When it comes time to pay your remote out-of-state employee, you’ll need to ensure you withhold the proper amount of state income taxes.

Not only do you have to withhold these taxes, but you have to file them with the state government and make a payment to avoid penalties. You’ll need to check with each state to make sure you do this frequently enough.

In addition to state income taxes, there are unemployment taxes you need to pay each paycheck. The rates for these taxes will vary by state, but you’ll receive the rates when you register for that state (see step 1).

If you’re looking for an easier way to manage these withholdings and tax payments, the right payroll software can do a majority of the work for you. It’s a large reason why so many businesses are taking advantage of what payroll software has to offer.

When searching for a payroll provider that’s right for you, contact Consultants In-A-Box. We can help you implement the right strategies and solutions to increase the efficiency and accuracy of paying remote employees.

And now that you know how to pay independent contractors correctly, you’ll have a much less stressful time come payday. For a business owner, that means more than you can imagine.

Do Small Businesses Need Payroll Software?

Do Small Businesses Need Payroll Software? 0

When you work for someone else, payday is one of those days you look forward to every month. When you own your own business, however, payday becomes one of those days you dread -- especially when you don’t have the necessary tools and payroll software to get it done right.

If you want to avoid all the late hours, booming headaches, and frustrating nights spent trying to make sure your business’ payroll is perfect, finding an efficient payroll software can solve all your troubles.

Of course, not all payroll software is created equal and you’ll have to take a lot of things into consideration when choosing the right one for your small business.

Independent Contractors vs. Employees

Your employees are generally broken down into two major categories -- the independent contractors and the employees. Ideally, the best payroll software will have features that cater to both categories, giving you an all-in-one solution.

With that being said, independent contractors are often much easier to handle. You’re not on the hook for paying their taxes and simply need to have an efficient way of getting the money to the contractor.

Still, payroll software can help you keep track, schedule, and manage these transactions. It can also assist with 1099s and storing contracts.

With employees, quality software for payroll becomes a necessity. There’s a lot that needs to be managed with employees and the software is your gateway to keeping everything accurate, accessible, and organized.

Benefits of Payroll Software

Most small business owners don’t feel they need payroll software, especially if they don’t have a long list of employees to manage. That’s why we can understand when an owner is hesitant to jump aboard the payroll software train.

Still, finding the best payroll software for small business owners comes with a wide range of benefits -- no matter the size of your company. We’re going to discuss three of the most prominent benefits below and how they can have a positive effect on your business.

1.   Saves Time

Think about all those long nights you spend doing math and entering data into various sheets several times just to make sure everything is correct. Think about the time you spend writing checks, preparing envelopes, mailing checks, and wiring funds.

Now I want you to imagine if you had all that time to spend doing something else. Wouldn’t that help you stay a little more productive every month and relieve some of that end-of-month worry you always had?

The best payroll software for small business owners can turn several hours worth of work every month into just a couple minutes of easy work. That’s what we call powerful.

2.   Avoid Mistakes

One of the things that make small business owners nervous when doing payroll is mistakes. Everyone understands the magnitude of a payroll mistake and how it can negatively affect the employee, but human errors are more common than you think.

Did you know the IRS sends out nearly $5 billion in penalties every year due to mistakes made with employment taxes? That’s a lot of money and there’s a good chance most of it could be avoided with the right tools and resources.

Quality payroll software can help you stay on top of regulations, rules, laws, withholdings, scheduling, and so much more. It takes any and all guesswork out of the equation.

3.   Shift Focus

As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Chances are you didn’t start your company to do payroll and it’s definitely not something you want to be spending hours on end doing.

The last thing you need to worry about is the payroll process -- especially mistakes that could’ve been avoided during that process. With the right payroll software, you finally have the ability to focus solely on growing your company. 

Signs Your Small Business Needs Help

Knowing when it’s time to find a payroll provider or software can be a tough call for a business owner. On one hand, you’re telling yourself you can continue to manage it without a problem. On the other hand, you can’t wait to rid yourself of the added responsibility.

The truth is any business with several employees can benefit from payroll software. Still, it doesn’t mean every business needs to invest in payroll software. To help you better determine whether or not you should consider this addition to your operations, we’ve listed some of the major signs your business is ready for help:

  1. Automation is one of the easiest ways small businesses are innovating to create a more efficient and productive environment. Investing in payroll software is one step in the process.
  2. You might want to consider payroll software if you find it difficult to manage all the unique administrative tasks when doing payroll. It can handle bonuses, weekly schedule, monthly schedule, benefits, and much more.
  3. Small business taxes can be a nightmare for any owner. If you agree with this, payroll software helps simplify this process so you can sleep better at night when taxes are due.
  4. If your employees are constantly asking for access to their paycheck history or constantly have requested to change personal information, payroll software takes a large amount of weight off your shoulders.
  5. Businesses are unique in the different techniques they use to operate their company from top to bottom. If you need a way to integrate your payroll with other technology in the office, payroll software can help.

A quality payroll software comes with great customer support to ensure your demands are met at all times. This gives you confidence in your payroll and allows you to feel much better about the future of your business.

Consultants In-A-Box Is Here to Help!

If you’re searching for the best payroll software and need a provider that stands by their clients, Consultants In-A-Box is ready to serve you. We offer a quality solution to your payroll needs and ensure our clients are met with the most courteous customer support possible.

Contact us today to discuss how we can assist your company with its payroll needs. We can’t wait to hear from you!