Payroll mistakes are easy to make and potentially very costly. It is a common misconception that payroll and HR management is the same in Canada as it is in the U.S., but the laws and regulations are, in fact, very different. As a result, U.S. firms often opt out of expansion into Canadian markets which is usually a good choice. Many U.S. payroll services have made major, expensive errors in managing and paying Canadian employees using the same practices and guidelines that apply for American employees.
Though the Canadian government regularly provides payroll deduction tables designed to help employers deduct the correct amounts from employee paychecks, many Canadian businesses still look for payroll solutions to manage their payroll programs. A Canadian business owner needs to be very careful in his or her selection of a payroll program. Aside from being sure to hire a company with experience and knowledge of Canadian laws and regulations, ask these 10 questions to ensure that you’re getting the best possible service:
- What specific payroll services do you provide? Make sure you have identified your specific payroll requirements and then choose a vendor who can deliver all that you need.
- What is your pricing structure? Most online payroll programs charge base monthly subscription fees, usually ranging from between $12/month to more than $200/month.
- What is the set-up process like? Once you’ve signed up with an online payroll program, you should be able to immediately log in, configure your account, and begin adding employees and users.
- How does your service handle payroll taxes? This is the part of the interview where you should confirm that your payroll program is familiar with Canadian procedures and protocols.
- How secure is your service? You don’t want your payroll information to flal into the wrong hands. Make sure the highest encryption standards are available, including 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard encryption.
- Where is your data center and how safe is it? There should be multiple layers of physical security, like biometric scannig for access, keycard, retina scan, and PIN number restrictions.
- What are the customer support services available? It isn’t unreasonable to expect real-person support through email, phone, and chat
- Can employees and contractors access their payroll information? They should. No questions asked.
- Will I be able to integrate my accounting systems with yours? The best payroll programs integrate quickly and seamlessly with popular accounting software.
- Is your service scaleable? Payroll needs will grow as your business grows. Make sure your payroll program can handle that.
Choosing a payroll program isn’t a task that should be taken lightly. Ask questions, weight the answers carefully, and choose a service that will give you what you need.