How to check up on payroll compliance: outsourced edition
We live in a world where everyone is a self-confessed expert, with millions of years of expertise and a degree in payroll compliance. While you should be able to trust your outsourced payroll provider, here are a few things you should be checking up on.
Yes, we’re talking those shiny badges. Lots of outsourced payroll providers will be accredited, but is their accreditation up to date? And what does it really mean? When trusting an outsourced payroll provider you’ll want to keep tabs on it.
Look for fully maintained Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals PAS (Payroll Assurance Scheme) accreditations, this means your provider is regularly passing a rigorous audit that was developed in partnership with HMRC. In addition to this, you’ll ideally want to work with someone who is HMRC approved and accredited by the Bacs Approved Bureau Scheme.
As a measure of good business, you should also look for ISO accreditations for things like Quality Management and Information Security Management.
Should you be under investigation you’ll want to ensure that you can protect yourself and your company’s reputation. Audit trials are frequently the answer to this and should be covered by your provider, should you ever need them. A good audit trail will allow you to link transactions with supporting information, which should they ever need to, be able to validate a dodgy looking transaction.
In addition to protecting your business and reputation, a good audit trail will guard against fraud, provide health insights into your business, and ensure accounts are kept accurate.
Security should be at the top of every agenda. When it comes to payroll data, security comes front and centre into the spotlight. It’s important that personal and payment details of your employees are kept private and away from the wrong hands.
To ensure good security measures make sure you look for providers who have the Cyber Essentials certification, which is government backed. It’s also worth looking for businesses that are ISO 27001 accredited: that’s the ISO that looks after data security.
We suggest you also do your own digging when it comes to security. Ask your provider for their security policies and documents, have a full understanding of their security measures, IT reinforcement and what happens should something go wrong.
In the world of payroll, legislation can change at the drop of a hat, and as a customer who outsources it all, it’s your provider’s job to keep you compliant. That’s not to say you should turn a blind eye to it all. It’s worth asking your provider how they stay up to date it, if they have information on legislation they can share with you, and how they implement changes into software functionality to ensure your business is compliant.
Speak to your employees
Your employees are one of your biggest assets, and their pay is a big factor for them. It’s important to keep your ear to the ground. Are you employees happy with how they are being paid, how they access their pay documents and how grievances are raised? When using an outsourced payroll provision, you’ll want to ensure they treat your employees the same way you would.