So today I got an email from Sam’s Club offering to run a business payroll in under a minute from any device. My first thought was, how can a store that offers ketchup by the pallet handle something as critical and complicated as a company payroll?
I did some searching and found that Sams’ Club has partnered with a San Antonio Texas company called Execupay to offer club members access to the payroll software at a “discounted price”. At the Execupay website a PR article notes that they are pursuing banks to offer private labeling of their software to make more money for the banks…” “Financial institutions that offer payroll in an integrated model to their clients receive not only a substantial residual revenue stream, but also have the means to improve customer retention”. So much for the “discounted price” but hey everyone is entitled to make a profit, that’s okay.
Payroll Software or Payroll Service?
Execupay may actually offer some great software. I managed financial systems and wrote payroll software for the Boeing Company. I managed the software implementation of the Oracle HRIS system for the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organization (at that time, over 120,000 employees). I understand how challenging coding, maintaining and operating payroll software can be. No matter how elegant and comprehensive the software may be, ultimately there is still a lot of work involved to establish, configure and run the payroll processes…. a lot of work. There are lots of things that happen in the real world of payroll that they don’t tell you about in the sales brochures.
- Are all your tax withholding accounts established amounts calculated correctly and deposited with government on time?
- How will you handle workers compensation insurance, premium remittance and work comp claims?
- What about overtime and DOL compliance…. Better know the rules there
- Got I9 forms for all your hires? W4s? W2s at the end of the year?
- Got your 941s ready for the quarter?
- What about minimum wage, tipped tax credits, paid leave laws (vary by states)
But wait there’s more!
- What about inadvertent overpays or underpays?
- What happens when an employee withholding gets jacked up next period because you underpayed last period?
- What about pretax treatment for health insurance premiums or 410Ks. How are those handled?
- What happens if you get a wage garnishment IRS levy or child support order for one your employees? What is the max amount you can take out their check and where to you remit the monies?
Truly this list goes on and on…. And the reality is that while a slick software package may handle all these real world circumstances, there is only person that has to figure it all out, make sure it happens on time, every time and will be responsible when mistakes are made: You. If you think that Sam’s club will be manning a help desk to assist with your payroll problems you may want to check out some customer comments on how they are doing with their regular retail business.
Focusing on your Core Business
For business owners who have lots of free time on their hands (or have staff members with nothing to do) learning and maintaining their own payroll system might seem like a way to save some money. Unfortunately there is a lot more to it than appears on the surface and by the time you find out you have gotten in over your head, it can be painful to repair the problems. There is a reason business owners use a payroll service rather than just get some software from Sam’s Club. Payroll software is just a tool, like a set of socket wrenches. If you have the time and are competent mechanic, you could change the engine in your own car. But hey, if you insist on doing everything yourself, you might even consider performing your own appendectomy.
Here is the user’s guide for the PlatinumPay Payroll Software. Take a look at what you are getting into if you decide to do it yourself and take on your company’s payroll.
Payroll Software, Payroll Service or Professional Employer Organization?
PEOs offer a full payroll service as part of their comprehensive suite of workers compensation insurance and Human Resources services. While a payroll services like ADP or Paychex offer more than just access to a payroll software package, even they are recognizing the demand from business owners for a more comprehensive suite of services. Hiring a PEO will cost more than simple payroll services from Sam’s Club but for most business owners, it is money well spent. Let StaffMarket help you find the best PEO for your company.