There are a lot of options out there when choosing a payroll service for growing your dental practice. Making the wrong decision can not only leave you with more compliance issues than you started with, but make for a difficult transition when you need to change again.
Choosing a payroll service provider is a big decision. Make sure that you take the time to ask the important questions that allow you to not only learn if the provider can serve you properly, but they are a fit with your team’s personality.
Are they doing it well and how can you tell?
If you choose the right payroll partner they will help to remove the liability and tactical work associated with processing payroll while help growing your dental practice. They will become an invaluable extension of your team. If you choose the wrong payroll provider, you will be just another number, deal with constant errors, and work with inexperienced “customer service” reps rather than true payroll partners.
There are also a lot of myths about what makes a good payroll partner for your dental practice. Let’s take a look at some of the questions you might not think to ask. Here are five questions you can ask your payroll provider to make a better decision;
What else do you do?
Sometimes small business owners really want to partner with a company that can do a lot of different things for them. This can be a challenge because you often want to be able to grow in the partnership but you want to make sure that your partner is a specialist at what you need to run your business.
Be careful how much weight you put on having a single provider. If your payroll service provider also offers ancillary services such as 401k or insurance services, you will likely not talk to the same service team or get the same invoice. These services are normally handled by another business unit or maybe even another company altogether. It might just be multiple companies sharing the same logo.
Make sure that payroll and payroll tax filing are the core business of the vendor and not a “bolt on.”
How many clients are each of your support specialists responsible for?
This is an overlooked metric when dealing with national payroll providers. Often times your “dedicated” payroll specialist is the same “dedicated” specialist for 300 other companies.
You may also encounter some fuzzy math here. Many large payroll companies will try to say that their specialists only handle 30-40 accounts each. They are often part of a team that is handling several hundred accounts and they divide that number by the number of teammates regardless of how many are available at any one time.
Do you have support team members that are focused primarily on dental practices?
Even if a company purports to have tens of thousands of dental practices around the country, your support team may have never worked with one.
You know that dental and medical practices are unique and it takes a unique partner to support your needs. Our team is dedicated to supporting other practices just like yours and know how to communicate with your team.
What types of additional charges could we incur?
It is worth a shot but you will probably get an answer that it is “all inclusive” or “bundled” pricing.
This question is best posed when doing a reference check. You might ask the reference “are there additional items that you are billed for throughout the course of a year other than payroll processing?”
Payroll providers will often charge any time a service issue becomes too complicated or for quarterly or year-end services. This can be difficult to get pricing on during the sales process as they become “one-off” situations.
Can I meet my support specialist?
This is a great question because it allows you to know if you will be working with someone that has too many accounts. If there is never a time they can slip away to meet their clients, they are either not local or are overworked.
Even a simple phone call will help you get acquainted and see if you are a personality fit with your support team. Too often people buy because they have a great rapport with the sales rep and then they never see them again.
I hope that this helps when you are choosing a payroll service provider for your dental practice.
At ERG, we believe it is important to have a “face-to-face” partnership with our clients and if our support team is too overwhelmed, we could not do that. We want you to know them and them to know you. We cap our Support Specialists at 20 accounts and only hire people with previous payroll and HR experience to support our clients. We know how important it is to talk to someone who has “been there before.”
If you would like more information about how we support our clients, please send me an e-mail or call.
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