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How to Find a Payroll Specialist

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When your business starts to grow consistently, it’s time to start searching for a payroll specialist to help you get your employees paid so that you can focus on the important things, like running the day-to-day operations and hiring new employees. 

Today’s article will look at how to hire a freelance payroll specialist that’s right for your company, as well as which kind of payroll specialist is right for you. 

What Payroll Specialist Is Best for My Company?

A payroll specialist may sound like a simple job, but depending on the size of the company, the number of employees, which state or country the company is based in, and whether your company is publicly traded on the stock market, the job duties and responsibilities of a payroll specialist can vary. 

Doing payroll for a small business is much simpler than it is for large ones. Because of this, it’s important to ensure you’re choosing the right type of payroll specialist for your business. Here are three levels of businesses and the corresponding responsibilities of payroll specialists:

The Small Business With Freelance Employees Payroll Specialist

  • Examining the records to ensure that the hours and projects worked by the employees are correct
  • Ensuring each employee’s hours or projects worked line up correctly with the dollar amounts to be paid 
  • Sending out payments via bank transfer or preferred payment method
  • Providing employees with a pay statement
  • Providing weekly or monthly reports regarding employee payroll to management 

The Small Business With Full-Time Employees and Tax Responsibilities

These include the same as above, but with these additional responsibilities:

  • Keeping track of additional items, such as paid time off, vacation time, etc.
  • Calculating tax deductions which may be complicated as the tax rates change based on income, must be calculated differently at each bracket–this may include federal, state, and possibly local taxes
  • Coordinating with HR and management to ensure new employees are properly entered into the payroll system so they can be registered as taxable employees

The Medium or Large Business With Complex Benefit Packages

This job includes all the above responsibilities but ramps up in complexity by having to keep track of many more employees. These additional duties may include:

  • Calculating 401k and retirement plan payments, as well as corporation matching amounts, ensuring deposits into the requisite accounts, and deducting matching amounts from employee pay and company accounts
  • Providing payroll to employees on disability or maternity leave
  • Deducting and depositing portions of payroll into other programs, such as a Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Compiling specialized and complex payroll reports for general accounting purposes, as well as reports related to taxes and wages for outside accounting and audit firms
  • If the company is publicly traded, there may be additional record-keeping requirements, as mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

How to Find a Payroll Specialist

With reliable freelancer hiring platforms like Guru, you can browse thousands of available professionals from all backgrounds who are ready to hit the ground running. You’ll be able to see their resumes and past projects, as well as reviews of their past work.

Once you’ve found your ideal candidate, it is important to ask the right questions–here are some common questions you may want to ask a prospective candidate:

  • Do you have experience working for a firm of our size?
  • How familiar are you with the tax laws in our country or state?
  • Can you process employee benefits and 401K payments and deductions?

There are also some more general questions to ask, such as:

  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • What role do you see yourself in five years from now?
  • Are you familiar with our payroll software?

Guru has plenty of qualified and experienced freelance payroll specialists to choose from–just browse our site and find the perfect candidates, or post an open job and let experienced specialists come to you!

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