How Do You Know Which Payroll Option Is Right For You?

One of your biggest responsibilities as a small business owner is paying your employees and staying current with federal, state, and local taxes and regulations. If you don’t have an accounting or bookkeeping background, taking care of payroll can feel pretty overwhelming. Fortunately, you’ve got a number of options when it comes to keeping on top of payroll.
First — and these days, this is really only an option for somebody with minimal bookkeeping requirements — you can do it the old-fashioned way, writing out paper checks by hand and keeping your records in a ledger or spreadsheet. You have full control over your payroll, but you can find yourself spending way more time on it than you bargained. Additionally there’s a pretty wide margin for error, especially if you’re going back and forth between paper checks and Excel spreadsheets. And you’re on the hook for calculating and sending in regular tax payments to the government.
Next, you can hire an accountant or bookkeeper. You’ll definitely benefit from the services of an expert — but depending on their hourly rate, they can be more or less of a bargain. Additionally, if you need to confer with the accountant before releasing checks, this can drag out the schedule for one-off checks such as bonuses or expense reimbursements.
Another option is to purchase payroll software such as Intuit QuickBooks. That way, all your payroll calculations are automated and the software keeps track of what you owe in taxes and when you need to pay them. However, it will take some time to master the software.
A traditional payroll service, such as QuickBooks Payroll or ADP, or a local payroll company, takes payroll out of your hands. All you have to do is provide basic information, such as time worked, and the service calculates taxes, files taxes on your behalf, and delivers paychecks. The downside is that the service is definitely more expensive than a DIY solution and usually more expensive than software. You’ll have less control and flexibility overall.
As a technology service provider, CMIT Solutions doesn’t offer accounting advice — but we can put you in touch with a solution that would best meet your needs. Whether it be a local payroll company we work with, or a small-business accounting software and payroll vendor such as Intuit or ADP. Click here ( to find out more about the accounting software packages we offer through Intuit or call us at (800) 399-CMIT to learn about other available services.