Payroll support – a guide for UK employers: what types of payroll support are available?

Last checked and updated on 23 June 2022

If you’re a UK employer, it’s likely that at some point you’ll need help with your payroll. There are a range of different payroll support options available, from payroll software and services to payroll bureaus.

So, what’s the best option for your business? In this article, we’ll compare the most popular types of payroll support and help you decide which is the best for you.

When might a business need support with payroll?

There are a number of reasons why a business might need help with their payroll. For example, if you’re an employer who is new to running payroll, you might need some support to get started.

Alternatively, if your business is growing and you’re taking on more staff, you might need help to ensure that your payroll is run correctly and efficiently.

Finally, if you’re experiencing problems with your payroll, such as incorrect payments or missing data, you might need help to resolve these issues.

What are the most popular types of payroll support?

The most popular types of payroll support are:

Payroll software: This is a piece of software that can be used to run payroll. Payroll software is usually easy to use and can be a good option for businesses that are new to payroll or don’t have many employees.

Payroll services: These are services offered by third-party companies that can help you run your payroll. Payroll services can be a good option for businesses that need more support than what payroll software can offer.

Payroll bureaus: These are companies that will manage your payroll for you. Payroll bureaus can be a good option for businesses that don’t have the time or resources to run payroll themselves.

Which type of payroll support is best?

The best type of payroll support will depend on the needs of your business.

If you’re new to payroll, or if you don’t have many employees, payroll software might be the best option for you.

If you need more support than what payroll software can offer, or if you don’t have the time or resources to run payroll yourself, a payroll service or bureau might be a better option.

When you’re choosing a payroll support option, make sure you consider the following factors:

  • The provider’s compliance with legislation: Make sure that the provider you choose is up-to-date with the latest payroll legislation.
  • The provider’s commitment to customer service: Look for a provider that offers good customer service and is responsive to your needs.
  • The provider’s flexibility: Some payroll providers are more flexible than others, so it’s important to choose one that can meet your specific needs.
  • The provider’s level of support: Make sure that you choose a payroll provider that offers the level of support that you need.

Getting guidance from payroll software

Payroll software is a popular option for small businesses. It’s usually easy to use and can save you time on payroll administration. However, it’s important to make sure that you choose payroll software that is compatible with HMRC‘s systems.

If you’re considering paying for payroll software to provide your own support in-house, you should consider:

  • the cost of the software
  • how easy it is to use
  • whether it’s compatible with HMRC’s systems
  • whether you have the time and resources to provide your own support

Payroll support from a specialist service provider

Payroll services are another popular option, especially for larger businesses. With a payroll service, you outsource your payroll to a third party. This can save you time and money, as you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the latest payroll legislation.

If you think that hiring a payroll services company might be best, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much will it cost?
  • How often do you need support?
  • What level of support do you need?
  • Do they have experience with your type of business?

Guidance on payroll from a bureau

Payroll bureaus are also an option for businesses of all sizes. With a payroll bureau, you outsource your entire payroll function to a specialist company. This can be a good option if you don’t have the time or resources to run your payroll yourself.

If you opt for using a payroll bureau, you should consider the following factors:

  • The cost: Payroll bureaus typically charge a monthly fee, so you’ll need to factor this into your budget.
  • The level of support: Make sure that you choose a payroll bureau that offers the level of support that you need.
  • The flexibility: Some payroll bureaus are more flexible than others, so it’s important to choose one that can meet your specific needs.

The importance of customer service

When you’re choosing a payroll support option, it’s important to consider the level of customer service that you’ll receive. You should look for a provider that offers good customer service and is responsive to your needs. Questions you should ask include:

  • How long does it take to get a response?
  • What hours are customer service available?
  • Is there a dedicated account manager?
  • What training and support is available?

What is the best type of payroll support?

So, which is the best option for you? It depends on your individual circumstances. If you’re a small business with limited resources, payroll software may be the best option. If you’re a larger business with more complex payroll requirements, a payroll service or bureau may be a better option. Whichever route you choose, make sure you do your research to find a reputable and reliable provider.

How much does payroll support cost?

The cost of payroll support varies depending on the option you choose. Payroll software typically costs a few hundred pounds per year, while payroll services and bureaus typically charge a monthly fee.

When choosing a payroll provider, it’s important to consider the cost of the service as well as the level of customer service and support you’ll receive.

What’s the best way to get started?

If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend getting in touch with a few different providers to compare prices and services. Once you’ve found a provider that you’re happy with, you can get started on setting up your payroll or solving whatever problem you’ve already hit.

Final thoughts

There are a number of different payroll support options available, from payroll software and services to payroll bureaus. The best option for your business will depend on your specific needs.

If you’re looking for more information on payroll support options, HMRC provides a range of guidance and resources on its website. Alternatively, you can speak to an accountant or other financial advisor for advice.

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Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. We recommend that you always speak to a qualified professional to get advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.