My wife and relocated to a new state, which by itself, is a job and a half. But the job multiplies when you are taking a small business with you across state lines, even a portable business like mine. Thankfully, I had someone to help me with the transition – Paychex. Seriously, if it weren’t for Paychex, I would have spent hours tracking down the information I needed, and possibly paid hundreds of dollars to consult with a small business specialist or accountant in my new state of residence. And the assistance Paychex provided me was included in my payroll services at no extra charge – saving my business both time and money.
As a small business owner who employs only myself and my wife, I barely scratch the surface of their capabilities. But they still treat me like a major client each time I call their customer service department or speak with my dedicated representative (this is an important feature because my representative knows my business and I always speak with her, not some random person in a call center – thanks, Kim!).
Here is an overview of Paychex, who they are, what they do, and how and why I use their services. If you are a small business owner, I highly recommend checking out Paychex by visiting their website, or giving them a call.
Note: This review was originally published in 2011 and has been updated several times since then to reflect Paychex services and offers. Paychex still offers excellent services for businesses of all sizes. However, I didn’t need many of the bells and whistles offered by Paychex, so I changed my payroll service provider to Gusto, which offers payroll and HR services to small, medium and large businesses. Gusto is primarily online, whereas Paychex handles business online, and in local and regional offices. You can more easily meet a Paychex customer representative in person than you can with Gusto. So the service you choose will depend on your payroll and HR needs. It’s a good idea to compare both options when making your decision.
Paychex Online Payroll Services Review
Paychex provides a variety of Human Resource services to businesses of every size, offering services such as payroll, tax services, 401k and other employee benefits administration, time and labor software, and even on-site HR solutions. They a leading provider of payroll services, human resources and employee benefits outsourcing, and more, providing services for over 500,000 small and medium sized businesses throughout the nation.
Why I chose Paychex. There are many reasons I chose to use Paychex, including their total payroll solution, scalability, the dedicated local account representative, affordability, and the portability of the account. Paychex has offices in virtually every major city, and in many smaller areas as well – there are over 100 branch locations, and you get a local representative assigned to you as your main point of contact. The local payroll specialists are well-versed in both federal taxes and state requirements. The personal attention they provide was another major factor in my decision to use Paychex as my payroll provider.
How and Why I Use Paychex as My Payroll Processor
Before I incorporated my business, I thought payroll preparation was as simple as cutting a check and marking it down in my books. Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that. You have to account for employee payroll taxes, business payroll taxes, state taxes, etc. To top it off, the IRS wants their cut when you pay yourself, not when you file your taxes next year. And your state probably does too. And don’t forget state and federal unemployment taxes and workman’s comp insurance. Unless this is something you have experience with, then I recommend using a payroll processing service or other professional to help you get started.
I am a basic user, and primarily use Paychex to process my payroll and ensure my payroll taxes are calculated, filed, and paid on time. I pay myself on a quarterly basis, so each quarter my payroll specialist gives me a phone call and we discuss how much I want to pay myself and they take care of the rest – and I mean everything, including calculating all state and federal taxes, Solo 401k and benefits contributions, and direct deposit to the respective tax agencies and my personal bank account.
How it works. The process is about as automated as it can get: I gave Paychex access to my bank account and the authorization to make payroll transactions. A few days after my payroll specialist calls me, Paychex accesses my bank account and does an electronic bank transfer to the IRS and state tax agencies, and makes a direct deposit into my personal bank account. At the end of the year Paychex gives me reports for my personal and business taxes (W-2, W-3, etc.). It’s all included in the service, and very helpful when tax season rolls around.
Additional payroll services offered. As I mentioned, I am a small client and have a relatively simple business and payroll structure. But Paychex is capable of handling far more than my business requires. Paychex payroll services include small business payroll service, online payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and employee pay services: including direct deposit, check signing, and Readychex®.
Paychex Payroll Services and Human Resources Management Solutions
As I mentioned, I only use Paychex to process my payroll, but they offer so much more than I currently need in my business. Here is a breakdown of some of the many services PayChex provides. I recommend calling one of their specialists to discuss your business needs and get a free quote. You can reach them at:
Payroll and Tax Services
In addition to the benefits noted above, Paychex offers an online payroll portal so you can manage your payroll records, make manual inputs, upload and download information, pay your employees with direct deposit or paper checks, and they provide General Ledger Reporting Service and the ability to export in multiple formats, including QuickBooks, Freshbooks, Xero, and other cloud based accounting software. This makes it easy to manage your business finances.
Tax Services. This was a huge help for me when I recently relocated to a new state. My dedicated payroll representative sent me links to the state websites and informed me which forms I needed to fill out to register with my new state tax authority. In addition, she gave me information on how to contact my former state tax agencies to fill out some forms to notify them that I will not have a tax obligation for them in 2011. I never would have thought to do the latter, and that will help me stay off that bad boy list. In addition to helping you get set up with your state and local tax authorities, Paychex Tax Services can calculate, deposit, and file your payroll taxes for you, as well as help you find business tax credits that can save your business money. Paychex also provides you with all the required tax documentation for your records. I store mine digitally as pdf files to make sure I have copies of all my past tax years in an easy to find location.
Paychex 401(k) and Small Business Retirement Plans
I opened a Solo 401k with Vanguard about a year before I started using Paychex. If you own a very small business like I do, then there are probably less expensive options available to you. For example, Vanguard doesn’t charge me anything to run my Solo 401k. However, a Solo 401k is only good for a business that employs a single employee, or an employee and their spouse. If you employ more than just yourself and a spouse, then you might want to look into a traditional 401k service or another small business retirement plan such as a SEP IRA, SIMPLE Plan, or something else. And Paychex can help you decide which is best for your needs.
Paychex 401k and small business retirement plan offerings. Paychex offers traditional 401(k), Roth 401k, Owner-Only 401(k) plans (Solo 401k plans), profit sharing, and SIMPLE IRA plans. they can walk you through the different options and help you choose the small business retirement plan that makes the best sense for your business. Paychex can also help you understand the legal and tax requirements of these plans, as well as understand what you need to know about employer matching contributions, vesting schedules, and investment options. Paychex will handle all the record keeping and legal documentation, such as your Form 5500, and other services to help ensure your regulatory compliance.
Paychex Employee Benefits Management – Health Plans and More
Health insurance is a big deal for small businesses, and something most small business owners need assistance understanding. Paychex can help you wit hall aspects of your group health insurance plan, from start to finish, including determining your needs, selecting a group health insurance provider, handling administration, manage a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and more. They can also help you set and track guidelines for employee eligibility, add/remove employees from plan benefits, handle payments, and administer COBRA benefits.
HR Administration and Compliance
This was a big headache for me. When you are a one man shop, things like payroll, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, COBRA administration, and many other requirements probably aren’t number one on your list of things to do. Of course, these are all very important, but when you are just starting out, you may not even be aware of them, much less know where to start. Thankfully the folks at Paychex do – they walked me through the process of getting registered with my state unemployment insurance website and registering my business with my new state when we moved.
Paychex HR Solutions. Paychex offers much more than showing you which forms to fill out. They can actually do it for you – they offer on-site visits and training to help keep your business running smoothly. You can also utilize Paychex to manage your human resource requirements, develop employee handbooks, assist with identifying tax credits and even maintain compliance with OSHA, FLSA, and other federal and state regulations.
Time and Labor Solutions
You probably won’t need this if you are a one man shop like I am. I just pay myself a salary, regardless of how many hours I work. But if you have hourly employees, then you want to look into the time clock solutions Paychex offers.
Paychex offers business insurance and can advise you on the best solutions for your needs. Some examples of the insurance policies they offer include Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), Business Overhead Expense (BOE), Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI), Commercial Auto Insurance, Umbrella Coverage, Professional Liability, Director and Officer Liability, and more. I recommend giving them a phone call for more information if you need these services.
Conclusion – I Need Paychex
Paperwork and administration is not my strong point. In fact, it is a weakness for me. I don’t like keeping up with regs, tax forms, dates payments and other paperwork are due, etc. My strength as a small business owner is creating, not administering. Outsourcing administrative tasks helps my business be more productive. That’s why I hired an accountant for my taxes. And that’s why I use Paychex for my payroll, payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, and related admin. It works, it’s amazingly simple and hassle free, and it saves me time and ultimately money. And your small business is probably the same – your skills as a business owner are probably best used elsewhere. Use your skills and talents to do what you do best – run the company and make money. Outsource the rest.
Limited time offer – one month free payroll processing. If you have a business, large or small, then contact Paychex. They will be able to give you a free quote based on your needs, and for a limited time, they are offering a free month of online payroll services. Visit the Paychex website or call Paychex for a free quote.
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