April 1, 2016    |    By

Payroll needs differ among businesses. When you say, “I need Payroll Services,” what do you mean? There are different types of Payroll Services you might need. Are you looking for someone to just process payments and file taxes? Or are you looking for someone to hold your employees on their payroll and workers’ compensation policy? Or do you want full HR services? You can use online software, CPA’s or staffing/payroll companies.

Here are the different payroll management options for your company:

Manual Payroll System

Talk about the old way of doing things. We have found many Shasta County businesses still perfer the days of the ledger and their number 2 pencil. Although it’s “old school” you have 100% control over it and it’s free. However, it takes the most time and has a high probability for errors. You are responsible for writing checks, filing taxes and making sure all your paperwork is filed correctly. So unless you are a tax genius, the most organized person on the planet or have multiple erasers to fix errors, you may want to stay away from this option.

Payroll/Accounting Software

Now we are moving into the 21st century. Go ahead, throw away your eraser… it’s okay. Using payroll and accounting software keeps all your records organized in one place. The software checks for errors, helps you minimize errors and alerts you when bills are due. You can choose payroll software either downloaded on your computer or online. Intuit and QuickBooks are two popular choices for this. You still have control with these programs but calculations are done for you. This option saves you a lot of time once you learn the software.


You may want to hire an accountant to deal with all of your payroll needs. This is a good option if you have no idea what you are doing. They handle taxes, learn your business and write the checks on your behalf. You have less control with this option but you still control which accountant you hire. This is more expensive than handling it on your own or using a payroll company.

Staffing Agency

Staffing agencies do more than just payroll. They find employees for you, put them on their payroll for a short period of time like a 90-day trial or for a longer term based on your needs. This means they technically work for the staffing agency and they are loaned out to you. This way, if you’re a small business, you can have employees without actually having employees according to the state and federal IRS. Using a staffing agency gives you peace of mind, saves you time, and in the long run saves you money.

Full Service Payroll/HR Company

This is the kingpin of all the options. This option gives you a person or company to oversee your payroll much like an accountant. However, in most cases they can help cover much more than just your payroll. Payroll/HR companies also handle all of your tax filings, workers’ compensation administration, HR and more. This option provides more security and helps to share some of the liability of having employees while having the best cost option for the services provided.


Ultimately, you need to choose the best option for you and your business. While a staffing agency may be the most expensive, it may be less expensive in the long run because you won’t need a workers’ compensation policy, as they will be covered by the agency. As your business grows, so will your payroll needs. So take some time to look towards the future and not just your immediate needs. Plan accordingly to set yourself and your business up for success.

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This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.