Why should you use an outsourcing service and are there any tangible benefits?
Outsourcing payslip printing and p60s will save time and reduce the hassle of keeping on top of one of the most complex and daunting tasks for any business, it will also ensure your staff are paid accurately, on time, every time and free them up to concentrate on business related tasks.
To make sure your supplier achieves this you need a reliable partner who can demonstrate they can deliver for you.
With p60s omnipresent I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions by customers during the investigation phase to help you along your payslip and p60 printing journey.
But first here is a quick recap to the benefits of outsourcing:-
- Experience in delivering the services you need.
- Expertise in the area or areas in which you operate.
- Support to help you with any queries you may have during the implementation process and beyond.
- Technology that can deliver the job now and in the future as efficiently as possible.
- The flexibility to meet your changing business needs over time.
- Concise and accurate pricing giving you get the best value for money ensuring you pay for what you need when you need it.
It’s not a complicated process if you follow the steps below.
A good provider will discuss and understand your internal processes, how the data files are generated, what system(s) you use and if you already have an existing layout of the p60s, to timescales and deliverables and agree an implementation brief and specification so all parties are working from the same document.
Before you embark on the process of outsourcing your payslips and p60s you need to have a clearly defined set of objectives and a specification that can be presented to the incumbent suppliers during the selection process.
It doesn’t have to be a long winded document on the life and times of the organisation but should include a simple overview of the payroll department as follows:-
- How many employees work in the company?
- Are they located centrally or in branch offices?
- How many p60s are you likely to process and want posted or delivered back to your organisation?
- What timescales are you looking at? Consider starting with the end in mind for example if your p60s historically get despatched mid April then work back from that date and establish when the data files are prepared ready for printing.
- Are there likely to be any changes from the HMRC which could slow down the process or require you to make amendments to the current p60 slip?
I only want to outsource our company p60s is that possible?
Yes. Many companies process and print their payslips and ancillary documents in-house but p60s are a time driven task often tieing up payroll departments unnecessarily at a peak time during the year. Simply outsourcing this task can reduce the burden on your payroll department and free up time for staff to concentrate on dealing with everyday payroll queries. Because p60s happen once a year it makes sense to consider removing this task from payroll and as long as you follow the steps above it is a straight-forward process.
Firstly make sure you have a clear and planned outline of when they are required to be printed and despatched. It is also a good idea to have what I call a fall back date in other words date 1 is the ideal date you are working toward getting your p60s out the door, date 2 is the very latest date you fall back on should there be any problems with you generating the information you need for the p60s or you have some technical issue which means your despatch window becomes smaller.
The p60 deadline for 2014 is 31st May by which time every company employee should have received a p60.
Agreeing with the supplier the dates and deliverables ensures that all parties are working toward those dates. It is no good agreeing dates and then forwarding a test file two weeks after the agreed date and then expecting a live file to be processed on time.
In my experience companies need to be aware of the impact of missing deadlines. Suppliers can accommodate your wishes but it is a big ask and usually invokes a best endeavour approach.
You have to be realistic and set expectations that your supplier can work to, moving and changing timescales when you are well into the implementation phase makes it very difficult for your objectives to be achieved so bear that in mind.
If you believe you will miss the deadlines due to internal issues then advise your supplier at the earliest so they can re-schedule and work with you.
There are many companies that can provide outsourcing payroll services. A google search for ‘payslip printing services’ or ‘p60 printing’ will give you a number of options.
The key is to research the services on offer, read what is on their website, look at any relevant articles and evaluate the services, do they meet your key criteria?
When you have a minimum of three potential suppliers contact them via telephone or website and request a call back with more information and details. Using the questions above will tailor the information you get during the conversation. Set up either a site visit to the production facility or request that a consultant visits you to talk through your brief. The next stage will be to get indicative pricing; either you will make a decision solely on price which is unwise or you’ll agree internally on a process of elimination and end up with 2 potential suppliers that you are keen to have further exploratory discussions with.
At this stage you must be absolutely clear what your criteria of selection is for determining which supplier you intend to work with.
We’ve never outsourced before and I’m worried about data security, what compliancy should I be looking for?
I would advise that you work with an ISO27001 accredited production facility where files sent via SFTP, a secure mode of transmission can be accepted. After all, you are outsourcing your employees payroll information. Ensuring that payslips and p60s will be processed accurately, securely and confidentially should be key to your selection process.
What else can I do to ensure the supplier can deliver the service we asked for?
Ask questions, no matter how trivial they might sound they are important and relevant to you. The surest way is to visit the production facility and follow the process through from start to finish if you are happy that the supplier can show you a comprehensive, secure facility and can demonstrate work they do for other companies along with case studies and references then your evaluation is complete.
How do we go about implementing the project?
The right supplier will effectively manage the project from start to finish for you. Reminding you of key dates and deadlines thus justifying their service pricing and reducing the headaches for you. In turn you must be prepared to respond quickly to any queries and make sure the supplier has every bit of information they need to ensure the successful implementation of your project.
We only want a short-term payroll solution?
Although p60s come but once a year companies often need help with fluctuating peak times in payroll where there is a requirement for part-time or casual employees such as christmas time.
Outsourcing your payslip printing for 3- 6 months makes outsourcing an ideal choice for organisations. There is a long held belief that outsourcing involves a long drawn out contractual process and a minimum requirement of three years applicable to I.T outsourcing or payroll function but for print and mail requirements outsourcing can provide a great cost effective short-term solution.
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