Although there are processes and data involved in payroll, don't forget that at the heart of a good outsourcing experience is trust in the provider and confidence in the people you are dealing with. For the arrangement to work there needs to be a solid understanding of the capabilities and services being provided.
There are many payroll providers out there processing millions of pay slips every month. But just because they have experience with businesses, doesn't necessarily mean they are the best choice for your charity. The complexities of charity payrolls need a team with specific, relevant and up to date experience.
Supplier or partner?
The best approach is one of partnership. You want to be working with a payroll provider who is not purely interested in short term gains but who wants to act for your organisation for many years to come and be proactive in their solutions and recommendations to you.
Going the extra mile
While many organisations are happy to have meetings every 6 months or so with their outsourcer you may want to meet more frequently than that. Your provider should be open to meeting regularly and be proactive in the recommendations and information they give you. After all, the world of payroll is never a static one.
You should be given a dedicated named contact (or team) in order to give business continuity.
An important factor in finding the right partner in any area, but especially something as sensitive and crucial as payroll, is their attitude to people. What are their levels of staff turnover?
Do they give their staff the empowerment to deal with queries and be proactive for their clients?
Although some of the more pragmatic facts such as price will play a part in your choice of payroll partner, don't forget some of these 'softer' factors. If you are to build a long and successful partnership with your payroll supplier, these are areas that need to be considered at the outset.