The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

How to Grow Your Accounting Business Through Payroll

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Anne Perisho

In a time when markets are more competitive than ever, it’s vitally important for businesses of all types to be able to differentiate themselves from their competition.

A computer screen showing various financial graphs used to help measure business success and growth.

One of the key ways to do this in the accounting field is to innovate and provide multiple services for your clients. Because most accounting firms specialize in a few areas – bookkeeping, financial planning, filing taxes – small business owners often feel they need to hire multiple accountants to meet their many business needs. Offering a variety of accounting solutions, including payroll, could be the differentiator needed to bring more clients to your business.

Why Payroll?

SurePayroll partnered with Source Media and Accounting Today to survey small business owners on what they are looking for from their accountants and trusted advisors. While many of their responses are expected and logical, a startling 43% of accountants found that their clients needed assistance with payroll. What’s more, the survey found that most accountants rarely proactively offered their clients payroll services and instead waited until they were asked by the client. Even more surprisingly, nearly nine-in-ten accountants stated they had no interest in offering payroll services at all, stating that it was too complicated, the risks involved were too high, and they didn’t feel it was a good use of their time.

A survey done by the National Small Business Association found that payroll taxes were the second-highest culprit of both administrative and financial burden for small business owners, and one-in-three small business owners spent more than $500 each month on payroll services. Additionally, the survey found that one-in-five small business owners reported spending more than six hours a month handling payroll taxes internally. That number jumps to one-in-three when a small business has more than five employees.

What Does This Mean for Accountants?

Payroll has always been a bit of a dirty word in the accounting business. The service has always been considered high-risk and low-reward, with most accountants not wanting to take on the challenge. Because payroll is such a needed service and so few accountants are willing to offer it, those looking to capitalize on this market will face next to no competition. Additionally, one advantage of partnering with an online payroll provider means that you don’t need extensive prior knowledge about how payroll works to offer it.

Simplifying Employment Tax Management

As an accountant, you’re probably comfortable with handling your client’s tax filings and returns while also making sure they’re up to date on the most current local, state and federal tax regulations. If your client misses the deadline for filing their payroll taxes or makes a mistake on their withholdings, it could result in a costly fine that most small business owners can’t afford.

Employment tax management can become an enormous burden and leaves ample room for error when done manually or via an inefficient payroll and accounting system. With the help of an automated service, you can rest easy knowing that the solution:

  • Calculates all employee and employer taxes
  • Remits employee and employer taxes to the revenue agency
  • Files all payroll tax forms with the proper agency
  • Helps you avoid costly fines from the IRS and state

By offering a payroll platform to your existing suite of services, you can both meet your clients’ needs and reduce time spent on payroll, allowing you and your firm to spend more time on high-level tasks, such as consulting and advisory services. In addition, having quick access to payroll reports can vastly enhance analysis, budgeting, recordkeeping, and decision-making processes.

Trusted Advisor: Going the Extra Mile for Your Clients

It’s no secret that small business owners have a lot on their minds and that they aren’t always able to make complicated financial decisions on their own. Your clients trust you to give them the best financial advice possible and know they can rely on you to keep them in compliance. But can your clients trust you to make suggestions on how to make their business run better? Keeping in mind that a majority of accountants wouldn’t proactively offer payroll to their small business clients, even though they’re aware that their clients could benefit from those services, think about how you can be the missing link your clients may not be aware they’re lacking. This foresight denotes the difference in an everyday accountant and a trusted advisor, someone who small business owners will stay by their side for the long haul. By analyzing your small business clients’ needs and offering them suggestions to improve their processes, you’ll form stronger, longer-lasting relationships with your clients because they know you’re looking out for them and their business.

What to Look for in an Online Payroll Provider

Not all online payroll providers are created equal, so when choosing a company, it’s important to ask some questions and be aware of the differences. As examples, good payroll software should:

  • Keep your clients in compliance with wage and hour laws
  • Calculate earnings and deductions, including wage garnishments
  • Allow you and your clients to process payroll conveniently from a computer or mobile device for payroll on the go
  • Provide flexible payroll options for the moments when life happens and they need to process a payroll quicker than normal due to an error, or employee final paycheck
  • Facilitate benefits administration, including PTO tracking and health care solutions
  • Enable accounting integration and simplifies financial statement preparation
  • Report new hires to the administrating state agency
  • Offer seamless integration with most timekeeping systems

SurePayroll Reseller Program

When it comes time to consider a new offering for your firm, you’ve likely run the numbers and researched to understand how to make it work for your firm. By becoming a partner in SurePayroll’s Reseller Program, you can take the first step to offering a valuable service that your clients can benefit from, without adding more to your plate. SurePayroll’s Reseller Program offers you a white-labeled solution, which will still let your true brand shine through, and provide customized markup options to simplify payroll and increase your bottom line.


Become a Reseller

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.