Businesses are always on the lookout for ways to increase competitiveness and profits. Some find success in marketing; others invest in new locations. One option that’s often overlooked is streamlining current business processes.
Running a company is time-consuming, especially if you’re a startup entrepreneur. But even large, established companies need to manage productivity when they expand or adapt to market changes. To save time, and ultimately money, many businesses are turning to third-party companies to handle unproductive processes that don’t generate profits, such as filing taxes and handling employee benefits.
Some companies are concerned about the cost of outsourcing these tasks, but third-party companies are becoming popular for a reason. Although they charge a service fee, the amount of money they save businesses can surpass that fee by leaps and bounds. Companies can operate with fewer employees, and the most valuable asset of your workers, their time, can be appropriated to other tasks.
This article will introduce you to a few ways that third-party services can eliminate unproductive processes and increase your bottom line. If you own or manage a business and want ongoing help filing taxes, handling worker’s comp claims or managing employee benefits, click the link for additional resources and help.
Filing Payroll Taxes
Filing taxes can be a complicated process for both small and large businesses. It’s far more involved than reporting expenses and income. Sometimes, money is tied up in investments or is owed for unpaid invoices.
Third-party companies can help by providing payroll services. These include:
- Payroll administration
- Tax payment and filing
- Online payroll entry
You don’t need to be a major corporation to benefit from these options. Even a small business can benefit from being more organized and simplifying the payroll process. The business owner saves time on a weekly or even daily basis, and when tax season starts, you’ll be ready with accurate data on employee wages, business revenue and expenses.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
A worker’s compensation claim can be scary for an employer. On top of potentially reducing your workforce, you could face a spike in premiums. Dealing with insurance companies and consulting medical professionals takes time, and if you don’t understand the process or know the questions to ask, you might make a costly mistake.
A third-party company can assist with insurance claims by assessing the incident and making sure your rights are protected. Similar to an attorney, they will make sure that you only pay for justified claims, and they can handle all the complex paperwork.
Many of the debates surrounding the Affordable Health Care Act are focused on employee benefits. Soon, many employers will be required to offer insurance to workers or pay a fine. Health Care Reform could make providing health insurance to your employees a labyrinthine endeavor.
If your company provides employee benefits, or if you’re considering offering them, you should understand that assessment and adjustments are involved. This isn’t a one-time investment; it’s a decision that will affect your long-term bottom line. So, it’s important that you design a benefits package that will attract qualified applicants but won’t cut too deep into profits.
A third-party company can help design your package. Specialists will monitor your business, legislative changes and insurance policies to optimize and adapt your benefits.
Retirement plans are often the most complicated benefits to offer. If you want to introduce 401k options to your workers, the idea might be intimidating. But a third-party service can simplify the process and make sure your employees receive optimum retirement benefits. Here are a few specific ways that they can help:
- Provide financial advice and step-by-step assistance
- Prepare appropriate legal documentation, such as Summary Plan Description
- File Forms 5500 and 1099-R, both of which are required by federal law
- Conduct nondiscrimination tests quarterly
- Offer 24-hour online and phone support
- Monitor loans, terminations and hardships
Several 401k options are available, including basic, no-match plans, SIMPLE plans and boutique-match plans. By outsourcing the administration of your company’s 401k accounts, you don’t need to be an expert on the process, but you still can offer professional retirement options.
Image by thetaxhaven from Flickr’s Creative Commons
About the Author: Steve Zahn is a human resources officer and publishes a blog that helps businesses improve their HR processes.