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How to Determine the Best Payroll Service for Your Business – ReadWrite

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Brad Anderson


You want to pay your employees on time. You also want to keep up with all those other payroll-related items like keeping up with tax documents. But that’s not your forte. You’re an entrepreneur, not a bookkeeper.

Fortunately, many providers offer payroll services. And plenty of companies in the United States leverage those services. According to a survey from Deloitte, North American businesses lead the way in outsourcing when it comes to payroll solutions. Nearly seven out of 10 organizations that rely on payroll services are pleased with the results.

How to Determine the Best Payroll Service for Your Business

Of course, not all payroll providers are suitable for all businesses. If you’re trying to find the right match among the best payroll services, use the following tips to guide you. They’ll help you pinpoint which provider is most likely to meet your current and near-future needs.

1. Pick a payroll service that serves your size company.

Small businesses and startups usually have fewer than 50 employees. On the other hand, enterprise-level businesses can have several hundred or thousands of workers. So, as you might imagine, the payroll service that’s right for one type of company is wrong for another.

Even if one of your personal contacts at another corporation raves about a payroll service, do your homework. Don’t sign any contracts until you find out if it’s well-suited for your needs. Otherwise, you could end up overpaying for bells and whistles or not getting exactly the right fit.

2. Find a provider with a streamlined reporting platform.

Want to check up on your payroll? You should be able to find everything you need by logging into a cloud-based portal. Ideally, you would tap a few keystrokes and be able to navigate through your books effortlessly.

As you might suspect, not all payroll service systems are intuitive. Some require more of a learning curve than others. A few just aren’t simple to follow at all without a lot of practice. So, make sure that your payroll services provider’s interface matches your tech comfort level. Or, find one that matches the person’s comfort level on your team who will be working with your payroll regularly.

3. Offer your employees access to see their pay — and more.

You probably have at least a few tech natives on your payroll from Generation Z. In fact; you may have quite a number of them. According to The New York Times, teenagers are snagging good-paying jobs at record rates. Even if they’re new to the world of getting paid, they’ll want to learn the ropes sooner rather than later.

Many payroll services allow your employees to see and download pay information online. Make sure you understand precisely what workers have access to. Remember: You’ll be one of those workers, too, since you’re on the payroll as well. More robust systems can even help employees improve their financial literacy when it comes to figuring out tax withholding.

4. Seek out a payroll services partner with highly rated customer service.

As a business owner, you know the importance of offering top-notch customer service to consumers. Insist on putting your own money toward a payroll services provider that does likewise. If you don’t, you may end up with more questions than answers—and your employees might, too.

What kind of customer service options are nice to have in a payroll services provider? Of course, it’s always nice to see a provider that offers 24/7 self-service through AI-enhanced chats. However, sometimes you’ll want to talk with a live representative. Be sure you can get through to someone during your regular business hours. (This may mean choosing a provider in or close to your time zone.)

5. Choose a payroll service that can integrate with your current software.

Do you use a bookkeeping or other financial management software program? You probably don’t want to give up on it, especially if it’s working well. Consequently, investigate payroll service providers with platforms that integrate with the tech in your stack.

Of course, if what you’re using is an ancient platform, you may not find a service that integrates seamlessly. That’s understandable. The same is true if you cobbled together your payroll system years ago instead of picking something “off the shelf.” Still, if you can make your life easier by not having to invest in more products, you’ll end up saving money.

6. Weigh your payroll service against your corporate growth goals.

You say you want to scale rapidly within three years, taking your company from 25 employees to 250 employees? First, you’ll need to find the right payroll service solution. The last thing you want to do is find yourself having to reinvent the wheel in 36 months.

When you start evaluating payroll services, find out which ones can grow alongside your organization. Even if you have to buy into a service that’s a little “big” for you now, you could be glad later. Changing payroll services midstream can be exasperating and clunky, particularly if you’re focused on other areas simultaneously.

7. Compare pricing plans for each payroll service. (But don’t get too carried away.)

You’re in business to make money, which means you want to steward your financial resources. Nevertheless, you can’t afford to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. So when looking over payroll service pricing plans, search for one that fits your budget. At the same time, avoid giving in to sticker shock.

Remember that it takes about five hours on average to figure out worker payroll taxes. (And that’s per pay period.) Think about all the money that can be saved in-house by outsourcing that one service, let alone other services. So, yes, you want to make sure that you get a good deal. Just don’t forget that you’re paying someone else to do payroll so your people can focus on other tasks.

Loathe the idea of keeping your payroll in-house or—even worse—running payroll manually every week, another week, or month? Then, check out the payroll services on the market. You’re sure to find one that’s ready to support your business and keep your team members happily paid on time, every time.

Image Credit: tima miroshnichenko; pexels; thank you!

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Politics

UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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