Payroll insight - header

Choosing a payroll provider is a crucial aspect for businesses of all sizes. It involves calculating employees’ salaries and tax deductions, liaising with HMRC, and most importantly, ensuring employees are paid on time. However, it can be a headache, and with increased obligations and regulations, payroll is now a specialist occupation in its own rightOrganisations must have the correct staff with relevant skillsets, as well as the tools and software to ensure the whole process runs smoothly to minimise financial risks and penalties.  

Thankfully, businesses who cannot deal with the demand of payroll can opt for an outsourced payroll provider, whose dedicated role is to take care of it all. Whilst appointing a payroll provider is nowhere near as hectic as payroll itself, there are still a few things businesses must consider before selecting one… 


Outsourcing a payroll provider can be a daunting prospect, this can make it easy to jump straight into it and settle on any provider without finding out exactly what services they have to offer. Many payroll providers nowadays offer an extended range of services that go beyond simple payroll. It may also be the case that one business requires a specific service or skillset that some providers do not offerEvery organisation is different, meaning that the services they require from a provider will be unique and depend on various factors such as company size, regularity of payroll and the industry type. Establishing what services your business needs and services a provider can offer is the first crucial step.   


Accreditations that a provider has can often offer businesses peace of mind, as they can signify that a provider is trustworthy and has been deemed competent by a chartered body. The Payroll Assurance Scheme (PAS) accreditation, for example, recognises payroll providers who: have suitable processes in place for preparing and delivering legislative changes, the organisation is dedicated to life-long learning and development, and the organisation is dedicated to compliance and best practice in payrollCantium is proud to have been awarded our PAS in April 2019. 

Payroll Assurance Scheme (PAS) logo


With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year, data security has never been more of priority for businesses, not only for protecting customer data but employee data too. Businesses must consider how payroll providers will manage the privacy and security of employee data, as they could land themselves in a lot of trouble in the event of a security breach. In 2014, Supermarket chain, Morrisons, found themselves in a security breach disaster after an employee leaked the payroll data of almost 100,000 staff. Aside from causing utmost distress for the employees whose data was leaked, Morrisons were held liable for the security breach. 

However, in May 2018, GDPR came into effect transforming the way payroll stores, manages and sends information to third parties. Many payroll providers now use certain software that ensures employee data is encrypted and secure. Nonetheless, organisations should properly assess how effective and compliant such tools are beforehand. Our staff are training in GDPR awareness and compliance and meet all the statutory security requirements to offer NHS payroll. 


Most businesses look for payroll providers who have experience, particularly within their company’s sector. As with accreditations, experience can also offer peace of mind. An experienced payroll provider will be able to take care of all the business’ requirements and can adapt to fit the needs of the business if required. Experience may be determined by the number of accreditations a provider has, or quite simply by the number of years they have been providing payroll services. Thankfully, outsourcing a payroll provider should mean that you are choosing from a specific talent pool, who will have years of experience behind them. At Cantium, we are proud to have over 30 years’ experience delivering successful payroll functions to clients in a variety of industries such as health and education to name a new.


Finally, businesses place a lot of trust in outsourced payroll providers, from trusting them with sensitive data, to wider support of the business.  Payroll providers should act in partnership with the organisation they are working for, meaning, being on hand in urgent times of need. Determine the level of support a provider can offer by asking questions such as will my business receive a dedicated account manager?’, and ‘when are support staff available and by what contact methods?Our dedicated team of HR and payroll professionals are also on hand to support you when you need it, with just one telephone number and email address for all your queries, getting in touch couldn’t be simpler.

Thorough research and consideration whilst taking all of the above into account will ensure you partner with the most suitable payroll provider for your business. 

If you are currently looking for a payroll provider, then visit our Human Resources pages for more information on the services we provide.  

With over 30 years’ experience, Cantium supports businesses of all shapes and sizes with their Payroll and HR Administration, as well as HR Consultancy, Recruitment, DBS checks, Employee Assistance Programmes and Organisational Wellbeing.  

We are delighted to have recently been awarded the Payroll Assurance Scheme, which you can read more about in our news article on why the Payroll Assurance Scheme is important.