As many small business owners can tell you, their days and those of their employees can be very busy to say the least. 

Due to many different responsibilities, getting payroll done can seem like a burden in some instances, albeit a very important one at that. For the business owner, be they just starting out or in business for a while now that is finding meeting payroll needs to be a challenging task, reaching out to a payroll provider can oftentimes be the right answer.

Finding the right payroll service, however, can be a chore that takes both time and effort. If you end up with the wrong one, you could be left with financial headaches, not to mention a number of disgruntled employees.

When searching for a payroll service provider, keep in mind the following:

* Get a number of quotes - Payroll service providers come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Look for one that puts your company first, not the other way around. Check each company’s background, its customer service performance, and its financial stability. If you have to go through several providers over a span of time, there is more chance for delay in getting your employees paid, not to mention the potential for errors. Also, make sure you discuss and understand what their charges are, uncover any hidden fees, and that they are available to you to answer any and all questions regarding services. Finally, see if the provider offers a free trial run, be it online or via a software demonstration. By doing so, you can compare and contrast to determine which provider best suits your business needs;

* Consider all to be covered - A good payroll service provider will have a number of areas to deal with. Such responsibilities include recording hours worked, issuing checks, overseeing payroll tax, dealing with workers compensation matters and more. As noted, taxes are a very important item that needs great attention to detail, meaning your business does not get penalized by the IRS. Make sure you deal with a provider who is adept at handling the filing of state, federal and local taxes so that both you and your employees have met your tax obligations. Make sure you discuss what basic services each provider you contact will cover, do they themselves handle penalties and interest fees for tax problems, and are you able to change providers rather easily or are you locked into any contracts;

* Determine payouts - As a small business owner, you can decide how you and your employees will be compensated. Payments can be issued either via direct deposit or check, and can be made on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly, or yearly schedule. Payroll providers can also put together tallies for 401(k) plans and mutual fund plans;

* Make a smooth transfer - Each pay period involves having your small business provide information to your payroll service. Most companies and providers will be able to transfer the data electronically, meaning you do not have to deal with phone and fax systems. Make sure you discuss this matter with each provider you consider doing business with, making sure that the transfer of information is easy and also secure. Security should be high on your list (be it electronically or through another means) given the fact that employee salaries are involved, along with social security numbers and other private information. Also make sure the provider can handle the varying degrees of salary, tax deductions and benefits that come with different employees, especially if you have a sizable small business;

* Room for growth - Lastly, make sure you locate and work with a payroll service provider who can handle any additional company growth that you are planning. Many small businesses start with just a handful of employees but grow over time as the business takes off. Inform any payroll provider you consider doing business with that you have plans to increase your workforce as time and finances permit.

Finding the right payroll service for your small business can pay off in more ways than one, so take the time to do it right.