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small business payroll

What Services Are Included in a Small Business Payroll Fee?

April 1st, 2022 | 7 min. read

By CSI Accounting Staff

When you’re signing a payroll service agreement for your small business, do you know about everything that’s included in your fee? Different payroll providers have different ideas of what “payroll services” are, so just knowing the price of your service doesn’t mean you know the value it provides you. 

For a basic payroll package, you will want to have the fees for necessities included, with the fees for optional benefits added only at your request. You don’t want to pay for services that you’re not using, but you also don’t want to overly limit the possible service add-ons either. It’s much simpler to use multiple services from one quality provider than to have to manage multiple business relationships. You have enough on your plate already!

At CSI, payroll has meant more to us over the last couple of decades than just paying your employees. Consider things like timekeeping, PTO tracking, HR services, payroll taxes, and many other things that go beyond a paycheck. That brings us to the question, “Which services are included in a payroll fee, and which services are considered add-ons?” While the answers in this article are specific to what CSI charges, other payroll providers should have similar fee structures. 

Other small business owners like you often want to know:

  • What services are included in CSI’s payroll fee
  • Which additional services our average client uses
  • The differences between what we offer and what large payroll providers offer

Person Adding Up Charts and Graphs to See What is Included in their Payroll Fee

The Services Included in CSI’s Payroll Fee

What are the services that are commonly included in a payroll package for no additional fee? At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we include the basics in our payroll fee and price separately for “add-on” services. 

The simpler your payroll is, the less time your dedicated payroll specialist needs to commit to it. Because of this, we can pass on a “thank you” in the form of a lower payroll fee.

A basic payroll package includes:

  • Payroll check processing
  • Direct deposit
  • Electronic payroll tax payments
  • Federal (941) & State withholding tax returns
  • Federal (940) & State unemployment tax returns
  • Workers' compensation audit reports
  • Payroll tax audit representation
  • Personal portal logins for your employees
  • Employer portal login for your admin account
  • Standard report package
    • Cash requirement report
    • Payroll journal report
    • Check register report

Read more about the services that CSI offers and the factors that make up a payroll fee here. 

The Add-On Services of CSI’s Average Client

Other services are offered for additional fees on top of our basic payroll package because they don’t apply to many small businesses. Since many owners don’t use these extra services, you will not be charged for them unless you opt-in to use them.

What does CSI’s average client use for add-on services? Many of our clients find paying an additional fee for these services to be worth it:

  • Conducting annual workers' compensation audits
  • Timekeeping services
  • PTO tracking
  • HR Services

Do any of the services above interest you? We have more on the list! Read about more of CSI’s add-on payroll services here.

CSI Payroll Services Vs. National Provider Services

There are some reasons why a small business owner may choose to go with a national payroll provider as opposed to a local service. The comfort of going with a well-known name is a big one. After all, they’re well-known for a reason, right?

However, you’ll find that CSI Accounting & Payroll offers similar services as large, national payroll providers. Here are the major service differences between our service and national providers: Professional Employer Organization (PEO) service and customer service.

Professional Employer Organization Benefits

CSI does not offer the services of a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), but some large payroll providers do. A PEO essentially “employs” your employees for you and offers them benefits based on a much larger ‘pool’ of employees. This process can sometimes result in lower premiums for medical insurance. However, a service like this only pays off if you have a large number of employees and offer a lot of benefits.

CSI does, however, offer various levels of HR services that can cover many of the same benefits that PEOs offer. See what each tier of HR service through CSI offers here.

Customer Service

Customer service is the biggest reason why small business owners switch to CSI Accounting & Payroll; according to our clients, our customer service is better than national providers’. Many of our Google reviews talk about our customer service.

With CSI, you’ll never wait in a phone queue. If you’re not able to speak to your dedicated payroll specialist on their direct line right away, you can leave a message and expect to hear back shortly.

Not to mention, if you’re also local to the Twin Cities area, you have the option to drop by our office if you’d prefer to have in-person conversations or to pick up printed checks and reports.

Want to Customize Your Payroll Services?

If you only know the price of a payroll service, you don’t know the value of what it can provide for you. Other payroll providers can charge higher fees for services that you don’t want, or they may charge less but not provide everything that you were hoping for. That’s why price shopping for such an essential service can be so tricky! 

Luckily, CSI Accounting & Payroll includes the basics in our payroll fee, and we only charge extra for things that are commonly considered “add-ons”. 

After taking a look at what our average client uses for payroll services and the differences between us and national providers, you might want to consider having a conversation with us by scheduling a free consultation!

Not quite ready to talk? Find out if you’re a good fit to work with CSI first!

CSI Accounting Staff

This article was composed by a member of our staff who interviewed our experts to get the facts straight. Any uncited information found here came straight from a knowledgeable accountant or payroll specialist.