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In his biography written by Alice Shroeder, “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life”, Buffett gives sound advice to business people on making ethical decisions to keep them on the right track.

A famous quote from the book reads: “If you’re not sure if something is right or wrong, consider whether you’d want it reported in the morning paper.”

Honesty and integrity are core values for any person or any company we work for or with. In the 21st century, we all want to be honest and work for executives who have integrity. Or if you’re a boss, you want to surround yourself with honest people. In every business deal, we seek for an honest partnership where each partner trust each other. Every department from human resources to finance, sales to marketing should live by integrity and honesty. 

Now, let’s zoom in payroll that is correct, timely and honest. Correctness and timeliness are the two fundamental deliverables of any payroll service. Having received incorrect deposits, employees would only feel discomfort and mistrust towards the company they work for, as they will wonder whether their next paycheck would be correct or not! This doubt permeate the overall business decisions and company policies in the employees’ mind. From the very basic assumption that employees are the core resources of a company, companies should not leave any room for error for their employee paychecks, the most cared for entitlement of their own people.

How do you get correct, timely and honest payroll? Do you do it in-house or outsource it? In fact, whether the decision is having a payroll department or outsourcing payroll to a service provider will not make a big difference in terms of the “correct, timely, and honest” payroll, the management is aiming for. In this decision, cost efficiency is the number one criteria to outsource considering headcount, trainings for payroll expertise and investments for integrated technologies. Beyond cost efficiency, two key elements distinguishes a strategic payroll service partner  payroll from the rest: labor law expertise in the country the service provider operates and the technology platform it provides for your company to do your business efficiently. The service provider representative should work as a member of your Human Resources team and provide the country specific labor law expertise as well as timely and error-free operations supported by a platform that enables payroll calculations in a user friendly manner.

In other words, look for a service provider that reflects your company values. Think of this relationship as hiring an employee of your own or shaking hands with a partner, not just a vendor helping your company cut cost. This approach will benefit your company in the good and bad days.