Payroll - In House or Outsource?

A Finer Cut

LawnSite Member
Fairfax, Va
O.k. My old method of payroll is no longer a viable option. I need to set-up a payroll account by next season, as I will be hiring 2 employees by the start of next season. I am a "hands-on" kind of guy but also believe in "Do what you do best, and outsource the rest"

What kind of fees do these companies charge? Any cheers or jeers on different companies? What kind of cash flow did you start the accounts with? I am thinking 2 Mos. pay for each employee (though that is a hefty ammt. of capital for me) I am figguring that next season, I will have to pay-out about 6 weeks of payroll before I see the return on the employees labor. (I bill out monthly and usally see the bulk of my invoices around the 15th of the month)

Does this sound reasonable? And as always, any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Kelly's Landscaping

LawnSite Platinum Member
Milford CT
Outsource works great we call in the hours they bring us the checks a day or two later. The account is the same one we use for business no need to set up a second one we use ADP they give you a report on how much you will need to clear and they automatically take out all taxes and fees. End of the year W2s are just as easy I think we pay a little over a 100 a month not my end of the business. The professional looking checks are a nice feature, as well guys have no problems cashing them unlike personal checks.

As for reserve cash on hand only you will know what you need but 6 weeks in the beginning of spring sounds about right. We got screwed this year no march was not till April 9 that it dried out enough to start work. So it was May before we saw any money coming in 5 months is a long time to go with out pay make sure you put enough away.


LawnSite Fanatic
Clinton, NJ
We outsource as well.

I can either drop off the numbers from the previous week on Monday on my way home or email to our payroll company. I know diddly about witholding and payroll taxes (plus the fact I have 2 full timers who work in PA and I am in NJ) so that complacates matters even more. We get copies of Quarterly Reports and W2's are mailed directly to the employees.

Same here, we pay a little over 100 bucks a month for this much needed service...can't do without it IMO.


LawnSite Senior Member
I would like to add that if you are using quickbooks in your office and have an internet connection, you can subscribe to the payroll service for a low monthly cost, input the hours each payday and spit out the paystubs or checks in the same way your accountant would. Print all the rest of your forms(quarterlies, year ends, etc.) right from there as well. Takes less than 20 mins per pay period to do a couple dozen employees and the withholding info(even in multiple areas/states) is always up to date. Another option for those of you running that program.

Team Gopher

LawnSite Platinum Member
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Hi A Finer Cut,

I don't know if you use Gopher or not, but we have an accounting firm that can take care of your payroll needs. You can transfer them your database and they take it from there. Click here for more information on that service.

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LawnSite Senior Member
Anderson, IN
Check out PayCycle. Everything is online, automatic, and very easy to use. We pay something like $40 / month and everthing is done online. Taxes are submitted online and we are sent reminders when something is due. If you screw anything up with PayCycle it is because you did it on purpose.

The service is great.


LawnSite Member
Whippany, NJ
I do not recomend doing your payroll yourself. If you fall behind 1 payroll tax payment the fines will kill you. Also have the payroll company do automatic tax payments. It's tempting to hold that tax check when monies tight and think you"ll send it in a few days. THE FINES WILL KILL YOU.
Did I mention the fines will kill you.



LawnSite Gold Member
Central Jersey
Just starting using an outside company. We basically call in the payroll on a Weds (we are bi-weekly) and the checks are there on Thursday. I'm able to give the check to my employee on Friday. Costs us around 40 bucks per two weeks for processing fees, courier, and the like. They mail us our quarterly reports and handle all the tax withholdings. We can also let the payroll company know whether to pay the employee mileage for use of his car or whether to provide for a clothing allowance, all that jazz. Best of all the company we are using doesn't charge us a fee for not having employees through the winter. We just call them up say we want to stop payroll for the year. All's we have to do is call em up in spring and say place the employee back on payroll.

We like it a lot. I know you can do it through quickbooks as well. I believe they are right around the same price.