California payroll outsourcing

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As businesses in California begin to plan for the post-pandemic economy, many are considering payroll outsourcing as a way to cut costs and streamline operations. While the decision to outsource payroll is not one to be made lightly, it can be a wise move for businesses that are struggling to keep up with the administrative demands of running their organization. Considering California payroll outsourcing one should be aware of recent trends and constantly changing policies regarding compliance.

The demand for payroll outsourcing is increasing due to the expanding geographical reach of organizations and the need for time-saving and cost-effective measures. The incorporation of digitized services, such as business analytics, big data and the cloud, is escalating the demand for payroll outsourcing across the globe. Furthermore, the rising trend of multi-country payroll outsourcing (MCPO), bundling payroll services and process automation is further contributing to the market growth. Apart from this, the leading players are providing hybrid payroll solutions that enable companies to decide upon customized payroll sub-services as per the requirement. This helps companies to avoid compromising confidential data.

Outsourcing payroll can help businesses save money on overhead costs, freeing up resources that can be reinvested in other areas of the business. But in the case of California, the state policies are a bit different from the rest of the states. There are a few perks to consider from the employers’ perspective, especially taxes and payroll dues. Having a professional team is vital for any given small or big business. In addition, by outsourcing payroll duties, businesses can focus on their core competencies and goals, rather than being bogged down by administrative tasks.

For businesses considering outsourcing payroll, it is important to partner with a reputable and experienced provider. Such vendors are omnipresent all over the US, but one should be able to make the right choice fit for their own needs. This could be tricky, since there are several options when it comes to payroll outsourcing, and choosing the right provider can make all the difference in terms of quality of service and peace of mind. Businesses in California require scrupulous attention to run things smoothly. The employees are protected by many kinds of terms and policies.

Payroll outsourcing is a big business, and it’s only getting bigger. And California is one of the largest markets for payroll outsourcing services. There are a number of reasons why California businesses choose to outsource their payroll. In this article, we will dive deep into the intricacies of payroll outsourcing in California in 2022. It will include comparisons of in-house payroll and payroll outsourcing, safety concerns, time-saving factors, and the pros and cons of hiring a third-party player to perform the payroll. 



  1. Local providers know the laws

A good payroll services provider is up-to-date and knowledgeable on employee and payroll compliance. They must stay abreast of all new tax laws and regulatory mandates on the federal, state, and local levels. The burden on your own staff to maintain this level of compliance knowledge only increases with each legislative session. Using a California-based provider will ensure that compliance on the state level is not an issue.

  1. Local providers can meet with you face-to-face

Professional payroll management services specialize in processing complex payroll systems. And because this is what they do best, they also accomplish this much more quickly and efficiently than your own staff is able to. Since your payroll staff probably has multiple roles to fill in your business, removing the burden of constantly processing your payroll will increase their productive time.

But there are times when interaction with your payroll management provider and your staff is necessary. Being able to literally sit across the table from each other, or have a provider representative come to your place of business, is a distinct advantage.  

  1. California payroll outsourcing service understands your issues

In addition to California labor laws and regulations, as a California employer, you have other concerns that are unique to being located here. There are social, cultural, and political aspects of doing business in California that are different from what businesses in other states must take into consideration.

Again, a local services provider for your payroll management offers a level of understanding that can prove to be critical when it comes to many issues including recruiting and hiring, onboarding, and training of employees.

Most importantly, it’s risk-free. Outsourcing payroll eliminates the risk of business owners being liable for non-compliance with payroll regulations. 



Hiring a payroll service may seem like a greater expense, but when you are considering in-house vs outsourcing, take everything into account. When making comparisons, be sure you divide the expenses by paycheck or pay run so you’re comparing apples to apples.

Cost of In-House Payroll

Processing payroll in-house can be a less expensive option but can quickly end up costing more than many outsourced payroll options, depending on your individual needs.

You’ll need to consider whether or not payroll will be a full-time job within your business, so you can determine the salary of the person responsible for it. Also, you’ll need to think about any software (like time-keeping systems) you may want to utilize to make the job easier and what the cost of that will look like.

Cost of outsourcing the payroll

Outsourcing is often a cheaper up-front cost, but it is important to understand how pricing and billing work with whatever outsourced service you choose.

Some providers charge one monthly cost that includes all payroll processing fees, tax filing fees, benefits administration, timekeeping, etc., whereas others bill for each of these on each occasion. To keep outsourcing within your budget, you’ll want to be sure you fully understand what costs you’ll be responsible for and when your billing cycles start and end.


When you’re calculating paychecks, remember that commissions and bonuses can add up. You also need to figure out how much tax money will be taken from each paycheck for federal purposes as well as any benefits or other liabilities your company may be liable to. It’s important not only when filing taxes but in keeping track of all entrances so there are no surprises down the line!

The payroll calculations and taxes in-house

Payroll is a complicated process that you should take seriously. The wrong calculation can mean missing out on thousands of dollars in taxes, so it’s important to have all the right tools at your disposal and establish an effective system for withholding money from employees’ paychecks accordingly. In-house employees might not be able to be up-to-date with constantly changing policies covering taxes and regulations. Tax rates are inconsistent and numbers alter all the time.

A few years ago, most people would just use their calculator or spreadsheet but now there are online platforms that do everything necessary. With its unique opportunities in this digitalized era, cloud-based technology is the solution to many existing shortcomings in calculations and bookkeeping. It has the ability to mobilize the whole process and make it simpler.

Outsourcing the payroll and taxes

There are a number of different payroll solutions that you can outsource, but they all have one thing in common: access to tax tables. This means your employees will receive the correct amount for their paychecks and it won’t be mixed up with any other transaction because these services handle everything from bonuses or incentive payments. The amounts withheld automatically reflect on employee pay stubs and your payroll records, so you know how much to pay and to whom.


Payroll Record keeping & Security

It’s important to keep payroll processing secure. You will have access not only to the employee’s Social Security numbers and other sensitive information but also for at least three years after they leave their job or retirement date so that you can report accurately on them when it comes a time for tax filing season! To make sure to keep this private information safe, keep your technologies up-to-date or hire a professional team. 

Managing Payroll Records & Security In-house

If you process payroll in-house, you will need physical and electronic safeguards to keep your information secure, whether from the malicious hacker looking for account information for identity theft or the well-intentioned manager who wants to change “one little thing” without knowing how it affects the entire system. These all digitized and tangible documents all bear some kind of risk. 

Managing Payroll Records & Security With an Outsourced Payroll Solution

If you hire a payroll service provider, you are entrusting them with sensitive employee information, from Social Security numbers to bank account numbers. Many of them store information on the cloud, making them a more likely target for hackers than your company. Because of that, legitimate payroll providers have bank-level security, password protection, and role-based access limitations to information within the software.

In conclusion, both methods have their own pros and cons. Usually, in-house operations are more safe but less efficient while on the other hand digitized payroll outsourcing might seem unsafe, most reputable companies possess bank-like security systems and provide a higher level of efficiency.

Payroll Outsourcing


The rates at which you and your employees contribute to payroll taxes typically change on an annual basis. The different rates are based on employee wages and how long your company has been in business. As a business owner, you are responsible for withholding the appropriate amount of taxes from each of your employees’ paychecks (and your own wages). Under most circumstances, employees also need to contribute parts of their paycheck toward State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Personal Income Tax (PIT). Employers do pay contributions toward Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Employment Training Tax (ETT).


The Board of Equalization in California supports exemptions for businesses that meet certain criteria, including those operating for religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable purposes. The board is also responsible for exempting properties owned by welfare or veteran organizations from property taxes. In order to administer these exemptions effectively, the board works with county assessors across the state.


Unemployment Insurance (UI) is paid by employers. UI provides temporary payments to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

Employment Training Tax (ETT) is paid by employers. ETT provides training funds to empower workers, promote business and boost California’s economy.

State Disability Insurance (SDI) is deducted (withheld) from employees’ wages. SDI provides temporary payments to workers who are unable to perform their usual work because of a pregnancy or a nonoccupational illness or injury (work-related disabilities are covered by workers’ compensation). SDI also includes Paid Family Leave (PFL), which provides benefits to workers who need to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Beginning July 1, 2014, California workers may be eligible to receive PFL benefits when taking time off of work to care for a seriously ill parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling.

California Personal Income Tax (PIT) is withheld from employees’ wages and credited toward the amount due for the employees’ annual California state income tax.

Payroll in California


In today’s mobile, computerized society, many employees work away from their employer’s office. Their work may be performed in two or more states. The question of which state to pay taxes is divided into two parts – Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax and Personal Income Tax (PIT).

• Unemployment Insurance Tax

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands use the same four tests to determine where wages should be reported for UI (and for ETT and SDI in California). Application of a test must result in reporting wages to California or another state, or that test does not apply. The tests are applied to each employee, not the employer, and they are applied in descending order. The employee must perform some services in California before the tests can be applied. For more information and manuals refer to Payroll Procedure in California.

• Localization  

If California is the one state in which all or most of the employee’s services are performed, UI (and ETT/SDI) taxes are paid to California (EDD). If another state is the one state in which all or most services are performed, UI is paid to that state. If this test doesn’t apply in any one state, the next test is.

• Base of Operations  

The more or less permanent place from which the employee usually starts work and returns to receive the employer’s instructions. If this base is in California, UI (and ETT/SDI) is paid to EDD. If this base is in another state, UI is paid to that state. If this test doesn’t apply in any one state, the next test is.

• Place of Direction and Control 

The place from which the employer gives basic and general direction and control over all the employee’s services. If this place is in California and if the employee does some work in California, UI (and ETT/SDI) is paid to EDD. If this place is in another state and the employee does some work in that state, UI is paid to that state. If this test doesn’t apply in any one state, the last test is. More on Personnel and Payroll here.

• Residence of Employee  

If the other tests don’t apply and the employee resides in California and does some work in California, UI (and ETT/SDI) is paid to EDD. If the employee resides in another state and does some of his or her work in that state, UI is paid to that state. If the employee doesn’t do any work in his or her state of residence, there are special circumstances that may apply, such as employees who work in foreign countries or on American vessels or aircraft. Call EDD’s toll-free number (888) 745-3886 or visit your nearest Employment Tax Office for more information, refer to Information Sheet: Foreign Employment and Employment on American Vessels or Aircraft (DE 231FE).

• Personal Income Tax

Wages paid to a California resident for work done in or out of California and wages paid to a nonresident for work done in California are both subject to state income tax and are usually subject to PIT withholding. If employees work and/or reside in more than one state, employers may need to withhold PIT and the income tax of another state(s), a political subdivision(s), or the District of Columbia. Call EDD’s toll-free number (888) 745-3886 or visit your nearest Employment Tax Office for more information.



In conclusion, The State of California has a different approach when dealing with numbers and having tight connections with government facilities. Its system of payroll and taxes are complex and requires a tedious approach to keep the flow steady. It is a must for any successful company to consider all the perks in calculating the payroll in California. The employer should be aware of compliance and changing tax policies and keep all the data up-to-date to secure its reputation and the satisfaction of its employees. 

What Is The Role Of NNRoad

NNRoad is a global Employer of Record & PEO provider with a base in the USA. We are able to advise you and your dispatched or payroll employees in the USA on their individual income taxes. For more information on our HR and payroll related services in the United States, please visit our US services page or contact us directly.

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