Should I outsource payroll?

May 7, 2024 | Blog

Payroll is one of the most frequently outsourced business activities, with as many as 61% of UK businesses passing it off to expert services.

But why is this the case? And should you join others in outsourcing your payroll?

Read on to learn exactly that, along with the pros and cons of outsourcing payroll and factors to consider when deciding whether it’s right for you and your business.

What does payroll entail?

Payroll is complex, involving more than simply calculating salaries and distributing paychecks. It encompasses a wide range of tasks, including:

  1. Calculating gross pay, deductions, and net pay
  2. Managing employee benefits and pensions
  3. Handling statutory pay, such as sick pay and maternity/paternity pay
  4. Complying with HMRC regulations and reporting requirements
  5. Maintaining accurate records for audits and inquiries

These tasks require proper compliance with tax laws, employment regulations, and accounting practices.

For many small and medium-sized businesses, managing payroll in-house can be onerously time-consuming, hence the decision to outsource.

The pros of outsourcing payroll

Now, let’s turn our attention to the pros of payroll, which you’ll need to consider when deciding whether to offload your payroll activities to external experts.

Cost efficiency

One of the primary advantages of outsourcing payroll is cost savings. By partnering with a dedicated payroll provider, you can eliminate the need for an in-house payroll team, reducing salaries, benefits, and training costs.

Additionally, outsourcing prevents you from investing in expensive payroll software and staying up-to-date with the latest technology. Evidence confirms that outsourcing drives down payroll costs, saving businesses as much as 18% compared to handling it in-house.

Compliance and risk reduction

Non-compliance can result in hefty fines, penalties, legal consequences, and employee disgruntlement. Being paid accurately and on time is fundamental for sound business practices.

Outsourcing payroll to a reputable provider ensures that your business complies with HMRC regulations, auto-enrolment requirements and other statutory obligations.

Most importantly, professional payroll management ensures that employees are paid properly and on-time.

More time to focus on core business

Managing payroll in-house can be a time-consuming task, diverting attention away from core business activities. This is particularly true for business owners who handle payroll themselves.

By outsourcing payroll, you can free up valuable time and resources, allowing you and your team to focus on strategic initiatives, customer service, and other business-critical tasks.

Improved accuracy and reliability

Payroll errors can be costly, leading to employee dissatisfaction, legal issues, and financial losses. Outsourcing payroll to a specialised provider effectively reduces the risk of errors to nil.

Payroll providers use advanced software, automated processes and multiple checks to ensure accuracy throughout the payroll process.

Enhanced data security and confidentiality

Payroll data is highly sensitive and confidential, containing your employees’ personal information and financial details.

Outsourcing payroll to a trusted provider ensures that your data is stored securely, with robust encryption, backup systems, and access controls in place.

Payroll providers invest heavily in data security measures to protect client information and comply with data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The cons of outsourcing payroll

Of course, there are some cons to outsourcing payroll.

Loss of control

One potential drawback of outsourcing payroll is a perceived loss of control. When you outsource, you entrust a third-party provider with sensitive data and rely on their processes and systems.

Some business owners may feel uncomfortable relinquishing control and not having direct oversight of payroll activities.

However, reputable payroll providers like Lumin will communicate with you and deliver clear, consumable reports and data both periodically and on demand.

Service quality and responsiveness

When outsourcing payroll, you rely on your provider’s service quality and responsiveness.

Work with a payroll provider with a proven track record of excellent service, reliable support, transparency and communication.


While outsourcing payroll typically leads to long-term cost savings, it’s important to consider the initial costs and ongoing fees associated with the service.

Payroll providers typically charge based on the number of employees, frequency of payroll runs and additional services required.

Assess the pricing structure and compare it against the costs of managing payroll in-house, considering software expenses, staff salaries and training costs.

Outsource payroll for savings and efficiency today

Overall, the benefits of outsourcing payroll outweigh the drawbacks, which is why the majority of SMEs choose to do it. At Lumin, we understand the importance of efficient and accurate payroll management.

Our experienced professionals combine time-tested knowledge of payroll requirements with cutting-edge technology. We also place data security, compliance and exceptional communication at the heart of our payroll services.

Contact us today to learn more about how Lumin can support your payroll needs and help you achieve your business goals.

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