If you are looking for a national company ADP is the way to go but they are a little expensive. I would look locally at some accounting firms to see if they offer payroll services. I know that is something I offer my clients as part of the services I provide.
Just go with ADP. They exactly know their job and I have been using them for over a year now. We are a IT staffing and recruiting company our self and have employees working out of state at our client locations, it is well worth time and money to use professional company. If your employees are only based in CA, you can just ask your CPA to suggest a local payroll company.
We believe in sticking to the knitting in-house and outsourcing the rest. It has worked wonders for us in terms of allowing us to focus on what's most important--our work with our clients--while leaving experts' work to the, you said it, experts.
For payroll, we compared ADP with Paychex and found Paychex (the official payroll vendor of the AICPA I learned) to be easier with which to work and actually less expensive, but they're both good/solid companies. Just get a quote from each and compare with your specific requirements.
For IT outsourcing decisions, since it's a very important decision, I would use a firm like Avasant, Alsbridge, ISG/TPI, WGroup, Pace Harmon, etc. (Google them all and see who they are) to help advise on the ITO space. They are generally vendor neutral and can help with important decisions such as this. While not cheap, neither is making the wrong decision to your entire company.
By the way, I have done the above exercises and know whereof I speak/type. I co-own a small retained executive search firm, have no financial ties to any of the above types of companies (other than as a client), and I evaluate talent for a living. When I meet a solid vendor in these spaces, I use the same level of due diligence I use in helping my clients on our own company. Your company deserves nothing less.
Good luck Joseph.
As a small business owner, I know the adage, "you better watch what goes out the door, as you never know what may come in". The question for the community that I have been struggling with, is whether to outsource payroll to a staffing company or keep it in-house.
The team of employees would be employees of the staffing company after "re-hire," therefore benefits would be more readily available and cheaper, life insurance would be provided to each employee, tax questions would be answered by the staffing company, but at a cost to the business.
What are your thoughts on using staffing companies? Successes? Struggles? Advice?