Hiring employees for your small business is a big decision. First, you want to make sure you hire the right person for the job. Then you have to make sure you take care of all the necessary paperwork for withholding federal and state taxes. And if you make a mistake or fail to file payroll taxes on time, you’ll be charged penalties.
To avoid all this hassle many small businesses opt to use a professional payroll service. Now, imagine this. You choose a company you assume you can trust and then that company moves to a new location and tosses all your employee files in the trash. Think about it: Those files would have all kinds of confidential information including, social security numbers, EIN numbers and bank account numbers. What a nightmare!
Well, that nightmare turned out to be a reality for some business owners in the New York Metropolitan area this week. A Fox 5 news reporter found stacks of files in a dumpster behind the offices where Olympic Payroll Services had previously been located in Fairfield, New Jersey.
This story is a good reminder to all of us to make sure we work with reputable payroll services. Inquire as to how they discard old records and if you’re uncomfortable with the answer, ask for a clause in your contract that requires old records to be shredded and disposed of appropriately. Alternatively, ask the company to return old files to you instead of discarding them so you can insure your employees and your business are protected from potential identity theft.