The Prime Buyer's Report

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Prime Buyers Guide Payroll Services

How To Find the Best Payroll Services in Marin County CA

When it comes to processing employee paychecks, business are legally obligated to deduct and pay payroll taxes, and produce, file, and distribute end-of-year wage reports such as W-2 forms. There can be expensive penalty fines for late filing of W-2 forms, incorrect or late employee payroll checks, and errors in payroll or form filings. That's where outside payroll processing services can save money, time, and hassle instead of a business trying to do it all internally. Payroll services in Marin County CA will process employee paychecks, figure and deduct payroll taxes, prepare end of year W-2 statements, and can do direct deposit of employee payroll earnings into each employee's bank account.

The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best payroll services in Marin County and the issues related to hiring them.



Updated November 4, 2016

 The TOP 10 Payroll Services in Marin County CA

Eckhoff Payroll Services
(415) 499-9400
145 North Redwood Dr
San Rafael, CA 94903

Areas Served: San Rafael CA, Novato CA, Larkspur CA, Mill Valley CA, Kentfield CA, Ross CA

PayStar Payroll Services, Inc
(415) 332-6777
150 Shoreline Highway Building A Suite 2
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Areas Served: San Rafael CA, San Anselmo CA, Mill Valley CA, Larkspur CA, Tiburon CA, Ross CA

Smith and Company
(415) 458-5100
1527 5th Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901

Areas Served: Mill Valley CA, Larkspur CA, San Rafael CA, Corte Madera CA, Kentfield CA

Moore & Company LLP
(415) 382-5600
1682 Novato Blvd, Suite 300
Novato, CA 94947

Areas Served: San Anselmo CA, Mill Valley CA, San Rafael CA, Tiburon CA, Fairfax CA, Kentfield CA

How To Find the Best Payroll Services in Marin County CA  

Payroll companies in Marin County are not required to be licensed by the State, nor are they legally required to have professional liability insurance to protect you the client from financial loss due to a payroll processing mistake, however all payroll services bearing The Prime Buyer's ReportTOP 10 symbol do have that liability insurance for your protection, in addition to passing all of the other requirements for Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 status such as our research phone calls to their previous clients to verify high satisfaction, hiring only documented workers, sufficient length of time in business, clean complaint record, and more.

Payroll services will process your employee paycheck information and can issue checks drawn from a separate payroll checking account set up for this purpose, or from your own existing business checking account, or do direct deposit from either of these directly to your employees' accounts.

Many payroll companies in Marin County allow you to submit online all your information for processing employee paychecks, negating the need for phone calls and faxes. And some do more than just payroll services, also offering human resources support with standardized forms, workers compensation support, and management reports that cover payroll recap, vacation and sick time accrual, and do the new hire reporting to the state that is legally required of businesses.   

Certain payroll services in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA specialize in processing employee paychecks for specific industries such as restaurant payroll which has its own complexities including allocated Tip Reporting, Tip-to-Minimum Validation, Shortfall Reports and the FICA Tip Credit Report.

Some Payroll Services in Marin County Are Much Better than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these services for payroll in Marin County CA: Eckhoff Payroll Services, Moore & Company LLP, PayStar Payroll Services, Inc, Smith and Company. Other companies for payroll in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA that might still be in business include: .



Questions to Ask Payroll Companies in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA  

Questions To Ask Services that Process Employee Paychecks

When it comes to hiring for employee paycheck processing in Marin County, ask these questions about their abilities, experience, and credentials:

• How long has the payroll company been in business?

• How long have they been processing employee paychecks in Marin County CA?

• How many clients do they have in the same industry as you? (Some industries have specific and complex needs such as for restaurant payroll.)

• How many clients do they have with a similar number of employees as you do?

• Can they give you names and phone numbers of clients that you call as references? (All payroll services bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their client references called by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report so you don't have to.)

• Do they have any special certifications? Examples include CPP (Certified Payroll Professional).

• What are their hours of operation in case you need to reach them?

• Will they show you proof of professional liability insurance (such as Errors & Omissions) which protects you from paying fines in the event of a mistake? (All payroll companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already shown proof of liability insurance to research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report)

• Do they attend continuing education courses? If so, how often? This is important to be able to stay current with constant changes in the law.

When you've chosen the best payroll processors in Marin County for your specific needs, make sure they have a clean complaint record with the State. (All payroll services bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their complaint status checked by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report so you don't have to.)



Glossary of Terms Related to Payroll Processing of Employee Paychecks 


Advance Earned Income Credit: If employees are eligible for this tax credit, it can be advanced to them by withholding less federal income tax from each employee paycheck.    

Archer Medical Savings Account: A pre-tax account where either an employee or employer (not both) can deposit funds for use at a later date.

Cafeteria Plan: A plan where pre-tax benefits are taken out of employee pay.    

Circular E Employers Tax Guide: A guide published annually that outlines employer tax responsibilities. 

Constructive Receipt: When employee pay is made available.  For example, direct deposit of employee pay into their own account means constructive receipt is achieved earlier than issuing a paper employee check.

Deferred Compensation: A deferral of a portion of employee pay to a future date, such as a pension plan, 401K or employee savings account.

Defined Benefit Plan: A plan of employee benefits usually based on pay rate and length of employment, where only the employer makes contributions to the account.

Direct Deposit: The process of depositing employee paycheck amounts directly into the employee bank account.  Construction receipt is achieved faster and it can be cheaper than printing and disbursing paper employee paychecks.   

EIN (Employer Identification Number): A number issued to a business by the IRS to indentify the business for tax purposes, similar to how a social security number works for individuals.

EFPTS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System): A system that allows an employer to electronically pay the employees withholding taxes directly to the IRS. 

FICA: The tax withheld from employee paychecks for Social Security. 

Withholding Amount: The amount withheld from employee paychecks for the payment of their taxes to the State and IRS.

Gross Pay: Total amount of employee compensation before the necessary deductions are made.

Independent Contractor: Someone who performs work for an employer as a non-employee for which the employer is not obligated to deduct any withholding, pay employee benefits or conform to labor laws governing employees. There are rules defining when someone may be paid as an independent contractor rather than an employee and unless that definition is met and adhered to, there can be penalties assessed on an employer if they are found to have skirted employee withholding and labor laws by granting independent contractor status to someone who is really meets the definition of an employee.

IRA (Individual Retirement Account): An account that allows an employee to deposit a portion of their employee paycheck for retirement and get certain tax advantages.    

Payroll Register: A report that specifies employee pay, withholding amounts, and other payments made related to employee payroll processing.

Percentage Method: Method for determining how much withholding to deduct from employee paychecks.

W-2: An annual statement of employee earnings, withholding, and other payments that is required to be produced and distributed to employees. 

W-4: The form filled out by new employees that indicates the amount to be withheld from employee paychecks.



Resources About Payroll Processing in Marin County CA  

The following is a list of trade associations, regulatory bodies, and publications related to payroll companies.

Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations for Payroll Companies in Marin County CA

DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs

State Attorney General

APA (American Payroll Association)

IPPA (Independent Payroll Providers Association)

Direct Deposit and Direct Payment Coalition

PSCA (Profit Sharing Council of America)

ERIC (The ERISA Industry Committee)

SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management)

IHRIM (International Association for Human Resource Information Management)

IFEBP (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

NACHA (The Electronic Payments Association)

CAE (California Association of Employers)

Publications Relevant to Payroll Services in Marin County 

Purely Payroll

Keep Up to Date on Payroll

Payroll Legal Alert


The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Payroll Services in Marin County within the following zip codes:

94945, 94950, 94960, 94970, 94963, 94974, 94946, 94941, 94903, 94948, 94930, 94937, 94914, 94938, 94978, 94965, 94924, 94979, 94940, 94977, 94933, 94964, 94956, 94976, 94929, 94904, 94925, 94920, 94915, 94913, 94966, 94947, 94912, 94971, 94901, 94949, 94973, 94942, 94957 and 94939


The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Payroll Companies in Marin County within the following cities:

Marin City, Tomales, Inverness, Black Point, Novato, Stinson Beach, Dogtown, Point Reyes Station, San Anselmo, Mill Valley, Ignacio, Fairfax, Dillon Beach, Larkspur, Santa Venetia, Forest Knolls, Belvedere, Mission Rafael, Belvedere Tiburon, Sausalito, San Rafael, Almonte, Ross, Terra Linda, Greenbrae, Bel Marin Keys, Kent Woodlands, Strawberry Point, San Quentin, Lucas Valley, Lagunitas, Bolinas, Muir Woods, Tamalpais Valley, Kentfield, Muir Beach, Woodacre, Marinwood, Tiburon, San Geronimo, Nicasio, Sleepy Hollow, San Marin, Tamal, Olema, Corte Madera and Marshall CA