The decision to look for a new payroll system is a rather large commitment for most businesses. The entire process of implementing a new payroll and HR software can be quite a daunting task, especially if your previous experience has not exactly been smooth. While considering shifting towards a new payroll system, ask the service provide these questions about their implementation process before you go ahead and actually implement it. This is because this could be one of the most intimate tasks where the wrong choice can let down your staff and waste a significant investment of time and money.
Like most services even payroll cannot be universal or one-size-fits-all type. Each service provider has a different technology, support and expertise that makes them a better fit than others. It is important to ask the right questions so that you can make sure you are choosing the right payroll partner:
Are there any other specific services that you provide, apart from payroll?
As your business grows, you will need to enhance and develop your business management systems. There are a larger number of payroll service providers in the market currently, with additional providers arriving on the market relatively often. To choose a service that's a strong fit for your company, identify your specific payroll requirements and search for a vendor that delivers everything you need. Decide in advance which tasks your small business needs help with, and ask potential payroll providers which they offer.
Typically, business owners look for a complete package that includes:
- Pay hourly, salary and contract employees via direct deposit. Some vendors enable you to print paychecks on site as well.
- New employees should be quickly integrated within the system
- File accurate payroll taxes in a timely manner
- Handle various earnings and deductions, like bonuses, reimbursements, commission, tips and garnishments.
- Track and manage leaves in the organisation
Has the system been updated to the latest technology available?
It is important to make sure beforehand that the payroll systems are built using the latest technology available as later on it could either become obsolete or not provide support as desired. Some payroll providers still rely on platforms that were developed ages ago which could make it difficult to customise, costly to implement and limit its ability to integrate with other platforms. Make sure you opt for a demo and get a chance to evaluate their technology. How is the system’s functionality and can it be integrated with your other internal systems?
Can the system be customized as per changing needs?
Is the system able to adapt to change when when things start getting difficult? The current environment dictates that technology and business are both evolving rapidly. Thus the system will need to change accordingly to match the growth of the company. In case it can be customized to new changes then will the new features and upgrades be rolled out automatically, or will they be allowed to delay a new version if they like the old version better? If they are not satisfied with the system, will they be able to move all the information stored on it to other systems? If yes, how easy/difficult will it be and will it take a lot of time? This can help them determine how quickly can they move on to newer systems in the future.
How much time will be required for the entire process of implementation?
The time required for the entire process is crucial as it can cause delays in the payroll process in the meanwhile. The company may have to rely on its existing process or delay getting rid of the current process till the new payroll system has been fully integrated within the organisation. Majority of companies take about 9 to 12 weeks for implementation. It can help companies take decisions on how to proceed with its payroll and other initiatives during this time and ensure a smooth transition.
What is the cost of implementing the new payroll system?
While purchasing a new payroll system, cost is one of the most important questions to ask to justify the investment to the management. Make sure you are aware of all the charges involved and how will it reflect against your business needs. All payroll service providers do not follow the same method while charging their customers. Some may charge according to licence fee per employee, monthly fee, hourly fees, etc. Determine whether they provide annual support and what are the maintenance charges, upgrade charges, initial implementation charges, etc. Look out for hidden charges as well. A few companies may resort to fraudulent practices to get more out of the their clients. While such instances are few, it is better for companies to still make sure everything is clarified before going ahead with the onboarding process.