Switching Payroll Providers (The Ultimate Guide For Employers)

Switching Payroll Providers (The Ultimate Guide For Employers)
Switching Payroll Providers (The Ultimate Guide For Employers)Switching Payroll Providers (The Ultimate Guide For Employers)

It’s safe to say, getting the right payroll software for your business is crucial for the wellbeing, performance and satisfaction of your employees.

Not to mention, potentially saving you hours upon hours of manual work each and every week!

If you’re reading this blog, you may already suspect that the one you currently have just isn’t up to scratch...

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Payroll is difficult for a lot of businesses to manage. To make matters worse, there tends to be a disconnect between payroll needs and what the software actually delivers. If you’re currently experiencing issues, or are wondering what else may be out there, it may be time for you to switch to a new payroll solution.

Reasons to Switch Payroll Software Providers

There are many reasons you may want to switch your payroll providers. They vary from poor customer service experiences to an overall lack of functionality and reporting. 

If you’ve had a negative experience, you may feel the urge to jump in and get started right away. But first, it’s best to familiarise yourself with the common mistakes people make when switching. 

You should also know what you can do to make this experience as effortless as possible for yourself and your employees.

Expert Advice for Switching Payroll Providers

The first thing that you should know after you’ve decided to switch Payroll Software Providers is the common mistakes people make during the switch. 

Every change in payroll affects aspects of other areas, including taxes, workplace benefits, and your employees’ experiences in general. Errors caused during or due to a change in Payroll providers put a lot of unneeded stress on your employees. That’s the last thing you want, because almost a third of U.K. workers live paycheck to paycheck, and can barely make ends meet.

How To Avoid Common Mistakes

The first major mistake that companies tend to make when switching Payroll providers is poor timing or a lack of planning. 

Payroll processes can have a direct effect on things like employee benefits, wellbeing and attendance. Changing providers without at least considering how it will impact other aspects of your company can create a huge disconnect.

This disconnect is likely to cause chaos and stress for everyone involved.

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The answer to this is to find a company that will help you plan your transition and take the time to fully understand your needs as a business.

Another mistake is signing up for cheaper legacy systems or old software without considering other factors like integrations or ease of use. 

The problem here is that a lot of systems will focus solely on Payroll and not on making things easier for you or your employees. In addition, there may be very few systems that they integrate with, and many of the extensions you are using could need to be replaced with something new and foreign to your company. Costs could also easily stack up should you require manual intervention for updates/changes. 

Cloud-based systems on the other hand give you access to the data you need 24/7 without hassle. It also upgrades itself automatically and allows self-service for employees. In addition, it has the same high-security standards as banks. 

The final thing you want to avoid is Payroll Software Providers that don’t help with initial setup, data entry, onboarding, or general support. Without a dedicated support function to help set up and maintain your new Payroll system, you’re increasingly likely to make errors and less likely to receive help fixing them. That’s why at PayCaptain, we offer all of our clients dedicated support to ensure they are up and running with ease.

When Is The Best Time To Switch Payroll Providers

Technically you can switch payroll providers or payroll software at any point throughout the year. However, a lot of companies will wait until the end of a quarter or the end of their financial year as it can potentially reduce the amount of data-migration required.

It really depends on the provider you go with though.

For example, some software companies will require you to manually import the data yourself, which could prove extremely time-consuming. However, if you can find a fully managed service like PayCaptain, they will take care of all the migration for you.

That way you don’t have to worry about running data-imports or tests as this will all be taken care of by a payroll migration specialist.

Can You Change Payroll Providers Mid Year In The UK?

The short answer is, yes! Whilst the idea of changing payroll providers mid-year may seem like a daunting task, it doesn't have to be. As long as you have a clear process and contingencies (like parallel run testing) in place to ensure a smooth migration.

You'll want to speak to your new Payroll provider or Payroll software company to ask about the support provided.

For example, at PayCaptain, we support out clients through the entire tech migration processes and even help with integration and testing with existing systems to ensure a seamless switch.

The Best Things to do When Switching Payroll Providers

If you’ve never switched payroll providers before, are a bit rusty, or just want some advice, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the best tips for how to switch payroll software providers.

Step One: Know the Rules

Go over your existing payroll provider’s contract a few times and familiarise yourself with its terms. Pay extra close attention to anything regarding their cancellation policies and fees, as well as any relevant deadlines.

Step Two: Create A Plan

When it comes to switching Payroll providers, planning is everything. It’s important to know exactly which areas of the business will be affected by the switch. You may also find that you no longer need to run other redundant processes so you’ll want to plan accordingly. 

At PayCaptain, our expert team frequently help our customers plan a quick and painless transition and avoid common mistakes. 

Step Three: Know What You Need

Go through and make an extensive list of everything your current provider fails to do that you need in a new provider. The last thing you want to do is find what looks like a good deal, only to discover they have similar issues to your previous provider or payroll process. Once your checklist is complete, go over it once more and make a note of the items you want to prioritise. Some examples of the things you may want to look for in your new provider include:

  • Better employee services
  • Ability to integrate with other areas of the workforce
  • How it conforms to tax and pay laws
  • Customer service quality
  • Any additional services that you find necessary 

Step Four: Pricing

Before making any commitments to your new service provider, familiarise yourself with their pricing system (and make sure to read the fine print). Payroll Software Providers will often have different features and pricing models. As such, you want to make sure you fully understand what’s being offered for the price and that you won’t be hit with unexpected fees later on.

Step Five: Transferring the Data

Once you’ve decided which Payroll provider you’ll use going forward, it’s time to begin the switch. This change is the most crucial part of the process, and it’s the easiest to muck up. Try to have the information they’ll need ahead of time, as it will make the whole process easier. 

Once you initiate the switch, it’s essential to sit down with your workers and review how to use the new systems and go over the new features available to them.

Step Six: Double-Check & Perform Parallel Payroll Runs

Once you complete all the other steps and your new Payroll provider is official, take one last look at the old records and compare them to the new ones to make absolutely sure that everything is as it should be. 

Before you switch off your other Payroll system or process it may be worth asking you new provider to perform a parallel run to ensure everything has transitioned smoothly.

During a parallel run, the old payroll system is run alongside your new one to ensure the relevant data is being pulled through correctly.

Then sit back and congratulate yourself on moving to a newer, better payroll solution that helps both you and your employees. 

Contact PayCaptain for more information on how easy it is to get started!