Business owners (regardless of size) are not fond of change. That’s because change usually comes in the same package with new investments and disruption of activity. However, when it’s needed for the improvement of your business process and a better future for the company, change is a must.
When speaking of improvement and increased productivity, the businessmen and women of the world will immediately think of sales and marketing strategies. However, right now we want to talk about the change that comes from inside the company – a process that’s least favored among managers and employees alike. What’s even more puzzling, we’re proposing you do the change when the need arises (even mid-year) and not wait for the year to end.
We’re talking about workforce management solutions, particularly the payroll system. It’s quite common for businesses to buy a payroll management solution that fits their needs at first, only to find it ineffective a few months into the year. However, since payroll is a crucial business system, managers will most likely shop around for a new solution to replace the old one after the end of the year when all the necessary paperwork and calculations are complete. This strategy is costly, time and resource-consuming, and can even put you in a difficult position with the authorities (in certain scenarios).
So why wait?
There’s no better time than the present to make a change that is beneficial for the business! So, if you find your old payroll system isn’t working, it’s time for a mid-year payroll conversion. Here’s how you can make the transition smoother and how to find the right features in your new solution.
Common Concerns to Address First
Let’s face it, changing your payroll provider mid-year is a bit scary. You already have a solution that’s so-so, but you can make it work (somehow). If you change things mid-year, there are several things that could go horribly wrong.
So, before anything, find the answer to the following questions:
- If I change the payroll system, will this disrupt my business?
- Does this mean there’s a chance I’ll have to fill the taxes late?
- My payroll process is complicated – can a new solution figure things out?
Keep in mind that the right payroll system should be easy to implement any time of the year, without disrupting your activity too much (minimal interruption will happen, but you can choose the time of the day). Plus, having a complex payroll system with different employee classification and pay frequencies does not mean you have to keep using an ineffective solution.
Lastly, your payroll provider will be able to import the data from your previous system and import it into the new one. Also, moving forward, the taxes should be processed seamlessly without any delays.
How to Find the Right Solution?
You already know what is not working with the current solution, but what happens if the new one isn’t to your liking as well?
This is why it’s important to do the research and perform a deep analysis of your current system. Also, think of your plans for the future (Do you plan on scaling the business? Are there any major changes coming up?)
Meanwhile, here are the features all payroll systems should offer:
- A cloud-based system with no need to install any software on your on-site devices. Also, the administrator should have easy remote access, so any maintenance or repairs can be performed from a distance.
- High-security features that ensure the sensitive data stored by the payroll system remains confidential.
- 2FA authentication to reduce the chances of a database leak or break.
- Automatic pay calculation using the criterion introduced by the employer. Also, the system needs to calculate overtime, taxes, or deductions.
- The possibility to fill and pay taxes using the system
- Several methods of payment such as checks, pay cards, or direct deposit
- Time tracking features (for employees paid by the hour)
- Secure employee access to their data (like tax forms, pay stubs, and more)
- Reports with visual elements (graphs, charts, and more) to get easier access to company metrics
- Integration with other software tools used by the business (CRM, sales management, bookkeeping, and more)
Plus, you may also want to consider features such as on-demand pay where workers can demand payment at the end of each day based on their logged hours. Lastly, some payroll solutions can also calculate the cost of each job in the company (based on the data introduced in the system). This feature is amazing for business owners looking to cut down costs, improve business cash flow and efficiency.
How to Make the Conversion Easier on Everyone
A reliable payroll provider can help you make the transition, but you can also work on smoothing things out.
For instance, if you make the conversion during the year, it’s best to do so at the start of a fiscal quarter or the middle of the year since all your data will be neatly packed and ready for transfer. This reduces the risk of complications and you don’t have to worry about tax delays.
Lastly, it’s crucial to have a face-to-face (even virtually) with your new provider and clarify all your requirements. It’s also a good idea to discuss development plans, to see if the new payroll solution can keep up with it. Overall, regardless of when you decide to make the transition, it’s crucial to be transparent and open with the new provider.