Human Resources has changed substantially in recent years and continues to evolve. Within the past three to five years, employee expectations, needs, and motivations have changed. These shifts in the standard for HR have led some HR companies to offer better products, streamline their processes, improve customer service, and provide customized solutions to meet demand.
With these changes in the industry being commonplace, now could be a good time to consider a change in your current provider if you feel they are not offering the benefits that other companies might be providing. When thinking about switching payroll providers, here are a few things you want to consider and steps to take before making the change:
Take a look at your current payroll processes to figure out what you want. Answer the following questions as a guide throughout this process:
- What workflows work well for you?
- What processes or technologies do you love?
- What frustrates you?
- Where are there bottlenecks in your processes?
- Which technologies have you wanted to try?
After answering these questions, make a note of what’s working currently with your payroll provider and what could be improved upon. Then, create a list of the must-haves for your company going forward.
Consider both what you like and dislike about your current payroll provider to avoid overlooking anything important. After all, there is no point in jumping ship from your current provider only to find out that your new payroll provider is unable to perform a specific function that you are used to having. Focus on what is working with your current process and then contemplate what could work better. Answer the following questions:
- What is your favorite service your current payroll provider offers?
- What do you not like about what your current payroll service provides and is there something important you would rather have offered?
Think about how you could improve your job effectiveness, and efficiency and simply increase the ease of the process. Examine how you manage employee pay, deductions, and other payroll processes. Once you complete this process, create a wish list of sorts that would highlight everything you would love to have if you lived in a perfect world of payroll services. Answer the following questions to help clarify this list:
- How is your current payroll system managed? Is this system working for you?
- Could you possibly have a system that would be more efficient?
- Is the process for your payroll system easy or burdensome? Is there a way to streamline things that you might want to explore?
Consider your company’s current goals and dream board. How do you envision your company’s future? Can your current payroll company provide you with the tools, resources, technology, and staff to see your goals achieved? Make notes of what services and expectations you have now and will have as your company continues to grow. Answer the following questions:
- Do you foresee your company’s payroll needs changing in the near future, such as within the next several years or even months?
- Do you plan on hiring many more employees based on your company goals?
- Is your goal perhaps instead to reduce the number of employees you have and streamline your business?
Make sure you have a list in hand of services you are looking for when you interview or consider new payroll companies. Ensure that the new payroll provider can and will provide all the benefits of your current payroll provider as well as offer the new features you desire. Otherwise, you do not benefit your situation by making a change.
Consider asking the following questions as part of the interview process, the answers to these questions along with your itemized list you created based on your answers to the previous questions should help you properly evaluate any potential new payroll provider:
- What is your basic model of service with your payroll company?
- Are there options in place to upgrade if necessary or preferred?
- Do you offer filing assistance for local taxes?
- How do you work to keep my information and that of my employees safe?
- Can you provide a couple of references from other similarly sized businesses?
- Are there hidden fees or additional fees that haven’t been highlighted in the service model?
- How often can I talk to someone from your payroll company and how difficult is that process?
- Will I work under the same person the entire time, meaning one person or one team oversees my company?
- How easy is it to add or subject employees from the payroll service?
How to Find The Right Payroll Provider
In addition to going through the steps listed above and working your way through the questions to create a list of desired services, there are other general characteristics you can look for in a good payroll service when you are contemplating making a change. Look for the following:
Streamlined Implementation Process: Whenever you choose to change your payroll services, you will have to move on to the process of implementing their system into your business's current payroll schedule. Ideally, any business you choose will have a streamlined process in place that will help make the change as effortless as possible.
Flexibility: You also want a payroll provider that will provide a measure of flexibility. This can mean that you might wish to have your reports printed or sent as a data file. You want a company that can meet your needs and preferences offering as much flexibility as possible in terms of services and features.
Security: Another immensely important characteristic to look for in a good payroll service is security. After all, this company will be handling sensitive data for both your company and your employees. Therefore, being able to trust that they will safeguard this information is a must.
Growth Potential: Your payroll needs will fluctuate as your business grows. This only makes sense. Your HR and payroll needs will change through the years. Therefore, it’s a good idea to partner with a payroll company that has the growth potential necessary to meet your changing and growing needs.
Customer Support: You want to partner with a payroll service that is a true partner in every sense of the word. You want to be able to ask questions and get answers fairly easily without jumping through a myriad of hoops. Therefore, the level of customer support a company offers and how that works in terms of your working relationship is an immensely important factor to consider.
It’s a Big Decision
When switching payroll companies, it’s important to take your time and be diligent throughout the process. Taking this process slowly and methodically is vital in making a good decision. You do not want to rush through and not make the best choice possible. At TPC, we offer more than payroll and are happy to help you with all your payroll needs and more.