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What I Wish Every New Payroll Client Knew

Revisited: FBG’s Senior Director of Operations for payroll-related subsidiaries provides expertise regarding your burning questions about switching payroll platforms

As Senior Director of Operations for payroll-related subsidiaries at FBG Holdings, Leigh Hansen has helped numerous payroll clients through the process of implementing a new payroll/HCM platform. Despite the many ways in which upgrading to an automated all-in-one platform can make things easier, the process of switching over can be stressful. Here she offers some suggestions on ways to make the process a little smoother.

We know the word “implementation” may send chills down your spine, but SBS has worked hard to ensure that the implementation process for a new platform is as seamless as possible. If you’re a payroll administrator making the switch to a new platform or making the switch to an automated platform for the first time, you’ve got a lot to look forward to. Depending on what current processes you are using, a new platform is also an opportunity to cross some important things off your wish list:

  • An easier way to manage employee data and benefits enrollment
  • A way to eliminate the use of multiple systems or vendors
  • More robust software that can grow or scale with you
  • An easier way to make HR platforms “talk to” your payroll platform
  • An easier way to manage compliance with local and federal laws
  • Employee access to employee self-service
  • An intuitive cloud-based system

But there’s work to do before you begin reaping the benefits. In addition to making the implementation process go more smoothly, you can use preparation time to make other improvements to your processes.

Here are some things you may not know about the implementation of a new payroll system.

Big Picture Strategies and Small Detail Organization

  • This is a good time to think about the big picture: Is there anything about your payroll or HCM processes that you’d like to change? You’ll want to discuss your plans with your new provider so that they are clear about what you want to accomplish.
  • Your staff may resist: Don’t expect a staff that has been doing things manually for 20 years to instantly adapt to an automated, paper-free process. Organizing your implementation in stages and setting goals for getting where you want to go can make the transition easier.
  • You should review your records: Your new provider will typically request the data they need, but you should still take the time to identify all the components of payroll and HR that will be included, from payroll histories, to tax records to worker’s comp and benefits information, time off policies, onboarding forms, etc.
  • Conversion can take up to six months: Consider the timing of when you will go live and make sure this does not conflict with other key projects or periods that could pull staff away. Don’t forget to plan for multiple training dates as well. Depending on the modules being added, you may need separate training for different functions, like time and attendance and benefits administration.
  • Expect to uncover gaps in the process: A thorough review will typically uncover some data and process gaps and may even require further “clean up” after the live date.
  • Be prepared to participate: Implementation works best when all parties are active in the process.

Implementation Workflow

When you know what to expect and have taken steps to prepare, you’ll be well-positioned to navigate the implementation workflow. Along with plenty of training, our implementation plan includes the processing and review of parallel payrolls before the new system goes live. You’ll know where you stand in the process so you can keep tabs on any outstanding issues that need your involvement to resolve. You will also be better positioned to help employees adapt to the new way of doing things, and you’ll be able to capitalize on new efficiencies more quickly.

Intuitive & Scalable

Since we adopted our current HCM platform a little over four years ago, we’ve helped many clients make the switch to a system that is intuitive, user-friendly and eliminates the need for a bundle of outside services. The platform allows our clients to customize the payroll and HR functions they need, with the option of adding new modules as their needs change.

At SBS Payroll, we are committed to making business easier for clients by providing the knowledge, tools and resources needed to successfully manage payroll and related human capital management (HCM) processes.Contact us to learn more about our payroll and HR support solutions

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