Ten Tips for You About to Change Your Payroll Program

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Ten Tips for You About to Change Your Payroll Program</span>

Are you about to change your payroll program? Yes, navigating through all the different solutions and suppliers can feel overwhelming. How do you ensure that you’re choosing the right program for your business? Where do you start? And how do you avoid the pitfalls once the system change is about to take place? We’ll guide you!

Choosing Payroll Program – Keep This in Mind

A modern and user-friendly payroll program can facilitate and improve the workday for the payroll department as well as the employees. But switching payroll software is a massive and complex process – and once the decision is made, ideally, you will continue using this software for many years ahead. In other words, your choice should be carefully considered. But what requirements should you place on a new system? And on your supplier? Here are our top ten tips.

  1. Check your current state and specify your requirements It can be tempting to start scanning the internet and booking demos with different suppliers immediately, but please make sure you start at the right end. First, you specify your requirements in a document. Here, you compile your program requirements, expectations, and wishes as detailed as possible – you can then use this as support when contacting new suppliers.A good first step once you establish your specification is to check your current state, i.e. your present payroll program and how well it supports the different parts of your payroll process. After this, you compare it with your desired payroll process. Which functions do you need and why? Which tools are you lacking and how can your work flows be simplified and improved?
  2. Don’t miss out on the big picture Except for functionality, several other parameters should be included in your payroll program specification: – Which collective agreements and potential local agreements should the program support? – What do the technical requirements look like in terms of installation and security? Do you wish to outsource the payroll program management or manage it internally? – What are your requirements and wishes when it comes to maintenance, support, consultation, and training? In other words, there are quite a lot of questions to keep in mind when making a comprehensive specification for your new payroll program. At this early stage, it's essential to include all roles in the company who can contribute with insights and expertise from their respective areas. Good cooperation between management/decision-makers, payroll department, HR managers, finance, and IT will provide the best conditions for succeeding – with the specification and your continuous journey toward your new payroll program.
  3. Compare payroll programs – and find the right tool box for your specific needs Today’s payroll programs offer excellent opportunities to automate time-consuming manual processes while raising the security level and quality of your payroll work. Different businesses call for different processes, and naturally, you know what the best fit for you is. However, we’ve compiled a list of a few general features that could be included in your specification together with a few questions you can ask yourself when comparing different payroll programs. – How does the management of personal and employment details work? If you avoid several dispersed registers and work towards a centralized database in your payroll and HRM system, you can reduce unnecessary double work and data redundancy. – How smooth is the vacation management process, and can you easily manage different agreements in the vacation calculation? – Does the program offer complete and flexible reporting solutions? – Does the program have a built-in control system with backlogs and automatic warnings that will signal suspected discrepancies in complex elements? – Does the program have straightforward functions for wage revision and calculation of retroactive wage payment? – Is there a calendar function that provides a good overview of sick days, parental leave, care of sick child days, and other types of absence?
  4. Web based payroll program in the cloud? Increasingly more suppliers offer their payroll programs as web-based cloud services. The advantages are many: increased flexibility to work whenever and wherever you wish, greater scalability, and fewer problems with installations and updates. If you want to benefit from these advantages in your payroll management, you should make sure that the solution you choose fully supports a web and cloud-based workflow.
  5. Payroll and HRM separately or as an all-in-one solution? The whole is bigger than its parts – a motto that applies to payroll and employee management to a high degree. One important choice to make before your system change is whether you should choose a fully integrated personnel system that gathers payroll and time reporting administration, travel expense claims, schedules, and support for essential HR processes in one place. The list of advantages with such an all-in-one solution is extensive: the manager’s and the employee’s work can be streamlined, the possibilities of overview and data analysis improve, and double work is minimized, to mention just a few.
  6. What do the integration possibilities look like? If you choose to manage the reporting in pre-systems that are separate from your payroll program, it is essential that they can be synced with each other for a friction-free flow without unnecessary manual work. In addition, the payroll program may have to “speak” with your post-systems, such as accounting and invoicing software. Ensure that your chosen payroll program offers good integration possibilities with pre- and post-systems, either as complete, tailor-made integrations or through an open API.By untangling all integration issues as early as possible, you avoid facing undesired situations where the supplier needs to make adjustments at a later point in time – something that quickly tends to become costly.
  7. Professional support and education? Investing in a new payroll program also means investing in a – hopefully long-term – partnership with your supplier. Early on, you should explore the conditions for good future collaboration. How is the support operating, and how are the reviews? Does the supplier offer continuous training, webinars, and user meetings? What’s charged as extra, and what’s part of the license? Ask potential suppliers to clearly define what applies in these areas.
  8. Can you work future-proof with the payroll program and the supplier? As if choosing a supplier and payroll program that meet your current needs wasn’t enough – you’ll also have to be one step ahead and choose a future-proof option. One part of this is ensuring that the payroll program is flexible and adaptable, having the capacity to manage potential expansion plans, re-organizations, and other imaginable changes within the business over time. For example, can you up- and down-scale the program, and does it cover all plausible collective agreements if you were to shift direction in the future?On top of that, you should look closely at the supplier and their vision – do they work proactively and future-oriented with their product portfolio and services? Technical development and fluctuating global conditions constantly create new demands and prerequisites within payroll management. This is why a supplier that continuously invests in innovation, further development, and new development of their payroll program will give you the best conditions for solving your workday challenges – today and tomorrow.
  9. How are the customer reviews? Do your program candidates appear close to identical on paper? If so, an excellent way of getting a more comprehensive picture of them is to ask the system supplier for references of current customers. This way, you can ask them about the program, the supplier, and how the collaboration has been going. Preferably, these customers should be operating in the same business and face similar challenges as your company in terms of agreements, functions, and integrations to get the fairest picture possible.
  10. A secure partner during the implementation process? Once the choice is made and the time has come for your new payroll program to fly, you want the best conditions possible for a smooth transition. This is why reading up on and asking the supplier how they manage the implementation process is essential. What experience and knowledge do the supplier’s consultants have? Are they working according to a standardized and well-tried project process? A first-rate supplier should be able to guide you along the complete journey and offer expertise, best practices, and tips on how to streamline your working process when changing to your new payroll program.

Changing Your Payroll Program: Our Top Three Tips for a Successful Implementation

Making that final leap from the old system to the new – especially in such an operationally critical moment – is a comprehensive process with many questions. How do you finalize the change within time limits and budget constraints, and how do you avoid the pitfalls along the journey? At Flex Applications, we have over three decades of experience and hundreds of system implementations behind us. Here are our top three tips to succeed when changing to a new payroll program:

  1. Set aside enough time and resources. A pitfall many companies fall into is underestimating the duration of and the required work effort with /the project of changing your payroll program/this kind of project. You can expect that your participation will be needed throughout the entire journey – from the initial road mapping to cleaning and structuring data from your old payroll program, to testing and quality assurance.
  2. Don’t get stuck in old routines – also, make a wish list for the upcoming period. A change of payroll program gives you an excellent opportunity to re-evaluate and carry out changes – so that you don’t just copy your old ways of working.
  3. Regardless of how well-prepared you are, new conditions will likely surface during the journey. Here, the key is good dialogue and a precise distribution of responsibilities. With regular check-ins with the project group, you ensure that the work never stops and that everyone knows what they are expected to do during the process.

Want to Know More About the Process of Changing the Payroll Program?

Are you interested in pitfalls and success factors when changing to a new payroll program? Listen to this episode of Lönepodden (in Swedish) where Rickard Israelsson, Product Manager at Flex Applications, talks about the implementation process and what you should consider during the journey. Are you curious to know how our solution can streamline your payroll management? We’re happy to answer any questions you have about our web-based payroll program Flex HRM Payroll and how a change from your current system would be carried out – no question is too small or too big for us!

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