Managing a payroll transition

Top tips for delivering a well-managed payroll transition.

Select a provider with the right tools to deliver, and good references.

You can research potential providers online and request quotes.  All payroll providers present their services in the best light, so it is worth asking questions and gaining commitment that they can deliver what you are asking for.  We recommend at least two current client references, and good quality providers are happy to arrange for these.

It is worth noting also that the payroll bureau should be the expert, and sometimes as the client, it is not always possible to know the best approach.  You should notice that quality providers will be interested in setting out how things could work and may give you a reason to think about doing things differently.

Ensure the contract and scope are well defined.

Once you have selected your provider you will go through the client engagement process.  You should be presented with an engagement letter to set out the exact scope of the work – do take the time to read this over, and to ensure that all areas that you thought were included in the quote are set out here. 

These documents may be presented as set in stone, but you should be prepared to request changes as you see fit.

Make sure your new provider understands your process and commits to documenting this.

Once the scope in the contract is clear you should expect your outsourced provider to document the detail of the process.  This will be for their own purposes mainly, ensuring that there is resilience in delivery should the main processing team be unavailable to process the payroll in a particular period.

This document though should be shared with you as the client and provides a great opportunity to review the way the inputs and sign-offs are expected to work.  Review this carefully and again be confident to request changes if you think something is unclear or if a process could be improved.  It is also worth considering whether a parallel run process would give comfort over the processes that have been agreed upon. 

Track KPIs and review payroll delivery monthly as it evolves constantly.

Quality outsourcing providers should be used to tracking key performance indicators on payroll delivery, and to sharing these with you.  These should form the basis of a monthly call to review the recently completed payroll cycle.

A regular call not only allows the delivery quality to be reviewed but enables processes to be reviewed and potential improvements identified.

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