Corporate payroll.


30th November, 2018

3 steps to choosing the right corporate payroll solution

There are plenty of corporate payroll packages on the market, each with their own quirks and complexities. Our handy guide simplifies the situation by offering the tools you need to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Getting the right payroll solution for a bigger business will save money in the long run, but it’s also going to save you the additional costs of switching providers again.

While you can’t be expected to know every available product and all the various features and benefits for each, a good business or HR manager will know enough about the one thing that really matters in the equation: your company.

By understanding the needs of your business and its people, you have all the information required to make informed decisions when it comes to selecting the right payroll solution.

The following framework should simply allow you to get to a point of surety in your decision making even faster.

So, how should you get the process started?

1. Assess your current position

Before considering the nitty gritty of what’s on offer and how much those solutions might cost, you must first ascertain why the change is necessary and how you arrived at this place.

What aren’t you getting from your previous solution that you consider a necessity? Are you receiving the level of support required for the number of staff you manage? Any new payroll vendor will need to meet, or exceed, these requirements.

Next you’ll need to determine a budget that factors in the potential cost savings potentially gained from increased process automation, or by eliminating some of your other ongoing challenges.

This is a great time to begin liaising with, or communicating to all the key stakeholders within your organisation. As with all new software implementations, your IT team should definitely be brought in well ahead of acquiring the new software.

Once you’ve taken this first step of assessing where you are and who should be involved with the initiative, it’s time to take an even deeper dive.

2. Test the health of your payroll

This is the most critical part of the ‘assessment’ phase, however it’s weighty enough to justify becoming a step in the process in its own right.

Analysing the health of your payroll should be a relatively simple process that highlights any key areas where payroll could be costing more than is necessary.

When testing your payroll systems, you should consider:

  • Are any elements still being handled manually?
  • Do you have more than 1.6 payroll staff per 1000 employees?
  • Are you aware of significant costs in reworking errors?

If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘yes’, then you’ll want to factor this in to your decision making when choosing a new solution. Having a firm grasp on what your ‘ideal’ payroll position should be with regard to these questions is also useful.

3. Compare key features

Once you’ve clearly defined your business needs, you’re ready to begin comparing the features of various products against your assessed requirements.

Regardless of what solution you consider, there are eight key areas you’ll want to pay special attention to:

  1. Security – a ubiquitous concern for anyone implementing any new software, security is critical to ongoing success.
  2. Compliance – as the law changes, you’ll want to be confident your software provider is keeping their solutions updated regularly.
  3. Automation – how many benefits in terms of automating your previously manual procedures does the package offer? You’ll also need to consider if these features come as standard or at an extra cost.
  4. Employee self-service – an increasingly common feature, self-service allows employees greater input and transparency, thereby gifting time back to the payroll team.
  5. Configurability versus customisation – a software that you can configure to your needs will be less problematic than one that requires specialist customisation work to be useful to you.
  6. Local tax compliance – as with compliance in general, you’ll want to make sure your provider’s product not only complies with the taxation laws of your region, but that it’s also kept up to date when things change.
  7. Reporting requirements – many organisations still resort to migrating data out of their payroll software before analysing it. A powerful payroll package should also include a high level of reporting capability, out of the box.
  8. Alignment – Do you support a large number of remote workers, or is everyone operating in one, central location? The way in which you work can influence the software you choose, so make sure all the features align with your organisation.

Having completed these three steps, you should be just about ready to make a decision on which payroll provider to go with.

But this isn’t the full picture, as you’ll also need to consider how to roll out the new software once it has been acquired.

Want to get more insight into procuring a new corporate payroll solution, as well as the next steps to take once you’ve made your decision? Download our handy guide on the topic today.