5 Questions To Ask Before Choosing Your Next Payroll Software Provider
Payroll processing is difficult and time-consuming, so it’s no wonder why many businesses have chosen to outsource payroll tasks. Unfortunately, it’s often nerve-wracking to put your business’s important payroll functions in the hands of someone else. Payroll software is the solution: It offers all the benefits of outsourcing payroll (eliminating the burden on your resources) and all the control of performing payroll in-house. Before you start your hunt for a new payroll solution, arm yourself with these questions to ensure the choice you make is the right one for your business.
- Where is the server hosted?
If the payroll processing partner you’re considering features a desktop version of payroll software, you need to consider the extra costs associated with housing, maintaining and updating that software. Make sure your business is prepared for the responsibilities and risks of running the software in-house.The better option is to choose a cloud-based payroll solution. By keeping your payroll software in the cloud, you’re given access to all the functions you need, but your payroll partner takes on the responsibility of updating and maintaining the system. You reap the rewards and avoid the challenges.
- How long does it take to implement?
System downtime is a huge deterrent when it comes to switching software providers. The longer the system takes to implement, the more time and money you’re wasting. Many software providers take months or even years to fully configure your new system, so it’s important that you shop around for the quickest and most comprehensive implementation process.Shorter setup is another feather in cloud payroll’s cap. Because the software is hosted in the cloud, your business endures minimal downtime during implementation. The entire system is essentially configured “behind the scenes” while your business runs as usual.
- Who is responsible for training my employees?
Navigating new software is frustrating, and it siphons staff time from your other core business operations. Many outsourced payroll companies provide the software, and then leave you to learn the ropes. Be sure to choose a payroll processing provider that’s dedicated to your success with the software: helping you learn how to use it, configuring your role-based dashboards and ensuring accessibility. Technical support and customer service should be available from the start – by a dedicated specialist, not by an automated toll-free number – and you should never be left stranded without the answers you need to work most efficiently.
- When is the best time to switch?
Typically, the best time to switch your payroll solution is at the end of the quarter or the beginning of the year. But every business is different, and there may be a few prerequisite steps you need to accomplish before you should actually make the change. Ask your potential providers to give you a breakdown of the best time to switch for your business, and what needs to be done in advance to make that shift run as smoothly as possible when the time comes. If you find yourself needing to switch to new payroll software before the ideal times listed above, ask your payroll processing providers for advice or assistance in making the transition.
- How flexible is the software?
You have many different employees in many different departments, and each has unique needs. Your payroll software needs to be configurable to accommodate a wide range of functions, multiple users and specific reports. If the payroll solution is too rigid, its functionality is not as useful and your business performance suffers. Flexible configuration is crucial for growing businesses, too. Smart small and mid-sized business owners are rarely, if ever, content in stagnancy. You should always have your eyes set toward the future – toward the growth and success of your company. If your payroll software is flexible, it promotes growth and helps your business thrive. Make sure the payroll software provider you choose isn’t hindering your growth with an inflexible solution.
When you’re choosing a payroll processing partner, you need to take the time to find the right one. Your business performance depends on having the best software solutions to fit your changing needs, so be sure to choose wisely.
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