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When Is The Best Time To Switch Payroll Companies?

Switching Payroll Companies Mid-Year

There was a time when switching payroll companies meant waiting until the end or beginning of the fiscal year. With mountains of paperwork and quarterly tax filings, switching at any other time during the year was simply unfeasible. However, modern solutions have made it possible to streamline the process so companies can switch their payroll services at any time of the year.

Switch Services on Your Schedule

As a business owner or manager, your focus is on operations and keeping your employees happy and paid. You don’t have time to wait for the perfect moment to switch your payroll company; your priority is doing what’s best for your company now. The good news is you don’t have to tough it out with your current payroll provider simply because the fiscal year has already started.

We’re far past the days of processing payroll with pen and paper. There are no longer piles of forms, documents, and files to worry about. Today’s payroll companies are far more efficient and cost-effective, leveraging the power of electronic databases and the internet so your files can easily be transferred at any time.

Reasons To Change Your Payroll Provider

Knowing when to switch payroll providers is only one factor; your ‘why’ matters too. There are any number of reasons to switch providers:

  • You’re unhappy with your current payroll provider
  • Your current provider isn’t equipped to handle your growing payroll needs
  • You need additional customer service or user support
  • You’re ready to grow beyond an online or software payroll program
  • You’re looking for something beyond payroll processing, such as collaborative HR services
Further, some companies are looking to outsource payroll services after years of managing their own payroll. Whether you’ve never used a payroll company before or you’re just switching services, there are so many benefits to reviewing all available options.

The Ideal Time To Switch

Even with the convenience of electronic services, it’s true there are still ideal times to switch payroll companies. Best business practices suggest any vendor or service provider changes should take place close to the beginning of the fiscal year. The next best time to transition is when a new quarter starts. Changing service providers at these specific times allows you to avoid complications and potential gaps in service. However, just because it’s the best time to switch, doesn’t mean it’s the only time.

How To Ensure A Smooth Payroll Transition

Once you’ve made the decision to switch payroll companies, the real work begins. A little research and prep work can go a long way to make the process smoother for everyone involved. The first step is to find a respected provider who can fulfill the payroll processing needs of your company or organization.
For a successful transition, it’s vital to evaluate what you want and need before you choose a provider. Think of it as interviewing payroll companies. It’s important to ask questions like:

● Are there any references or reviews available online?
● Does the company provide transition assistance?
● What does the transition process look like?
● Do you get a dedicated agent?
● Will they help you with any compliance issues such as tax and payroll rules and regulations?
● What is the full scope of services offered?

After you’ve selected a company, it’s time to begin the transition process. If you’re already working with a payroll service provider, it’s important to check your contract. Some companies may include a clause that locks you into a specific time period or other restrictions should you leave their service. There may also be a requisite period of notice before you switch; many companies require 30 days’ notice.

While growing competition in the payroll industry means companies are less likely to impose rigid construct restrictions, it’s important to make sure you read the fine print to avoid any potential complications or unwanted fees.

Once you’ve established there’s no risk of violating your contract with your current provider, you can set up an account with your new provider and cancel the old one. During this process, discuss with your previous payroll company which, if any, tax payments and filings they’ll process to complete the current quarter.

Quick action is vital during the transition to ensure a smooth process. As you offboard with your previous provider, you’ll need to complete paperwork from the new payroll company and provide them with all the necessary information. This will ensure your new provider is able to write checks, pay employment taxes, and carry out other payroll tasks on your behalf. Once the new system is in place, it’s crucial that you review everything against your current records to ensure all information is accurate.

Whether you’re looking to work with a payroll company for the first time or you’re unhappy with your current provider, you can make the switch at any time of year. Payroll providers are eager to work with you and make the process easy, no matter when you decide to transition.

When you’re ready to transition to a new payroll company, reach out to The HR Ally to learn more about how outsourcing payroll services can create more room for business growth.


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