4 Questions to Ask When Switching Payroll Providers

Thinking about switching payroll providers? For small business owners, deciding to swap payroll providers may seem like a low priority, but trust us, it’s worth the time and energy.

In the past, manual data entry made switching payroll providers a headache. Now, with more efficient cloud-based payroll systems, importing payroll data is easier than ever. Reliable online payroll platforms offer streamlined enrollment, so you won’t lose any historical data when you transition, and you’ll be up and running before your next payroll batch.

Did you know the end of a quarter is a great time to swap providers? While switching before the start of a new year might seem like the only ideal time to find a new payroll processing provider, the end of a fiscal quarter is also a great time to move to a new platform.
If you’re thinking about making the switch, consider these four questions to ensure your payroll transition is as seamless and efficient as possible.

When is the right time to switch payroll providers?

Change your payroll provider before the start of a new quarter. This will help you avoid potential tax issues that may arise from incomplete quarterly reports and will keep your financial records easy to follow. Below are dates for the standard fiscal calendar, but make sure to double-check check your business does not follow a different fiscal calendar.

  • Quarter 1 (Q1): January 1 – March 31
  • Quarter 2 (Q2): April 1 – June 30
  • Quarter 3 (Q3): July 1 – September 30
  • Quarter 4 (Q4): October 1 – December 31

Should my business be leveraging an online payroll provider? 

Payroll is an integral part of your business operations; you simply can’t run your business without it. Utilizing the right payroll processing solution can save you time, and money—on average, small business owners lose 21 days a year running payroll. Even more, the right payroll solution can help you avoid unnecessary tax penalties—IRS statistics show that roughly 40 percent of small businesses pay over $845 a year in payroll penalties. If you’re not using an online, cloud-based platform, take a step back and analyze how much time and money you are spending running payroll. If you’re still doing manual spreadsheet calculations to pay your employees or relying on a binder to organize important tax information, it’s time to make a change.

Besides cost savings, you’ll avoid unnecessary mistakes, which are twice as likely to occur with homegrown payroll solutions. Between layoffs, PPP loans, and seasonal workers, the COVID-19 Pandemic has probably shifted a few things when it comes to your payroll. No matter what mid-year payroll changes you had to make, make sure nothing slips through the cracks this year by taking your payroll online.

Do I need to add any additional services with my new payroll provider?

There’s no question that having the right payroll solution can impact your business, but there’s more to payroll than just paying your employees. Look for employee management solutions that integrate payroll and human resources, helping you better manage your employees, and stay compliant with ever-changing policies and regulations. If you’ve learned anything managing a small business through a pandemic, it’s that it needs to be dynamic. Having the right processes in place to manage your employees—from wherever they are—is more important than ever.

If you’re leveraging an online platform, does it handle everything from payroll processing to human resources, tax compliance, time and attendance, PTO management, and even benefits administration? Payroll is about more than just paychecks—make sure you’re leveraging flexible services that can adapt to your business needs, no matter what’s thrown your way. If you’ve experienced a processor error or a lack of service, it’s probably time to consider a processor that’s committed to your business.

How can I make sure I have the right information to onboard with my new payroll provider? 

Once you’ve made the decision to switch to a new provider, you can jumpstart the process by making sure you have all the necessary documentation ready to go. Check with your new payroll provider to find out exactly what they need, but most will ask you to provide employee data (employees’ names, addresses, and social security numbers,) voided checks or bank account details, and your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).

After closing your account with your old provider, you may lose access to your information, so it’s important to save tax forms and reports before closing your account.

Your business is valuable—and so is your time. An online payroll platform will streamline your business operations and give you peace of mind knowing your employees are getting everything they need in one place. When the future looks uncertain, you should be able to count on your service providers to keep your business moving forward. Ready to make the switch? Learn more about our suite of Employee Management Solutions.

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