Everything you need to know when switching payroll providers

switch payroll
By Anthony Wolny | 23rd June 2020 | 15 min read

Are you unhappy with your current payroll provider and considering switching?

While payroll may be incredibly complex, switching to a simpler solution doesn’t have to be.

In this blog, we’ll cover what you should consider before switching and how you can easily find a new provider.

By the end, it will look a lot simpler and you’ll only be left with the question, why didn’t I do this sooner?

When should you consider switching payroll providers?

You could be dissatisfied with your service for a number of reasons or maybe your needs have changed.

Regardless, the first step is to deduce why you’re thinking about switching and what are your challenges.

A few common reasons people switch are:

  • Your current solution is lacking functionality
  • Your payroll is still taking too long to process
  • Your provider hasn’t added any functionality to support with recent COVID-19 support such as the Job Retention Scheme
  • The helpdesk and support services aren’t meeting your needs
  • The software costs too much

As payroll is considered the most difficult task by the majority of business owners, you need to ensure your provider is essentially a partner, providing you with the necessary support.

Using the above, you can truly assess how your current provider is performing and if it’s not adequate, use these points as the benchmark when you begin your search.

When should you look to switch your payroll provider?

As your payroll responsibility and the data within your system fluctuate throughout the year, we recommend that you plan your switch accordingly.

Ultimately, the best time to switch is at the beginning of a fiscal year because you'll have a clean slate.

However, experienced software providers can mitigate any impact to your payroll through support and training if you do wish to switch later.

Also, if your switching from a pricey vendor the costs-savings may open up the opportunity to either completely outsource your payroll, or invest in payroll training - all for less than what you were previously paying.

So, while waiting for the new fiscal year is helpful, don't let it put you off.

Weigh up the pros and cons, and ask your new provider if they can help as they may provide a support service.

Selecting your new provider

There will be a lot of potentially suitable providers on the marketplace, so we advise that when you begin your search, reach out to industry colleagues and friends for advice on what they use.

However, if you don't know where to start or you're still struggling, HMRC provides a list of certified payroll vendors.

Remember, it's no different from regular online shopping, google the functionality you require such as holiday pay or pensions, visit websites and get some quotes or feature-lists. 

It's also worth considering if you want to carry on doing your own payroll or would you prefer to outsource

You can compare the cost of in-house payroll and outsourcing here.

If you're still undecided or you're a larger company with complex needs, you may want to create a scorecard based on your desired functionality which you’ll score out of five, ensuring a robust and objective selection process.

After you’ve selected a few vendors, set up initial meetings and if they go well, organise a second meeting with your full project team, providing time for an extensive Q&A.

Steps to take when switching

Once you’ve decided on your new provider, take the below steps when starting the move:

1) Gather all your payroll information such as employee wages, tax, pay frequencies and reports.

2) Start the transition to your new software. Most businesses begin this before officially cutting ties with their current provider.

3) Notify your old provider. You’ll need to check for a notice period and we also recommend that you tell them via writing, so you have documentation of your request to leave.

Should you switch to IRIS Payroll?

Hopefully, the blog has provided some clarity and if you have decided to switch, take a look at our payroll software.

We've been helping people for over 40 years with their payroll, we can help smooth over your transition and give you advice on what's best for your business.

Our solutions are cost-effective, and we have different pricing models to suit your specific needs, meaning you don't pay for functionality you don't need or for employees you don't have.

Additionally, all our solutions are being updated to meet the requirements of the Next Normal, including furloughing functionality, payroll hosting, award-winning support and no-touch payslips.

Discover all of our payroll solutions