Implementing a new global payroll solution is no small feat. It requires significant investment of time, resources, and commitment from multiple departments, and impacts workflows across the organization.
It’s also only the beginning of life with your new payroll service. The good news is that what comes next is notably easier than transforming your entire payroll process and sets up your company for ongoing improvements that you can manage in a way that suits your payroll, HR and finance teams. Here, we take a look at three important next steps after payroll implementation and why they're important.
1. Transition to Service
Once the new payroll system is up and running, it’s time for the customer relationship to move from the implementation team to service. Throughout the transformation project, your provider will have learned important details about your business, including strategy, goals, and why a payroll transformation was important for the organization. To ensure ongoing success and improvement of your payroll process, it’s important to pass on this knowledge properly to the service team.
Typically your provider will work alongside your internal team for the first payroll period, a term of co-working that is overseen by your Global Service Advisor (GSA), who is introduced in the payroll testing phase. This time enables the provider to both ensure accurate process execution and transition that key knowledge to the payroll specialists who will work with your team for the duration of your contract.
2. Focus on Functionality
After a successful parallel run, your internal payroll and human resources teams can feel secure that the new system is stable and go-live has been a success. Now, it's time to turn your attention to maximizing your use of key system functionality such as payroll data analytics, automatic data validation, and shared calendar or task management features.
While your payroll staff were likely introduced to these tools at the start of implementation and worked with them throughout rollout, the pressures of changing systems probably made it difficult to fully grasp their potential uses and benefits. Once the transformation dust has settled, payroll professionals have the opportunity to revisit system features and learn how to incorporate them into the workflow. Members of your provider's service and operations teams, as well as your GSA, will work with your in-house practitioners to make sure they understand how the features work and how to optimize them to suit your payroll needs.
3. Plan to Improve
As anyone who works in payroll knows, this is not a static industry. Changes come regularly in the form of new country regulations, tax legislation, and even technology developments. To stay in step with both industry and country requirements, you need a plan to ensure continuous improvement of your payroll process, as well as a partner to help you execute it.
Throughout the implementation process, your payroll provider and project manager should document areas for improvement, particularly in areas that can be addressed straightaway. Your GSA will work with you in the phase right after go-live to develop a continuous improvement plan. Improvements that happen soon after implementation translate into 'quick wins' which can help gain enthusiasm for the new system and set the standard for ongoing improvements in all areas of payroll processing. Perhaps even more importantly, building efficiencies into the process helps reduce the cost of payslips over time, further adding to the value of your new payroll solution.