As an employer, ensuring your employees are paid correctly is one of your main responsibilities. So is maintaining and using employee data appropriately. But it can be extremely time consuming for numerous reasons. You might have many employees working very different patterns. You might be a multiple-site business. Payroll, employment law and data protection regulations are becoming ever more demanding. Ensuring compliance can feel extremely challenging.
So what are the options open to you? One possible solution is outsourcing. You can continue to supply all of the data in the format you are used to – but beyond that, it’s all taken care of by accredited professionals. You could also consider the use of HR and payroll software, either as part of a complete or partial outsourcing solution or to be used in-house.
If you’ve reached the point of deciding that it makes sense to introduce a software system, where do you go from there? It’s an important investment so it’s sensible to devote time to thinking about exactly what you need. Here are four key questions to ask yourself to help you make the right choice.
1. Does it make sense to consider a fully integrated HR and payroll system from the outset?
Have you thought about the logic of having a payroll system that will integrate with your HR system? Obviously it depends where you’re at in your business. You might already have had one system in place for a while, in which case you could be at the point of needing software that can be tailored to work seamlessly with it.
But in our experience, it’s not uncommon for businesses to implement one system, say HR, and then decide very quickly afterwards they’d like to use a payroll software system too. It can certainly be done – but it involves a lot more cost, time and effort. If this might apply to you, it could make a lot more sense to think about introducing a system that’s integrated from the outset.
After all, payroll and HR are functions that are powered on data that has a great deal of overlap. Think about the reduction in the opportunities for errors due to multiple data input and eradication of unnecessary paperwork. Dashboards can be created to quickly provide real-time reporting, doing away with what once would have been a complex manual spreadsheet-based activity. Given how much it could save on cost and time, it’s well worth thinking through how this could work for your business before you decide to go ahead.
2. What level of flexibility do you need?
Different businesses will have different needs in terms of flexibility. Do you anticipate possible business growth? If you do, you need to find software that can scale up with the business with minimal effort and disruption. How do you want to be able to access the payroll and HR systems? Do you want them to be accessible from any device so you can always access real time information? You need to think about how and when you want to run payroll too. Can it wait until you are physically in your premises? Or would a cloud-based system that enables you to access and run it whenever and from wherever you want to work better for your business? Do you want to be able to offer your employees a self-service option so they can update their details and make requests using the system too?
Once you have an idea of what matters most to you, you’re in a better position to identify the software that can help you achieve your aims.
3. How simple is the installation and set-up process?
How much time are you able to devote to managing the installation of systems? If you need to be as time efficient as possible, it makes a lot more sense to introduce HR and payroll software simultaneously than to do them consecutively. You also need to get an idea of how much time will be needed for the transition and for training in the new system. This is where having a good demonstration of the software beforehand is essential. It should be straightforward, simple and intuitive to use. It’s also important to check to what extent you’ll be left setting up the system on your own, or how much support you’ll be given to get it up and running.
4. What’s the quality of the customer support like?
While you’re likely to be focusing on the software itself, remember there will always be instances where you will have queries or need to talk something through with real human beings! There is nothing more frustrating than having to battle your way through a complex system before you can actually get to the point of being able to speak to someone. So make sure any company you’re considering using can offer you excellent support (ideally, the same ongoing point of contact) and check out their professional qualifications and quality accreditations to make sure they can deliver the necessary standard of advice.
If you’d like to find out more information about Corporate Payroll Solutions, including our HR software, payroll software and payroll outsourcing options, please do get in touch with us.