Guide to Selecting a Payroll Provider

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1 Guide to Selecting a Payroll Provider whitepaper

2 Content Introduction Features Delivery Shortlisting See What You Are Buying References Author Karen Perkins Managed Service Manager HR Software: An Introdution to Staff Scheduling Page 2

3 Introduction The prospect of finding a new payroll provider can seem daunting, especially if you haven t done it before. There are some big decisions to make before you can get your project moving. Selima have issued this guide to simplify and explain some of the key aspects of purchasing a new payroll solution. This document has been written assuming you have made the decision to run your payroll in house and are now looking at software options. Alternatively, you may consider outsourcing your payroll processing to a third party. If you re not sure what the difference is, read our Software versus Managed Service Guide which outlines the pros and cons of each option. HR Software: An Introdution to Staff Scheduling Page 3

4 Features Think about the features you use on a daily basis or the ones that help you the most. What features are the most important to you? What are the functions that are crucial within your payroll? If you are already using another provider and are looking to switch, think about the features you use on a daily basis or the ones that help you the most. If you are using an in-house or very old payroll system think about which tasks are the most time consuming or you find most difficult. Drawing up a list is important make a list of essential features and one of desirables. It s unlikely that you will find a provider that can fulfil every feature from both lists, but it will make narrowing down a shortlist a lot simpler. HR Software: Guide to Selecting a Payroll Provider Page 4

5 Delivery Your payroll can be hosted in one of two ways: SaaS (Software as a service) This means that your payroll is hosted on the provider s server. You would access payroll via a web browser. There are many reasons you may find this option preferable, using payroll as SaaS means you don t have any hardware or software maintenance costs. The option also means minimum impact or cost to your IT team - ideal for SME s with limited IT resources. Sometimes space is an issue, SaaS means all your data is stored in a remote location. Due to the sensitive nature of the data being held, it is strongly advisable to ensure any potential provider has strict security in place along with a tried and tested disaster recovery procedure. Any prospect provider should be happy to show you their server security credentials. As SaaS payroll is usually via a subscription service you may be able to reduce your initial set up costs with this option. SaaS Self-Hosted On your own servers The software is installed on your own servers. Usually an outright purchase you would maintain and support your payroll software in-house. In comparison to SaaS, your data (employee data) is kept on your servers and isn t assessable via the internet. Some may prefer this option due to security concerns with SaaS; however your own security is just as important if you decide to host your own software, making sure you have a robust system and a disaster recovery plan is essential. Your IT team would need to be heavily involved with the project. HR Software: Guide to Selecting a Payroll Provider Page 5

6 Shortlisting Remember when speaking to prospective providers that it is also important that you feel comfortable with a company There are a lot of payroll providers out there, all of them wanting your custom but not all of them equal. You need to weed out the ones that are not right for your business. Referring back to your initial list of essential features and desirables and comparing it against your selected providers should make the decision easier. Choose 2-3 providers who closely match what you are looking for and then compare them to each other. It would be appropriate to approach a supplier at this point to ask more questions. A good provider won t mind knowing that they are on a shortlist and will be happy to provide any additional information you need. Remember when speaking to prospective providers that it is also important that you feel comfortable with a company especially important if yours is a large project. A large project could potentially mean spending a lot of time liaising with the supplier so establishing a good business partnership is essential. HR Software: Guide to Selecting a Payroll Provider Page 6

7 See For Yourself Demonstration sessions are an important part of the buying process. Being able to see and get a feel for the software is crucial. Where possible, meet with your prospect provider for demonstrations. Not only will this give you a chance to ask questions face to face but it will give you an impression of the providers themselves. If it s not physically possible for a provider to come to you or vice versa, ask for an online demonstration. This shouldn t be a problem for the provider and will be an efficient option for you if you want to chat to more than two or three prospects. Project Team Make sure you have the right project team assembled when you start talking to providers comprising appropriate stakeholders. Buying a payroll solution is not usually undertaken by one person and coming to a decision as a team is a lot easier than having to make all of the decisions yourself. Typical resources would be: Project owner / sponsor User / Practitioner Payroll manager Technical specialist to liaise with current provider to ensure data is obtained in a timely format Network specialist to liaise with the provider on installation configuration HR Software: Guide to Selecting a Payroll Provider Page 7

8 References There is no better spokesperson for a payroll provider than one of their own customers. Existing customers will be able to provide you with an honest and true impression of the software and of the company providing it. Don t hold back on asking for references. A reputable provider will be more than happy to put you in touch with a few of their customers HR Software: Guide to Selecting a Payroll Provider Page 8

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