The final quarter of the year is here, and with it comes a new year, which means new business goals and opportunities. If you are reading this, chances are that you are considering switching payroll providers. Any kind of change can be overwhelming, and switching from a software that you are used to working with to a brand new one is no exception. Before making this change, you need to consider a lot of factors that can make your decision the best one. If you switch to the wrong payroll provider, this can cause a lot of trouble in the end. So, because of this, you need to make sure that you know exactly why you are switching, and that you have researched all of your options thoroughly.
Why Are You Making the Switch?
There can be many reasons you have decided to leave your current payroll provider. Make a list of these reasons, as this will help you determine what questions to ask when you shop around. Your list could include such things as customer service, inaccuracies in the software, average site speed, user experience, and so on. Some questions you should ask are the following:
- How long have you been in business?
- Is the service cloud-based?
- What kind of customer service do you offer?
- Can you help me keep up with compliance issues?
- What kind of reports do you offer?
- How do you train my staff to use the software?
- Other than payroll, what other services do you offer?
- Do your products work seamlessly?
- Does your company require me to sign a contract if we decide to go with you?
When Is the Best Time to Make the Switch?
Now. Of course, switching at the end of a quarter or the beginning of the year is best. Good thing 2018 is around the corner and you are reading this now! Usually, any provider will accommodate to your timeline, so it is a good idea to ask them for advice.
Do Your Research
In-house, CPA’s, and cloud-based software are the different payroll services you can choose from. I recommend choosing a cloud-based payroll software because of its many benefits.
There are many cloud-based payroll services out there, so doing your research is important in order to make the best decision possible. Watch demos of the company’s software, and even consider requesting a personalized demo so you can get all of your questions answered in a one-on-one environment. It also doesn’t hurt to compare quotes right off the bat to make sure the pricing is even within your budget. Going with this option is probably the best thing a company can do because they will have a team of experts at their disposal. Going with a payroll service will protect you from any penalties from the IRS and will ultimately save you the stress and time of having to manually run payroll. Depending on the payroll service you decide to go with, you can often find other features added such as time and attendance software, applicant tracking, benefits administration, and other features at a low price. If you go with a cloud-based payroll service like Dominion, you will be able to manage and monitor all payroll details from anywhere with internet access.
What Business Information is Required?
Once you have done your research and chosen a provider, there are a few necessary documents are all you need to present to your new provider for them to begin the installation process for your payroll. The first document deals with your business tax information - this can be a federal tax deposit coupon or a copy of federal correspondence that signifies your taxpayer ID name, address, and FEIN. Next, you will need a state unemployment document with your MESC account number and rate. A copy of the registration for Michigan taxes or proof of online registration works as well. Lastly, a voided check is required for the account that payroll will be drawn from. All checks and electronic fund transfers (EFT) will be done through this account.
If you plan on utilizing special calculations, company-wide checks or court vendor checks you will need to gather a few more documents. If you will need your new payroll vendor to produce company-wide checks or court vendor checks you need to include the company name, address, and any other information that needs to be on the check. For special calculations such as a match or vacation accrual, a copy of your company policy is sufficient.
What Employee Information is Required?
When you are switching to a new payroll provider you need to provide information for both active and terminated employees during the current year. You need to provide information on terminated employees in order to supply them with their year-end W-2’s.
The following employee information is needed for payroll:
- Social security number
- Tax information
- Salary amount per pay period, or hourly rates if applicable
- Direct deposit information
- Voluntary deductions
- Friend of the court and garnishment information
- Any information you want to track (phone numbers, birth dates, hire dates, etc)
There are many more factors to consider before choosing a payroll service provider, and making the wrong decision could set your company back a ways. Make a list of what you’re looking to get out of a payroll software and make sure you ask all the questions you have. The more educated you are, the easier it will be for you to make a decision.
If you considering different payroll options and are interested in a cloud-based software, click below to request a software demo at no obligation.