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UKG Inc., a leading provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions announces entering into a definitive agreement to acquire Immedis. Read More

Setting Your Payroll Up for Success

Martin Smith
Martin Smith

Director, Global Payroll Operational Enablement

Mar 9, 2018 4 mins

The decision to move from your existing Payroll Solution can be an intimidating step with the fear that your employees being paid incorrectly or not at all. The damage this can have on your reputation as an employer can be difficult to overcome.

However, if you are looking to switch your global payroll provider, or go from a fragmented to consolidated global payroll solution, the benefits often far outweigh the risk

  • Increased efficiency and accuracy through modern systems
  • Improved compliance through in-country service experts
  • Enhanced analytics and insights into your employee costs
  • Modern reporting dashboard software
  • Saving time and energy on the overall payroll process

As with any on-boarding process, or change program – preparation is key.

In advance of setting up a new system or switching provider, take the advice of Martin Smith, Global Head of Onboarding at Immedis and look at his top 5 steps to take in advance of your project getting started to ensure a smooth transition.

  1.  Be Prepared to Change Processes

Just because something’s always been done a certain way in your organization, it doesn’t mean it should continue to be done that way into the future.
As technology and processes progresses quickly, companies need to re-evaluate and look at their payroll processes moving forward.

Take a step back and ask yourself the following questions…

  • What does success look like?
  • What do we need to focus on in order to realise the benefits outlined in our business case?
  • Could we realise further the benefits by changing aspects of our payroll solution that we previously assumed untouchable?

Use this as an opportunity to map out and review your full end to end payroll processes. Through this, you will identify your opportunities for efficiency and improvement.
Share your findings with your new provider and ask for their input. Remember they will have seen what does and doesn’t work across a wide spread of sectors and organisations. Use that expertise and trust in the advice they provide.
This brings the added bonus that the more understanding and embedded your supplier is in your change, the more likely they are going to do everything within their means to help you achieve this and more.

  1. Prepare your Data


The key to an accurate and reliable payroll cycle is good data.
If you are about to change payroll solution, you are going to need to supply all your current data to your provider.

So even before you’ve reached a conclusion in your vendor selection process, you can start to prepare ahead of time.

Take this opportunity to:

  • Audit the data you have
  • Cleanse your data and get rid of any you no longer need (in line with the GDPR)
  • Identify any missing fields in your payroll information

Speak with your current service provider or system vendor and ensure you can get a full download of employee and payroll data.

  1. Have the Right Team with the Right Availability

The size of your project team ultimately depends on the scale of your payroll.

If you are catering for 100 employees across one simple payroll, a project manager and 1 payroll specialist is probably going to be sufficient.

If you have 10,000 employees across 30 payrolls in 30 countries, you are going to need more manpower.
A Project Manager will be key here for coordination and you’ll need experts for each of your payrolls. But you might also want to think about:

  • a data analyst/engineer to carry out all the data extractions and validations,
  • a test manager to create and execute a detailed test plan on your new system,
  • a change manager to assess and manage the lead impact on the business.
  • a PMO analyst to support the project manager with planning, project reporting, risk management and issue tracking.

Speak to your prospective suppliers about this during your initial engagements with them.

Remember potential suppliers will have worked through a number of implementations and will have seen what has worked and what hasn’t and will have a good feel for what type and size of team you need to put in place.

Use the expertise of your supplier and ensure that you trust the vendor you choose.

  1. IT Approval

If you are setting up a new payroll system – it’s extremely likely it will be a cloud-based solution. This makes things a lot easier from an internal IT implementation perspective.


The supplier will be the one’s hosting the software on their servers, rather than you having to do this. That doesn’t mean your IT teams don’t need to be engaged in the selection and onboarding process.

Among other things, they’ll be interested in the security protocols and disaster recovery processes of your prospective solution provider.

It’s best to let your IT teams ask these questions during your selection process, rather than select the “perfect” supplier only to find out their information security standards are not what you as a business expect. Think smart and have all the necessary departments involved in the process from the early stages.

  1. Integration

It’s very rare nowadays for a Payroll solution to stand alone within a company’s technology landscape. There will be data coming from other systems that will be required for payroll processing. Examples include:

  • A Time and Attendance system registering employees clocking in and out
  • A standalone recruitment system gathering all information about new starters.

There will be outputs from that payroll processing that needs to be fed elsewhere around the organisation for differing purposes. These could include:

  • A feed into your Finance system allowing posting to General Ledger.
  • Feeding data into some business reporting – either critical or informative.
  • If you are onboarding a full HR and Payroll solution, you might find that your HR system is driving access to systems across your organisation based on hierarchies or roles.

A key requirement during your selection process is likely to be ease of integration. Any best in class vendors will have their own flexible solutions for this, giving them the coverage to integrate their solutions into the clients existing technology setup while remaining compliant and safeguarding your data. Check if your preferred vendor has the ISO 27001 accreditation to ensure your data and information remains secure at all times and all risks are efficiently mitigated.

However, you should map out your existing integrations before you start your vendor selection process. Make them clear to your potential suppliers so they can present to you their solutions for integration.

At Immedis, we understand that the first initial steps to change can be the most difficult – make sure to speak at length with your chosen global payroll provider and ensure they are familiar with your current payroll systems. Listen to their advice and expertise as they will know what will be the best fit for your organization.