5 things you need to know when switching or choosing a new payroll provider

A multi-country payroll deal can lock you in for many years – are you ready for that sort of commitment? Our head of Global Business Services looks at the drivers that lead payroll managers to switch providers.

It can be quite a task to change payroll providers, especially when looking at multi-country deals. We’re not just talking about switching the bank details of a handful of staff: there are foreign exchange considerations, handover periods, large-scale roll-outs… It’s not easy. Still, sometimes the decision just has to be made, and it’s often down to one of these reasons.

1. Cost and accuracy

If you get an employee’s pay wrong once, you will hear about it. If you get it wrong again, there is a serious issue somewhere in the chain. The reason you engage a third party to take care of your payroll is to ensure someone is there putting time and effort into ensuring accuracy. If that accuracy is absent, chances are you’ll be combing the contract looking for an escape clause.

2. Changing legislation

Brazil is moving to electronic reporting for tax, social security and labour information – and they’re not the only ones. Government legislation is a changeable beast, and your payroll solution must be flexible enough to react at the right time in the right way. What used to be fine to control in-house might suddenly become a burden that is best dealt with out of the company.

3. Systems

Sometimes even the best software solutions become obsolete, replaced by newer, faster, more sparkly solutions. Vendors and developers move on. If you’ve just signed a new five-year contract, what clauses are in place to ensure the software used to pay your staff remains up to date and can access service support when necessary?

4. Change in organisation

Company strategy changes. What worked for you last year might not necessarily be right next year. Your company could be subject to M&A, there could be a change in the C-suite, management might decide on a group-wide roll-out of a new IT system that renders your payroll software useless. You never know what is around the corner, and that can drive a payroll manager to keep up to date with the latest payroll solutions. Just in case.  

5. Relationship issues

It happens. Any one of the above might be the cause, or it could just be a bad fit from the start. You need to be working with a payroll partner you can trust to get on with the job and get it done right; someone you can call on for help when it’s needed. If your payroll provider sends you around multiple people before you get a vague answer, then it’s not really worth the hassle. You need a partner that provides a single point of contact, wherever you are in the world. It’s worth considering.

TMF Group can help smooth the transition

  • We are experts in low volume payroll populations - that is, from 1 to 3000 employees per country
  • More than 1000 of our own payroll experts in 80+ countries
  • We have over 5500 payroll clients
  • More than €5bn in salary payments handled annually
  • Flexibility to invoice in local currency
  • Holds ISO27001 (information security standard) and SOC1-ISA3402 for our HR and payroll services
  • Robust risk management and business continuity measures, including know your client and anti-money laundering processes and services
  • Full compliance with local rules and regulations

Find out more about our payroll services here, and get in touch with the local expert near you.

Image of Deborah Williams, Head of Global Business Services at TMF Group
Deborah  Williams
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