NZ Business - - GUIDE - Source: Steve Nathan, Crys­tal Payroll.

Here’re five quick boxes to tick when search­ing for, or chang­ing to, a payroll provider:

1. Know why you are chang­ing and what out­comes you want.

Be­fore you even start talk­ing to ven­dors, work out why you’re chang­ing. What are the key fea­tures and/or ben­e­fits you’re look­ing for? What’s your time­frame? Have you got the re­sources to make the change? What is your bud­get (don’t dis­close this)? Cre­ate a check­list of th­ese things and make sure each ven­dor can get you where you want to go.

2. Show me, don’t tell me.

There’re plenty of good sales­peo­ple out there who’ll tell you “of course it can do X”. Chang­ing payroll sys­tems im­pacts every em­ployee so you must be con­fi­dent the sys­tem will do what you need and be shown this. Does it feel in­tu­itive? Is there a sim­ple flow? Will you get the re­ports and ex­ports you need? Does it meet all re­quire­ments of the Hol­i­days Act and Employment Re­la­tions Act?

3. Be wary of ‘smoke and mir­rors’.

Just be­cause a provider has a flash web­site, big mar­ket­ing bud­get, or has a high pro­file, doesn’t mean their prod­uct will match. So do your due dili­gence.

4. Trust is key – what is the provider’s track record?

How long has the provider been in the mar­ket? How big is their client base? Do they have clients (which they will dis­close) in your in­dus­try? Can you get ac­cess to a trial ac­count?

5. Will I be deal­ing with hu­mans?

Payroll is about peo­ple and get­ting timely sup­port is crit­i­cal. There’s a trend to re­duce sup­port and train­ing ser­vices and make all com­mu­ni­ca­tion on­line via email or mes­sag­ing. This is par­tic­u­larly true if the sys­tem’s sup­ported off­shore. Payroll is too im­por­tant and can’t wait, so hav­ing ac­cess to free phone sup­port is crit­i­cal. Ask if you can speak to an ex­ist­ing client to see what the sup­port and train­ing is re­ally like.

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