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March, 2019

The Mechanics of a Successful Mid-Year Payroll Conversion

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The Mechanics of a Successful Mid-Year Conversion

Mid-year payroll conversion: those four words are enough to strike fear in the minds of many payroll and HR managers. For starters, change is always difficult (and met with a lot of groans). But considering how your year-end processing went, you may be wondering if it’s time to switch to a new payroll provider.

But when is the right time to switch to a new payroll provider? You can make the switch to a new provider anytime, but converting at specific parts of the year such as the start of any quarter provides a seamless transition of data, decreasing the risk of missed or lost information in the handoff. So let’s talk about the mechanics of a successful mid-year payroll conversion and how making a change may be the best thing you accomplish this year.

Taking a Look at a Mid-Year Conversion

Let’s start with what a mid-year payroll conversion is. Mid-year conversions typically start between April and June, depending on the complexity of the payroll and taxes, if any integrations are being used or developed, and if other solutions are being implemented like core HR. Starting the conversion process during this time ensures a July 1 go-live date can be met without any bumps in the road.

A Race To Beat The Clock

So you’re still not too sure about a mid-year conversion and you’re thinking that maybe a January 1 go-live date is more your speed. Switching payroll providers can be an overwhelming process, but you don’t have to wait until the beginning of the year to make a change. If your payroll provider has a thorough payroll conversion process, you can switch whenever the time is right for you.

We recommend these times of year to convert to a new payroll provider:

Mid-Year Conversion at the Beginning of the Year

The Beginning of the Year

Quarter Payroll Conversion

The Beginning of any Quarter

Mid-Year Conversion

The Middle of the Year

No matter which time of year you choose to make a switch, an electronic implementation process will ensure a smooth transition and eliminate the need for manual data entry. A large part of the success of this process is ensuring you are working with an experienced, knowledgeable provider who understands your pain points and is involved in every step of the way.

Mid-Year Conversion Checklist

During your research and evaluation process, ask the following questions to determine if a payroll provider is running on all cylinders or in need of an overhaul:

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1. Who will be involved in the conversion process?

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2. Will your unique needs be communicated from your sales representative down the line to ensure your data is set up correctly? How is this done?

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3. Will there be a dedicated project manager who provides a project plan with clear deadlines?

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4. Will the provider convert your data and import your payroll and employee history into their system?

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5. Will a payroll assessment be conducted to reconcile your data history?

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6. Will the provider run parallel payrolls prior to the first live payroll submission to confirm data and tax settings are accurate?

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7. Does the provider offer integrations with other systems you use (i.e. retirement plans and general ledger packages)?

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8. Will the provider conduct live training using your own company data?

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9. Will you have a dedicated account team who is easy to reach via phone or email?

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10. Will the provider ensure you are getting the most of your investment? If so, how?

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11. Does the provider have solutions specialists on staff to help with more complex questions and needs?

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12. Does the provider offer a help center with additional resources at your disposal?

Looking to make the switch to a new payroll provider?

Mid-year can be a great time to convert to a new payroll provider. This handy Mid-Year Payroll Conversions Checklist provides the tools you need for a pain-free payroll conversion.

What You’ll Need to Provide

Knowing what information you will need to give your new provider will ensure a smooth mid-year conversion process. Here are the main pieces of information you’ll need to provide:

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Employee list with social security numbers and addresses, as well as direct deposit information for each employee.
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Company bank account information and tax ID numbers (federal, state, and local).
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State unemployment rates for all states in which you report.
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A list of employee deductions (e.g. health insurance, 401K).
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Copies of employee W-4s, garnishment orders, and current year Form 941 payroll filings (if available).
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Year-to-date payroll summary per employee, by quarter.

For an even easier transition, you can also collect a list of employee emails and any outstanding issues with federal, state, and local agencies with copies of all correspondence. Your current provider should be able to assist with gathering the information we’ve mentioned.

Anytime is the Right Time to Make the Switch

Switching payroll providers can be an overwhelming process, but you don’t have to wait until the beginning of the year to make a change. Mid-year can be a great time to convert to a new payroll solution. Don’t wait it out with an ineffective provider, make the switch now to a payroll provider who meets your company’s needs, so you can feel confident in your payroll processing.

How APS can help

APS helps organizations of all sizes and industries with their payroll processing and tax compliance needs. With a unified platform and a team of tax compliance experts in your corner, we can help make payroll and tax errors a thing of the past.

Looking to make a mid-year switch to a new payroll provider? It’s easier than you think and APS can help you along every step of the way to ensure a successful transition. For the past four years, we have ranked as a High Performer, Best Customer Support, Ease of Use, Functionality, and Product Quality by G2 Crowd. We have also been ranked the #1 software company in Louisiana, a testament to the confidence our clients have in our work.

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