- Ask away during the sales process. Bring up questions and concerns with pricing, contracts, system capabilities and compatibility of your payroll tax software before they cause you fatigue. If you have concerns about your files being read properly, ask your prospective new payroll tax processor to test sample files. You will feel confidant in your decision if you have considered all the possible hiccups prior to signing a contract.
- Plan ahead for your Implementation. Check your calendar for upcoming projects, staff member planned absences, and when you are not in a busy season. Avoiding already under-staffed times during the year can help you pick the best time to arrange your transition to a new system. There may never be a perfect time to undergo a major change, but you can certainly minimize the stress by planning accordingly.
- Know what will be required for your transition. Starting mid-quarter can be costly and time consuming due to the data needed by a new processor. By waiting until the start of a new quarter, your data will be much simpler to provide.
- Involve other departments. Quite often the person considering making the change is not the person doing the work. Your boss may designate tasks that you are not familiar with. By admitting your are unfamiliar with the requests, you can quickly assess that another member of your staff may be the best person to help. For example, a member of your IT department may be the best person to ask for sample payroll test files, or your Compliance staff may be the best place to obtain a list of jurisdictions being used by your clients. Save yourself time by delegating accordingly.
- Be willing to involve other staff before the decision is made. Knowledge should be spread rather than horded. Allow key members of your team to attend demos and Q&A conference calls. Your staff may know what capabilities are needed and could bring up valid questions or potential problems not yet considered.
Changing to a new tax processor will no doubt cost you man hours, so why not minimize those (as well as headaches) by looking and planning ahead. You and your new processor should be just as interested in making sure your companies are a good fit. There is no shame in making sure your parachute is packed before you jump!