Written by Chris Rutter
Published on July 18, 2018

It can be a daunting prospect to switch your payroll provider and you will want to consider when would be the best time to make the switch to ensure it is as successful as possible.

Timing can save you a headache

The cleanest time to change your payroll provider is at the beginning of the new tax year so that period 1 of the new tax year is also the first period that is processed with your new payroll provider. This negates the need to retrieve year to date figures, NI banding splits and historical leaver data from the previous tax year. Gathering such data can be problematic and time consuming to collate and makes the switching process more complicated than it needs to be.

Factor in any parallel runs

Conducting a parallel run (or several) prior to going live with your new payroll provider is advantageous in order highlight any potential issues that should be fixed before going live. If you want to conduct a parallel run, you should factor in your go live date with the number of parallel runs you wish to have in conjunction with the start of the tax year to make things as clean as possible. For example, if you wanted to conduct two parallel runs, you should aim to go live in period 3, with periods 1 & 2 being in parallel.

If you wanted to go live in period 1 of the new tax year but still wanted to parallel period 11 and period 12 of the previous tax year, your new payroll provider would need to build the whole of the payroll from the previous tax year using year to date figures, NI banding splits and historical leaver data. Although this is possible, it will be time consuming to gather the relevant data, build the payroll and no doubt more expensive too!

At Dataplan, whilst we recognise that benefit of parallel runs, we know they cannot guarantee a 100% future proofed payroll. Should there be any errors in process during your go live payroll period, we will re-run your payroll as many times as necessary to ensure that all processes are fixed and ready so that period 2 can be processed accurately.

Quality is sometimes better than timing

For various reasons it may not be possible to change your payroll provider at the start of the tax year. The key to a successful payroll switchover isn’t just down to timing; the quality of the data is just as (if not more) important. If you are aware of exactly what data you need to collate and have the resource to collate good quality data – you will experience a successful payroll switchover project no matter when you choose to do it!

To get a quote for payroll or to discuss your requirements give Dataplan a call on 03331 123456.