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Now’s the Time to Make Your Move

by Michelle Fleckner / March 8, 2018

When Should I Switch My Payroll Provider?

Have you been thinking about switching payroll providers? Are you tired of being put on hold for hours or dealing with a not so user-friendly system? No worries. The beginning of the year is the best time to switch providers and it is just around the corner. Why is the beginning of the year the best time to switch? Starting with a new provider at the beginning of the year means you won’t have to go through the hassle of collecting all of your company’s year-to-date and quarter-to date information. By not having to spend hours looking for this information, your company can start fresh by switching payroll providers at the beginning of the year and that will make the transitional process much easier. Read these helpful tips that discuss why switching providers at the new year is beneficial.

Do Your Research

Payroll might not be one of the most exciting business topics, but it is one of the most important. When you’ve come to the point and you’re ready to begin looking at other payroll providers, compare and contrast options to your company’s needs and expectations. You may want to pinpoint issues with your current provider whether it be unresponsive customer service, price or a system that is not user-friendly. Make a list of must have features that can help the company be more efficient in the payroll department and beneficial and effective for the company. Do you want a system that does more than just payroll? One that includes tracking time and attendance, and benefits? These are all things to consider and that is why research is key. 

Set Your First Pay Date of the New Year

To make this as clean as possible, be sure your last pay date of the year is with your old provider and your first pay date of the year is with your NEW provider. Your old payroll provider will prepare the previous year’s W-2s. As a general rule, try to change companies as early in the calendar year as possible. This will make life much easier on all parties involved and their is less historical data to migrate from the old system to the new one.

Payroll taxes are based on when wages are paid, not when employees worked. Any wages you pay in January, regardless of the actual pay period, will be included in the new year’s wages for tax purposes and annual W-2s.

Close Your Previous Payroll Account 

Before you close your payroll account with your current provider, don’t forget to save copies of employee information, tax records and other important data that you might need. Some payroll providers restrict access to information after your account is closed, so be sure to get any records or important data you need while you still have access. 

If you are thinking about switching payroll providers, review your contract with your current payroll provider and ask if there are any restrictions to cancelling your contract early and if your company could face a penalty or fine for cancelling early. 

Have Your Business Info Ready

In order to make a successful payroll provider switch, you must have specific data ready for the new provider. The transition is not complete until you provide the required information. Though not a complete list, here are examples of information you will need to include: 

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Legal business name and address (as registered with your EIN)
  • State, federal and other tax ID Numbers
  • Bank account details for payroll withdrawals
  • Employees’s names, addresses and social security numbers
  • Deduction information  (W-4)
  • Classify workers as W-2 employee or 1099 independent contractor
  • Payroll schedule — weekly, biweekly, semimonthly or monthly 
  • Payment method — direct deposit, paycard or paper check 

For more information about switching payroll providers or have questions about what documents you might need when switching, please schedule a consultation or visit our website.

Platinum Group isn’t just a payroll provider, we are a full service human capital managment (HCM) resource that allows businesses to manage their payroll, benefits compliance regulations and other various human resources functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and eliminates redundancies.

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Platinum Group is headquartered in Ashevile, NC with locations in Charlotte, NC; Greensboro, NC; and Raleigh, NC.

Tags: Payroll & Human Resources Time & Attendance

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Michelle Fleckner

Michelle Fleckner

Michelle joined the team in 2017 as VP of HCM Solutions. Her interest is in helping companies identify areas where streamlining and automating would benefit their HR & Payroll departments. Her strengths are organization planning, revenue generation, customer retention & business process automation.