TURNING ROUND PAYROLL FOR FIRST-TIMERS

When a firm approaches an outsourcing company for a first-time payroll subscription, it’s important to understand what they expect in terms of enhanced services. For some, it may be the complications that payroll brings with itself, and for others, it may be the risks associated with financial security that they cannot handle themselves.

The common thread, however, is the need to have payroll requirements that deliver zero processing errors and uninterrupted services that can ride the wave of changing employment litigation and taxation every financial year. This is the biggest challenge and also, perhaps the one main reason why clients may want to stay committed to payroll companies who care to walk that extra mile with them.

Payroll outsourcing is not just about adoption and management. It’s more like being called in to fix problems where you can’t find any obvious ones. It’s also about trying to predict future payroll issues and fixing them before running into muddy waters. Sometimes, it’s confusing when you get a new client, because in a sense, you both need to discover a lot about yourselves before charting the payroll solutions proposal.

Turning round payroll for first-timers depends a lot on the type of company the client is. Employee numbers, data collection, percentage of expat staff, healthcare, company policies, statutory coverage extensions, overtime cap etc. are huge factors that need careful vetting and diagnosis. All these factors combined lead to an employee’s monthly pay and getting that right will secure the first thing in your operations: trust.

Payroll solutions partners are likely to start out by ensuring their clients stay well within the regulatory framework. Global ventures starting up afresh in the host country go through mandatory statutory registration in the initial stage. More established concerns already operating in the market need to give out data, which after collation, will be run through a detailed audit before it is migrated, tested via User Acceptance Test (UAT) and set up for a mock run. After this, the client is taken on a live version, post which the client ceases the payroll responsibility.

For new ventures, statutory registration takes approximately 4 weeks while payroll processing takes approximately around 2 months to kick off without interference. The same would take around 4-6 months for an established firm depending on its size and complexity of operations. 

First-time clients also have a lot of concerns with taking the payroll load off their HR departments, knowing more about exemptions and also adhering to local tax and other statutory rules that have come into enforcement. Many of these global firms are also keen to know what domestic practices dominate the benefits and compensation area as well. 

Client reviews are held every quarter focusing on operations competencies and annual meets are held with the senior management team to survey aspects related to service performance score card , improvements, renewals additional scope and new products/services apart from unforeseeable events (like an M&A or buyout). Through these review sessions, client satisfaction, as one may come to understand, stands on top of the list. While the client enlists a broad set of requirements from day one, it is also essential for payroll providers to enhance their experience by providing supplementary advisory services in additional measure and controls to protect payroll data integrity. 

Complimentary consulting on payroll, sharing best practices and information on new products may go a long way not just in bolstering the contract but also in building long-lasting goodwill and trust.

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