5 Payroll Implementation Tips for Organizations to Consider for a Successful Implementation

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The contract is signed; you have evaluated the alternatives and selected Microsoft Dynamics GP software package and an implementation partner. You are about to take your vision of a new efficient, powerful payroll system and make it reality. But are you ready?  Here are 5 things to consider for organizations implementing payroll in-house.

  1. Prepare your staff.  Payroll implementations require multiple input-build-output validation cycles.  Several periods of parallel payroll processing are typically necessary before you are confident the new payroll system is ready to be deployed. Often, your payroll staff will need to maintain employee master data in both the new and the legacy system for a period of time. Your staff needs to be ready and able to handle the extra workload.  This may mean you need to borrow help from other departments or hire temporary staff to support the implementation.
  2. Develop a realistic schedule.  Work with your consulting partner to develop a flexible schedule which ensures adequate data validation, employs use case testing, and provides extensive staff training. January 1 is always the best selection for a payroll go-live date, but the beginning of a quarter is ok too. Set a date and manage to that date, but have a backup date in mind.  Payroll mistakes are costly in terms of employee confidence and moral and possible in financial liability terms too.  Do not go-live before you are sure you have it right.  If you have multiple facilities consider a phased implementation schedule.
  3. Scrub legacy data.  Data Migration is often the bottleneck which busts the budget and schedule early in a payroll implementation project.  Work closely with your implementation partner to prepare your legacy data for import to the new system.  Consider that the IT department is often tasked to extract this data into a format which can be imported, however it’s important to note, it will take the payroll experts on your staff to interpret the extracted data and ensure its validity.  The data migration task requires your IT staff, expert payroll staff, and your implementation partner work closely together.  But remember, the accuracy of your data is always your responsibility.
  4. Standardize pay policies.  Review all your pay policies and procedures to look for inconsistent application, and/or outdated or inefficient workflow patterns. Examples of things to look for include: shift differentials included in overtime calculations in one department or location but not in another, leave accruals deviating from company policies, pay codes inconsistent across departments, divisions or locations, and manual entry where integration can be more effective. Plan to prepare employees for any changes to come with the new payroll system.
  5. Synchronize integrated systems.  There usually are one or more systems which may need to be integrated with your new Payroll application. Time clocks and scheduling software are common examples. Where possible synchronize employee ID, department, and position codes across these systems. It is also important to designate the payroll application as the system of record for employee data and develop policies and procedures to enforce that relationship.

In conclusion, your implementation partner should be able to guide you through these important pre-project tasks. At RSM McGladrey, we offer a proven implementation methodology for business systems and a track record of successful payroll project implementations.  Our consultants are Microsoft Certified Business Management Solution Specialist for Microsoft Dynamics GP Payroll.

By:  David Funk, RSM McGladrey -  Microsoft Dynamics Certified Payroll Implementation Partner

4 thoughts on “5 Payroll Implementation Tips for Organizations to Consider for a Successful Implementation”

  1. "Develop a realistic schedule"

    This is key! You will regret rushing the accounting setup, especially if you are migrating from another system. There are plenty of things that need to be carefully considered and once it's done, it's done. You can fix a poor implementation, but you will never be able to completely hide a "bad" era because of the transactional nature of accounting. You may want it to go away, but it never will, so give yourself plenty of time to get it right the first time.

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