Philip Crosby wrote a booked called Quality is Free in which he argued that it’s cheaper to build things correctly the first time than it is to fix them later.
This couldn’t be truer than for payroll.
One of the most common mistakes I see in building a payroll process or configuring a new payroll system is to replicate the old one with little thought to process improvement or at the very least questioning why you do things the way you do.
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There are many reasons for replacing a payroll system. It could be that the product has an ‘end of life’ announced by the vendor where they won’t be supporting it past a certain date. It could be a decision made by your parent company, or it could be that there are better, more efficient, technically advanced systems available that your organisation wants to take advantage of.
Often you need to look deeper than simply changing your payroll technology. My experience shows that all sorts of problems can contribute to an inefficient or non-compliant payroll. There can be issues with payroll staff knowledge, processes, system integration, or a myriad of other problems that can’t be solved by implementing a new system. However, if you do choose to change your payroll system, you have a rare opportunity to make significant improvements in your payroll operation.
If you miss this chance, and fail to implement a quality project, it can be very expensive to fix it later. It is often simpler and less costly to implement from scratch than to fix an incorrectly configured or implemented payroll system.
A new payroll system should be an opportunity to review your payroll process and your payroll staff training both in systems and ensuring up-to-date compliance knowledge. It’s no point spending thousands of dollars implementing a payroll system with old legislative knowledge or one that replicates an outdated process.
So when you are next developing a project plan for a new payroll implementation, ensure that you build payroll knowledge training and process review into it.
In the meantime, here’s another quote from Philip Crosby who, like me, believed in continuous improvement:
“If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow.”
Visit www.austpayroll.com.au for resources to assist your next payroll project.