When the relationship between you and your Canadian payroll provider isn’t working anymore, it might be time to move on. Frustrating service, lack of reporting capabilities, and additional processing fees are just a few of the reasons to go your separate ways, but it’s easier said than done – breaking up is hard to do.

You’ve been committed to the same solution for a long time and by now you’re pretty comfortable with the system (flaws and all), which is perhaps why you’re thinking – maybe it will get better?

What you need are signs. Validation for you and your organization to feel confident moving forward and changing paths. To help you sort through your pain points, have a look at the following reasons why it may be time to start fresh.

Reasons to switch Canadian payroll providers

1. Poor customer service

In all honesty, this is first because if you’re unhappy with the service you get, this sign is the clearest indication that it’s time to break up with your current payroll system provider. If you and your team feel like you’re always asking, requesting, waiting, and paying extra for service, you need to start looking right now.

A great product is one thing, but if you don’t get the support and service you need to succeed then who cares how much money your provider is pouring into new features and product development?

Many payroll systems promise exceptional customer support, but once you become a customer, they fail to deliver. It’s the old bait and switch.

Payroll professionals can have a significant impact on the employee experience of individual employees.

PwC Canada - Payroll in Focus 2020


Look at it this way, payroll and employee satisfaction are intertwined. If your provider fails to provide you with what you need, that’s reflected in what you can do for your employees.

So, what can you do?

Do your research – Tap into your network of fellow Canadian Payroll professionals, ask them about their provider and if they like them. Ask about service, extra costs, and what kind of flexibility their provider offers.

Look for solutions that offer multiple forms of communication –  You want chat, email, and phone support (without lengthy wait times). Response times are key. Have you ever created a ticket and didn’t hear back from your provider for days? That’s simply unforgivable.

Look for a partner – Your provider’s customer service team should be friendly, timely, supportive, and feel like a professional consultant. Expertise in legislation and business complexity is necessary for you and your team to thrive and get the most out of your software.

Two-way communication – Providers that seek input from their clients want to continuously improve their system for their clients. Whether the feedback is about your client experience through Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Surveys, client forums, or opportunities to test and contribute feedback on future product innovations – it’s a good sign your provider cares about your organization’s needs.

2. Your payroll reporting stinks

It may sound harsh, but if you’re working with complicated reporting processes that are taking up way too much of your time, you need a solution that can meet your needs. A solution that is more robust, a solution where you have the functionality to build custom reports. This is your data and you should be able to pull the information you need when you need it.  

What to look for?

Reporting capabilities – A good platform can supply you with options like on-demand reporting for managers, detailed benefits or workers’ comp reporting, and more.

Your Canadian payroll software needs to shine when it comes to reporting. If the data exists in the system, then you should be able to report on it. You don’t need more grief or challenges. Automating reports is actually one of the easiest processes to automate in payroll systems.

Your payroll team should also be able to easily build custom reports based on your organization’s specific needs. If your reporting is causing frustration, you need to find a provider who can make you happy.

3. It isn’t a good experience for you, your team or employees

If your current software is difficult or tedious for your team to use, then you have a big problem. If your team is struggling in any way to get what they need from your provider, it’s a clear sign to move on. There are other fish in the sea ready to give your payroll team the client experience they deserve. When your team has accessible and easy-to-use technology they feel empowered and are more productive, and wouldn’t you know it, being productive makes people happy.

What innovative payroll software can do for a better team experience:

  • Access and export payroll data quickly and accurately
  • Allow for easy review and approvals
  • Streamline employee onboarding
  • Automate time-consuming and manual processes

Even if you’ve been with it for years and you know it inside and out, if your payroll system is causing your team to manually calculate Canadian holiday rules/entitlements, constantly fix errors, or difficulty with managing organizational complexities – you’ve got a clear sign to get the heck out of dodge.

4. You’re paying too much for too many ‘extras’

If you find you’re frequently being charged fees for additional services your business doesn’t even need, you’re probably paying for a payroll system that’s not meant for you. The good news is that there are many payroll solutions out there built for your budget, your employee count, and your complexities. Most modern providers offer cloud-based services with payroll pricing catered only to what your business needs with per-employee, per-month options, and they provide the ability to easily scale up or down.

Pricing red flags:

  • The true cost of your payroll provider is unclear due to extra fees for off-cycle payroll runs, year-end tax filings, reporting, and more.
  • Your service contract doesn’t scale.
  • Restricted ‘premium’ features (SSO, API, code creation, etc.).

Just remember, when partnering with a new payroll provider the experience should be transparent and fairly straightforward. Be sure you know exactly what you’re paying for upfront and if contract details are feeling a little too hazy, it might not be the right fit for you.

5. Errors on repeat

Mistakes happen, but they also cost a lot of money and ruffle employee feathers. If your software keeps contributing to errors over and over again, it could be that it simply can’t handle the complexities of your business. You need a cutting-edge platform that specializes in streamlining and automating processes for businesses using numerous systems or have complex payroll needs like multiple business numbers or jurisdictions and collective bargaining units.

If you’ve had issues with late payroll or payroll mistakes, you need to work harder to keep your team happy. By upgrading your payroll software you can show your employees you’re serious about improving the workplace. In other words, when looking for new Canadian payroll software, swipe right on a solution that will kick errors to the curb.

6. You’re paying too far in advance

When you’re a small or medium-sized business cashflow matters. It’s important to keep your money in your company as long as you can. When you outsource remittances, you’re giving up your money far sooner than you need to and that affects your bottom line!  One option is to look at moving your payroll in-house, you’ll get more control and keep your money with you longer. Payroll outsourcing companies earn millions by investing your payroll dollars before your employees even get paid, and if there’s an error in your payroll or you have a late run, you‘ll need to rescind it which means extra recall fees.

7. You’re not mobile!?

Ouch. Nothing says behind-the-times more than not having mobile capabilities. If your employees can do their banking or make health appointments from their phone, they should be able to swap shifts or see their pay statements that way too. The payroll industry is admittedly behind the times in this respect and it’s time to catch up. Practically every other industry has improved their overall experience by introducing mobile capabilities to their offering. Without mobile, your organization is missing out on reducing costs, saving time, and increasing employee satisfaction. If you can’t have mobile with your current Canadian payroll provider, you need to move on.

Mobile applications will become more widespread, enhancing self-service functionality and ultimately improving employee engagement.

PwC Canada - Payroll in Focus 2020


How mobile capabilities can improve your business:

  • Scheduling – You never know when you’ll need to post, swap or pick up a shift, a mobile app with manager approval functionality makes scheduling more accommodating for everyone.
  • Access to pay statements and tax slips – this is a time saver for your whole team and gives your employees their own information where and when they need it.
  • Web punch – If your business uses clocks for punching in and out,  you can get more visibility and experience fewer scheduling headaches with mobile geo-locating features. These features make clocking in and out of shifts a convenient, seamless process for payroll and your employees.
  • It’s modern and secure – Because traditional payroll systems are aging at a rapid rate, most innovative payroll software providers are now on the cloud. With secure cloud-based workforce software, you can increase your overall productivity, save on upgrades and costs per employee and enhance employee accessibility for working from home and mobile devices.

8. No integrated time tracking

Are you still entering or approving hours manually when it’s time to process payroll? Stop it. This redundant task leads to inefficiencies before running your payroll and it’s a waste of time for you and your team.

What if there was an easier way to schedule, capture and approve hours in one place? There are so many options out there for you to gain efficiency. With the right provider by your side, your employees will have more time to focus on what’s important.

Look for a solution where recording, approving, and inputting hours are built into the app. A payroll solution where employees, managers, and payroll admins are able to view and input required data. It’ll save you time and ensure more accuracy when it’s time to process payroll.

Is it time to move on and issue a ROE on your current provider?

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what a good payroll provider should be doing for you. If you’re currently experiencing any of the tell-tale signs and are considering a switch, be sure to do your research to find the right fit for your business. Start by discussing payroll’s needs, challenges, and preferences with your leadership team. There are plenty of solutions out there designed to help you scale, integrate, and manage your workforce. Take your time and find the right one. Breaking up may be hard to do, but finding the right partner is worth it.

Now that you know it’s time to move on, how do you convince your boss? Subscribe to Resources from Avanti and we’ll show you.

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