2015 is almost all wrapped up, just the final bow on top. Looking back, what did we learn this year in the world of global payroll? Timing, integration, and commitment, from all parties, are the keys to payroll transition success.

Payroll transitions are a lot like assembling that cool gift you bought with 1000 small pieces for that special child in your life. Everyone rationalizes how long it will take to assemble said gift, which the instructions did not state, “five hours are required.” The instructions also did not mention the software you need to download, which of course never works properly the first time. Combining these issues with other competing time commitments in your life, can make the gift set-up process very daunting. Even with all the best intentions in the world, reality sets in weeks later when the toy is still in the unopened box. As the birthday, Christmas, New Year Celebration, Hanukah party closes in; you become more frantic and decide you do not have time to read the full instruction manual. Figure you really do not need all those small parts in the last bag, or breaking off the tab on part 622A was expected and can be fixed with superglue. Eventually, the toy is assembled, often with some additional character that only a little glue, duct tape or marker can provide. Deadline met, but not exactly the expected finished product. Hopefully, the child is too young to notice.

Is payroll so different? With the complexity of global payroll, transitions today are more complicated than ever. Systems are often integrated; expertise is still scarce, and people are often juggling multiple projects. It is so key to ensure that in any payroll transition, the right partner is chosen, the project is well-planned (follow the instruction manual), and well-executed (take the appropriate time and use all the pieces). In addition, resources properly committed by all parties (no leaving it in the box until the last minute). It is essential to ensure all key stakeholders both internal and external are capable, able, and committed to getting the payroll started on time.

Just as not all gifts are the same, not all payroll projects are the same. They do not require the same resource levels, expertise, technology, integration, and commitment levels. It is critical to your payroll transition success to ensure that your payroll partners demonstrate their capability, expertise and commitment at the time of selection and before project kick-off so the implementation can be properly planned and executed.

When payroll is on the line, you do not want to have the equivalent moment of finding an integral piece that should have been incorporated into the toy after you wrapped it because that could just be the most critical component of the project; getting your people paid on time.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season and a successful New Year complete with working parts!