written by
Maarten Decroos

Thought about changing payroll providers? Now is the time!

Payroll 5 min read

Change is hard. Choosing a new payroll provider is certainly no exception. Even though your new payroll partner will perform the majority of the tasks, your company has its work cut out for itself. In this blogpost we'll answer 3 critical questions, which could help you make a more effortless transition towards your new payroll provider.

3 things you shouldn't forget when changing payroll providers
Changing payroll providers, what should you know?

1. Am I even allowed to change payroll providers?

You might have noticed, but these last few months a lot of Belgian payroll providers have been advertising heavily, hoping to attract new customers. This is obviously for a reason, because you don't get to change payroll provider that easily.

Let us list the main pre-requisites to change payroll providers here in Belgium:

  • The minimum term for the contract with the current payroll provider has expired. With most Belgian payroll providers, this period circles around three to four years.
    Big tip! This term isn't legally defined and can be reduced down to one year, IF you display the right negotiation skills with potential payroll providers.
  • If you want to be up and running with the new payroll provider in 2019, you have to make the decision and file corresponding paperwork before the 30th of June 2018. This is simply because payroll providers in Belgium have notice clauses built in to their contracts for a term of 6 months.
  • All outstanding management fees have to be fulfilled by the end of the fiscal year.
  • You have to fill out an application and dismissal form and deliver this to the new payroll provider you chose. They will follow up on closing your account at the current payroll provider and setting up everything in your new account.

2. Which payroll provider do I choose?

A lot of things need to be considered when choosing a new payroll provider. As with any choice of business partner, it is best to draft a thorough analysis of the payroll needs throughout your organization. On top of this, it could be relevant to map all the issues or friction you had with your current payroll provider. That way you can start negotiations armed with the proper information. Which are some other elements i should take into consideration when choosing a new payroll provider?

Is the account manager a match?

An important cause why companies are changing payroll providers, is because the collaboration and communication with the current account manager isn't going well. A lot of things in payroll require frequent communication between HR and the account manager for the payroll provider. That's why it's important to check if the potential new account manager has a good match with your HR people. Hopefully they can also bring specific added value for the needs of the organization.

What are some of the features or USP's of their tool(s)

The ease-of-use and possible features the payroll provider offers, can be a determining factor in deciding which partner to choose. Most payroll providers have some kind of software they can offer their clients, but these systems often require extensive training until your HR team is up and running. Furthermore a lot of payroll providers offer different tools to manage different things. This fragmentation of software can cause added confusion with employees and HR.

Here at Officient we strongly believe in building software which doesn't require a manual to operate. Our HR platform doesn't need multiple courses or extensive training before you're ready to start using it. We prefer providing free webinars and a passionate support crew, to help our customers succeed. We're also not the only ones who believe in the Officient way. Payroll providers Besox & Wij Helpen already chose to offer our HR platform directly to their clients.

Are the services aligned with the organization?

An important part of your decision should revolve around how well the services of the payroll provider are aligned with the needs of the organizations. Larger payroll providers might offer better services when it comes to international organizations. Whereas you might get a more customer-centric treatment with one of the smaller ones. It might very well be that a certain payroll provider has extensive expertise with handling payroll in your sector.

What does this all cost?

The cost that a payroll provider charges per employee, doesn't paint the entire picture.
Generally speaking the cost a payroll provider charges consists of three general components: a fixed cost per employee, a yearly license for their tool(s) and additional services which are invoiced seperately. Pay close attention to these additional services. This is to prevent that composing a DIMONA, compiling reports or drafting a certain document can all be charged seperately.

Most payroll providers offer up very little information concerning their pricing and often times their quotes and enclosed information are vague. Some might calculate the costs of the software, into the cost per employee. Others might offer certain courses for free.
Be firm and always demand clarity around what services are included and which could be charged seperately.

3. What does the payroll provider need?

As we stated in the beginning, as long as you make the decision to change payroll providers before the 30th of June and file the corresponding paperwork, the new payroll provider will take care of closing the current account and setting up the new one. To make sure you get off to a flying start, you'll have to transfer a bunch of data, which you might not always be able to retrieve that easily. A clear overview of all personnel, all contracts or other agreements which have been signed, which hourly or weekly schedules these people are bound to, what vacation and which types are assigned..

A small part of this data you can probably export in the tool of the payroll provider. Furthermore a lot of this information might be scattered to different places. Think of all the drive folders or file cabinets which store signed agreements. Centralizing and structuring this information often takes a lot of unexpected work, which becomes apparent when changing payroll providers.

Luckily Officient has a solution for that!

Officient helps you make the change of payroll provider
Overzicht van de sociale secretariaten waar we live integraties hebben.

Officient can help your company to make the step to a new payroll provider more fluently

With our HR software we can speed up the process of changing payroll providers. Thanks to our unique integrations with all major Belgian payroll providers, we can easily retrieve your data with the current payroll provider. Other documents you can add through drag & drop and other HR systems can be hooked up to our open API. Then you just give the new payroll provider (limited) access to your Officient account. From there they payroll provider can easily retrieve all the information they need, plus you get more control of your HR data.

Be sure to check out the testimonial by Around Media, where CEO Wannes Vanspranghe talks about his experience with Officient and the relief it brought when his company had to change payroll providers. (0:39)

Officient's story: Wannes talks about his experiences with Officient
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