Auto Dealer Payroll: What to Expect During Implementation with a New Platform

By Beth Kempton,
April 6, 2018

Accurate and efficient auto dealer payroll is critical to overall success and profitability – payroll and other people-related costs can make up 50% or more of a dealership’s overall operating expenses. So when it comes to switching payroll providers, it’s critical to make a smooth transition.

Switching to a new payroll provider is no overnight task. To ensure complete accuracy throughout the transition, the average timeline for auto dealer payroll implementation is 8-12 weeks. If your dealership is considering making the switch to a different payroll provider, here are a few things to expect throughout the process:

A Dedicated Implementation and Customer Service Team

The right auto dealer payroll provider will include a dedicated implementation and customer service team. Your implementation lead will set up your account in the payroll platform,  customize it to your dealership’s specifications and run all training and weekly check in calls. He or she will also help hold you accountable for sharing all data needed for successful implementation – such as a list of all active and terminated employees who have been paid during the current calendar year.

While some payroll and talent management providers might only have a “Contact Us” page or call center number on their websites, this should be a red flag and you should instead look for a auto dealer payroll provider with dedicated customer service. Your dedicated service team will be your go-to resource for any questions that come up outside your scheduled training calls and can be contacted via email or phone. This team will have a complete understanding of your account and business needs, making them better equipped to answer any questions you have – and help you get the most value out of your talent management software.

Active Participation from Your Team

To be successful with new auto dealer payroll implementation, your team needs to be fully invested in the process. You’ll be expected to complete several training sessions and weekly check ins. Each week, members of your team involved in payroll and accounting will be tasked with watching a set of videos to learn and practice using the platform. You’ll have to stay on track with training sessions – or you’ll risk the implementation timeline getting pushed back. Questions that arise during trainings can be answered by dialing our service team. Unanswered questions specific to implementation can be answered during your weekly call with your implementation lead.

Weekly check-in calls will give you and your implementation lead the opportunity to connect, learn about updates and resolve any questions. These calls will cover what has been implemented and what still needs to be implemented, what is needed from your dealership to continue implementation, any questions and answers, and upcoming trainings. While such a time commitment might seem like a lot up front, it will help ensure your dealership team knows the ins and outs of the payroll platform by the time implementation is complete.

A Structured Implementation Schedule

To stay on track with your payroll implementation timeline, a set schedule, broken down into phases, will be shared with your team during the kickoff call – and most steps need to be completed in order. If a step is not completed, the implementation might be stalled because pieces of the prior step are needed in order to move forward. For example, if you’re trying to set up time & attendance tracking, you’ll need your department structure and employee numbers – including which employees are paid using flag time and commission – from an earlier step in the implementation process. As long as your team stays on track with training and weekly check in calls, and shares all necessary data with the implementation lead in a timely manner, you can set yourself up for success and on-time implementation.

A Test Payroll Run

Migrating data from one payroll platform to another can be complicated. But it can be much easier – and more accurate – if you complete a test payroll run with your new payroll provider. Your implementation lead will time the test run a few weeks before you officially make the switch, to ensure you have any kinks worked out and avoid the risk of administrative errors.

These are just a few of many things you should expect during auto dealer payroll implementation. With the right partner and commitment from your team, implementation will run smoothly and your new payroll provider will save your business time and money by automating many talent management-related processes. To learn more about what your business should look for in a payroll and talent management system, read The Hireology Payroll Buyers Guide.

About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.

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