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How to Move Payroll to the Cloud: Tips from the Greenshades Team

Chris Hadden
Jan 4, 2024

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Cloud-based payroll is a modern and effective tool for businesses. Strategically moving your payroll operations to the cloud can enhance your business's efficiency and effectiveness.

Your payroll system should align with your business's size, complexity, and unique needs. Unfortunately, there is no universal payroll suite to fit all businesses. That is why it is important to carefully consider this transition to ensure the move enhances your business processes.

If you operate with an on-premise payroll solution and are considering a move to the cloud, the tips below will offer valuable insights to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

Questions to Consider Before Moving to Cloud Payroll

  1. What are your current payroll pain points and challenges?

Identify the specific payroll challenges your current system presents and the primary problems you aim to solve by transitioning to cloud-based payroll. Is it a lack of accessibility, insufficient scalability, or security concerns?

Tip: Consider your entire employee lifecycle when identifying pain points.

  1. What integrations and third-party tools do you use, and which are most important to keep?

Identify existing integrations and third-party tools crucial to your payroll workflow. Prioritize their compatibility when selecting your new cloud-based payroll solution.  

Tip: Focus on tools critical for maintaining operations and overall productivity after the transition.

  1. What unique business requirements need to be addressed?

Partner with a cloud payroll provider that meets your business's unique payroll needs, whether accommodating shift differentials, handling multiple garnishments, or allocating labor costs with job costing.

Tip: Think about your reporting requirements wholistically, such as integrating payroll data with other business management systems including financial, warehouse/inventory, or billing data.

  1. What features would you like to see on your wish list for the future?

Consider all the features you would like while anticipating the features you will need to manage an expanding workforce and more complex payroll requirements. Choose a cloud payroll platform that can scale and adapt as you grow.

Tip: Think of how your business may scale over time and look for solutions that will fit that growth.

Greenshades’ Tips for Transitioning to Cloud Payroll

In 2022, numerous clients upgraded from on-premise systems to Greenshades’ cloud-based payroll solution. Drawing from these experiences, our team of experts have outlined a few tips to facilitate your team's transition.

  1. Separate ERP and payroll migrations.

Avoid simultaneous upgrades when tackling a system transition. Upon starting their transition to a new payroll solution, 81% of our customers chose to retain their ERP systems instead of immediately switching. This strategic approach minimized stress and streamlined the upgrade process.

Businesses that migrate payroll to the cloud as a stand-alone project see greater success than companies that just rope payroll into a new ERP. Read Moving to the cloud? 5 Reasons to start with payroll to learn more.

  1. Do not force a January 1 start date.

Payroll system implementation does not require a specific start date as accounting software might. Only 33% of our clients started implementation in September or later for a January 1 launch. Nearly half opted for a mid-year start to avoid the end-of-year rush, facilitating a smoother transition.

  1. Understand your priorities.

More than 85% of our customers chose to implement Payroll and HR functions simultaneously. However, managing multiple changes at once can be daunting. To navigate this, determine your primary objectives for the initial launch and engage in detailed discussions with your payroll provider to establish a clear and effective strategy.

  1. Do not worry about your business size.

Adopt a forward-thinking mindset, regardless of your business's size. Over 50% of our clients that moved payroll to the cloud manage a workforce of 300 employees or fewer. Despite their smaller size, these organizations exhibited ambitions and goals on par with much larger entities. Prepare your organization for growth and success by focusing not only on immediate needs but also on future aspirations and goals.

  1. Communicate and speak up.

Ensure consistent communication between employees, managers, and department heads in your organization. Including their perspectives and feedback is crucial as payroll impacts every individual.

Beyond internal discussions, utilize the support provided by your chosen payroll provider. At Greenshades, we offer comprehensive assistance through phone, email, and chat support, ensuring our clients always have a way to get their questions answered during the process.

  1. Document all communications.

Keep all documentation for future reference. Store these documents in a format that is easily searchable, ensuring that your team can access them whenever needed in the future.

Do you process payroll on Microsoft GP’s payroll module? Have you outgrown it? Understand the advantages of making the switch from GP Payroll to Greenshades Payroll by exploring the features of the Greenshades solution in our ebook.

Farmer’s Union Unlocked Freedom and Flexibility with Cloud-Based Payroll

At Greenshades, a substantial number of our clients have made the leap from traditional on-premise systems to our advanced cloud-based payroll solutions. Among these, Farmers Union Mutual Insurance stands as a noteworthy example of this successful transition.

Seeking to overcome the limitations of their on-premise solution, Farmers Union embraced our cloud payroll for its adaptability to modern, remote work environments. This switch freed up VPN space and empowered their workforce to operate effectively from anywhere.

Since implementing Greenshades, Farmers Union Mutual Insurance has not only enjoyed the convenience of cloud-based payroll but also enhanced their employee experience significantly through the use of Greenshades' user-friendly self-service portal.

case study quote

Read more: Farmers Union Insurance | Greenshades Case Study

Moving Payroll to the Cloud with Greenshades

Transitioning to a cloud-based payroll system is a strategic move that can significantly benefit businesses of all sizes. Whether you are managing a small team or a large workforce, these versatile solutions can be tailored to meet your specific needs and help you achieve your business objectives.

We encourage you to take the first step towards a more efficient and effective payroll system. Contact Greenshades today to explore how we can assist in your transition to the cloud, ensuring a smoother, more streamlined payroll process for your organization.

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