A 6 Step Guide on How Retailers Can Outsource Their Payroll

Small retailers don’t often have enough cash flow to outsource their payroll, but if you look past the upfront costs, you’ll actually save significantly over time. Retailers will avoid compliance-based issues and employee-based costs (benefits), which can be expensive or career-ending.

What’s more, outsourcing payroll improves the employee experience and supports business growth. If you want to cash in on these benefits, follow our 6 step implementation guide.

How Retailers Can Implement Payroll Outsourcing in 6 Steps

Businesses have several outsourcing options available to them. Regardless of which company you use, it’s essential to research them beforehand to accurately assess outsourcing risks.

Step 1: Research 

Separate this critical and time-consuming step into 4 other steps:

  • Integration Research: The ability to integrate should be a priority, as effective integration can cut out huge amounts of unnecessary administration. This saves costs, ensures optimal compliance, and reduces the risk of errors. The systems your provider uses can also make it easier for you to gain insights into workforce data.
  • Expertise Research: It’s difficult for internal teams to maintain a high level of payroll knowledge, but when you use a third-party team, you’ll stay up-to-date with compliance measures, technology, and efficient processes. Payroll providers are typically the developers of their technology, so you’ll receive maximum value from their software.
  • Control Research: It’s normal to want to take control of your payroll. Although legitimate providers will take accountability when developing standardized payroll processes, you’ll still have the final say. On top of that, your provider will help you create a more straightforward payroll process once you give them access to your KPIs and metrics.
  • Risk Research: While payroll providers prove to be a better long-term decision for your company, you still need to do your due diligence. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the team supporting your organization and if you trust them with your tech, data, and implementation. Read reviews and seek legal advice if you’re on the fence.

The research phase can take anywhere from 1 week to 1 month, depending on how many companies you interview. To make this phase as smooth as possible, bring a complete list of questions you want to ask each company to reduce a lot of back and forth. 

Step 2: Launch

Your launch phase starts within the first two weeks after you choose your outsourcing company. At this phase, your provider will grow to understand your current process and get a handle on practical knowledge. You’ll be aware of who you can contact if your tech expires.

Step 3: Discovery

It’ll take 2-5 weeks for your provider to gain a detailed understanding of your workforce. While your business will have its way of doing things, your provider will try to develop a standardized and repeatable process that will be presented to your team in a workshop environment.

Step 4: Set up

Once both parties agree on their processes, set-up can take 3-6 weeks. This involves configuring new systems to include pensions, paychecks, benefits, and more. Your provider will initiate a training program to help introduce your team to new tech or an upgraded system.

Step 5: Testing

Depending on whether your organization wants to run two or more parallel tests simultaneously, testing could take between 7 and 17 weeks. Business owners can review the interface, offer feedback. Before the tech goes live, employees will be able to interact with it in a staging area.

Step 6: Go Live

After perfecting performance and data anomalies within a system, the tech will go live. It can take 14-18 days to complete the implementation period. Once live, your provider will temporarily enter into the “hyper care” period, where support will be easily accessible.

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