Payroll is one of the most manually intensive processes in any organization, and wherever there are manual processes, you’ll find inefficiencies and errors that will cost you plenty of time and money. That’s why so many companies turn to Workday Payroll, the solution that makes the process much less painful by improving efficiencies with continuous payroll calculations, smart payroll audits, retro payroll processing, and more. 

If you’re thinking about streamlining your process by implementing Workday Payroll, you’ve come to the right place. 

While every implementation will follow Workday’s prescribed methodology, we do have a few insider tips and tricks to make that process faster and smoother. This article covers some of the best practices we’ve gleaned from our Workday consultants as they’ve guided clients in their implementation. 

Here’s their advice.

Work Out Your Payroll Pain Points Before You Begin

When getting started with your Payroll implementation, Workday will ask you to fill out a massive workbook with details like earnings, deductions, taxes, any type of special circumstances, and much more. This workbook is the guide for how you plan to customize the software. The workbook is also your opportunity to start fresh and put together a payroll solution that makes sense for your organization as it is now, as well as how you expect it to be in the near future.

It’s a fact of life that companies grow and change over time, and systems can get messy as they try to adapt to those changing circumstances. Those jury-rigged solutions might work, but they come with plenty of pain points. Keep those payroll pain points in mind as you fill out the Workday workbook so that you don’t end up copying over all your current issues into a new solution.

Focus on Functional Aspects 

Knowledge transfer is critical when you’re implementing Workday Payroll. In most cases, you’re coming from an environment that’s very different from Workday, which is why we stress the need for functional training over technical training.

Your implementation consultants will take care of the technical side of things, but what are you going to do a month (or three months, or six months, etc.) after those teams have left? Some tasks in Workday can seem a bit like a scavenger hunt, and there are often several different ways to accomplish a given task. Take the time to learn how to navigate the ins and outs of Workday during your implementation. 

Additionally, we provide our clients with a functional checklist to make sure they have the confidence to functionally operate the system on their own once we’ve left the building. (We’re not going to throw you in the deep end and assume you know how to swim.)

Don’t Skimp on Testing

When you’re looking at a system that’s shiny and new, it can be easy to assume that the underlying configuration beneath that new user interface correctly suits all your needs. But a beautiful house can be built on shaky foundations. Don’t assume that a system that looks fine is fine. Test, test, test—it’s the most critical piece of implementation. 

We always suggest putting your eyes on everything. Even when you’re checking your earnings, double-check things like takes. You want to make sure you’re checking absolutely everything.

All that being said, a word of caution. There’s never been a company that’s gone into production with Workday Payroll without facing a single issue. Your consultants wouldn’t be consultants at that point, they’d be miracle workers. What you need to remember is that the occasional issue is not the same thing as a system that’s about to crash. Your goal is to have a small ratio of issues post-production. 

Our best testing advice? Run at least two parallel payrolls before turning off your old platform, that way you can double-check to ensure things haven’t totally gone off the rails.

Partner with an Expert Third-party Consultant 

Our final tip for Workday Payroll implementation success is to partner with an experienced Workday consultant who knows their stuff. From navigating the workbook to thoroughly testing your system, our senior-level Workday consulting team has experience in every aspect implementing Workday Payroll. 

In our next article, we’ll explain the benefits that a quality third-party consultant can bring to your project and share stories of how we’ve helped other companies, but in the meantime, we hope these best practices will help you prepare. Of course, we’re always here if you need an expert in your corner, whatever your Workday project.

Contact us today to get started.