The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

Switching Payroll - Christmas Tree Most Wonderful time of the year to switch payroll

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…To Switch Payroll Providers

Posted On
Caitlin Carragee

The good news: you can switch payroll providers, or start processing payroll with a provider, at any time throughout the year.

The bad news: if you have been paying wages in a given year, making a transition mid-year can be harder due to the transfer of historical data and data re-entry that will be required.

Silver lining: year-end/the start of a new year is the best time to make a switch.

In this post, we will discuss timing to aim for if you are in the market for a new provider, and considerations for making the move.

Timing Is Everything

Although you can switch payroll providers at any time, there are two ideal time frames for doing so:

  • The start of a quarter.
  • The beginning of a new year.

 Ideally, you would be set-up and ready to begin processing payroll with a new provider for the start of a new calendar year. This allows you and your new payroll provider to start with a clean slate and hit the ground running. Why? You won’t have to worry about transferring historical data mid-year and impacting records and filings within a calendar year.

The start of a quarter is similar in many ways to the beginning of a new year. While you will have to transfer historical data, you can begin processing and filing that quarter’s taxes with the new provider. This makes it much easier to complete the transition with as little confusion as possible.

If you are considering switching payroll providers, try to change companies as early in the calendar year as possible. This will make life easier for both sides, as it will minimize the historical data to migrate from your old system to your new one.

Tip: as you compare new payroll companies, ask what type of assistance they provide during the transition process. This one detail may tip the scales in favor of a particular provider.

Note: even if your new payroll company is doing all the data entry for you, it's still your responsibility to gather and share all the required information.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a new payroll service, whether you’re unhappy with the service from your current provider or you are looking for additional features and protections, now is the best time of year to make the switch. Make sure you vet your potential new payroll provider for your needs—we’ve put together a worksheet with six key questions to ask (and we’ve include SurePayroll’s responses for your reference).

If you're ready to make the switch, request a quote today.


SurePayroll, Inc. and its subsidiaries assume no liability and make no warranties on or for the information contained on these state payroll pages. The information presented is intended for reference only and is neither tax nor legal advice. Consult a professional tax, legal or other advisor to verify this information and determine if and/or how it may apply to your particular situation.

This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.