Understanding the Payroll Implementation Timeline

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Implementing a payroll system is a crucial process for any company, requiring careful planning and coordination. It's important for our users to understand the specific timelines involved in setting up payroll:

  • Review Timeline: A minimum of 2 business days is required to review your payroll system.
  • Payroll Processing Timeline: For new companies, the default payroll processing period is 4 business days.

These timelines ensure that all systems are properly configured and tested to meet our standards of accuracy and compliance. To further assist you in managing these timelines effectively, we have created a Google Docs checklist template. This tool lets you input your desired pay date, and it automatically generates due dates for each step of the payroll setup process, helping you stay on track.

Access the Payroll Setup Checklist here

Below, we outline the steps involved in the payroll implementation process, along with the typical time required for each and the responsible parties.

Special Note for New Businesses

For new businesses that do not have any historical payroll data since the beginning of the year, the process is even faster. Without the need to upload and audit historical data, we can skip directly to setting up employee or contractor profiles and reviewing the company setup.

1. Company Profile Setup

  • Duration: Typically 1 day
  • Process Owner: Account Admin
  • Description: This initial step involves the Account Admin setting up their company profile within our system. The quicker you complete this step, the faster you can move to subsequent stages, especially if no historical payroll data needs to be processed. For guidance on setting up your company profile, please see our Help Center article on Company Profile Setup.

2. Employee or Contractor Profile Setup

  • Duration: Typically 1 day
  • Process Owner: Company Employees or Contractors
  • Description: Each employee or contractor must set up their profile, which includes their personal information, tax withholdings, and payroll details. This is crucial for accurate payroll processing. For more information on profile setup, visit our Employee Profile Setup Guide.

3. Submitting Historical Payroll Data (If Applicable)

  • Duration: Typically 1 day (varies based on Account Admin's promptness)
  • Process Owner: Account Admin
  • Description: If you have historical payroll data, it needs to be loaded into the new system. The speed of this step depends on how quickly the Account Admin can provide their data. For detailed guidance on preparing and submitting historical payroll data, please refer to our Help Center article on Historical Payroll Data.

4. Historical Payroll Audit (If Applicable)

  • Duration: Typically 1 day
  • Process Owner: Atto Implementation Specialist (IS)
  • Description: Our specialists will audit the historical payroll data to ensure accuracy and completeness. This is critical to prevent issues with tax filings and employee/contractor payments. Learn more about the payroll audit process in our Historical Payroll Audit.

5. Company Review

  • Duration: 24-48 hours
  • Process Owner: Atto IS
  • Description: We conduct a thorough review of the entire company setup to ensure that all information is accurate and that the system is ready for payroll processing. For a detailed explanation of what this review entails, please consult our Company Review Process article.

6. First Payroll Approval

  • Duration: Default 4 days before pay day
  • Process Owner: Account Admin
  • Description: The Account Admin reviews and approves the first payroll. This approval is needed at least 4 days before the scheduled pay day to ensure timely payment processing. For tips on approving payroll, refer to our First Payroll Approval Guide.

Accelerated Option

For companies eager to accelerate their setup, submitting historical payroll data immediately after creating your profile can significantly speed up the implementation process. This proactive approach can help reduce the overall time needed to activate your payroll system.

Example Implementation Timeline

Suppose your company aims to process payroll by May 15th. Here's how the timeline might look:

  • May 1st: Begin company profile setup.
  • May 2nd: Complete employee or contractors profiles.
  • May 3rd: Submit historical payroll data.
  • May 4th: Atto conducts payroll data audit.
  • May 5th-6th: Company review by Atto.
  • May 9th: First payroll submitted for approval.
  • May 15th: Payroll is processed.

Setting up a new payroll system is a detailed process that requires sufficient lead time to ensure everything is set up correctly. By understanding and participating actively in each of these steps, you can help ensure a smooth transition to your new payroll system. Should you need further assistance or detailed guidance at any step of the process, please refer to our comprehensive resources or contact our support team.

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