Interim Payroll Management Resources and System Implementation

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We were contacted by a higher education institution with 4,000+ employees to assess and provide solutions for the payroll management challenges they were experiencing. Their payroll function was undergoing significant staff changes, which ultimately created a resource gap that needed to be resolved by filling an Interim Payroll Manager role immediately. A careful selection needed to be made for this interim manager role, as their responsibilities would include stabilizing the payroll function and leading critical short-term process improvements such as pay frequency consolidation, tax outsourcing and direct deposit administration. Lastly, the institution was preparing for a major implementation of Workday, a SaaS-based payroll and time entry system, but realized they were lacking the necessary internal resources to ensure a successful deployment. We agreed to work with the client to provide guidance on how to navigate these challenges.


Our team collaborated with the institution’s key personnel to successfully:

  1. Fill the role of the Interim Payroll Manager to maintain existing payroll services for the university’s 4,000+ employees.

  2. Consolidate six pay frequencies into two.

  3. Migrate all tax filing and deposit services to an outsourcer.

  4. Train new staff including transitioning role to a newly recruited Payroll Interim Manager.

  5. Implement Workday system, where we effectively:
    • Ensured that the payroll function was stable and self-sufficient so that the new Payroll Manager had availability to participate in the Workday Implementation.

    • Served as a Subject Matter Expert in partnership with the new Payroll Manager for challenges involving payroll, time and attendance.

    • Provided structure and methodology recommendations to the implementation team to streamline payroll and payroll-related processes.

    • Led efforts including requirements gathering, solutioning, data migration, user acceptance testing, parallel testing and operational readiness.

    • Ensured that the Payroll Manager was following the Knowledge Transfer and Mentoring processes taking place so that their functional ownership of the new system could be established post-implementation.

    • Served as the agent of change and improvement by recommending solutions for practices, surfaced by internal and external implementation team members, that did not align with established business objectives.


As a result of our team’s careful assessment of the client’s situation and the tangible solutions we provided, the university’s Payroll Manager fully acclimated to their new role with a high degree of confidence in using the new system. The client’s Workday system, which was implemented on time and within their budget, helped them establish two pay frequencies and distribute accurate paychecks. The institution also adopted a streamlined and stable payroll function utilizing best practice audits and controls and established a process for smoothly outsourcing tax filing and deposits. To ensure that the client’s transition continued to operate efficiently, a Sikich representative served as a resource for a month post-implementation to answer questions and provide them with additional assistance as needed.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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