Changing Business Software China

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Companies have strived to capture and defend their market share through various approaches in the past three years. While some have pursued strategies such as downsizing, mergers and acquisitions or aggressive sales drives, others have opted to evaluate internal practices and determine how to make adjustments within the business itself. This includes assessing software being utilised in multiple areas such as CRM, ERP, payroll, tax and other operational areas of the business.

Why Change your Software?

Software for business applications must adapt and change as a business grows and evolves. Developments in software are generally driven by operational functionality and changing regulations or government requirements. In many cases, your business needs and requirements cannot be met by outdated software.

Any change, particularly with software implementations can be challenging, given disruptions in well-established working routines. For both staff and managers, responding to changes can be a difficult process, with potential concerns of workflow disruptions, productivity and output.

Additional pressures to utilize the new software are being brought upon internal departments once new technologies have been implemented. It is important to appropriately manage expectations, undergo training and ensure a smooth transitioning process around the software changes, with the primary focus on strengthening the business.

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Key considerations for Payroll and Tax system changes

There are a number of key considerations an organization has to make when undergoing tax and payroll software changes. Some of the most important include:

1. Counting the Cost

Defining the required application needs for your business is a critical first step. Once these needs have been defined, research can begin and potential suppliers can be shortlisted based on individual requirements.

A cost versus benefit analysis is beneficial to ensure that the selected software package is suitable for the needs of your department or organization. It is also good practice to request your staff members to test the software and provide feedback on the overall practicality and functionality, while benchmarking against the previously used software and protocols.

It is also important that you find a programme that is able to be integrate with and support nuances of the local market in China. Research has shown that navigating the regulatory environment and ensuring complete legal compliance remains a constant challenge in China for foreign businesses. China’s cybersecurity regulator has released a variety of interpretation guidance and supplementary guidelines for providing clarity and ensuring that the appropriate requirements are being met.


2. Planning

It is crucial to schedule the best times for when a migration can be made and the relevant changes implemented. This can be done thoughtfully by taking the following into consideration: your fiscal quarter or year-end, the less busy periods of the year and based on staff availability. These factors can all play important roles in determining the best time to initiate the change, while reducing the risk of impacting employees, suppliers and clients.

3. Training for Business Teams

Identifying the key employees and departments that will be impacted by the specific changes is fundamental to a successful transition. Each distinct role and responsibility must clearly be defined, and the appropriate training for the relevant personnel be carried out.

Being careful and thorough in all areas of communication, while explaining clearly can allow for employees to develop their skills and knowledge, instead of finding the task and transition daunting.

4. Being Deliberate with your Data

Before a shift is made, it is critical to ensure that all the currently held data is stored safely and backed up correctly.

For a smooth conversion process, it is recommended that the transition phase is carefully planned for, which takes place usually several months prior to final migration. It is also an opportune time to clean the current data you hold, and to fix any errors to ensure that they are not transferred and become part of the new system.

5. Framework for Success

The software within any business is a tool and part of the framework that makes the business a success.

6. Making the transition

It is crucial to ensure that a clear and timely communication is made to both internal stakeholders and external parties, once the decision for a software update has been made.

It is important to provide assistance and explanations when necessary to navigate any moments of disagreement effectively, and to remain committed throughout the entire process. As the implementation phase begins, the careful training provided for staff will prove to be invaluable and enable people to more easily into their required roles. It is important to keep in mind that any adjustments require patience, and that staff members and suppliers need sufficient time to become comfortable with the changes.

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Final thoughts

With the global economy’s recovery still sluggish, we can expect to see an increasing number of businesses looking to take various measures to optimize their systems and processes and maintain their share of the market. Should updating your software form part of this process, you will need to make a conscious decision to rely on local specialist expertise – especially when operating in a foreign country.

MSA has supported businesses in China  for over a decade. Check out our payroll and HR systems today to determine how your business can become better in the Chinese landscape. Our experts are able to help you navigate the complex regulatory requirement in China and ensure that your business is positioned for success. Contact us to learn more!