Understanding Integration

23rd December 2015

The danger of disconnect between payroll and HR has long been recognised. Over the past few years growing numbers of organisations have looked to build links between disparate payroll and HR systems. For most, however, that link has been nothing more than basic file transfer between systems. While the result has been a degree of improved data accuracy, it has, at times, involved extremely laborious and time consuming data transfer and provided no opportunity for improving day to day processes

To be truly effective, organisations need a single database that holds both HR and payroll data. With a single employee record a company has a single instance of name, address, emergency contact data and other information readily available which improves accuracy. Combining a single, integrated system with self-service and an integrated Time & Attendance solution further improves the quality of data accuracy and timeliness.

Critically, a single database provides a platform to deliver far more streamlined and effective HR processes.

New Process Model

When HR is released from mundane activity and all employee data is held within one database, the opportunities for process improvement are significant. For example, take a new starter. Under the traditional model, setting up a new starter is handled by either HR or Payroll – with information later batched across to the other system. While the data is consistent, the two departments operate separately. With a single, integrated system there are opportunities to be far more productive and embrace a range of new procedures that reflect business needs. For example a company can determine whether or not the new starter process could be conducted differently. Would it be effective to automatically book in the new starter on prerequisite courses or induction sessions with key staff – a process that can be managed through a self-service Learning & Development (L&D) module?

With a single source of employee information an organisation can begin to define processes based on business needs rather than the constraints of technology.

Reducing Costs

With a single source of HR and payroll data, including Time & Attendance information, an organisation has the platform to deliver employee self-service access to information. While self-service has been embraced by larger organisations for some time, SMEs have been more reluctant, with many failing to recognise the clear Return on Investment (ROI) on offer.

The quickest cost saving is achieved by providing employees with self-service access to online payslips. This approach removes the costs associated with printing, collating and posting payslips to staff, enables employees to update their own personal information – including change of address and bank details – increasing data accuracy, reducing errors and releases key staff to undertake more valuable activities.

The result is a cut in costs and a significant reduction in the number of payroll related queries that have to be managed by HR.

Employee Engagement

In an era of high employment and changing working practices, it is becoming increasingly important to consider new ways of making the company unique and attractive to employees.

Self-service can transform the employee experience, not least by providing real time access to information such as contracts and benefits, which further cuts down the need for employees to call HR. In addition, companies can provide far more detail on the payslip, including a detailed breakdown of hours worked and different rates of pay for overtime, as well as the traditional tax codes and benefits information. For the employee, there is no waiting for the post, no confusion regarding rates of pay, overtime or bonus. Fast, simple access to the self-service portal, from any location, at any time of day, provides the employee with immediate access to the information required.

With accurate online information, the vast majority of employee queries can be addressed at first glance, improving the employee’s day to day experience.