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Is there an insurance for a marriage between HR and Payroll?

  • Can an employee join a company on 3 different dates in the same month

  • An employee joins your Australia division as an Australian employee before even quitting / moving out of your India division – Is this feasible?

  • Would you allow an employee to resign the job, get mapped to exit payroll, let the final settlements processed, and after that, let him stay back, as if nothing happened?

  • Can you hire an employee, initiate all his opening balances such as leave balance, reimbursement and travel eligibility, issue all cards, logins, set up the roster, map the payroll, process the payroll, and after all these; can you wipe of all his records, as if he never joined?

If your answers to all the above are YES, then I bet you are an HR Executive and if the answers are NO, you are for sure a Payroll Admin.

For an HR Executive, all these scenarios are practical, and they would like to maintain book of records as it happens, even if it means wiping off records or modifying multiple times. Their ask is, ‘Allow me to keep the records of data, as it flows and don’t put conditions! Systems should be flexible’

For a Payroll Admin, all these are not the best practices and lack of discipline. ‘You should play with the data in the system- It is an audit issue; compliance issue; it has bigger impacts. You must have complete control on what data goes into the system and you should not let it loose. Systems should be having controls and checks!’

Wishes of HR Executives are granted as most of the global HR products now flexible enough to support all the above scenarios. These products allow you to maintain the system of records, as they happen in the day-to-day world.

Now, imagine the plight of the payroll product when such data is fed into it through integrations. Yes, flexibility of HR system becomes a pain for payroll system, which is supposed to have all its checks and balances. This is the primary reason why integrations between a flexible HR system and a control driven payroll system most often fails or remains as the most difficult block for the end users. They keep battling with all types of error logs thrown by integrations.

The integration challenges don’t end here…

Every time when a new department or position is added in the HR system, the same must be synchronized with the masters of the payroll system too. To achieve this, organizations create additional integrations to let the org-structure master to flow. But it is a no-brainer! More the touch points in an integration, more the challenges.

The other common challenge is that Payroll systems don’t want to take data during payroll processing window. However, HR Systems don’t have the intelligence to stop the data flow based on payroll processing dates. And if the data keeps flowing during such freeze periods, it creates confusion in the pay registers, as it starts reflecting data changes which are not supposed to be considered for that month’s payroll. Hence, handling of payroll cut off dates and freeze periods remains as a challenge in integrations.

In global scenario, when an employee moves from one country to the other, HR system would just consider is as a transfer. However, country legislations expect the employee to be terminated in the source country and all their statutory reports to be filed. That means, while HR system will continue to treat country movements as simple transfers, such employees should be given a treatment of termination and hire in payroll!

While the above stated challenges of integration are only a small part of the bigger list; what is the best solution for handling the challenges of integrations is a bigger question for organizations. Here is where pre-built connectors come as a great blessing!

Pre-built integrations require no coding capability from the user. They are already programmed and tested, and all the customer needs to do is to select the right one. As these are done between the source and destination software, they are well designed to deal with all the problems stated above. For example, pre-built integrations can have established functional solutions like treatment of global transfer as a Termination and Rehire across countries based on the flags sent in the integrations.

The other benefits are:

  • Support for automatic organization master creation as per employee demography
  • Robust as these are pretested with different RESCIND and backdated data change scenarios
  • Automated integration of data – no need for manual intervention
  • Frequent updates are provided to the standard connector without customer worrying about missing out on latest feature of the HR or Payroll system

The next ideal choice can be pre-built integrations those come along with certifications. It is indeed a guarantee which indicates that, the integration is a joint ownership of the two products integrated and not the pain of subscribing customer organizations. No wonder, Global HR products do have formal and structural process to publish pre-built, certified integrations for the chosen payroll systems, which are treated as partner systems with greater understanding.

Next time, if you happen to be in the market searching for a HR-Payroll system integration, do look for the ‘certified’ tag - It is your lifetime insurance for a peaceful marriage between HR and Payroll.

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