Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

5 Challenges HR and Payroll Professionals Have When Integrating Separate Systems

From retention to compliance, there were a number of trending topics on the Ceridian HCM Blog this year. For the rest of December, we will be revisiting 10 of our most popular blog posts of 2016. Enjoy!

Although HCM systems have advanced significantly in recent times, there are issues that users of most systems still face today. This is largely due to the fact that most ‘solutions’ are separate applications linked together by fragile interfaces, making it harder to access and trust the extensive data across functional areas. Additionally, many organizations spend costly time identifying missing or duplicate data, or commit HR violations when they pay an employee incorrectly or forget to pay them at all.

In light of this, the benefits of a single application for managing HR and payroll are evident and impactful. While many solutions address the tactical needs that a company is looking for from an HR and Payroll perspective, failing to have a single application can be detrimental to a business’ success.

Here are 5 challenges that businesses experience when integrating separate systems:

Integrating Time and Payroll

Accurate data is necessary for businesses when processing payroll. Being required to batch import time data into payroll through an interface delivers payroll data that can’t be viewed in real-time as updates are made to employee time data, and runs the risk of error and inaccuracy. For example, if time data is batched into payroll overnight on Monday, and an employee works a morning shift on Tuesday, the administrator won’t see the employee’s data when reviewing payroll on Tuesday afternoon. With a single application, payroll data is updated in real-time as shifts are worked or adjustments are performed, enabling live payroll previewing and auditing while helping to ensure compliance. This spans past just Time & Attendance to include HR, as any change that impacts an employees pay data, such as their pay rate or deductions update accurately in payroll as soon as they take effect.

 Automatic Tax Updates

When an employee moves from one tax jurisdiction to another, administrators experience the headache of looking through tax tables and worrying about incorrect taxation. With a single application for HR and Payroll, all applicable taxes are applied to the employee automatically, eliminating the need for manual intervention or the possibility of manual error. By removing the burden of calculating applicable tax changes, administrators can spend more time focusing on strategic initiatives.

 Mid-pay Period Hiring of Employees
In most systems, if employees are not hired on the first day of a pay period it requires manual intervention to calculate and adjust the pro-rated salary, in order to correctly pay employees the first time. It goes without saying that employees like to be accurately compensated. There can be significant negative impacts of failing to properly pay new employees, especially with the initial stages of onboarding and the employee lifecycle tending to be the most important in an employee’s engagement, productivity and commitment to the organization. With a single application for HR and Payroll, employees can be hired on any date and are automatically paid what they should be.

Managing Payroll Across Borders
In most payroll systems, U.S. and Canadian payroll can’t be managed at the same time or from the same place, typically requiring multiple logins or even multiple systems. The result is unnecessary time spent managing payroll in multiple countries, and potential discrepancies caused by confusion and misuse of systems. With a single application, the convenience of being able to manage payroll across borders all from one source enables administrators to stay focused on tasks and spend less time switching logins and systems.

 FLSA Overtime Adjustments
Typically, complex Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime scenarios need to be calculated manually and can lead to compliance violations and inaccurately paid employees. For example, when a bonus spans multiple weeks and Time & Attendance and Payroll are not seamlessly integrated, the complex FLSA overtime payout has to be manually calculated, including determining if the employee meets the salary threshold to qualify for overtime and the average hourly rate, prior to being applied separately in payroll.  Clearly, there are many complexities that arise from paying FLSA overtime without a single application to handle it.

It is easy to see the challenges of using multiple, disparate systems across Human Capital Management, although the 5 listed above certainly do not come close to covering all of them. The reality is that while tactically, most functions are accomplished using multiple systems, it can result in rigid business processes and inconsistent data. By using one seamless application, organizations can reduce manual workarounds and trust the data they have, empowering confident decision making.

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