Taking responsibility for the management and payment of the workforce is an essential function in any business.
Whether you have a dedicated HR team or the responsibility lies within finance or administration, managing human resources and producing accurate payroll can be made simpler and less time consuming when you have the backup of a first class Human Resource Information System (HRIS).
Choosing between a fully integrated HRIS or separate software can be a challenging process. Some buyers may feel it is better to implement a new, integrated HR and payroll system whilst others opt for different systems that may (or may not) integrate with each other. This is the dilemma that you could find yourself facing when it’s time to replace HR and/or payroll in your organisation. On the one hand, a single integrated system means only having to maintain one set of data, which considerably reduces duplication and inaccuracies. On the other, there may be cost considerations and legacy issues around existing systems that make a standalone payroll package more attractive.
But for the purposes of this article we will look at the benefits of integration. Greater efficiency is considered the main advantage of integrated HR and payroll software as the overlap in data used by both is substantial; for example employee name and number, employment record, birth date, gender, address, sickness, maternity and much more. Michael Howard, Managing Director of established solution provider, Frontier Software, says “integration means that relevant data is only entered once and, from a database management aspect, data should only be stored once. Where this is not achieved, duplication and inaccuracies occur. This will also be the case when the data needs to be changed and updated.”
Use of an integrated HR and payroll solution will make reporting and production of management information much easier too. All the data about every employee such as their pay, conditions, cost centre, organisation, position and personal details can be simultaneously available to all authorised users. Plus, all historical data is available for viewing and reporting, even when an employee leaves the organisation.
Integration also has advantages in terms of processes and workflow. For example, a newly hired employee can be on-boarded via workflow from a recruitment portal or set up in the system by an HR administrator. The employee can then add their personal data through a self service portal (at a time to suit them) and then pay details can be added by a payroll administrator – all using the same core data, in a single database. There is no need for cross-referencing or waiting for data to flow through from one system to another. The information is available to all users, in accordance with their secure access profile, from the second it hits the database.
The use of just one system can mean fewer overheads too. “If you opt for separate HR and payroll software, users will have to be trained across the different systems,” says Frontier’s Howard.