The Practical Side Of Integrating Human Resources And Payroll

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In this article, Ian McAlister turns the focus to how this integration will improve internal relationships while leveraging off partner strengths.


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In this article, Ian McAlister turns the focus to how this integration will improve internal relationships while leveraging off partner strengths.

"The relationship between the respective human resource and payroll teams thrives when both departments acknowledge that they share a common sense of purpose – which is to improve the employee experience instead of taking away from it. This requires both of these to focus on building a better partnership that puts the company's people at the centre of everything they do," says McAlister.

Making things practical

To this end, there are three practical steps that a business can take to alleviate friction points and start building better partnerships between human resources and payroll.

Firstly, data integrity expectations must be set. Human resources is often at the frontline of collecting employee data, which then goes on to feed payroll. And on the reverse – payroll data can contain a wealth of insights for the human resources team (particularly around pay and pay equity). To improve data integrity, human resource and payroll teams should work together to create a joint set of data standards.

"These joint standards typically contain important information about data formats and auditing procedures. Developing a set of standards will help drive more consistent, quality data through human resource and payroll processes – and ultimately reduce errors and time spent correcting them."

Secondly, the departments can work together to create a few shared KPIs (key performance indicators) to align their teams around common objectives and get everyone pulling in the same direction. For example, tracking payroll errors due to late or missing timesheet information can be a commonly shared KPI. There are so many metrics around issues such as compliance, budgeted versus actual hours and business continuity that would help both human resources and payroll maximise their value.

The final step is to use a single solution to integrate human resources and payroll. This will eliminate manual workarounds, duplicative data entry and poor reporting. In addition, a modern, full-suite solution will provide employee self-service tools, which can reduce the time human resources and payroll spend on fielding employee requests and changes.

Partner guidance

"If a business is not already using a single, integrated human resources and payroll solution, now is the time to consider making the switch, especially with the uncertain challenges of the new year looming," says McAlister.

By choosing a single human resources and payroll provider, a company can benefit from greater data accuracy and security. This solution can store all sensitive data – for example, employees' payroll numbers, tax information and personal contact details – in a single, secure system. Data is also less likely to be hacked, and a single set of data for human resources and payroll means there will be no need to duplicate information or collect information more than once.

Additionally, processing payroll can be a time-consuming task, especially if a payroll team is short-staffed because of illness or annual leave. Opting for an integrated human resources and payroll solution enables the company to automate a greater proportion of payroll processes – while maintaining control and approval over final payments – saving it time and effort.

"Bringing together human resources and payroll data can also make reporting – such as the production of gender pay gap reports – much easier. Data can be accessed quickly and easily, and human resource and payroll teams can report on this data without taking up too much of their time. Easier reporting also means informed decisions about improving performance or pay can be made more quickly and easily," says McAlister.

Ultimately, an integrated solution means human resource and payroll teams have a single point of contact if they need help with the system, meaning queries can be solved swiftly, minimising the risk of disruption to employees.

For more information, download the free whitepaper by clicking here

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