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Evaluating a Payroll Solution? Here are the Best Questions to Ask About Integration Capabilities

Breiffni O'Domhnaill
Breiffni O'Domhnaill

Commercial Manager, Immedis

Dec 17, 2020 3 mins

Deciding to integrate payroll with your organization’s human capital management system (HCM) is a huge deal. If it falls on you, you likely want to complete a ton of research and read the latest analysts and market reports to ensure that whatever you recommend works. Otherwise, not only will your company have invested money and time, but it could also determine whether employees are paid accurately and on time. Poor integrations lead to difficult implementations, additional time-consuming manual processes, and an increase in the risk of data errors.

In short, a lot is riding on when you integrate payroll with your HCM. Now that I have spent time working with organizations that made the giant leap, I have compiled a list of questions anyone considering the move should ask:

Is the integration scalable?

It’s important to select an integration that is scalable, which allows for growth as the organization adds countries or additional headcount.

Will it ensure GDPR compliance?

Ensuring your organization complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is critical. Non-compliant companies face huge fines and reputational damage. For more information on this, please check out our Global Payroll & GDPR Compliance webinar. Manual file transfers and manipulation increase the risk of GDPR non-compliance, so it’s best to automate through web-based integration fully.

What type of integration is it?

Typically, there are two types- file transfer and web-based.

  • File transfer is very manual and can result in inconsistent data between the HCM and your payroll solution. Be wary of this option if you are looking for automation and a scalable solution.
  • Web services integration is built on the latest technologies and allows for scalable data transfer in a more secure manner.

Should you go for a single global payroll platform or multiple in-country solutions?

Integrating into one single global payroll platform is better than integrating with multiple payroll platforms that operate in isolation from an implementation and operational perspective. Integrating with numerous solutions means varying file formats, data architecture, and a lack of a single view of global payroll.

What is the role of application programming interface (APIs) in an integration?

First off, ask whether the APIs are configurable and certified, or do they have to be hardcoded or rebuilt for each implementation? APIs that must be hardcoded or rebuilt for each implementation result in more work during the implementation process. This also increases the risk of delays, failures, or issues down the line and typically results in a higher implementation fee upfront.

Will the integration result in robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities?

Traditional payroll solutions were designed long before RPA was considered a critical component of the payroll process. While some organizations have acquired RPA companies and “patched them together” with payroll solutions, the results are poor. This results in issues during implementation, limited functionality, and a higher risk of the APIs breaking after implementation.

Can the payroll vendor offer any security against data breaches?

Payroll holds extremely sensitive information. What measures is your payroll vendor taking to ensure the security and protection of this valuable data? Most payroll software comes with in-built security systems. For example, Immedis is ISO 27001 certified, recognized as the international standard for Information Security Management. This means your company’s data is safe and secure, and your organization can meet many of the GDPR requirements.

Is the vendor HCM certified?

HCMs demand that payroll providers who want to attain their certification must follow a strictly managed process, which can take up to six months to complete. The procedure tests the provider’s capability in all aspects of the HCM integration and downstream payroll process rigorously. The final part of the certification requires documentation sets and proof from customers that the integration meets all the requirements. Immedis has standard, prebuilt, configurable, and certified adaptors available for many leading HCMs, including WorkdayCeridian, and UltiPro.

Will the solution provide bidirectional integration?

Allowing employees to access payslips and pay statements in the HCM provides a better employee experience. Offering employees centralized access to all information and personal details means employees can get the information they need without needing HR assistance.

Making that final decision

Integration is a key enabler for global payroll. It is critical that you establish clear decision criteria to assess all the vendors and providers you review against critical business capabilities. Do not focus solely on the technical jargon. Take the time to ensure that they are certified and offer strong business processes built around their platform’s technical capability.