Running a business is incredibly complex, requiring the ability to juggle the needs of employees while dealing with timesheets, inventory, accounting, industrial awards, taxes, documentation, and more. This can sometimes lead to vital information, like employee payroll data, falling through the cracks. Unfortunately, that’s when mistakes occur. In fact, 33% of Australian organisations admit to making errors on every pay run, according to a report in HRM online.
Having a payroll system that meets the needs of your organisation is essential. Manual spreadsheets aren’t adequate for most contemporary businesses, which has led to an explosion in payroll software options.
When it comes to choosing the right payroll solution for your business, you need to consider things like cost, number of employees, and which features are non-negotiable. If you employ a deskless, shift-based workforce, this will have a huge impact on your payroll software decision. A payroll system that integrates seamlessly with your workforce management solution is vital for your employee experience and the efficiency of your HR processes.
What are the types of payroll systems?
There are two main types of payroll software: integrated payroll solutions and stand-alone systems. Below are some commonly asked questions that help clarify the differences between the two.
1. What is an integrated payroll system?
An integrated system is one which is part of – or links seamlessly with – other software solutions, such as your workforce management platform or HRIS. An integrated system allows businesses to easily link their HR and payroll processes, potentially saving time, resources, and money.
Humanforce Payroll, for example, integrates with the Humanforce workforce management suite, providing an end-to-end solution from roster to payroll. Humanforce Payroll minimises time-consuming administration and reduces the chances of human error occurring, and being fully integrated with the Humanforce workforce management suite means there’s no need to configure and maintain third party payroll integrations.
Payroll and workforce management software integration can also be achieved using an Application Programming Interface (API). APIs act as intermediaries between systems, allowing them to talk to one another. They can be likened to a waiter who acts as an intermediary between you and the kitchen at a restaurant. Modern APIs are developer-friendly, must adhere to standards, and have strong security and governance requirements.
Humanforce has direct integrations with over 100 payroll service partners, which provides another option for streamlining HR and payroll operations.
2. What is stand-alone payroll software?
Stand-alone or ‘best-of-breed’ systems are those strictly designed to perform payroll tasks. Many have built-in features, such as the ability to set up variations for leave or pay rates and generate payroll reports. In order to be more holistic and provide a more seamless experience, most stand-alone payroll software providers will offer APIs to link payroll to other business software solutions, such a HRIS.
All payroll software should allow you to perform payroll tasks in a streamlined way that ensures you pay employees on time, while also being Single Touch Payroll (STP), Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 (STP2) and NZ Payday Filing compliant. They should ideally also be SuperStream (AU) and KiwiSaver (NZ) compliant.
3. What are the benefits of integrated workforce management and payroll systems?
Using intuitive technology to connect your workforce management system with payroll functions has many advantages. Some benefits include:
- The ability to manage your deskless workforce via one integrated system. For example, Humanforce software provides you with the full capabilities of our workforce management solution (including engagement and communication tools, award interpretation, workforce analytics and shift management) while ensuring you enjoy access to all the features of Humanforce Payroll. This allows your payroll and HR staff to manage employee schedules and payroll processes with ease
- Streamlining of your entire payroll process. An integrated solution like Humanforce allows you to easily track employee hours (including those of deskless employees) and process payments in just a few clicks. All of your timesheet, award interpretation and payroll data is securely stored in one cloud-based platform, providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for HR and payroll professionals
- Time savings and data accuracy improvements. Payroll integration with HR improves efficiency with tools such as employee self-service functionality, time and attendance tracking and digital documentation. This reduces time wasted on tasks like reconciling pays. When HR software is integrated with payroll, it ensures information is validated at the point of input and flows instantly to your payroll system – enabling rapid identification and resolution of any issues. Leverage the use of a single solution and single source of truth to avoid the potential errors that can occur with manual handling of data
- The ability to offer additional employee benefits, such as earned wage access. Providing access to earned wages more effectively aligns income and expenses by giving employees access to a portion of their accrued wages, in advance of pay day, with the remaining portion paid at the end of the pay period. Unlike salary-based lending or payday loans, on-demand pay does not involve borrowing on the part of the employee, and usually carries little to no cost
- Enhanced staff management. Having access to all your employee information in the one location supports your HR processes. Payroll integration with HR software provides you with vast amounts of data at your fingertips, such as details about your current workforce and cost-per-hire information. Access to workforce analytics tools allows you to make informed, data-driven decisions about HR and payroll issues
- Enhanced data security. Contemporary cloud-based solutions typically have inbuilt tools to boost security, such as permission-based access, multifactor authentication and data encryption
- A better user experience, with reduced need to visit multiple websites and remember different passwords
4. How does a new payroll system impact a deskless workforce (i.e. the end-user experience)?
Implementing a new payroll system will obviously impact your employees as well as your HR and admin staff. If your workforce is deskless, look for a solution that will make their lives easier.
Humanforce has been custom-built for businesses with deskless, shift-based employees. Our suite has a range of inbuilt features designed to enhance the deskless employee experience and reduce work-related stress. Examples include:
- An intuitive, easy to use mobile app that transforms mobile devices into secure clocking interfaces
- Communication tools that support team-wide and person-to-person collaboration
- Employee self-service capability that enables staff to set their shift availability, swap shifts and bid for extra shifts
- Automated award interpretation, helping ensure your staff are paid correctly for each and every shift
- Simplified employee onboarding and electronic uploading of documentation
- Employee engagement tools, such as the ability to welcome new team members and recognise and reward great work
Additional information about integrated payroll software
In addition to benefits for your employees, payroll integration has advantages for your organisation. An integrated business is an efficient one, free from time-consuming, error-prone manual processes and messy double handling of data.
Integrating your HR and payroll software gives you the best of both worlds – the full functionality of both solutions, with the ease of accessing them via one interface.
When your HR professionals and administrative staff can perform key tasks in just a few clicks, it frees up their time for more important activities – like recruitment and workforce planning.
Humanforce allows for effortless data sharing across teams and business functions, boosting productivity, accuracy and compliance while facilitating a holistic view of what’s happening in your organisation. Users can quickly filter, export and drill down on their workforce and payroll data – making it easier to spot trends, identify anomalies, and take corrective action.
Become an employer of choice and build high-performing teams by giving your deskless staff, HR and payroll personnel the tools they need to streamline tasks, while making data more accessible and useful across your business.
Discover how integrating your workforce management and payroll solutions can benefit both you as an employer, and also enhance the employee experience. To find out more, schedule a demo or contact us.