Building better integration between HR and Payroll: a conversation with Grant Thornton’s Miranda Humphries

Over the last few years, at Payzaar we’ve had hundreds of conversations with payroll leaders at multinational organizations. Each company has its own unique set of challenges, but there’s a recurring challenge that keeps popping up: integration between HR and payroll.

Our friends in the industry report dedicating around 60% of their time to pre-payroll processes, or what’s the same, manually sourcing, cutting, reassembling, and organizing data from dozens of sources so they can process payroll correctly every month.

This happens because the data needed to run the business’s payroll is not integrated.

Payroll receives inputs from HR (among other departments), which has its own separate technology stack, and then has to manually straighten out the data so it becomes useful to calculate payroll.

Having to do this monthly for dozens of different countries, each with its own regulatory framework and compliance requirements, the complexity of the whole thing grows exponentially.

We discussed the benefits of integrating HR and Payroll data effectively and the need for better connection tools with Miranda Humphries (Global Payroll Director, Grant Thornton Ireland).

Robust processes mean more efficient payroll management

In Miranda’s words, “when you work in global payroll, your real headaches and time sinks are your processes. 60-70% of your time is just cutting data, checking reports, bringing data in from lots of different places… all this is your HR relationship, your consistency, and your accuracy”.

“When you’re Payroll you’re always sitting between HR and Finance, and not having a robust enough process and clear enough understanding between those departments is going to bring in many pain points that won’t go away”, explains Humphries.

Integration is a huge part of that. There are so many steps that go into every employee interaction before it goes to the payroll, and if you don’t have a strong understanding and a robust system to pull that through, you’re always going to be dealing with multiple queries and conversations, losing time over and over again”.

The right technology: the secret for data integration, compliance, and accuracy in payroll

Creating those robust processes to ensure efficient payroll management also means looking into the possibilities the right technology can offer to not only achieve better data integration, but also higher compliance and accuracy.

Nowadays, most of the pre-payroll processes still consist of manual data formatting, lengthy uploading processes, and lots of spreadsheets. 

The bridges in-between the spreadsheets and all those complex information flows between a variety of sources like local providers, in-house specialists, and HR and Finance departments are still generally manual, created and handled personally by the members of the payroll team.

However, as Miranda explains, while those manual bridges might offer a way of manipulating all that data every month, situations such as, for example, passing that information on to a new team member or sharing it with another department that has requested some data, “is indeed doable, but you will be losing so much time doing it, while not creating a safe process for the business ongoing”. And the fact is that with growth “inevitably comes the need for integration”.

As organizational complexity ramps up, with growing workforces and the addition of new entities, “your ability to pull together that larger piece has to increase with it. You have to build rich documentation, a strong team… and you have to rely on systems. If you are not building around a robust system, it’s all going to fall over eventually”.

The answer to data integration needs for payroll: HR Connect

To answer those needs for one of their clients, the team at Grant Thronton decided to work together with Payzaar to develop HR Connect.

This solution, relying on customer-driven development and therefore adapted to the needs and demands of the client itself, has been conceived to achieve maximum integration between HR and payroll data, with the objective of creating those essential, robust processes that can face business growth both in the short and long term.

HR Connect’s main benefit, explains Miranda, is that whichever HCM the business works with, or even if they aren’t using any, this solution works, integrating all information from your global HR system as well as other sources such as Time & Attendance, Benefits, Commissions systems, and others with ease

With HR Connect, it is possible to aggregate all of your HR data in one single platform, reducing the time the payroll team dedicates to pre-payroll processes by up to 40% each month, while reducing the risk of human errors and finding all necessary data quickly and easily.

Find more information about Payzaar’s HR Connect.

Elisa Ara Larré

Elisa Ara Larré

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