Payroll software is often purchased independently of other applications. Here we look at the importance of ensuring you optimise for your other systems.
Many UK organisations purchase HR software and payroll software quite separately from other business applications.
However, integrating payroll software with other systems that your company runs – such as time and attendance, or security – can present technical challenges.
When a firm uses systems from more than one software supplier, data may be structured and maintained in a different way, points out Michael Howard, managing director of Frontier Software.
“Some database management systems are proprietary to the vendor, such as SQL server (Microsoft),” he says. “This can lead to problems if, for example, a report has to be run using data from different systems, or if you want to have a common update mechanism.
Similarly, the way data is stored may vary from system to system. A classic example of this is the address field; some systems hold addresses as a continuous line of characters, while others use break addresses into separate fields.
“Security could be a problem when creating an interface between separate HR and payroll systems,” says Howard. “Because any file created by the interface may not be covered by the security rules of the different systems.
“It may also be necessary to create two separate security profiles for users accessing two different systems.”
Other technical problems Howard identifies that may surface with interfaced (ie. non-integrated) systems include: use of interfaces systems across LANs or WANs; employee self-service access; direct email alerts; setting up departmental access.
These technical considerations should not prove insurmountable when integrating a new payroll package with existing systems – but it is important to ask the question during the purchasing process.