4 tips for implementing HRMS payroll management

Are you thinking about implementing payroll functionality in your HRMS? Whether you’re transitioning from a manual paper process or specialized accounting software, you’re bound to face challenges with HRMS payroll management.

1) Timing challenges require stakeholder buy-in

Timing is a delicate matter when you want to move your payroll into your HRMS. Payroll managers often prefer to go live on January 1 to coincide with the beginning of the tax year and avoid the extra efforts of converting balances. If your company’s financial year starts on another date, you may find that stakeholders, such as finance, want the new system to correspond with that date. However, your project team may not appreciate a busy lead up and working over the holidays to go live on January 1st; you may also incur additional holiday pay costs.

While you can’t please everyone, it’s important to document and consider all the costs and business impacts from all relevant stakeholders so you can make the best decision.

2) Create a cross-functional team for different perspectives

The payroll module in the HRMS often uses core HR tables and organizational structures. Those in your payroll department will need to tap into this HR knowledge to be successful. Their HR counterparts will often need to capture additional employee HR data for payroll needs, a process that was previously invisible because it was handled outside the HRMS processes. Only by having the cross-pollination found during joint HR and Payroll discussions can both sides successfully fulfill their data needs and requirements.

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3) Make an inventory of data flows to allocate future state activities

Data use can evolve over time, especially if you’ve been using a payroll method for many years. It’s also important to be aware of infrequent processes and reports, such as a local government report that is only produced once a year, so no one is surprised when someone requests it. If fixed formats are used, the data may not exist in the future HRMS or it may have a different format or coding structure. Payroll departments often include a wealth of knowledge... that is stored in a long-time employee’s head. Close the gaps by documenting, reviewing, and sharing the inventory and keep it close to operations for regular review.

4) Define end dates clearly to avoid confusion

Once your payroll is live and running smoothly in your HRMS, it helps to review who is still using your old payroll system and why. When compiling multi-year reports, it may be necessary to access the old system if you did not convert your history. However, some employees may resist change. It’s a best practice to communicate project dates to all employees who use the system and consider making “soft” changes, such as restricting user IDs to “read only” in the old system.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski