300 word min reply with references
The process that I would like to discuss is my company’s current model for US Payroll Processing. I joined my company in January 2019, as part of the newly created US Payroll Services team. Prior the creation of the US team, US employee payroll was processed by the Canadian payroll team at the HQ office in Calgary, AB. From what I was told, the task of processing the US payroll was relatively easy, since the US population was under 300 employees. However, an acquisition in 2017 added 2,700 more US employees to the payroll, and the task grew to become overwhelming for the current staff. After numerous employee complaints on incorrect pay and a disastrous year-end which resulted in everyone’s W2’s having to be corrected, it was decided to transition US Payroll Operations to the US.
When I started with the company, there was a “payroll integrations” project already in the works. This project had been underway for 2 years prior to joining the company. Once we (the new US Payroll team) were finally able to grasp the concept behind the intentions of the project, members of the US payroll team (myself included) were adamant in pointing out the all the things that we felt uncomfortable with the project. Our major concern was that we would “own the process” was it was implemented, however we every objection we brought up was meet with scrutiny and opposition, given that the project had been underway before we had arrived.
The overall point of the project was to have the HCM system generate (1) a gross pay file and (2) indicative data changes file, then transfer these files to the payroll system for net pay calculation and disbursement to employees. These file are only produced when payroll is to be processed, which could be as long as 2 weeks for the bi-weekly payrolls. I have several objections to this process, with my first one dealing with data alignments between systems. For instance, employees are able to see their profile data in both the HCM and Payroll system. If the HCM system is updated with new data (ex. an employee address change), the employee won’t see the change occur in the payroll system for at least 2 weeks! I’ve worked in payroll for 10 years, and this is the first time I have ever encountered a scenario where gross pay was calculated in one system, net pay was calculated in another, and see so much inconsistency in data between systems.
By the end of the project, the US team was left with process that made the payroll process harder and not smarter. My payroll audit time was increased and payroll commit deadlines have been missed because of all the new “bugs” that have been discovered since implementation. The system user requirements below are all that is needed to make our current process efficient.
Process: US Payroll Processing
1. HCM System must be able to interface with payroll system.
2. HCM System must transmit employee indicative data changes to the payroll system, instantaneously, via an interface.
3. HCM System must generate a daily report of employee indicative data changes for all employees, regardless of employee status.
4. HCM System must generate a payroll file that contains exception hours & exception Salaried employees.
5. HCM System must generate a time file for Hourly employees, containing dates, codes, hours, and units per earnings code.