If yours is a small business, you can optimize the value of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) HR (Human Resources) payroll system. Small businesses today have the ability to access this software online, with anon-demand, online, software as a service (SaaS) subscription. The human resources-payroll components work closely together in businesses of every size. But it is especially important for small firms, with less means. A business with as few as three to five people can effectively operate this software system and use it to gain a competitive edge. Not many application modules are necessary for small entities and those placed on their operating platform can easily be bundled. The platform is smaller, but is distributed and all-inclusive. It is also integrated and automated. Information between the accounting unit and human relations can flow seamlessly, back and forth between the two departments. Information and data required anywhere else throughout the business can easily be accessed as well.
Human Resource Payroll System
An enterprising HR Payroll System
Sometimes there is an immediate need for information to be exchanged between the HR and accounting departments. In the past that meant memos, telephone calls and office visits. But today, smart companies are taking the Web-based approach to operating their businesses. And the results are impressive. Many small businesses have found greater economies of scale with enterprise software and they have also been able to gain market share by conducting business in such a way as to appear to be a larger entity than they actually are. Small, creative companies, in numerous fields have used this software system to grow their business. This software can work for any type of business and its use runs the gamut from accounting, architecture, construction, manufacturing, distribution, supply chain management, wholesale and retail trade, public services, educational services, customer relationship management and more.
The enterprise HR payroll system can simplify the process of administering the relationship between the people in accounting and the folks in human resources. Information relating to such things as wages, health benefits, training, taxes, withholding and deductions, temporary workers, Workman's Compensation, all come into play. Then too, is the opportunity to have Intranet employee portals in place so that personnel can easily access information in their personal employment files. This is a software system that makes it convenient for employees, management and customers, to communicate, collaborate and share information on a real-time basis. The information shared between accounting and human resources is readily accessible through the enterprise operations dashboard and communications flow across the system in such a way that information and data can be accessed with real-time visibility.
A small business can do a lot with this software system. It can apply only the software applications it needs, bundle them and extend the platform as the business grows. This is the kind of software reach that you can’t get out of a package. It is however available online. The response to software as a service (SaaS) and Web-based access to ERP has been phenomenal. It has grown to become the largest software market. It has attracted many businesses and its growth just continues to spiral.
The time is now for an HR payroll system.
There are a number of different ways to approach the way in which an HR payroll system works. Payroll is either done in-house or contracted out to an organization like Paychex or ADP. Regardless of whether payroll is outsourced or the company continues to do it themselves, having the correct HR payroll system goes a long way toward ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of the payroll process.
HR Payroll System Tools and Technologies
There are time keeping mechanisms and software products developed specifically for payroll. Sometimes this functionality is embedded within a large end-to-end business solution either by means of in-house development and configuration or with the assistance of additional utilities or plug-in to the core business system. Payroll products such as Kronos, Ceridian and Cyma offer generalized payroll capabilities that are configurable to meet the needs of most payroll departments.
Software solutions designed to cater to service and time driven payroll activities have also been developed to work for consulting and self-employed consultants and service providers. The HR payroll system in many large companies must accommodate payment of consultants from third party erp vendors and self-employed individuals and independent contractors. Providing 1099 information at the end of the year is required and that is a separate process entirely from that of the rest of the workforce.
An HR Payroll system must be able to interface with outside vendors to provide earning and billing data, chargeable time and so on. Human Resources should be able to retain access to the data for reporting and salary history purposes. HR payroll system data is extracted from a company’s business system database at a set time each week and uploaded to the payroll company for processing and payment.
Direct deposit is the most common way that employees receive their salaries and direct interface between payroll and various banks via ACH (automated clearing house) is a functionality that most HR payroll systems require.
In-house systems perform all of the transactions that outsourced payroll services are capable of but they also provide for specialized functionality and proprietary configurations unique top a specific organization. Often bonus and incentive programs are tied to the payroll system. Employee numbers are frequently used as a unique identifier within the system and those can be generated out of or for the payroll system.
Confidentiality is a major consideration for an HR payroll system and that is why many organizations prefer to handle payroll themselves rather than delegating such sensitive information and responsibilities to outside vendors. Whatever the case, payroll is a basic, primary and essential function handled most efficiently with the use of an HR payroll system.
Keeping accurate records and banking knowledge down to minutes of vacation time or other PTO (paid time off) is an intricate business with much visibility. Human resources departments the world round share the same sense of urgency and priority when it comes to pay day so doing the research, knowing the requirements and testing different payroll scenarios is critical to the formation of a viable payroll administration strategy. Do the homework and the company will reap the rewards in the form of accurate reliable paychecks for like employees.
Human resource management has become an indispensible company function all over the world to a greater degree than ever before. Regulations have been added and requirements increased and keeping track of all that is human resources management is just as challenging. Employee records, applicant processes, recruitment activity, policies and procedures, benefits, payroll, federal and state regulations, OSHA requirements, and any number of other data points, make human resource management software systems an absolute must. In the United States, HIPAA regulations regarding personal medical information dictate that records be stored in a way that best insures that employee health information remains private.
Human Resource Management and the Business of Business
Oracle has brought PeopleSoft and JD Edwards into the fold to meet the needs of the human resource management market. SAP’s payroll and human resources management modules are robust and sophisticated. There are third party applications like Ascentis, Sage and Kronos, that specialize in meeting the functionality needs of the human resource management software market. Small and medium businesses are being wooed by software development companies hoping to capitalize on the smaller market niche often ignored by megaliths like SAP and Oracle.
Human resource management looms large in the business plan of any company regardless of the size of the operation. Human resources manages vast amounts of data and human resource management software is an effective and essential tool for efficient management of that data. Data bits such as name, address, and social security numbers are only the beginning when it comes to human resource management. Payroll looks to HR records for time, attendance, tax information, deductions, and special programs and so on. Benefits packages and their administration, HIPAA, COBRA, family status, unemployment insurance, disability, training and certifications, PTO (paid time off) vacation, incentives, employee development plans bonuses, the list goes on and on.
Human resource management duties are sometimes outsourced. A company like Ceridian specializes in making its services available as an external resource for human resource management. While most companies choose to handle human resources due to the sensitivity of the information, routine tasks are being outsourced. Ceridian and its competitors exist to fill that niche market.
Small and midrange businesses often have less than deep pockets available to their IT budgets and the software industry has noticed. SAP and Oracle both require extensive investment in hardware infrastructure and the software packages themselves are very expensive. Implementation is labor intensive, time consuming and expensive. Administration, maintenance and support of a large traditional software system is also a very onerous responsibility requiring deep benches of highly skilled and highly priced IT personnel.
Alternatives to traditional erp systems are more available than ever before. SaaS (software as a service) and hosted software are viable choices for companies with stricter budgets. SaaS systems and hosted systems can effectively deliver all the functionality of traditional software solutions to organizations with small and midsized budgets. Implementation less expensive and time consuming and ongoing administration, maintenance and support remains the responsibility of the service provider and terms and conditions more flexible. Whether an organization chooses to retain all HR management duties or outsource them, effective human resource management is vital to business success.
HRIS software, an important add-on
Though ERP systems are often described as end-to-end software solutions for business, specialized HRIS software is required to optimize human resources functionality. Human Resources departments are looking for HRIS software that facilitates much more than just the storage of employee data.
Human Resources duties extend far beyond what they once did. Going far beyond hiring and firing and planning company picnics complex and extended responsibilities and adherence to regulations require functionality of software with much larger capabilities.
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) provide overall:
· Application and resume management
· Benefits administration: enrollment, personnel data updates and status changes
· Company-related documents: employee handbooks and safety guidelines
· Complete integration with payroll and other company financial software and accounting systems
· Compliance records (OSHA, HIPAA, Citizenship, etc.)
· Emergency procedures
· Employee information management
· Reports and analysis tools
HRIS that most effectively serves companies tracks:
· Applicant tracking, interviewing and selection
· High potential employee identifier
· Paid time off (PTO) and vacation tracking use
· Personal/private employee data
· Positions held, pay grades
· Salary history and raises
· Succession plans for management and key employee
· Training and employee development performance plans disciplinary action
Often, Employee records and identification numbers are used as a key for other business software systems and tools. For instance, a Help Desk call tracking tool and database can be developed by mean of the ERP or business software solution with employee numbers as the key value. Those key values are obtained by means of an interface between the HRIS and the ERP. Other proprietary and customized applications are often created that rely on HRIS software for unique identifiers though the functionality of such apps can be seemingly unrelated to human resources activities.
The trend toward self service has become the rule rather than the exception that it once was. More and more, everyday life is conducted on a self serve basis. Pumping gas, automated teller machines, self checkout and, now, employee self service software that allows individual employees to check PTO and vacation balances, schedules and announcements and so on.
Applications are often completed online by both internal and external candidates. Company websites routinely feature links to employment opportunities and electronic online applications for completion by prospective employees. The information can be downloaded into the HRIS software database.
Internal websites are also common in companies of all sizes. HR and employee development pages are accessible to internal access and are often used as electronic bulletin boards and a clearing house for hr related information and policies. Employees can go to the site to look at or download claims or tax forms, employee handbooks, etc.
The best of available HRIS software packages are very powerful and sophisticated tools that integrate elegantly with the ERP system at hand. Working in together, information technology, human resources and operations can make great use HR data and inter/intranet functionality through careful planning and configuration design.
It’s a software system for managing people that provides all of the applications and tools necessary for executing the task of human resource management. It also benefits from the power of enterprise resource planning (ERP). Many companies today, offer employee portals to assist personnel with accessing some of their personal information. One of the reasons for this is that human resources have become so involved with details and the need for compliance on a number of levels. HR responsibilities include health care benefits, Workman's compensation, education and training, travel and various on-site work locations. Then there are many reports and analysis that must be completed for management and government. There is a lot to account for at any given moment. It takes a strong set of software to complete all of the HR tasks that must be completed in a timely manner.
Human Resource Management Redefined
Fortunately, that software is available and is playing a very active role in administering HR for many businesses. ERP software covers not just human resources, but all of the company in a seamless fabric of connections. The HR unit can easily communicate, share and collaborate on information and data in real time. And it makes it much easier to transmit this information internally as well as externally. That’s because the HR staff is working on an integrated platform that is also automated for speed. Any employee data can be conveniently and efficiently be gathered together for review or updates. Some of this information and data is shared with employees through easy access portals. The enterprise system makes it easy to share information and provide real time readouts on any details relevant to personnel.
The human resources unit has touch points across the enterprise, as well as outside of it. But with ERP this does not present a problem because it integrates all of the software applications onto one platform and then automates the platform, for speed. Any contacts concerning employees made between HR and accounting, sales, marketing or distribution, happen with real time visibility. All staff has a view into issues that may affect disparate departments. If there are questions or concerns they can be addressed on the spot in real time. And this of course saves time and increases productivity. Human resource management needs this type of cohesion in order to work effectively across enterprise boundaries.
Operating seamlessly means operating in sync. The collaboration, sharing and communicating of information and data keeps everyone working in closer unison and makes for fewer mistakes.
With today’s software tools it also makes it easier for employees to get information when they want it. By giving them access to certain details of their employment, it frees up time for Human resources to administer to other issues. This software system also reports, so management can be kept up to date with all of the latest relevant data. The system allows for analysis, report making and the dispensing of business intelligence.
You can stay on top of personnel issues and know what your responsibilities are when you are working with the right Human resource management software.
In order to efficiently manage employee relations you need capable HRIS (human resources information system) software. You need such things as effective benefit and attendance management, COBRA administration, employee and manager self-service features, a recruiting, training and development toolkit, all of these contribute to features that enhance the employee experience and provide management with operational efficiency. This calls for software that is all-inclusive and distribute; and that means enterprise resource planning (ERP). This is the software system that will keep you tuned in to every aspect of employee relations throughout the enterprise. It will coordinate activity across boundaries, both internally as well as externally to ensure that management has a real time view into employee relations and activities, wherever they may take place. This is what is needed to properly monitor and track personnel and workflow.
HRIS Software has benefits
The human resources platform contains all of the application modules required for administering the employee and management relationship. The application modules are assigned for a series of business processing tasks that tie HR into every unit of the business. Payroll particulars are seamlessly managed through integrated links between accounting and the HR unit. Other application modules address such concerns as heal care, workman’s compensation and compliance. The ERP system needs no other back up, because it is all-inclusive. And it provides a reliable readout for all units of the business with real time visibility. That means that both management and staff have a view to what is taking place throughout the enterprise at any moment.
Self-service features like employee portals provide convenient access to employees so that they can gain access to certain of their personal information. Employees have concerns about such things as health care, taxes, education, training, safety and vacation benefits. They want to be able to gather information when they need it, without having to make an appointment with HR staff. Today, this is made possible by HRIS software that addresses such needs with online access for employees available on a 24/7 basis. Human resources has traditionally been a busy unit because of all of the employee details it is responsible for managing. Enterprise software makes it possible to communicate information, share it across the enterprise and responsibly communicate information and data to both employees and management.
Having erp application modules that can cover any number of tasks is especially important for human resources. Industry and government compliance issues require close attention to detail.
With enterprise software they can be assigned specific application modules that can be placed as either stand-alone or bundled, depending on the needs of the business. That’s a big difference from the old days, when HR departments had to rely on various software programs to complete tasks. Now, they not only have one software system that can do it all, they also have the ability to access it on-demand, online, as software as a service (SaaS).
Technology has continued to bring progressive change to the way in which business is conducted. HRIS software is a good example of that. It is a better approach to software and to employee relations, as well.
Are you using the Human Resources Management System (HRMS) integrated as part of your ERP system to the fullest extent possible? Because the focus during an ERP implementation process is typically on modules like CRM, WMS for distributors and MES for manufacturers, HR may not have received their fair share of attention in the configuration process or, if training was inadequate, the system may have fallen into some state of disuse over time.
How your ERP system can help keep HR on its toes.
At any rate, here’s a brief reminder of some of the critical enterprise issues your HRMS can fully automate, improving performance and reducing costs.
Compliance Management. Mid-sized businesses are confronted with a complex web of federal state and local labor laws and reporting requirements. The recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act promises to add to that burden. Failing to file mandated reports accurately and on a timely basis can lead to significant fines and other penalties, and even lead to costly employee lawsuits.
The good news is that your HRMS system can automate most all of the compliance process. It starts by helping HR management determine which employment laws apply to your company and ensures that your are tracking the correct data to comply with reporting requirements. Then, pulling data from within the HR database, reports are automatically generated with no additional effort. You ERP vendor should be able to supply regular compliance updates as tax and employment laws continue to evolve.
Employee Self Service. Employees care passionately about their employee records and benefits package and they always have twenty questions they would like to have answers to. That can put quite an administrative burden on HR personnel. Fortunately, employees also love to have online access to that information, via the company network or over the Internet. Employee self service solutions enable employees to check payroll information and change W-4 forms, to submit insurance claims and check their status. The entire benefits enrollment process can be automated, timesheets can be submitted, payroll checks distributed and new employees “on boarded” with online replacements for the normal ream of paperwork that must be filled out and processed. Performance reviews can become menu-driven and made available to employees electronically. The employee portal also becomes a powerful tool for communicating with employees about important corporate news. Employee self service results in productivity gains, improved two-way communication, higher accuracy and a greatly reduced administrative burden. And, importantly, employee satisfaction soars.
Internal HR Reporting. One of the big benefits of an ERP system, which extends to the HRMS, is that all the data enterprise wide from all transactions goes into a single, standardized database. This, for example, would enable HR to pick up sales commission data directly from the CRM order entry system. It also enables HR managers to establish key employee productivity metrics and track them on graphical “dashboards” in real time. Notifications can be established that alert management when a particular metric, such as overtime costs, exceeds a predetermined range. HRMS systems come with a wide range of “best practices” reports and analyses that enable HR executives to make better informed, more timely decisions.
HR management software has become an indispensible tool for human resources departments all over the world. Management of employee, applicant, benefits, payroll and any number of other data points accessed by human resources each and every day, make HR management software an absolute must. In the United States, regulations regarding personal medical information dictate that paper records be minimized so that employee health information remains private.
HR management software: What can it do for business?
There are a number of ERP applications on the market. Oracle has its own module to handle much HR functionality and has brought PeopleSoft and JD Edwards into the fold. SAPs HR and payroll modules are sophisticated, robust and well developed. Third party applications are also carving out their piece of the pie, Ascentis, Sage and Kronos, to name a few, track payroll and personnel data and time-keeping. Small to midrange businesses are being romanced with HR management software offerings. Microsoft Dynamics ERP has an HR module intended for medium-sized businesses, as well.
Human resource management is no small task regardless of company size. Volumes of information have to be managed and HR management software is an essential tool in doing that efficiently. Aside from the obvious data bits such as name and social security numbers for all personnel, there are benefits packages, HIPAA, COBRA, unemployment insurance, family status, disability, vacation, training and certifications, incentives, bonuses, the list goes on and on. Payroll looks to HR records for time, attendance, tax information, deductions, and special programs and so on. The importance of HR management software cannot be understated and the needs increase with the growth of a company.
Whether the company is small or large, HR management software is a primary component of a company’s technology infrastructure and software developers large and small recognize that fact. HR management has become an industry in and of itself in some ways. Sage offers HR management software for a wide variety of business and has developed tools with small and midsized businesses in mind.
In some instances, the HR management function has been outsourced. Ceridian is a good example of a company making its services available as an external resource for HR management. Most companies still choose to handle the sensitive issues, themselves but many routine tasks are routinely being outsourced and companies like Ceridian exist to fill that niche.
Whether an organization retains all HR management duties or chooses to outsource it, HR management software remains a vital tool for successfully conducting business.
Software companies have noticed. They’ve noticed that there is a market for human resource software that has been under serviced up until now: Small Business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) sees manufacturing companies with 500-1000 employees as small business, however, businesses can have far fewer employees than that and still have a need to manage considerable amounts of human resource information. Temporary agencies, for example, may have only a handful of actual employees while their business is to deal in large numbers of contractors and consultants.
HUMAN RESOURCE SOFTWARE FOR SMALL BUSINESS
By simply looking at the numbers, some software companies missed an opportunity. Some did not and now the lights are on and many human resource software products are targeted for small business. The human resource big boys have also recognized this opportunity. Sage Agra is specifically designed for small business. Microsoft Dynamics NAV and GP also services small business. However, there are a number of small businesses that have also developed human resource software packages by and for small business.
Managing large amounts of information even for small numbers of employees can be a daunting task. Just because a business is small and depending upon the official status of that small business, documentation and records must be maintained and to obtain and renew certification that are advantageous to small business.
Human resource software must retain demographics information and often interfaces with government agencies. Affirmative action, offices of taxation, certification and homeland security offices have varying reporting requirements that have to be met on a regular basis and if a small business deals with government contracts human resource software is often used in meeting additional requirements.
HIPAA and COBRA applies to all business and keeping accurate records and specific forms on file is mandatory. To electronically maintain this documentation is becoming more common and human resource software is designed to accommodate these requirements.
Human resource software for small business is often designed to cater to small budgets, limited infrastructures and internal support resources. The money to be made is not always found in the big ticket initial purchase in this market but by sales volume, support, maintenance and training contracts. This business model is becoming more common and buyers, more accustomed.
Repeat and continued business is the key to success for developers of human resource software for small business. Staying current to the constantly changing demands of the small business market ensures the success of both the software manufacturer and their human resource software customers.
If there we a meteorologist predicting the forecast for the future of HR management software, the forecast would, without doubt, be sunny. Where once human resources around the world moaned and groaned at the introduction of HR management software, they would now be hard-pressed to imagine their professional world without it. As with all software, HR management software is constantly being expanded upon and improved.
Human Resource departments are now responsible for more than merely hiring and firing of personnel and anything that can be done to improve the efficiency with which their tasks are completed and voluminous records and information is managed is always the goal of the producers of HR management software producers. Keeping products relevant; innovating and streamlining human resource management itself will ensure that software development companies remain competitive and profitable.
The forecast for HR management software is sunny
Not too long ago, HR management software like any other ERP application functioned in isolation. It handled specific information and was severely limited in terms of reporting and functionality. For example, HR software did HR stuff, accounting software did accounting stuff, and production software did production stuff and so on. As computer hardware became networked and began to “talk” to other computer hardware within a company, it became clear that it would be useful to exchange data electronically.
The concept of separation of effort by department had to give way to models of team and cooperation. Production data was relevant and useful to accounting and in turn, accounting and production information shared common data points. So “interface” became the operative word. The speed and reliability of data exchange within an organization could be improved by bridging records between departments and eliminating the need to walk printed reports from one end of a building to another.
Today, that effort appears to border on the ridiculous. But that was the way of things before information passed instantly between departments. HR software was one piece of software and production another and so on and the development of the interface allowed the instant exchange of information.
The adaptability of an HR software management package infrastructure is now a principle criterion for making a purchase decision. It’s a given and that adaptability now includes the ability to speak to the systems of customers and vendors, as well. The internet has made the information superhighway the road on which business travels and the forecast for HR management software continues to be sunny and warm.