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The benefits of integrating your payroll solution

There are several benefits of payroll integration. Not only can you achieve a level of automation that will offer HR and finance huge operational efficiencies, but it also gives senior executives easier access to the fundamental workforce data they need to meet strategic business objectives.

That’s not to say that integrating payroll isn’t without its complications. There are a few factors to consider before pushing ahead with these projects. Although none of them should be big enough to deter you – the pros certainly outweigh the cons in this regard. 

In this article, we’ll look at some of the hurdles you might face as you move towards integration. But before we focus on the more challenging aspects it’s worth reminding ourselves why integration is not just a nice to have, but a modern-day imperative.

    the pros of integrating payroll

      The benefits and pros of integrated payroll

      The most crucial benefit of integrating payroll into your HR solution is the operational efficiencies it enables – and the long-term capabilities this provides a business.

      By integrating your payroll software with your HR or finance systems, you ensure information is automatically available to relevant people when they need it. This includes teams operating in different departments, along with senior executives and employees, who can access data on a self-serve basis.

      The advantages these efficiencies provide are far-reaching. Here are five of the most significant:

      Less menial / more meaningful work

      When systems are integrated, teams do not need to duplicate data inputting efforts across multiple systems. Information will be automatically available in each integrated system – where it can be viewed, processed and analysed. 

      This reduces menial and laborious work, freeing up staff to focus their attention on more meaningful tasks. For example, HR teams have more time to pursue strategic aims such as improving staff welfare, enhancing employee engagement or developing recruitment and employee retention policies.

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          Increased operational speed 

          When integrated systems are up to date with the latest data, individual departments can move initiatives forward quicker and respond to situations faster. 

          This could allow a financial director to see, instantly, how an expansion of the current workforce would impact the general ledger, for example. It could equally enable an HR team to show employees the implications of a new bonus scheme on their pay in almost real-time.

          Better decision making 

          Integration provides everyone in the business with one single source of truth that they can trust. There will be no delays in different systems being updated, so no conflicting information across departments. And, because there is less data input needed, there will also be less chance of a human error occurring, and therefore greater data accuracy.

          This provides senior executives with access to reliable information which will enable them to make crucial decisions with greater confidence.

          Guaranteed compliance 

          By integrating systems, businesses create digital audit trails that automatically record where data is held and how it has been processed. 

          This helps HR teams to put processes in place that ensure greater governance – which will provide assurances that organisations are complying with regulations, such as GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act. 

          Future proofing 

          The integration of payroll data with key HR and finance systems provides organisations with a stable digital infrastructure that will enable further transformative digital projects. This allows organisations to pursue strategic HR goals that can enhance the employee experience and enable more fluid and flexible ways of working. 

          Without a connected infrastructure, any business wanting to enable digital initiatives would need to create their own bespoke integrations. This requires costly technical support and ongoing middleware licensing costs – and could result in an unwieldy digital infrastructure that is difficult to upgrade.


            In honour of being transparent: points to consider

            While the benefits of payroll integration provide a strong incentive to push ahead, you do need to think through the implications before moving forward with a project. At SD Worx we’re transparent about the benefits and efficiencies our solutions offer, whether it’s outsourcing payroll, or integrating it. 

            Benefits will look different for each business, as will the downsides, here are four areas that won’t necessarily be downsides for you, but should be considered anyway:

            The need to standardise processes 

            When integrating systems, there is a need to standardise data input across different departments to ensure all fields are complete and that all information is visible. If the processes governing data inputting are inconsistent across the business, the ability to access, process and analyse information will be severely compromised. 

            To ensure data outputs are optimised, businesses may need the support of an integration partner to develop the right processes. And to ensure their teams follow these new processes, some internal cultural change may be required.

            Data privacy

            In addition to the integration benefits mentioned above, we could add ‘improved security’ – because if integration is via an API and payroll no longer needs to send file transfers, the risk of a data breach is reduced. However, data privacy is still a concern – especially if information becomes more accessible across different departments. 

            Businesses will need to put protocols in place to limit the exposure of an employee’s private data solely to the people who need to see this information. They must also ensure that those individuals are covered by non-disclosure agreements. 


            As it can be expensive to enlist a systems integrator to connect your payroll, it would be preferable to integrate your system at the point of implementation. 

            This may still incur additional costs; however, how much will depend on several variables. This includes whether your payroll supplier has its own API and whether they have existing integrations with the leading HR solutions, such as Workday, SAP and Oracle. These integration costs will need to be factored into the total cost of deployment when assessing the return on investment within a business case. 


            The integration element of an implementation project will impact delivery timelines. This is more likely to be by a few weeks rather than a few days. Exactly how long this will take, however, is again dependent on similar variables affecting the cost, which include the solutions involved and the availability of pre-existing integrations. 

            It is worth noting that the level of engagement between the organisation and the integration team is crucial here. Engagement with a good integration partner will typically involve a discovery session, an agreement on the course of action and testing phases.


              SD Worx

              There is a good reason why many businesses have already integrated their payroll and why many more are starting to consider the move. Integrated payroll is simply more efficient, convenient, and doesn’t just benefit payroll teams. Benefits can be felt across multiple teams, and from employees up to senior management. 

              Not sure it’s the right move for you? Why not get in touch to speak to us about payroll integration -one of our friendly experts will help assess your current situation and what benefits you could see in the future. 

                If you have any further questions about what is involved in an integrated payroll and HR software project…

                  Contact us