Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Ever Expanding Payroll System

In the past couple months, I have fielded requests from a variety of clients for add-on modules for Payroll. The base payroll module in Dynamics GP has some great functionality; but as companies look for greater efficiencies and ways to streamline operations, they start to look for ways to expand the functionality of the system to better meet their needs. What was once a manual process may need to become an automatic process. What was once handled through printing, folding, and sending may now need to be sent through email or delivered through a portal.

So, I thought I would share some of the options I have put out there to help with the processing of payroll. This is by no means a complete list, so please share additional options in the comments and I will update the blog entry to include them :)

First, don't forget about the Payroll Extensions. Unless customers opted out of these, they get them automatically (for a small bump in their product list cost, and therefore enhancement costs). Functionality to track deductions in arrears, to pass liabilities from payroll to payables (e.g., deductions, taxes, etc), and to blend overtime rates is included in the Payroll Extensions.

Advanced Payroll is an additional module (which means additional cost) from Dynamics GP, that adds some specific functionality to the payroll module. It will not apply to everyone, but for those that have the need, it can be a great fit. Capabilities include posting payroll hours to unit accounts in the general ledger, managing pay policies which include different pay rates based on shift, department and/or position, calculation and reversal of payroll accruals, allocation of employee costs across departments, and advanced labor reporting functionality.

PTO Manager is a relatively new member of the family, and it can replace the standard payroll or human resources vacation and sick accrual functionality while adding functionality like allowing two accrual schedules to be applied to vacation time simultaneously (for example, a base schedule plus a bonus schedule given to select employees) and management of carryover hours.

If we move outside of the Dynamics GP client, in to Business Portal, there is a whole other world that opens up in terms of employee self service, including:
  • Benefit Self Service: Online access for employees to enroll in benefits. Refreshingly easy to configure and control, I am repeatedly surprised by what a simple, yet functional, add-on this can be. My husband works for a large corporation that uses a large product that is not nearly as easy to use, or as intuitive.
  • Human Resources Online: Online access for employees and managers to access pay stubs, personal information, skills and training, as well as other HR features like recruitment.

Okay, so those are a few of the Microsoft ones that are out there. But how about third party products? Here are a couple that keep coming up in my discussions with clients:
  • Greenshades: I used to think of them as primarily dealing with taxes, which they still do...offering a variety of tax solutions for integration with Dynamics GP payroll. However, they also have a variety of other products to address additional PTO management needs, paperless payroll (think sending pay stubs and W-2s electronically, and online access to employee information).
  • Integrity Data: Another familiar face that also offers leave management (with online self service capabilities), position and FTE control features, employee allocation capabilities, and emailing of earning statements.
  • JAT: Offering carrier interface (for those using HR) for benefit information, as well as electronic delivery of pay stubs and online access to W-2 information.

I am sure there are many more out there that I should mention, so I will also put a plug in for and the Microsoft Solution Finder as great tools to assist in your search for that perfect module :)

Have a great end of your week!

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