Pros and Cons: Integrated HR Payroll Systems for Government

by Alexandrea Davis on March 06, 2023

Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using integrated HR payroll systems to combine all your government HR functions into one system. 

Article Highlights: 

HRIS integration is gaining traction among public sector agencies, and for those with a large workforce, it's becoming a necessity. As a government human resources professional, you've probably juggled separate HR data management systems for core HR, payroll, benefits, and time and attendance – and you know switching between platforms is inefficient, painful, and prone to errors.

Using a multi-system approach takes more time, energy, and money to maintain. It requires manual processes like re-entering the same employee data in multiple locations, which makes inputting or updating employee information a major undertaking. This can lead to delays and errors that hinder productivity and negatively affect the employee experience.

An integrated HR payroll system can help solve those problems by centralizing your employee data. HRIS integration across all your HR functions simplifies inefficient, disjointed processes for both employees and human resources teams – but that doesn’t mean these systems come without disadvantages. 

This article will examine the pros and cons of integrated HR payroll systems and how your government agency can simplify HR data management.

Pros of Integrated HR Payroll Systems

Your public sector organization can benefit from adopting an integrated HR payroll system in many ways. Let’s discuss how these solutions help you.

Streamline HR processes

Integrated HR and payroll systems streamline HR processes by bringing all your HR functions into a single interface. HR professionals don't have to switch between systems to find information, and automation and workflows reduce their manual workload.

In addition, HR staff and managers can easily access employee records, generate reports, and track employee information changes in integrated systems. Many HRIS solutions also include report templates to help you quickly and easily pull reports.

Improve HR efficiency

Integrated HR payroll systems support greater overall HR efficiency by enabling employees to update information on their own through employee self-service. Your employees can efficiently access and update their personal information, such as address changes, tax updates, and benefits selection. This means fewer requests for time-consuming manual entry, less back-and-forth between employees and HR, and a better employee experience with HR across the organization.

Seamless payroll processes

An integrated HR and payroll system also creates seamless payroll processes. Integrating payroll with benefits and time and attendance makes it easier to track employee hours and calculate and distribute their pay. Furthermore, with employee self-service, employees can access their W2s, pay stubs, tax documents, and compensation information all in one place without requiring help from HR.

Improve data accuracy and security

HRIS integration improves data accuracy by letting employees update their own information, reducing errors and giving them the tools to fix incorrect personal data if needed. Plus, HRIS solutions share and update data in real-time, eliminating the manual rekeying of information – and the potential for mistakes – across HR systems.

These solutions also support better data security by storing sensitive employee information in one cloud-based system instead of several separate locations. Using one secure platform for all your agency’s HR data management makes it easier to protect and lowers the risk of a security breach. This also helps public sector agencies remain compliant with governmental regulations like HIPAA and FMLA.

Reduce costs

An integrated HR payroll system also offers better cost savings in the long run than using multiple systems. Spending fewer hours on manual administrative tasks allows your human resources staff to focus their time on more productive, engaging work, like performance management and talent management, rather than tedious data entry on behalf of employees.

Additionally, HRIS integration reduces budget spend on several different HR systems to perform all your necessary HR functions. The cost of multiple individual applications, license and lease renewals, and customer support typically outweigh the price of a unified HRIS.

Cons of Integrated HR Payroll Systems

Despite their strong benefits, there are also a few drawbacks to integrated HR payroll systems that you should know about if you’re considering investing in an HRIS solution.

Initial costs and setup

The upfront costs and setup fees for an HRIS can quickly add up, especially for larger organizations. It takes time to build the return on investment (ROI), so while you can expect long-term cost savings from integrated HR and payroll systems, it can take months to see them. 

It's also common for implementation to take months, including a lot of trial and error during data migration, testing, and configuration. Your agency could also experience compatibility and integration issues during the transition, all of which could slow down HR operations and cause frustration among employees. And, in many cases, implementation setup requires expert support from your chosen provider, which may incur additional fees.

Limited autonomy

An integrated approach to your HR data management also comes with less autonomy than separate systems, often restricting your capabilities. One solution is not always flexible enough to accommodate the various nuances, processes, and functions available across multiple systems. You may need to work with your provider to configure the software to meet all your needs, so it’s important to know what flexibilities and customizations are available.

Complexity and maintenance

Finally, integrated HR and payroll systems can be complex and often require more specialized maintenance than single-solution systems. This complexity can create a steeper learning curve and more training for employees, which lengthens the time to complete adoption. Also, maintenance and modifications in integrated systems usually require specialized support, which may incur additional fees.

Simplified HR Data Management for Government Agencies

NEOGOV's HRIS software is an all-in-one solution that includes core HR and payroll solutions, along with benefits and time and attendance. Designed for the unique requirements of government HR departments, this system offers flexible configurations and checks and balances, such as approval workflows and self-service limitations.

Our HRIS software also includes automation features, tracking and reporting tools, and integration capabilities with NEOGOV's other products and third-party systems. What’s more, our customer support handles all aspects of implementation setup and initial training to ensure a seamless, easy transition to the system.

To learn more about using an HRIS to support your government agency, discover how to better manage employee data with integrated HR payroll systems versus using multiple systems.

HRIS Learning Center

Alexandrea Davis

Alexandrea Davis is a Content Marketing Specialist at NEOGOV, supporting content strategy and development. With a love for storytelling and commitment to making an impact, she aims to create meaningful content that builds trust and erodes challenges for public service professionals.

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