Payroll and HR have always been considered different functions in an organisation. Payroll would typically deal with paying employees, whereas HR would deal with the “people” issues like recruitment, performance management and grievances.
The Payroll function would normally either fall under HR or Finance. This functional divide between HR and Payroll was reflected by legacy systems where payrolls mainly focused on paying employees and HR systems dealt with the rest. This required integration between HR and Payroll systems. There was always a heated debate about who was the master and who was the slave, meaning where did the employee master file data originate – in payroll or HR?
Most modern-day systems combine payroll and HR features into one system. Although payroll and HR still remain different functions they utilise the same system to perform their duties. There is no more need for integration between two systems and the master/slave debate becomes irrelevant.
Sophisticated access controls ensure that HR can only access HR relevant fields and the same with payroll. In the South African context a lot of HR related data is intertwined with payroll and therefore available within the payroll system e.g. Employment Equity data and Training and Skills data.
It has therefore become common to include functions like leave management and position management as standard payroll functions. We are surprised daily, by how many businesses still ask whether leave management is included in payroll services. If you still have to integrate between your HR and payroll systems, it might be a good time to start looking around.