Automation To Succeed

Why HR/Payroll/Accounting must be automated

Concept of teamwork
Process (HR/Payroll/Accounting) Automation

Behind every successful business is an effective Human Resource department. HR ensures that employees’ goals are aligned with organization goals to maximize organization outputs by company’s most important asset – People!

HR is responsible for hiring the right candidate, managing employee details, tracking time, handling employee benefits, measuring employee performance, planning succession and much much more. For a small or medium sized business, deployment of an HR software for these activities might seem expensive. In reality, it’s not! Rather it’s a great accelerator. Automating your HR can help you save time and money in a lot of ways. And helps you focus your energies on your core business activities.

An automated payroll system enables the employer to process its payroll through a computerized system making payroll processing simpler, defect free, and faster.

Accounting involves not just making statutory reports, Ledgers, Trial Balance, P&L Statement or Balance Sheet but also filing all the requisite forms and returns to various authorities, in time.

Human Resource, Payroll and Accounting are automated and integrated software products designed specifically to manage the complex Human Resource and Accounting activities involved in an organization. It takes care of the entire Human Capital Management of the company. It helps in automating all the HRMS and Accounting functions like staffing, tests, induction, training, appraisals, attendance and leave management, payroll, accounting, tax filing and communication with candidates and employees etc.


Get all the employee information on your fingertips. You can query on details like the employee name, address, telephone numbers, email address, branch, department, designation, qualifications, experience, birth date, marital status, blood group, allergies, serious illnesses, and other emergency information. So when you want a particular work done, you know exactly whom to get in touch with, in seconds. It can generate HR & Payroll MIS reports; to keep it simple it has approx. 150 reports that can be easily generated. It has a powerful search engine and report designers in all the modules to be able to create any number of reports.


Managing employee attendance is easy since any report can be made in to a MDB file or a text file. These files can then be imported in to spreadsheets for graphical reports and analysis. Overtime and benefits can be easily calculated. Late comings or early goings can be calculated in the salary.


Employees can see their leaves status and apply online. Leave authorization can be done online. Attendance entry and shift details are totally automated. Manual calculation of leaves is no longer required. All you have to do is to enter from date and to date for the leave taken, and whether it is CL, SL etc. Software will automatically calculate opening balance of the different types of leaves due at the beginning of the period.


Payroll process in easy steps and quite in-depth and capable of handling any kind of complicated conditions. TDS calculation very accurate and in compliance with the statutory requirements. It calculates increments, arrears and all Payroll and Statutory reports like salary slip, salary register; IT Estimation report, Form 16, e-Form 24 Q, PF / PT / ESIC related reports etc. can also be generated.


Customize appraisals to each position any time whenever required. Solution will cut down the time taken for appraisals and save on printing and courier costs. Weightages too can be assigned with the KRA and the recommendations can help in identifying the hotshot professional.

While manual systems are slower, error prone (to keep track of all the data) and tardy, automation not just make the processes much simpler, faster and better managed but also effectively eliminates possibilities of defects. However It’s important to maintain the accuracy of the input. Thus, if a terminated employee is due severance pay but the payroll representative neglects to make the entry, the system will not pay it. Typically, the system is reliable so long as the entries are correct.

You can drive following four major benefits out of automation:


  1. HR Automation: Automating HR allows you to free up your human resources workers. This doesn’t mean that you won’t need them anymore – automating human resources just means that they will actually be able to do their job much more efficiently. An HR manager who wastes time looking through time-log spreadsheets, files or emails might end up doing nothing else but that! An average manager spends more than 3 hours a week just sorting out employee timesheets. Automation tools help in tracking and calculating employee time, running it through approvals and sending it to payroll or billing. This can also be done in real-time and by configuring multi-level approvals. Time is not just saved, but is made productive. For example, instead of having to spend hours or even full days keying in payroll information, a few simple steps will be all that they have to do in order to complete the payroll process thanks to automating human resources. Instead of mindlessly typing numbers into the system they can focus on other efforts that benefit your company, like designing new HR strategies that can lead your company into the future.
  2. Productivity Boost: Once you begin automating human resources you’ll see an increase in both productivity and profit. Not only are your HR employees free to get more done thanks to automating human resources, they’ll also be more motivated to work. When people feel like they’re really accomplishing goals, they have more moral. And since they’ll get more done in the same amount of time, you’ll get more for your money. Plus, automating human resources is much more precise.
  3. Precision: Precision makes a huge difference. If you take the steps for automating human resources you’ll notice big differences in payroll, attendance, and benefit info. And along with precision comes simplicity. Automating human resources like employee benefits, for example, makes the process of managing and checking health insurance or vacation days as simple as making a few clicks with a mouse. No pestering the HR department, no need to pull files or check forms. All of the information is easily accessible to anybody who needs it thanks to automating human resources.
  4. Make your first impression count: Recent research indicates that an employee decides to stay or leave an organization in the first 90 days. In Fortune 500 companies alone it has been estimated that close to 50% of the outside hires quit in less than 2 years.
  5. Minimize Attrition: Onboarding ensures minimal attrition. However, it includes many forms, induction programs, salary contracts, IT system allocations and new hire training. With automation, you can structure workflows to trigger multiple actions. For instance, automatically send out requests for IT equipment, ID cards and provide employees access to directly add or edit their personal data. This streamlines new hire onboarding and reduces the time taken to induct a new employee.
  6. Security: Security is the final benefit of automating processes, and probably the most important. When automating human resources you can choose to back up your data to online servers, ensuring that in a fire or computer failure you won’t lose years of important information. And you’ll also get security for your company, since human resources errors can lead to tax issues, legal troubles, and unnecessary expenses. The rate of error drops tremendously when automating human resources, and you’ll be able to help your company avoid any issues that may arise in the future, in some cases without even realizing it. Obviously automating human resources is one investment that can help lead your company into the future, and one that you shouldn’t ignore. For the best systems for automating human resources you can trust Unicorn HRO. Automating human resources will never be simpler or more effective.
  7. Employee Empowerment: Every employee has different requirements. Some travel and have to apply for travel requests and submit expense reports. Others may contact the HR constantly to update their personal and professional information. As an organization grows there will be more and more employees that require HR assistance. Managing hundreds of changing employee data and other requests manually can be difficult. Nowadays, HR systems let employees manage all these activities themselves. For instance, an employee applies for an internal training directly on the HR system. HR can create a workflow to automatically add the training details to the employee record when it is completed. This way the employee is empowered and the HR burden is reduced tremendously.
  1. Interact with any third-party system: Automation is key to third party integration. With the help of APIs (Application Programming Interface) and Webhooks, information can be easily exchanged and communicated to any third party application. For example, when a travel expense record is approved an instant notification will be sent to the accounting software to process the reimbursement. It is also useful in cases where organizations use more than one system to manage their HR activities.

Other then these major direct benefits there are plenty of intangible process benefits, naming a few:

  1. HR, Payroll & Accounting software are completely web based, thereby giving tremendous cost benefits. Thus there is no headache on client PCs. No reloading of exes when the package is updated
  2. The Employee / Manager self-service makes the task of approvals quite fast without bothering to go into multiple pages. Some organizations still manage their leave requests through traditional means – emails, word of mouth and sometimes even sticky notes. Now, what if the managerial hierarchy demands approval at multiple levels? Or HR gets left out from the application and approval emails? The entire process becomes time consuming with loads of untraceable requests and approvals.This is why 50% of the global HR workforce today, prefer automated time-offs to update employee records instantly. This can be managed through mobile HR apps as well. Now, that’s automation for you!
  3. All statutory reports and challans of PF, ESIC, Income tax available with E-TDS integration, all available and fully integrated with e-TDS
  4. PF Trust, superannuating and gratuity management
  5. Claim management, very complicated issues of exempted and carry forward able claim heads based on monthly & yearly calculations can be easily done
  6. Salary processing steps, in very easy steps as it is highly automated.
  7. Highly automated MIS

Service Providers like PayBooks, PenSoft, Z-Pay, Ultipro and Sage Peachtree calculate gross-to-net earnings based on the data the payroll representative inputs for SME segment while AON Hewitt, KPMG, Accenture, ADP and Mercer gives you total outsourcing options for complete HR and Payroll ops. Preeminent Business Solutions (PBS) offers complete HR, Payroll and Accounting services that goes beyond usual HR & Payroll support and do all your accounting and tax filings as well.

Automating your HR and Accounting department helps reduce the strain on your HR  and accounting personnel, increase productivity and improve employee participation. Companies all over the globe are increasingly adopting HR automation tools to keep their employees ticking and bring them closer to the organizational goals. It’s time you do too.


The Road to Failure

As per industry estimate, more than 29% of ERP implementations fail to achieve even half the planned business benefits. The implementation problems these ERP systems face are driven by the complexity, risk, and integrated nature of the business processes they automate.

Successful ERPs not only automate the businesses but also take care of the complex requirements with ease giving you time and energy to focus on your core strengths and strategic areas. This is more so because ERP software is finally being made for small businesses and smaller products launched targeting smaller and medium businesses pockets and ease-of-use. Software such as HRP for HR & Payroll has been making their powerful product suitable for a start up company’s needs and budget. ERP systems today touch almost every aspect of a company, so whether it is a completely new system, or just a major upgrade, these common seven pitfalls companies can avoid:

  1. Doing it right in the first place.

Even before implementation the company is dilemma whether they really require it or not. Often large ERP implementation projects fail before they even start. Companies unhappy with their current system become convinced their reporting, integration, or efficiency problems lie in the software they are using. Convinced the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, they embark on a large, risky, and expensive ERP replacement project, when a simple tune-up of their current system, or a small add-on application, such as a better reporting system or employee portal, would address the problem at a fraction of the cost. Even a reimplementation of the same software is usually less costly than switching to another software vendor.

Once an organization makes the decision to implement a new ERP system, the first step is to have a clear definition of success. Often, lack of consensus on the problems being solved, the outcome desired, or the specific financial justification of the project, leads to challenges later controlling the scope and maintaining executive sponsorship. Having a clear destination means defining the important business processes, financial benefits, and deadlines up front and making certain stakeholders agree how to address them. Without a strong definition of success, the end point becomes a moving target.

  1. Mindset

Many companies, big and old enough have a dearth of quality ERP project managers and they put software project managers in-charge of ERP implementations. ERP implementation is a different ballgame from software development. The approach, the team composition and the skill set required are different. Many of them do not even differentiate between Business Analysts and Functional Consultants. Identifying candidates to switch to best practices, Process mapping/design/redesign and change management get a miss and create huge troubles in the end resulting in delays, chaos and failures.

A person experienced in project management makes lot of difference. ERP projects need their own dedicated, experienced project managers. Asking the executive sponsor or the business owner to also manage the project as a part-time adjunct to their main role means neither job will be done well. Not just a scorekeeper, the project manager needs to be an active leader pushing for accountability, transparency, and decisiveness.

  1. Not sticking to the plan

When implementing an ERP solution a series of activities are a must, starting with business process analysis, identifying process changes for better and best practices, identifying and engaging process champions to analyze and design the desired system. This all gets reflected in the plan along with roles and time-lines.

Some businesses don’t want to conduct a business process analysis. This leaves the vendor to guess what features would be most compatible with the company’s unique functions. Without a proper business analysis, it is impossible for the software vendor to know how your business operates. If the vendor doesn’t know how your business operates, it’s impossible for them to give advice or suggest recommended changes best for your business needs and how to appropriately tailor the software. Now is not the time to try to save money by skipping this step.

No matter what vendor you use, the cost of implementing a new business software is too great for your company not to use it to its fullest advantage. It’s a great time to seek guidance on what the best practices are for your business operations and what role your software will play in it. More importantly, this will cause mistakes to be made that will result in delays in the project as the implementer will have to backtrack and ultimately cost the company more money.

A detailed plan is very necessary for successful implementation. All projects start with some kind of plan. However, more times than not, the plan are not realistic, detailed, or specific enough. Companies build a high-level plan with broad assumptions or underestimate the amount of business change involved. Despite how obvious this sounds, it remains the most common mistake companies make. To be a good plan, it needs to identify all the requirements and the people who are going to work on them. It needs to be at a level of detail where a knowledgeable person can visualize the work, usually in work blocks of a few days. It needs to have a logical sequence of tasks, like leaving time in the schedule to fix bugs found in test cycles. Until you have a good plan, you really do not know when the project will end or how much it will cost.

  1. Wrong team composition

Most common blunder to happen is with resources projected. Having a solid understanding of the internal and external resources needed to complete the project is critical. For internal resources, understanding the time commitment needed from business users, typically in the Finance, Accounting, or Human Resources departments, is one of the most commonly underestimated areas. During critical phases of the project, it is often necessary to backfill the majority of transactional employees by bringing in temporary resources. This frees up the users of the new system so they have time for implementation and training. For external resources, having an agreement up-front with your consultants and contractors about the specific duration, skills, and quantity of resources needed is critical.

Too much dependability on consultant can make the team more redundant. Most ERP implementation projects involve consultants, for the expertise, best-practices, and additional resources they bring. While their outside experience is definitely helpful for a project, there is a risk that the company can become over-reliant on the consultants. The company needs to maintain control over the key business decisions, hold the consultants accountable, and have an explicit plan to transfer the knowledge from the consultants to the internal employees when the project is winding down.

Bringing in an outside consultant to help bridge the gap between the executives and the software vendors may sounds like a great idea until you realize the consultant knows nothing about your business, making them useless when it comes to giving the software vendor some background information to better the implementation solution. Again, if you want to get what you’re paying for in the implementation you’re going to want both team members and executives to contribute as much information as needed for a smooth and efficient implementation.

  1. Change Management

The management shouldn’t hurry to start using the tool without adequate training and hand-holding to users. Today’s modern ERP systems are being used by more and more personnel within a company. Beyond the Finance and Accounting departments, modern systems also cover procurement, supply chain functions, compliance, customer relationships, sales, and much more. If the system includes human resources or expense reporting, then essentially all employees use the system. Training hundreds or thousands of users, to the right depth, at just the right time, is no easy task. Leaving training to a small phase at the end of the project makes it very difficult for users to get the training they need to understand the system and have a positive first impression at the rollout.

If ERP systems are the nervous system of a company, then doing an ERP implementation is like brain surgery: only to be attempted if there is a really good reason and not to soon be repeated. Unfortunately, ERP implementation projects often fall victim to some of the same problems of any large, complex project. However, there are some repeatable problems that good planning early in a project can work to avoid.

  1. Document, document, document

Most of the ‘developers’ avoid documenting and get down to coding directly. Even their managers many-a-times push their teams to produce results without proper documentations or signoffs. QA is not for cosmetics only; it brings the two sides on the same pitch, same understanding, gets new innovations. Lack of understanding hits you when/where it hurts most, delaying whole process by bounds vitiating the environment. Every step should be systematic, participative, and measurable backed by prescribed set of templates, checklists and guidelines.

  1. Can’t get it together

Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and when it comes to what software to implement and how it should be implemented everybody in the organization has one. The financing department wants the software that is known for having stronger accounting features but the Sales department wants something with better CRM capabilities. Because of this, it is ideal to make sure everybody, all the stakeholders in the company are on the same page and understands the overall company goals. That way they can cohesively decide which software is best for the big picture and the bottom line.

It’s also best to have a Project Manager (PM) to make sure everyone stays informed about the project and keeps the team up-to-date on the status which will include internal tasks, vendor tasks and the timeline.

Would you like to learn more about ERP implementations for small or medium businesses? Write to me at or

Workday vs PeopleSoft / Oracle / SAP

Workday is making serious inroads into the Enterprise HR space at the expense of the legacy providers offering 100% replacement business for Oracle HR, PeopleSoft HR and SAP HR, offering a more modern feature set at a better price and a lower total cost because businesses can buy into it as a service rather than having to maintain ownership over it. Still, Workday is a long way off from displacing Oracle and SAP’s competing HR services both, still serving over 10,000 clients each. The larger companies are doing their best to catch up, which includes heavy acquisitions. Last December, SAP announced it would spend $3.4 billion on the human capital management software company SuccessFactors. Meanwhile, Oracle bought Taleo, which develops employee recruitment software, for $1.9 billion. Surely PeopleSoft’s leading position in HR space is at stake and it will be interesting to see the fight between the three getting more intensified in the coming time.