Contributor: Scott Hasken
No matter how you differentiate your services from your competitor’s, every recordkeeping operations provider is faced with the repetitive task of collecting, reformatting, validating, and posting payroll data.
Finding ways to process payrolls more efficiently is a personal passion of mine. I am constantly looking for ways to improve the data collection process. I also look to find ways to empower the person submitting the data with the information they need to adjust their payroll data in response to validation results. With something as large as an employer’s monthly 401k contribution remittance at stake, finding every opportunity to efficiently collect and validate payroll data is more important than ever.
The days of manually keying from a paper listing are largely behind us, but there is still much room for improved efficiency and transparency in collecting payroll data. Many recordkeepers are playing the middle man, getting on the phone with plan sponsors to work through recurring payroll issues, or relying on corrections after the fact, instead of encouraging a sponsor self-service environment.
Successful recordkeepers have learned to do it right, or they will have to do it again at ten times the cost. They use recordkeeping validations to protect themselves from doing things wrong the first time. By providing tools to help plan sponsors and payroll vendors to efficiently fix problems up front, recordkeepers can create transparency with online systems that allow those submitting the data to identify and correct their errors before they become costly recordkeeping adjustments. Empowering those individuals with the proper tools to self-service creates efficiency by easily resolving data onboarding issues.
Of equal importance is the analysis of trends. By measuring and automating the most commonly occurring problems, recordkeepers can identify new patterns of recurring issues. By finding these patterns, they identify new training and automation initiatives to continually help increase the efficiency of the payroll process.
With the addition of Web services and business process management, it is easier than ever before to connect disparate systems, giving the ability to network directly with the correct audience: the individual or organization who needs the information or who can best help address the problem. By networking with the correct systems and audiences, recordkeepers can bring new levels of efficiency to the payroll process.
Recordkeeping technology has come a long way from my initial experiences as a payroll technician. And, with products like SunGard’s Omni Data Validation Web, recordkeepers can accomplish the following:
- Network the problems to those individuals who and organizations that are empowered to fix them.
- Create system transparency to help expose back-office data directly to plan sponsors and payroll vendors.
- Provide efficiency to help enable plan sponsors and payroll vendors to easily self-service their payroll submissions.
SunGard is continually looking for new process improvement opportunities, including expanding these solutions from payroll operations to other business processes in recordkeeping operations.
What business processes are the most challenging for your operation? What processes do you use to ensure your data is valid?