Integrated System Paid for Itself in Days

By merging payroll and HR systems, AnnuityNet eliminated a $30,000 expense from the annual budget, which amounted to 1 percent of payroll.

January 8, 2002

When Rhonda Delph started working at AnnuityNet in 1997, it was just her and founder Shane Chalke. They outsourced payroll, and Delph handled all of the HR issues on paper herself. "It worked fine in the beginning," she says, "but as the company grew, we needed an HR system."

Business:Providerof Web-based technology solutions for the annuity industry.

In 2001 they planned to buy an HR software application and continue to outsource payroll, but their relationship with the payroll company wasn't going well. There were frequent errors, some of which resulted in tax penalties, she says. The payroll company also had originally promised to provide AnnuityNet with Web access to payroll reports, but it never launched its Internet platform. "It was a very manual process. We weren't getting the service that we were paying for."

She realized that it made more sense to bring HR and payroll together into one system. So in June of 2001, AnnuityNet installed an integrated HRMS and payroll software package from Ceridian, which immediately started saving them money.

By bringing payroll in-house, Delph eliminated a $30,000 expense from the annual budget, which amounted to 1 percent of payroll. AnnuityNet pays a monthly fee to Ceridian for each of its 60 employees plus processing fees, but the cost is insignificant compared to the savings of bringing payroll in-house, she says. And the cost of bringing in the new system was minimal. "The savings was so significant it paid for itself in days."

Now Delph manages all of the employee files online. She can process and submit payroll reports in hours instead of days. While she opted to keep open enrollment off-line to create "a paper trail," employees can access their data online and make updates, such as address changes, reducing her administrative tasks.
"It's the kind of system the employees had been promised with the old company but never given," she says. Even though it's added some responsibilities to Delph's role, because she handles payroll herself now, in many ways it's made her job easier. Once data has been entered, it flows through the whole system, so she doesn't have to make multiple updates of the same information. She can also print reports instantly and verify that bills are accurate against her own data.

The result is a virtually error-free process, she says. "It's very user-friendly, and it's a great service for our employees."

Workforce, January 2002, pp. 64-66 -- Subscribe Now!