HRIS vs. Dedicated Payroll Systems

November 2021

Payroll is a major task for any business...

It takes time and attention to make sure everything is done correctly. 

Especially if you want to avoid fines from the government or other costly mistakes that could trickle down into other areas of the business.

With the all-in-one HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) growing in popularity, a lot of people are drawn to the fact they can sometimes have payroll features already built-in...

However, there are some major drawbacks to be aware of when relying on an all-in-one platform to run your entire HR/Payroll function.

Let’s start by addressing the key differences between an integrated all-in--one HR system system and a dedicated payroll solution.

What is a HRIS/integrated HR system?

In a nutshell, a HRIS is designed to help companies organise and manage their people-related information including:

  • Employee demographic information
  • Employee job information
  • Benefits packages
  • Time-off balances and requests
  • Employee training and development

In effect, they act as a single source of information and management for Human Resources.

They are usually great for keeping everything in one place, but never really excel in any one area.

What is a standalone/dedicated payroll system?

A dedicated payroll system is one that’s designed specifically for the sole purpose of running payroll, or enhancing the payroll experience. 


As such, they will usually have far more advanced features than an all-in-one system could offer. This can include automated-payroll processing, powerful and customisable payroll reporting, payroll giving support or even flexible employee wage advances like the kind offered by PayCaptain.


These kinds of features can also add to the employer value proposition of a company, making it a great strategic choice for attracting and retaining top talent.


It’s also worth noting that dedicated payroll systems can usually integrate into an existing HRIS, thus complementing and building on the current setup.

Disadvantages of using a HRIS for Payroll

On the surface, using an all-in-one system, may sound ideal! However, much like the expression jack-all-trades, master of none, using a HRIS to run something as important as Payroll can leave critical gaps in your process.

Here's some of the things to factor in:

  • Most all-in-one systems only offer very basic payroll bureau services with limited functionality - this can lead to disgruntled employees and a lack of overall flexibility around the payroll process
  • An all-in-one HRIS can often be overwhelming and complex, leading to a high potential for human error and additional training needs for staff.
  • Because a HRIS ultimately seeks to replace and incorporate multiple business functions, they may have complex migration processes that can end up causing disruption to several areas of the business.

What are the alternatives to using an integrated HR system or HRIS when it comes to running Payroll?

The first option is to invest in a dedicated, standalone payroll system.

However, when considering a standalone payroll system, it's important to find a platform that can easily integrate with your other business systems.

A lot of payroll platforms make it a nightmare to integrate with other systems. 

This in itself can lead to further issues because you can end up with huge gaps in data or incongruencies in reporting.

That's why at PayCaptain, we've opted for an open-API meaning our innovative and powerful payroll system can be easily integrated into almost any system, from ERP's to existing HR Management Systems.

That way, you can ensure a top-tier payroll experience for employees (with features like on-demand pay or your own branded company payroll app), whilst also being able to benefit from a payroll platform that communicates seamlessly with your existing HR systems.

If you want to speak to one of our friendly Payroll experts about the best setup for your business and see how PayCaptain could help streamline your payroll process, be sure to book a demo below!


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