Current challenges and solutions – Interview for UCMS by AROBS
Interview for UCMS by AROBS
At the invitation of UCMS by AROBS, our colleagues, Catalina Calinescu, HR & Payroll Director, and Anca Lamba, Manager Outsourcing – Payroll, discussed in an interview about the dp-Payroll solution provided by UCMS by AROBS and its benefits.
1. What are the pillars of payroll administration at Mazars?
Mazars is an internationally integrated partnership, specialising in audit, accountancy, advisory, tax, and legal services*. Operating in over 90 countries and territories around the world, we draw on the expertise of more than 44,000 professionals – 28,000+ in Mazars’ integrated partnership and 16,000+ via the Mazars North America Alliance – to assist clients of all sizes at every stage in their development.
In Romania, Mazars has 27 years of experience in audit, tax, financial advisory, outsourcing, and consulting. Our strength lies in the people we work with – the local team has 7 partners and 280 professionals.
The department that offers outsourced personnel administration and payroll services has a team of 30 consultants, who have experience both in labour law and in the area of income from salaries and similar sources. More than half of Mazars' consultants who work in the field of personnel administration and payroll are certified as labour law experts by The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Romania.
*where permitted under applicable country laws.
2. What does the partnership with UCMS by AROBS entail?
In 2019, Mazars started the selection process to look for a single provider of payroll and personnel administration software. The main selection criteria was represented by the flexibility in the customization of payroll/ personnel administration reports directly by users, the promptness of the supplier support team in managing requests from users, the possibility of integrating the software with other internal applications of the client, and automating payroll and personnel administration processes. All these criteria were met by UCMS by AROBS through the solution offered: dp-Payroll.
3. What are the biggest challenges you have faced in the last year and what steps did you take to address them? Was digitization an asset in this context?
As the collaboration agreement with UCMS by AROBS for the implementation of the dp-Payroll solution was completed in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic started and remote work became essential, a challenge was represented by the implementation of the solution with the specific structure, together with the UCMS by AROBS implementation team exclusively remote. In this respect, the implementation time was longer than initially estimated, but with understanding from both parties involved, as well as the support of UCMS by AROBS consultants, we managed to implement the payroll application according to the initial planning.
4. How important is communication with UCMS by AROBS and how does it help you solve problems?
Effective communication was one of the criteria for selecting the payroll solution provider. Given that Mazars offers consulting services to an extensive portfolio of clients in a variety of industries, we needed to be able to rely on an experienced vendor who has clients in a field similar to that of Mazars, and to respond promptly to requests and provide flexible and detailed solutions tailored to the client’s specifics, the context of the request and so on. In UCMS by AROBS, we first found a dialogue partner, who offered us various solutions and proposed different working alternatives.
5. How do you rate the use of UCMS by AROBS solutions?
The dp-Payroll application is easy to manage and use. It has many features, which can be managed differently depending on the specific needs of each client (e.g. different classifications of employees by department/cost centre/site etc.).
6. How have payroll operations transformed after the implementation of UCMS by AROBS solutions?
With the implementation of the dp-Payroll solution, the payroll processes have been automated (e.g. import of timesheets/bonuses/advance payments), as well as part of the personnel administration processes (such as the preparation of employment contracts, addenda, termination decisions, certificates, bulk addenda for base salary increase etc.). The dp-Payroll application has allowed us to customize the specific reports requested by each client, as well as customize the accounting notes in the different formats requested by the client. At the same time, users' dependence on the UCMS by AROBS implementation/support team has been significantly reduced, as, once the work procedures have been mastered, many reports or payroll configurations can be managed by the user, without the help of the UCMS by AROBS support team.
7. What are your future plans for optimizing human resource management procedures and what needs have you identified/anticipated that will appear considering the changes in the social context?
We would like to integrate into dp-Payroll the management of the entire personnel administration process, in terms of configuring, for each client, the package of employment documents (employment contract, job description, etc.), as well as other personnel documents (addenda, termination decisions, etc.). One point of development, which is also among the priorities of UCMS by AROBS, is to allow the bulk generation of salary change addenda, with the possibility to save the document/per employee. Also, in the context of digitalization of labour relations, a feature of interest will be the possibility of integrating the digital signature in computer applications (True HR/dp-Payroll).
1. What are the guiding values of the payroll business?
At Mazars, we approach every piece of work with integrity, independence, accountability, and a social conscience. Our values are set out in our code of conduct. They guide us in everything we do: how we meet the needs of our clients, how we develop our people, and what role we play in our communities
We believe that every client is important, and we take with great consideration every request from our clients, responding in a clear, concise, and practical manner, while also complying with the relevant legal requirements. We also believe that team members are the most important when it comes to ensuring the quality of services provided. That is why we invest in the training of consultants, as well as in their professional and personal development.
2. What are the most important values that you have learned from the experience gained in this field?
Team members must have the desire to take on new responsibilities, manage complex situations, come up with solutions and play a role in the development of other colleagues. It is also important to be a role model for team members, to help them think “outside the box,” so that they, in turn, can motivate others to be proactive, analyse situations, think critically and be creative.
3. How have the human resources and payroll management process been optimized by using the dp-Payroll solution?
The optimization and automation of the personnel administration and payroll processes, together with the use of the dp-Payroll solution, have allowed us to develop our portfolio, as the time required for the monthly processing of the monthly salary calculation has been considerably reduced. At the same time, the automation of the payroll process has allowed us to relieve the team members and enable them to get involved in different projects (e.g.: human resource audits, labour law consultancy, preparation/revision of Internal Regulations, assistance in drafting the Collective Labour Agreement, etc.), which has led to the diversification of the services provided.
4. How did you find out about the dp-Payroll solution offered by UCMS by AROBS and why did you choose to use it?
I learned about the dp-Payroll solution from other professionals in the field, by participating in various business events. Their feedback was very good, and later, in a selection process involving several payroll application providers, the dp-Payroll solution met most of our selection criteria.
5. Given that you offer outsourcing services, how complex is the process of implementing and servicing clients, using our solution?
Since we have opted for a unique configuration, to cover the needs of all managed clients, the analysis stage in the implementation process played a very important role, as we needed to capture and configure as many particular situations as possible, while at the same time aiming at uniformity within an “umbrella” type configuration.
Also, as the actual implementation coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, initially adapting to the new working mode, holding meetings, and setting up the solution remote was a challenge for the team. Currently, about 3/4 of the client portfolio is managed in the dp-Payroll application, clients from different industries, which objectively emphasizes the success of the implementation and standardization of the calculation method. Another challenge in the implementation phase and the actual calculation in the application was the fact that more than half of the Mazars consultants had not used the dp-Payroll application before and went through a stage of adapting to the new functionalities of the payroll solution.
6. How will the solution help the business management and what results have the payroll department obtained since using the dp-Payroll solution?
The dp-Payroll application has helped us to automate the personnel administration processes (preparation of employment contracts, addenda, termination documents, employee certificates directly in dp-Payroll), which has reduced the time spent with the preparation of the HR documents, then with their operation in the application, for calculating the salary. The application also offers flexibility in customizing client-requested payroll reports, which can be easily prepared by end-users, without the help of the UCMS by AROBS support team.
7. How effective is the support team in solving problems and how do you communicate with them?
The support team responds promptly, either by email or phone. To date, there have been no requests that have not been professionally handled by the UCMS by AROBS support team.
8. How do you see the future of payroll departments and what do you think will be the response of software solutions companies for this segment?
I believe that process automation is the focus of companies in the field of personnel administration and payroll, as well as the integration of the dp-Payroll application with internal solutions. The possibility to “read” the information on medical certificates/other documents in .pdf /word format and to translate it directly in the application, as well as the possibility to electronically sign the tax return form 112 are aspects of great interest for companies. Also important is the ability to generate and save individual HR documents prepared in bulk, for a large number of employees (e.g. salary change addenda), as well as the ability to automatically send messages containing documents from the application for signature by both parties.