Workday is the HCM platform of choice for many businesses all over the world - but with its enterprise payroll software only extending to the US, Canada, the UK and France, customers with a workforce beyond these borders must integrate Workday with a global (or localized) payroll provider.
As all payroll customers will know, Workday makes this possible through the provision of its Cloud Connect for Third Party Payroll engine. Until a few years ago, this connector technology was delivered in a format known as PICOF (Payroll Integration Common Output File). But in 2016, Workday introduced an updated version - PECI (Payroll Effective Change Interface) - designed predominantly to improve users’ visibility of pay transactions.
For very recent adopters of Workday, PECI will be all they’ve ever known. For many other Workday customers, the switch from PICOF to PECI is helping them reap the rewards of greater automation and improved compliance. Yet some organizations are still persisting with the older PICOF format, despite the argument for switching becoming more compelling every year.
At CloudPay, we are uniquely positioned to offer guidance on the issue, since we support both PICOF and PECI integration formats for our customers. So, if your business is among those yet to make the move from PICOF to PECI, here are five reasons why we believe there’s never been a better time to do it.
1) PICOF No Longer Main Output Type
Following the launch of PECI, PICOF will no longer be enhanced with new features or further enhancements. For businesses content with their current payroll capabilities (and adopting a mantra of ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’), this may be of little concern - but it means missing out on Workday’s continued improvements, while other organizations are taking full advantage.
2) Greater Visibility Over All Payroll Changes
The key driver for Workday’s introduction of PECI was the ‘total stack’ challenge. While PICOF only offers visibility of ‘top of stack’ data, PECI enables customers to extract the full stack of pay transactions - providing clear visibility of all changes made in Workday, sorted and grouped in the same order they were entered.
As well as affording greater insight in the quest for compliance, this increased visibility leads to improved efficiency in the partnership between your business and payroll partner, negating the need for manual workarounds. With PICOF, for example, an employee taking and returning from leave within the same pay period would leave you having to manipulate the system, as only the last transaction - the employee’s return - would be sent. With PECI, there are no blind spots. You can see all transactions and events right across any given pay period.
3) Automated Corrections
Further efficiency improvements between you and your payroll partner can be achieved via PECI’s automated corrections functionality. Even in the slickest payroll departments, data changes and corrections are inevitable, but with PICOF, each of these corrections has to be communicated to your partner manually through the raising of a ticket. Not only is this time consuming, it increases the potential for mistakes.
With PECI, corrections are automatically labelled in the data file sent to your payroll processor - annotated with either an ‘R’ for Rescind, or ‘C’ for Correction. While significantly reducing the time you spend opening and tracking tickets, this more automated process helps to close any knowledge gaps between you and your payroll partner.
4) Dedication To Innovation
We’ve already mentioned Workday’s commitment to continued improvement. The chances are, it’s one of the reasons your organization is using Workday in the first place. By persisting with PICOF, you’re missing out on some of the new functionality and features that have already been launched to support and complement PECI.
Event Driven Integration (EDI) is one such addition, introduced to build on the foundations of PECI, but incompatible with PICOF. EDI helps to speed-up the communication of key events (such as new hires or leavers), so that your global payroll provider can act on them sooner. EDI is particularly beneficial for customers operating in countries that require specific local registrations or statutory filing at the time of an employee’s hiring - as these requirements cannot afford to wait until the first pay-run.
5) Better Data Integrity
Last but not least, the new PECI format helps to capture all data changes between two integration runs. This ensures that no two PECI integrations include the same data, and that no data will be missed. With PICOF, there remains a risk that data could be duplicated, or that some data may never get sent to the payroll provider at all. PECI eliminates this concern, ensuring Workday and payroll systems are aligned at even the most detailed level.
The time is now…
Moving from PICOF to PECI is much more than just a standard upgrade - it’s a major step forward for organizations integrating their global payroll platform with Workday. Designed to be easier to implement than PICOF, Workday’s latest payroll connector format brings enhanced data visibility, greater automation and strengthens communications between the enterprise and the payroll vendor. Moreover, it provides a future-proofed foundation on which you can build a best-in-class payroll service - leveraging Workday’s latest innovations to keep your business ahead of the curve.
In addition to PECI, Workday is also introducing support for more global payroll data, including Visual Presentation Services (VPS) technology. VPS enables Workday customers to access local-level employee data from the payroll partner’s systems, directly through the Workday interface. It effectively creates a window into the local payroll system to view and submit updates to the information held there - while not requiring Workday to hold anything new in its own database - and not requiring the user to log out of Workday.
If you’re a Workday customer and would like to learn more, reach out to us for a demonstration of PICOF and PECI integrations.