Why HCM Reporting is still harder than it should be in 2017

February 3, 2017

It’s 2017, “Big Data” as we know it has been around for a decade, and yet, organisations still struggle to get actionable information from their HCM reporting. Valuable insights can be gained when reporting is effective. Workforce intelligence tools can and should provide the information needed to address every aspect of HCM. It should be the source of record for essential data, allowing companies to monitor compliance, make informed decisions, and generate accurate forecasts. Internal and external factors play a role in the challenges of HCM reporting, but here’s a look at some potential barriers in the coming year.

Changing regulatory landscapes

When in office, Barak Obama enacted a plethora of workplace initiatives, many through executive orders or agency actions. Meeting the changing reporting needs of these regulatory requirements continues to be a burden for employers. Several new regulations are due to take effect this year, including new EEOC reporting, additional ACA reporting, and leave policy reporting. With a new administration in place, rapidly reversing some more recent regulatory changes, currently HR may not be able to accurately assess what reporting will be necessary to maintain compliance in 2017. This will no doubt make timely reporting difficult, especially for organisations that lack an integrated system with robust analytics to track and measure all aspects of human capital. Shifting processes to meet unanticipated reporting changes will also divert HR attention from more generating more strategic analytics.

Understanding what to measure

A common complaint made of HCM reporting is that the metrics are developed by HR, for HR. To provide actionable intelligence, HR should start by approaching other key stakeholders, CFOs, CEOs, COOs, etc. Including the entire management team and reviewing both long-term and short term goals for the entire organisation is an important first step. Once the overall corporate strategy is clear, stakeholders can proceed with determining how HR can contribute to that strategy. From there, the team can determine which metrics should be established in order to measure their impact on the business. Metrics should be reevaluated quarterly to determine if goals have changed, and if necessary metrics should be adjusted to reflect those changes.

Failing to invest in the right HCM technology

Many companies will struggle to manage HCM reporting in 2017 because they have avoided investing in the right technology to support this essential function. Without integration of essential HR data, reporting on basic operations is difficult but more advanced reporting and predictive analytics are nearly impossible. Lack of integration requires time consuming and error prone manual processes to produce basic operational reports on compliance, payroll, etc.

The right HCM technology platform should include robust reporting functionality: dashboards, interactive business intelligence output, custom reporting capabilities, scenario modelling, and multiple options for exporting and formatting data and should be accessible to all users, anywhere, at any time. If your organisation’s HCM technology lacks strong reporting capabilities, then the work falls to HR and possibly other departments to first extract data from various systems, and then patch together some formulas to make sense of even the most basic operational reporting. Companies of all sizes should consider an investment in a single system to manage end-to-end HR data. Asure Software’s People Success Platform provides a single database, 100% cloud-based solution for recruitment, HRMS, time and labour, payroll, benefits, performance, training and compensation.