Are you suffering from ADP Flexiform madness?

January 7, 2023 | 5 Mins Fidelma McGuirk

Pre-payroll complexity and the data steps involved to get payroll data ready and into exactly the right format for the payroll engines of the various service providers out there is a major challenge and a constant point of contention for lots of global payroll professionals that we talk to all the time.

In this article, we are going to focus on ADP, specifically their ADP Streamline/Celergo payroll processing service and the Flexiform format it requires payroll data to be received in.

So, what’s the ADP issue?

The issue is complexity, hassle and time-consuming manual work that really has no place in multi-country payroll delivery and management in 2022.  To set the scene let’s talk about the data, or more specifically, the missing data. The payroll data required is unique to each country and not all data required for payroll processing is located inside the human capital management (HCM) system.  Part of the ADP solution involves integrating with the client HCM to move payroll data across to the payroll engine used by the local country payroll provider who will pay the people in a specific country.

Sounds fine, but if all the payroll related data is not housed inside the HCM (and it never is), then we have a problem:

    • Where is the missing data?
    • How do we get it across to ADP to process our payroll?

The answer is a Flexiform- this is basically an excel spreadsheet containing rows and columns that are compatible with the data formats of the local country payroll providers. But here’s the issue- ADP require you, the client, to manually fill in these forms, in their exact format, so they can be accepted by the local vendor for payroll processing. This means manual work for you, and if you have 19 payroll countries, you guessed it-you might have 19 Flexiforms to be manually filled out every payroll, every country, every month!

This is something that client typically only finds out after the sale has been completed –
let the buyer beware!

You search the market for a global payroll solution that would remove complexity, dated processes and manual work from your payroll delivery and management model. You invest in the ADP ‘solution’ only to discover after the sale has been completed that your Global Payroll team are spending hours and days every month filling out Flexiforms for manual uploads. This user experience is not at all what you signed up for and will most definitely not fall into the category of what you consider to be a ‘solution’ to your payroll challenges.

ADP is one of the largest providers of human capital management, payroll services, and benefits administration around the world. ADP Streamline Payroll and Celergo are their flagship products, an end-to-end payroll processing software system with a centralized database to help payroll teams manage multi-country payroll.

ADP have their own network of local country providers-they enlist the services of these providers for local expertise to help deliver payroll for their clients. This is where things start to get complex-these local country providers will have their own software and data formats, and subsequently need to receive payroll data in these specific formats in order to process payroll. If you are a client of ADP, you will inevitably be using a different system from the local provider assigned by ADP to your payroll, and you will therefore be required to manually match the local provider’s format and send this information to ADP. There is no automated payroll system, and the lack of process automation means hours of manual entry work.

You do this by filling out the above mentioned Flexiforms. Global employers who choose to avail of ADP’s services will find that their payroll teams need to gather, organize, re-format and then check that their payroll data matches the Flexiform particulars in order to be accepted into the ADP system.  Flexiforms will differ in format per country, and you could have dozens of countries to process in a pay cycle. The template can be very time-consuming.

Getting internal payroll data to match the Flexiform is a source of constant frustration and weariness among many professionals in the global payroll industry. The goal when entering into the business relationship with ADP is to simplify, consolidate and streamline payroll operations but many are finding that the actual experience is quite different. Instead of making things easier and having more time, global payroll professionals are forced to dedicate hours and hours to manually formatting their payroll data, so it matches the complex nuances of Flexiform.  Otherwise, data uploads and trial runs will fail and the whole process of payroll is delayed.

It all feels a bit dated and something that was designed for payroll processing over 15 years ago, understandably doesn’t really work in the here and now. It is simply too much hard work-there has to be a better way. It is also a disappointing action for global payroll professionals to be forced to carry out multiple times. They have entered into an agreement with an aggregator services provider hoping that they will take a lot of the work out of their hands and simplify things (like was promised on the sales calls!) but instead they still find themselves manually entering payroll data into a workbook or spreadsheet that has to exactly match the format of the aggregator company they are paying to supposedly make everything quicker and easier!

Got it, so what’s the solution?

Automation, along with powerful integrations is the answer. An automated payroll solution is the answer to a lot of payroll processes which are manual, force you to deal with inflexible format structures or still rely on limited legacy technology that belongs to a different era.

On the Payslip platform, we have automated pre-payroll– this means, if you are an ADP user, you can use our platform to automate your pre-payroll data directly into ADP Streamline. This will save you a huge amount of time as we can match the local country vendor data format requirements and have your data flow automatically into the system- Yes, this will signal the end of your Flexiform suffering as these forms will no longer be required!

Payslip can map & format payroll data in the desired format for any country allowing inputs to be transferred automatically from Payslip to ADP -so you can automate and import all your employee pre payroll data and remove the need for manual data transfers via Flexiform. Data is collected and automatically delivered in a way that is compatible with the local vendor format enabling ADP Streamline software to collect, process and absorb the data file for GTN calculation.

How it works is we build mapping configurations which assign pay elements from the Payslip platform to be mapped into the template provided by ADP. We map and import payroll inputs directly into this template in an automated fashion and it is returned to the ICP via ADP. Payroll input files are sent via secure transfer from Payslip to ADP Streamline and Gross to Net (GTN) files can be absorbed by Payslip from the client’s ADP connection.

OK, now you know how to fix your adp Flexiform headache!

Your life can become a whole lot easier on the Payslip global payroll control platform. Automations are happening all the time in the background and our automations are purpose built for payroll-intelligent, configurable and specific to payroll tasks and actions.

We understand that pre payroll data gathering and validation can be a challenging time for global payroll professionals. We are in a strong position to help anybody who currently uses ADP Flexiforms and are frustrated with formatting issues and an excessive number of trial runs-there is a smarter, faster and better way.

Industry-leading automation and payroll data validation is the solution you need to fix your Flexiform headache. You need to remove the pain from your global payroll process, save lots of time and find yourself in a position to focus on other payroll delivery priorities. If your payroll data could flow automatically into ADP Streamline, what kind of a difference would this make to your day, week or month? If you’re ready to ask this question, then you are also ready to talk to the people at Payslip and take a platform tour.

For more information about our Global Payroll Control Platform contact us today.

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