In the wake of Zenefits and ADP’s recent catfight, the 850 businesses integrated with both systems are stuck in limbo and may have to replace either their payroll or HR provider. They’re in a tight spot (unless they suddenly realize they love manual payroll, which is unlikely). However, it is anecdotally true that the smart learn from their own mistakes and the wise from others’ mistakes, so it’s time to start churning out backup plans. To make that a little easier, we’ve found a few things you’ll want to keep in mind if and when third parties start sticking their fingers in your data.
- Companies like ADP don’t support subtlety. When Zenefits had its customers create alternate usernames and passwords to allow Zenefits to access personal information, ADP denied access to customers. As ADP is directly responsible for so much sensitive information, Zenefits finding a back door into the system raised flags. Data breaches tend to be expensive, after all. Be sure to ask your company of choice how it collects data from the other. In this case there was a distinction between what Zenefits could do and what it should have done.
- Data has to sit somewhere. So long as you’re tracking down how data is moving, ascertain where it is going as well. Personal information flying from Service A to Service B and back won’t do anyone much good if the link is insecure and Nathan Patrick Hacker gets his mitts on the Social Security Numbers of all of your employees.
- Integration may be more trouble than it’s worth. As we have seen, it can be a risky proposition to do business based on two companies’ mutual goodwill. When working on Plan B, consider a single, fully outfitted service provider. Most likely, one half of the company won’t sue or smear the other half, leaving you without service, as has happened with ADP and Zenefits.
Long story short here, folks: Don’t get caught in the middle. If your payroll provider sues your HR people, run for the hills (just make sure you’ve mapped out the hills well in advance).
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