Webinar Recap—Try Before You Build: Test for Success with HR & Payroll Integrations
February 7, 2024
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According to our June 2023 survey of 1,000+ HR professionals, 97% of employers agree that employment systems like HR and payroll should integrate with other tools in their tech stack. But building and maintaining these integrations can be a big challenge for PMs and developers.
That’s where Finch comes in.
On February 6th, Finch teamed up with HR platform Deel to demonstrate how easy it is to connect to employers’ HR or payroll systems through our API and sandbox. With these tools, any PM or developer can connect to live HR and payroll systems, generate mock data, and simulate real-world testing scenarios — for free.
We covered the following topics:
The challenges with integrating with HR and payroll providers today
Types of HR and payroll integrations
How lack of integration impacts employers (your customers)
How Finch works
The Provider Sandbox (connect to demo accounts)
The Finch Sandbox (generate mock data on-demand)
Below, we provide highlights from the webinar. You can also watch the complete recording by filling out the form below.
The challenge: your customers are spread across countless HRIS and payroll systems
HR and payroll systems are every business’s source of truth for their employees. It’s where you can reliably find if individuals are actively employed, where they work and live, how much and how often they’re paid, what benefits they’re enrolled in, and more.
But there are literally thousands of HR and payroll systems on the market that your customers may be using — more than 5,700 in the US alone.
While all of this variety is great for employer choice, it can make integrating with those providers a big challenge. With so many integrations to build, it can be hard to know where to start.
Why are HR and payroll integrations so complicated?
Beyond the sheer number of providers you’ll want to integrate with, the variation between providers poses another set of challenges. Every provider expects PMs and developers to integrate in a unique way (if they’re willing to support integration at all).
Typically, PMs and Developers find they have 3 options:
Build integrations from scratch using each provider’s public API
Help your customers set up a secure, automated file-sharing process between their HR or payroll provider and your app
Ask employers to simply upload or enter the data manually. This isn’t really an integration, but will still require engineering resources to manage.
For more information on how these integration methods stack up, you can also check out our SFTP vs API whitepaper.
Finch is a unified API for hundreds of HR and payroll systems
With Finch, you only need to build and maintain one API integration to unlock connectivity with 200+ HR and payroll providers. And with one shared data model, you don’t need to worry about nuances between providers. No matter what HR or payroll system your customers use, all data is returned in a standardized format.
But instead of taking out word for it, we encourage PMs and developers to try it themselves. That’s where our sandboxes come in.
Finch has two testing environments — the Provider Sandbox and the Finch Sandbox.
Finch Testing Environment #1 – The Provider Sandbox
Our Provider Sandbox allows you to connect to demo instances of live HR or payroll providers. You can utilize them as you would a real production connection.
Watch the demo to learn step-by-step how to:
Set up your demo or trial account
Set up a connection through Finch
Experiment freely by making changes in the system of record and seeing how it’s returned
Finch Testing Environment #2 – The Finch Sandbox
The Finch Sandbox allows you to create mock connections for any provider that Finch supports, giving you greater configurability and control over testing scenarios.
Perhaps the most valuable part of the Finch Sandbox is that the mock data generated reflects what can actually be returned by each provider—a valuable insight when determining if an integration is going to be able to adequately support your use case.
While Finch generates the data, the user can configure these connections any way they want using our sandbox API. Using the API rather than relying on a provider’s dashboard makes it easier to set up bulk or repetitive testing scenarios. For example, you could quickly generate multiple pay statements with specific earnings and deductions amounts, and replicate that scenario across multiple connections.
In the Finch Sandbox demo, we explain how you can:
See what data can be returned from providers you care about
Manipulate specific data fields or the state of connections
Simulate edge cases for last-mile testing scenarios
Try before you build with two powerful testing environments
To recap, there are 3 key benefits to using our developer sandboxes.
1. You can set up live, external connections for free.
There’s nothing that can beat getting to jump in and try out your use case with real providers. The provider sandbox can really help you identify the opportunities and boundaries around what you can build with Finch.
2. See exactly what data can be returned, and what features can be supported for each individual provider.
This is important since different providers may support different fields and functionality.
3. Use the Sandboxes to demo Finch Connect to your own customers.
While this wasn’t included in the demo, our customers love that they can use our sandbox to demo Finch to their own customers. For example, you could incorporate the connection flow and return mock data from our sandbox in your own live product demo. This helps employers see just how easy it is to set up their connection through Finch.
How Rillet Stood Up 40 Payroll Integrations in Just 5 Days
December 13, 2023
0 min read
Rillet is modern accounting software made specifically for SaaS companies. Founded in 2021 by Nicolas Kopp, Rillet is on a mission to automate the tedious work that falls on accountants, empowering them to quickly get meaningful insight into the state of their company’s finances.
Payroll is a vital source of truth for accounting. But for accounting platforms like Rillet, collecting this data is no simple task.
In the early days, the Rillet team relied on accountants to manually download files from their customers’ payroll systems and manually map, transform, and sanitize the data before uploading it to Rillet. If an accountant served multiple clients, the process had to be repeated. And if there was an error, they would be forced to manually revert the changes and run the process again. This tedious, repetitive, and error-prone process had to be completed each month.
As Ernesto Medina Delgado, a software engineer at Rillet, points out — this initial experience was not tightly aligned with Rillet’s value proposition.
“Our intention was to make the accountant’s life easier, not more complicated,” said Ernesto. “The initial solution was putting the burden on their shoulders, and we wanted to take that friction away.”
The team quickly agreed that in order to deliver on Rillet’s vision, they would need to build integrations with payroll systems. The problem was that doing so would require a lot of engineering resources, both upfront and on an ongoing basis.
“Building integrations requires a lot of effort from developers, not only to get them set up correctly but also to maintain the integration,” said Ernesto. “These are live systems that evolve over time. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it type of situation.”
“Building integrations requires a lot of effort from developers, not only to get them set up correctly but also to maintain the integration. "
Making matters worse, the sheer number of payroll systems on the market—5,700 and counting —meant they’d have to build many integrations if they wanted to serve both current and future customers.
Ernesto soon discovered that, by building a single integration with Finch, Rillet could unlock the data they needed from over 40 payroll systems.
“Finch very quickly jumped to the front of the line,” said Ernesto. “Both the breadth of payroll systems they supported and the data standardization removed a huge burden from our developers’ shoulders. It was clear Finch would save us considerable time and money.”
Finch wasn’t the only provider the Rillet team considered, but it was the one with the best developer experience, according to Ernesto.
For one, the developer documentation was clear and easy to understand, even for non-technical team members.
“Code should read like a newspaper, with the most important information at the top and less important information at the bottom. Finch’s docs followed this best practice,” said Ernesto. “More importantly, the accounting team was able to validate that they would get the data they needed without the engineering team’s assistance.”
Ernesto also received a technical walkthrough from one of Finch’s sales engineers, who helped him understand the options at his disposal for how to build the integration with Finch.
“My experience with the Finch team not only left a positive impression, but also made me confident in my ability to integrate with Finch,” said Ernesto. “It made the decision to move forward with Finch easy.”
When it came time to implement, the process was straightforward. His team built a functional proof of concept within a matter of hours, which they later leveraged to build the final solution. They then spent about one-third of their week mapping the data before they were ready to push to production.
“After a single week, we were able to add all the payroll systems Finch supports to our list of integrations,” said Ernesto. “Compared to integrating with payroll systems one by one, it was really low-effort.”
“After a single week, we were able to add all the payroll systems Finch supports to our list of integrations. Compared to integrating with payroll systems one by one, it was really low-effort.”
Ernesto estimates that the process of integrating with Finch was 7X faster than it would have been to build a 1:1 integration with a single payroll system. More importantly, Rillet unlocked 40 payroll systems for the price of one.
“I can’t imagine having to do the massive amount of work it would have taken to integrate with each individual payroll system,” said Ernesto. “We saved so, so many developer hours.”
“I can’t imagine having to do the massive amount of work it would have taken to integrate with each individual payroll system. We saved so, so many developer hours.”
Rillet’s customers also reaped the benefits of their decision.
“The value our customers received during that timeframe was way higher than it would have been if we had to build the integrations ourselves,” said Ernesto. “Without the burden of building integrations, we were able to significantly improve our product during that period.”
In addition to automating key accounting processes by pulling in and standardizing the customer’s payroll data, the Rillet team has embedded built-in reporting around key SaaS metrics into the product. That makes it possible for customers to get meaningful insight into the state of their finances within minutes of signing up, saving them the time it would typically take to build all those reports from scratch. Moreover, these reports allow accountants to see where the data comes from and how the numbers are calculated—helping eliminate possible errors.
“Most accounting software was designed before the advent of the software-as-a-service industry,” said Ernesto. “We’re reimagining accounting software for the current era.”
Throughout Rillet’s journey with Finch, they’ve been nothing but satisfied.
“We’ve had very few issues throughout our journey with Finch, and the support team has been very responsive. They answer our questions and resolve any issues fast, while maintaining a high bar for quality,” said Ernesto. “We’re really happy to be working with Finch.”