Webinar Recap—Try Before You Build: Test for Success with HR & Payroll Integrations

February 7, 2024
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In a recent webinar, Finch teamed up with HR Platform Deel to show how PMs and developers can leverage our Sandbox environments to test a variety of use cases – for free.

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:

  1. Build integrations from scratch using each provider’s public API
  2. Help your customers set up a secure, automated file-sharing process between their HR or payroll provider and your app
  3. 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:

  1. Set up your demo or trial account
  2. Set up a connection through Finch
  3. 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:

  1. See what data can be returned from providers you care about
  2. Manipulate specific data fields or the state of connections
  3. 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.

If these benefits sound interesting to you, reach out to our team for more information, or sign up for free to try Finch yourself.

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Learn more in our State of Employment Technology report ->

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Download the report to learn more

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