EOH Payroll ensures compliance, efficiency and accuracy with Qlik
In Qlik, EOH has a centralised payroll solution that can automate, audit and build in checks and balances for strategic, tracking and reporting purposes.
EOH is widely known as Africa’s largest technology service provider. Following the consulting, technology and outsourcing model, the group provides high-value, end-to-end solutions to its clients in all industry verticals.
Listed in 1998, EOH attributes its 36% compounded annual growth to a culture of remaining prudent, and to not just meeting but exceeding customer expectations.
EOH provides the technology, knowledge, skills and organisational ability critical to Africa’s development and growth. With over 12 500 staff and more than 5 000 clients, EOH’s footprint includes 134 locations in 50 countries across Africa and abroad. Its end-to-end offerings have engendered a strong reputation for delivery.
EOH focuses on industry-specific solutions. With insights into future business trends and drivers, EOH expertly supports growth and development. EOH’s operating model focuses on four divisions across industries: ICT, Industrial Technologies, BPO, and International.
Up until September 2018, EOH Payroll was run on Sage software. While this software had been used for many years, it had two significant drawbacks:
1. It ran on individual databases, leading to a siloed approach; and
2. The inability to report from the tool effectively offered no real base to work from for standardisation.
According to Sharon Krisch, Group HR & Payroll Services Manager at EOH, it used to take up to eight hours to pull a report from Sage. “As a result, we used to run the report request at 3pm so that it could run overnight, only to find in the morning that it had timed out (because of ODBC processing errors) and we had to begin again.”
It was impossible to report across all the databases, which meant reports were prepared piecemeal and then combined. This was cumbersome and time-consuming. Because of the sheer number of inputs received from various companies, consolidating data was considered an impossibility, especially as each of these companies used their own reporting formats.
EOH had more than 140 tax entities on the system. “Within these entities we have different payroll companies. When it comes to leave, for example, we faced innumerable challenges with transfers and the corresponding leave liability entries between the entities,” recalls Krisch.
In October 2018, after Krisch had developed a proof of concept and sought approval, EOH made the decision to move from Sage to Educos Payroll. “This decision was not taken lightly; it was made after three months of parallel processing, and we used Qlik software to compare the Sage and Educos offering,” adds Krisch.
With the expert guidance of Pieter Kuperus, Business Discovery Senior Consultant, South Africa Qlik Master Reseller, EOH used Qlik to determine the governance capabilities, tracking parallels, and the strengths and weaknesses of the processes.
After this thorough evaluation, the decision was made to move to Educos Payroll, with Qlik software implemented for strategic, tracking and reporting purposes.
The Qlik solution is described as being centralised and easy to use. “It has allowed me to automate, audit and build in checks and balances that we would never have been able to deliver before,” says Krisch. EOH’s Shared Services department now boasts approximately 20 Qlik apps run by 20 users. “These apps are very large, with up to 30 processes within each.”
With this solution now in place, Krisch is confident that her team can provide excellent shared services to EOH, to its internal companies, and to other companies outside of the EOH network.
“We’ve taken what we’ve done at EOH and replicated it with a slightly different model. This has enabled us to create a replicable payroll governance tool and audit tool, and a management tool. The intention is to offer this solution commercially,” states Krisch.
With the application of software to automate manual tasks, operational demand is decreased. “For example, we implemented the Qlik solution in one of the EOH subsidiaries, which had lost three staff members. With automated business intelligence tools on hand, the business did not need to replace these employees and enjoyed 40% savings on overheads.”
Krisch believes, however, that this would not be possible without Qlik and its consultants. “I would not even consider doing this without Qlik. With Qlik, we know we can deliver an affordable, effective solution to plug and play for future clients, offering a scalable, integrated HR and Payroll solution.”
Internally, EOH has greatly benefited from the Qlik implementation in the following ways:
• Reduced head count
• Ability to check and validate data quickly
• Total visibility and access
With Qlik software implemented, and as a direct result of EOH’s relationship with expert Qlik consultants, EOH achieved five major successes:
1. EOH’s entire payroll moved from Sage to Educos in just three months, with Qlik as the parallel run. “Pieter Kuperus took the VIP database and mapped it to the Educos database, allowing us to validate and check, then move,” says Krisch.
2. EOH achieved a series of accounting reconciliations, in a fully automated fashion. The tool reads data from various providers (Medical Aid, Fleet Management and Gap Cover) and automatically reconciles the bill against payroll, then updates and uploads a report via NPrinting.
3. Automating payslip review for over 14 000 employees, with accurate information.
4. Leave is now full automated, both in Educos and in Qlik reports. “In the past it would take a week to try and balance leave recons, there was just so much changing all the time. With the Educos automation and the ability to report in Qlik, it balances to the cent. We have not required a single write-off since going live,” says Krisch.
5. The Qlik General Ledger sends automated reports, containing near real-time, accurate and integrated data. “When you develop a report in a traditional system, it’s static and you’re stuck with it. However, with Qlik’s flexibility and cognitive engine, this is completely circumvented. Our reporting started off as a City Golf and we’ve ended up with a Rolls Royce,” she adds.
The power of a good consultant
A solution is only as strong as the user’s ability to utilise its full capabilities. Expert consultants help companies drive their software tools to full capacity. “The value of having a Qlik consultant on call is that we don’t have to provide a 100% specification for what we need. The tool is flexible, and so is our consultant, so we adapt as we go,” confirms Krisch.
“Our consultant, Pieter, has assisted us immensely with these implementations. We have grown together and have formed a strong relationship over the last four years. While we work very well together, he understands requests and takes initiative. This proactive approach has led to many successes and will continue to do so.”
Having developed a strong working partnership, Krisch and Kuperus are a formidable team. “Our environment is dynamic and demanding. However, I know that I can give Pieter a list of 30 tasks (sometimes with very little detail) and he’ll get them done. This agile approach ensures productivity,” concludes Krisch.
- Customer Name: EOH
- Industry: Technology Service Provider
- Function: Human Resources and Payroll
- Geography: Johannesburg, SA
- Challenges: A lack of access to accurate and reliable payroll data, impeded further by manual processes
- Solution: EOH Payroll deployed Qlik to test new payroll solutions, and then implemented it on top of the new solution for visibility, automation and reporting
- Reliable data with access, visibility and reporting
- Payslip, Medical Aid and Leave consolidation and management
- Operational efficiency
- Optimised management capabilities
- In-depth data analysis available in an instant
- Continuity of reporting between two systems
Three months to convert from one payroll provider to another without any downtime, maintaining historical data for governance.
Time to value: Instant; efficiencies and commercial potential, delivering a replicable solution to roll out to customers.