Heritage Lifecare is one of New Zealand’s largest residential aged-care services. They provide care and accommodation for 2,200+ people across 42 sites from Whangarei to Invercargill.
Before Affinity, payroll at Heritage Lifecare was outsourced to a single external resource. This model provided no visibility to the business and meant they were faced with additional complications such as inaccurate reporting, manual data changes, misalignment between teams, and no paper trail.
After a series of acquisitions, Heritage Lifecare experienced such rapid growth in 18 months, their headcount increased from 500 to 2,700 across an additional 35 sites. As the business scaled up, the level of risk increased, and it soon became clear that a payroll transformation was required.
Margaret Crozier, General Manager People and Culture at Heritage Lifecare, explains how partnering with Affinity allowed them to evolve their payroll.
“There was no visibility of our system whatsoever, and our reporting was inaccurate. Due to incorrect processes, it was quite a challenge to decipher. Our reports could only be checked months later.” – Margaret
Heritage Lifecare faced numerous challenges with its payroll management system. Their existing payroll solution relied on outsourced payroll services provided by a single external resource. This approach resulted in several issues:
- Inaccurate reporting: Payroll reports were often inaccurate, leading to potential compliance risks and financial discrepancies.
- Delayed verification: Reports could only be checked months later, preventing errors from being discovered and fixed promptly.
- Multiple systems: Business acquisitions forced the company to use a mix of payroll and timekeeping systems, making it harder to manage payroll data efficiently.
- Manual data changes: Processes were further complicated due to manual data manipulation by the payroll provider, masking issues and making it difficult to identify and address problems.
- Lack of documentation: No centralised document repository or paperwork trail made it challenging to maintain accurate records and ensure compliance with payroll regulations.
- Misalignment between staff: A disconnect between managers and the support office resulted in miscommunication, lack of accountability, and inconsistencies in payroll processes.
“We wanted a system that could provide innovation and future-proof our technology. We weren’t going to make this change and then have to do it again in five years’ time.” – Margaret
To overcome these challenges and meet their evolving business needs, Heritage Lifecare required a complete payroll solution that addressed the following requirements:
- Comprehensive data capture: A system capable of capturing more than just payroll data to provide a holistic view of employee information and to facilitate strategic decision-making.
- Fully managed payroll: An end-to-end managed payroll solution that could support their growing team and lift the payroll processing and compliance burden.
- Enhanced reporting: Robust reporting capabilities to empower managers through timely and accurate data for better decision-making and resource planning.
- Automation and efficiency: Automated processes to reduce manual work and increase efficiency, allowing the HR team to focus on value-added tasks.
- Innovative and future-proof technology: A scalable payroll solution that leveraged innovative technology to adapt to evolving business needs and industry trends.
“We needed a solution that did more than just capture payroll data. The Affinity system increased our compliance and best practice without needing to implement an additional HRIS immediately.” – Margaret
Heritage Lifecare partnered with Affinity Payroll, a leading provider of payroll services and technology solutions. Affinity’s fully managed solution offered the following key features:
- Increased compliance: The solution ensured compliance with payroll regulations and industry best practices, eliminating the need for additional HRIS implementation.
- Dedicated payroll manager: A dedicated Payroll Manager was embedded within Heritage Lifecare, providing end-to-end payroll support and assisting employees with payroll-related queries.
- Improved data collection: Affinity’s system enabled seamless data collection, resulting in more accurate and timely reporting for both internal and external stakeholders.
- Competency gap analysis: The solution facilitated easy identification of issues and competency gaps within the payroll processes, enabling proactive resolution and continuous improvement.
- Adaptable processes: Affinity’s team demonstrated responsiveness and flexibility, adapting processes accordingly.
“We’ve improved our data collection and external reporting. It used to take weeks and weeks for one FTE to go through that information. Having Affinity has enabled us to reduce the time it takes and the potential for human error.” – Margaret
The implementation of the fully managed payroll solution provided by Affinity quickly yielded significant improvements and positive outcomes for Heritage Lifecare, including:
- Managerial control: Managers gained increased control and visibility at the input stages of the payroll process, fostering accountability and streamlining operations.
- Risk reduction: The Affinity system reduced the risk of errors and increased levels of compliance with payroll regulations, mitigating potential financial and legal issues.
- Trust and transparency: Trust in the new system was quickly established, allowing processes to be standardised. This resulted in enhanced transparency and clarity around payroll operations.
- Information visibility: Affinity provides a clear lens into the areas where information gaps exist, and enables Heritage Lifecare to both identify areas for improvement and promptly address discrepancies. This enhanced visibility also facilitates better decision-making and resource allocation within the organisation.
- Strong relationships: Affinity’s dedicated payroll manager serves as a reliable point of contact, ensuring effective communication, understanding of specific requirements, and prompt resolution of any concerns or queries.
- Accuracy in financial reporting: A fully managed payroll solution gave Heritage Lifecare’s finance department the ability to generate precise financial reports, statements and budgets, contributing to overall financial transparency and strategic planning.
- Elimination of paper-based processes: Affinity’s payroll solution completely eliminated the need for paper-based processes, streamlining operations and reducing administrative overhead. A centralised digital document repository now provides Heritage Lifecare with easy access to payroll-related documents, ensuring compliance, and facilitating efficient record-keeping.
For over thirty years, Affinity has been a trusted partner for mid-market and enterprise businesses in Australia and New Zealand, empowering them to transform their payroll operations. With a focus on turning payroll from a cost into an asset, we have established ourselves as industry leaders in delivering innovative cloud-based payroll software and exceptional payroll services.