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Infor Lawson Software Evaluation

 

An Independent Infor Lawson HR and Payroll Software Review

Spend any time looking over the Infor Lawson HR and payroll software suite and you may come away from the experience puzzled and scratching your head in wonder. Not at the HCM system’s capabilities (Lawson stacks up nicely against almost all of its HCM software competitors) but rather at the placement of these modules. As we will share in more detail when looking at specific applications, the overarching theme seems to be illogical feature set locations and what appears to be a process more suitable for up-selling than satisfying traditional HR and payroll software requirements. As unfortunate as these facets may be though, the fact remains that the Infor Lawson HR and Payroll software is quite competitive—as evidenced by the business software feature sets and flexibility. First off though, these features need to be put into the context of how they work in the Infor Lawson overall structure.

To start, Infor Lawson categorizes its product lines into "Make, Move, Maintain" (M3) and "Staff, Source, Serve" (S3). The M3 line consists of business applications for manufacturing, CRM, enterprise asset management, etc. The S3 lines include enterprise software that falls into the segments of Payroll/HR, Financial, Supply Chain and Business Intelligence. As such, for the purposes of this Lawson review the S3 line is our focus.

Within S3, three distinct HR software suites are available: Lawson Human Resource Management, Lawson Talent Management and Lawson Workforce Management; each with varying levels of features and functionality that are a part of this software review. The bulk of the information that most buyers considering HR and Payroll software capabilities will be interested in comes from the Human Resource Management suite; a package that consists of the modules of Payroll; Human Resources (Benefits Administration & Personnel Administration); Employee and Manager Self-Service; and Absence Management.

Payroll Software

While international payroll is delivered through a partnership with CloudPay (previously Patersons, a leading global HR and payroll software and services business with clients in more than 160 countries), the Infor Lawson Payroll module does offer comprehensive U.S. and Canadian payroll functionality, including regulatory reporting and compliance, garnishments and court order management, flexible automated deduction creation, Tips, and Absence Management integration. The payroll software itself uses a rules-based setup, creating a system flexible enough to support a variety of payroll processing methods as well as managing benefits. Fully integrated with the other modules within the Human Resource Management suite (i.e. Absence Management, Personnel Administration, Benefits Administration, Financials and Accounts Payable), this software module also has the ability to support multiple time entry systems (from Lawson’s own self-service Web time entry and electronic check deposit to traditional pen-and-paper entry and paper checks printing and distribution); as well as time-sensitive information, such as time entry, check or receipt printing, off-cycle payments, quarterly filings and withholding forms.

Companies operating in the U.S. or Canada (or both) can also use the payroll software’s simultaneous payroll run capability; flexible adjustments (and setup capabilities such as GAIs); processing features (i.e. automated tax assignment); taxing authority synchronization; and robust regulatory reporting (which complies with a bevy of statutory requirements including vacation/pension plans, garnishments, worker’s compensation and others). Infor Lawson Payroll software also provides one of the only automated allocation mechanisms for tips—capturing, calculating and reporting tips information and ensuring compliance with legal requirements (including FLSA).

Payroll software functions can be easily accessed through the modules of both Lawson Employee and Manager Self-Service via a web portal—a rather ubiquitous feature that nevertheless nets some strong benefits through granting access for setting up direct deposit accounts, viewing paycheck history, checking time-off balances, changing withholding status, creating 'what-if' scenarios to see the effect of withholding (or benefit changes) on paychecks, and (for managers) approving employee data entries and requests.

Human Resources Software

Devised into two separate modules rather than one (e.g. Benefits Administration and Personnel Administration), the Human Resources software module is a common example of the confusion that the Lawson solution creates. That said, each of these HR software modules do have a specific purpose and functionality within the overarching Human Resource Management module.

  • Personnel Administration: Offering functionality of what similar HR systems refer to as a data repository, this module delivers the information backbone for tasks such as employee updates and tracking; management of employee actions (i.e. promotions, transfers, etc.); Employee Self Service/Manager Self Service integration; position management (including multiple active positions per employee; mass change capabilities; and advanced headcount and budgeting); system default rules—essentially all the basic elements that allow the HR system to function. Interestingly though, this software module also provides a stripped down Learning Management System which supports capabilities such as course set-up, registration, and the like for employee training initiatives—a distinctly talent management-centric feature that is simply illogical to have here.
  • Benefits Administration: The Infor Lawson Benefits Administration software delivers automation for enrollment, payroll deductions, plan updates, and regulatory reporting for U.S. and Canadian companies. As is the case with similar solutions, full integration with the Lawson Payroll software (and other Lawson applications) is also provided—allowing payroll deductions to reflect any new plan enrollments or changes and start immediately or at a pre-scheduled time. The Lawson software provides a fairly straightforward and easy-to-use process that companies can follow to define eligibility and benefit criteria to accommodate different groups of employees. In addition, through the Employee and Manager Self-Service modules, staff can asynchronously enroll in benefit plans, make plan changes, change dependents and beneficiaries, manage flexible spending accounts (FSAs), access retirement account information, and model changes with what-if scenarios in much the same fashion that the Payroll software permits.

    HR reporting capabilities are also available within the Benefits Administration software, but the standard reports will likely be far too basic for most companies. As such, customers are better advised to use Lawson’s Business Intelligence and HR Analytics tools to get information out of the application. That applies regardless of whether the objective is to generate simple reports such as plan premium and participation, down to complex regulatory documents to manage discrimination testing.

Absence Management Software

The most robust HR software features from Lawson pertaining to absence management are actually included in the Lawson Workforce Management suite—a package explicitly designed for the Healthcare and Gaming industries. That said, the Absence Management software is also designed in such a way as to yield a still impressive (and fairly comprehensive) feature set for employee leave management. This HR software module includes capabilities for rules-based, flexible Absence Plan setups (which allow unlimited numbers of accrual rates, tied to employee groups, within a single absence plan); automated enrollment and updates (for initiating and terminating rules-based enrollments); flexible accrual options (to manage, balance and control accruals for multiple positions and payment cycles); plan processing; and FMLA leave tracking. In addition, HR reporting options are also available for trend analyses (i.e. time off for illness or injury, vacation, medical leave, death of a family member, jury duty, etc.). While this HR module does exist as a standalone solution, integration with Payroll, General Ledger and Project Accounting is available, which would net even greater utility.

Next: Infor Lawson HCM and Payroll Capabilities >>

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