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4 Steps to a Successful HRIS Audit

By Erica Bell, writer
Aug 14, 2013
Image Credit: Prostock-Studio / Getty Images
> Human Resources

An HRIS (Human Resources Information System) is an integrated system used to gather, store and analyze information about an organization's human resources. Your HRIS is a powerful tool for workforce management, but it's also another system that must deliver results in terms of increased worker efficiency and more streamlined business processes. When evaluating an HRIS for purchase or auditing your current HRIS, there are few items for consideration you'll need to keep in mind.

  • Whether the system supports the achievement of HR objectives
  • Whether the information available from the HRIS meets the needs of your human resources team
  • Whether the framework in place is adequate and effective in protecting the confidentiality of data in the HRIS
  • Whether the data flows into and out of other systems is reliable and secure

Related: Find an HR software solution that meets your business's needs.

The System Supports HR Objectives

A recent study from the Center for Effective Organizations at USC reported that 50% of a human resources manager's time is spent providing and developing HR services/programs. To determine whether or not your HRIS is meeting HR objectives, evaluate whether or not the technology provided by your HRIS supports and streamlines these efforts. Objectives often include training and employee development, benefits administration or self-service, and payroll and benefits administration. Does your HRIS support these things? It should.

Information Meets the Needs of HR Staff

The USC study also found that HR managers lose 25% of their time to recordkeeping and auditing. If your HR team spends 25%, or more than one-quarter, of their time doing these tasks, your HRIS isn't doing its job and is costing your business in terms of employee productivity. The information provided by your HRIS must reduce the time it takes to complete these processes. Information provided should allow for easy report creation and management, data-driven decision making, and employee performance tracking. If the HRIS you're evaluating or auditing doesn't cover these bases, a change needs to be made.

Related: 5 Ways Your Small Business Can Save Money on HR

The Framework Protects Confidential Data

Human resources departments are responsible a large amount of confidential data including employee social security numbers, bank account numbers for direct deposits, and benefits administration details. Your HRIS must protect this information from the time it is entered to what would happen should a breach take place. Clear documentation is a must and protocols, policies and controls should be built into your HRIS so that only those that need access to sensitive information are able to access it. Your HRIS should minimize potential data loss and protect confidential information.

Data Flow is Secure and Reliable

If you have seamless system integration with confidential information protection throughout, you're data flow is on the right track in terms of security and reliability. From policies to protocols for data management, a successful HRIS should allow your business to integrate multiple software solutions as needed without the risk of data loss or information vulnerability. Another thing here to consider is that the data coming in and out of your HRIS needs to flow together so you can create accurate reports and make more decisions with the information available.

Related: 7 Unexpected Benefits of Attendance Tracking Software

As you audit or evaluate your HRIS, make sure you have policies and processes that allow for effective identification, communication, capture and validation of human resources data. The data provided by your HRIS should support your HR manager's needs to make them more efficient employees. To begin the audit, focus on these four areas and determine whether or not the solution you're considering or evaluating meets these must-have criteria.

(Image: Stuart Miles via

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Erica Bell
Erica Bell
See Erica Bell's Profile
Erica is the Social Media Specialist, as well as a content coordinator and writer. She writes on topics such as small business marketing strategies, human resources related best practices and customer service.You can find her posts on the home blog as well as the Performance Marketing blog. Erica is a double-major graduate of the University of California, Irvine. Aside from blogging and social media marketing, Erica enjoys playing soccer and rooting for the New Orleans Saints, spending time at the beach, and cuddling with her dog, Moo.
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