Workday expands payroll application to U.K.

Workday payroll application includes calculation engine, reporting and automatic tax updates.

In what it said is a key milestone for the company, Workday is expanding its payroll application to the United Kingdom.

Amy Wilson, vice president of HCM products at Workday, which provides cloud software to organizations for HR and financials, said the payroll application is currently offered in the U.S. and Canada and will also be expanded to France next year.

She said she imagines that many customers in the U.K. will still use the systems of payroll providers that partner with Workday, but said the vendor also is seeing significant demand to deliver a Workday payroll application. The payroll application is sold separately.

Wilson listed several benefits of Workday payroll, including its engine for calculating paycheck complexities such as earnings including overtime, and deductions of pre- and post-tax benefits.

"The calculation engine … is very powerful and very flexible and it makes it easy to handle complex requirements," Wilson said. "It also means that users can run these calculations as often as needed and that it has really terrific performance from a scalability perspective."

Tax updates are automatically applied through the cloud, which eliminates any need for regular upgrades or patches that you would see in an on-premises system, she said.

Workday payroll for the U.K. also handles local legal requirements such as the pay-as-you-earn withholding tax, Wilson said. The tax can require withholding the employee portion of national insurance contributions, or student loans and court orders, she said.

The Workday payroll application also offers reporting for a wide array of topics, including the cost burden of overtime, impacts of other work policies, analysis of spending, and assuring that the generation of paychecks is going well.

"One of the true benefits of Workday is the real-time reporting, the ability to just take any data in real time and be able to generate a report, drill into that report and take action," Wilson said.

Workday payroll is also mobile, allowing access to workers and managers at any time from any mobile device.

Many Workday customers are large and global, Wilson said, and they issue pay in a multitude of countries, both large and small.

Workday, which teams up with payroll providers in different nations, also announced a new partner, Payroll Incorporated of Tokyo, Wilson said.

Workday has now certified integrations with partners' local payroll systems in 85 countries, including partners in nine countries added since last June, she said.

FASB moves to delay start of new revenue standard

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is proposing to defer the start of a new standard for recognizing revenue by one year.

If the board's decision is finalized, public organizations would apply the new revenue standard to annual reporting periods starting after Dec. 15, 2017. Private organizations, including nonprofits, would apply the new standard to annual reporting periods after Dec. 15, 2018.

A 30-day comment period on the proposed delay could begin at the end of April, said Christine Klimek, a spokesperson for the organization, which establishes financial accounting standards for private companies.

The change could have sweeping effects. The board received about 1,350 comment letters from companies after issuing drafts of the standard in 2010 and 2011.

The new revenue standard covers all aspects of recognizing revenue from contracts with customers.

Rajiv Chopra, CEO of Revstream, which provides revenue management and analytics software, said the next two to three years will be critical for companies as they gear up for approval of the standard.

"Being a single standard, it is global," he said. "It's just not a U.S. issue any more. All major capital markets across the world get impacted. It's great for the investment community because now you can easily compare revenue forecast, revenue information and financial statements from a company in different industries and geographic regions with the same standard.

"If you are in telecommunications, aerospace, life sciences or a technology or software company, you are guided by the same principles."

Dave Kasabian, chief marketing officer of Tagetik, said the standard will be "a very hot topic" for organizations. He said it could be complex for companies to ensure they are in compliance.

"The challenge that you see in these types of compliance guidelines is that they tend to morph over time until it is agreed exactly what it is you need to do," Kasabian said.

With almost all regulatory reporting requirements, the constant morphing of requirements deters organizations from taking action until they are completely finalized, and then organizations find themselves scrambling to meet the deadline, Kasabian said.

The better approach would be proactive use of applications to automate the process so that as the requirements change, you can make adjustments rather than waiting until regulations become final, he said.

"This allows organizations to get out in front of the regulation and not have to scramble resources to manually meet the deadline at the 11th hour," Kasabian said. "This saves time and resources and reduces the risk of manual errors. "

The new standard, issued in 2014, would replace the current GAAP standards related to revenue recognition, which are complex and disparate. As a result, different industries use different accounting for economically similar transactions, Klimek said.

The new revenue guidance would remove inconsistencies and weaknesses in existing revenue requirements, provide a more robust framework for dealing with revenue issues, improve disclosure requirements and the ability to compare revenue recognition practices and simplify the preparation of financial statements by cutting the number of requirements, Klimek said.

The 2014 final standard could still be changed, but only through the FASB's due process. In addition to the effective date, the board is looking at improving two areas of revenue recognition guidance in the standard, including implementation for licenses of intellectual property and identifying performance obligations, she said. All entities also could adopt the new standard as early as of Dec 15, 2016. Some organizations asked the board to allow early adoption.

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