180° or 360° integrations connect payroll data to benefit provider systems. 180° connections send employee plan contribution data to benefit providers or record-keeping systems – these integrations are “one-way” only. 360° integrations are two-way, and send employee elections back to the payroll system.
Why do 180° Integrations Matter?
180° integrations tell benefit providers how much a given employee contributed towards a plan after each payroll. It is important that the timing of these contributions are reflected accurately, and also that the amounts are accurate. It takes time and effort to send or key in these amounts without an integration, and it’s easy for human admins to mis-enter dates and amounts, particularly when entries need to be processed for a large number of employees.
A simple mistake recording plan contributions can lead to major problems – an employer could over-contribute or under-contribute for many pay periods without realizing it.
Why do 360° Integrations Matter?
Unlike 180° integrations, 360° integrations also send data back to the payroll system. It is important for the payroll system to understand employee changes in benefit elections or contributions.
For example, an employee may choose to reduce their 401(k) contribution by 2%, and want that change to be effective immediately. Without a 360° integration, an administrator would need to log into the payroll system and record the change manually. Unless this change is recorded accurately and on time, it could lead to costly issues for the employer and put them at risk of over-contributing or under-contributing to a given plan.
How do These Integrations Usually Work?
Security and accuracy are extremely important with 180° and 360° integrations. So, it is standard to use SFTP or other secure protocols to send data back and forth between payroll and benefit systems of record. Within your company’s network or using a secure server within your company’s infrastructure, it will be necessary to set up a program to read post payroll data from your payroll system. Then, another program will securely send the post payroll data to the benefit system via SFTP.
If you want to extend your integration to a full 360°, “two-way” connection, it will also be necessary to read files from the benefit system and work to import those files manually or automatically with your payroll provider.
Are 180° and 360° Integrations Included with Valet?
Valet helps organizations improve payroll accuracy by connecting to multiple data sources. 180° integrations only need to connect with two data sources, and can be included in the basic Valet Data Service plan. 360° integrations can require connections to additional data sources, which are still available through Valet.
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