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The house has been built, let’s furnish it

Written by michielvandenarend on . Posted in Exact Online

In June this year, after 18 months in development, a new member of the Exact Online family arrived via a commercial launch: Exact Online Payroll.

In many ways building a new product is a lot like building a house. At a certain point the house is ready. You can live in it, take a shower and cook a meal. It protects you against the rain and the cold. It does what it should do, but as everybody knows, there’s a big difference between a house and a home.

So off you go to the D.I.Y store, buy paint, wallpaper, a shower cabin and goodness knows what else. Then you go back again because you forgot the brushes. After about the fifth trip for masking tape, you finally roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and start ‘customizing’ your house. You buy the furniture you like, throw in some more bits and pieces and voila! Your new home!

The same phases can be seen in building and using a payroll module.  First the fundamentals have to be in place. Think about the calculation logic, structure of the different master data and the database design. After that the basic functions are built, like calculation, based on the employee data and payroll components, printing the payroll slip, the tax declaration and the necessary overviews like wage list and journal entry.

As mentioned earlier, we started this over 18 months ago. We analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of our other payroll products like Exact for Dos and Exact Globe, and looked at other competitive payroll products in the market. We didn’t just look at existing products though. We wanted to introduce new concepts (co-working with the accountant), user-friendly applications (wizards) and a flexible structure (defining instead of engineering). We visited customers to observe their payroll process, discuss it and exchange ideas.

During building, we maintained contact with the customers to keep checking our chosen path was the correct one. After a pilot phase, the payroll module was finally ready for market. In other words, the house was built.

But like a house, every user has a set of personal preferences. As such we made it possible to change the menu style, customize the columns and rearrange the variable transaction-entry screen.

The house has been built, the walls can be decorated and the kitchen is ready. The product can be used and does what it should do. It’s now time for the next phase: furnishing.

Of course we are already busy with doing this. We are developing third party declarations, adding CLA’s and finishing the net to gross calculation. However, we realize that all our (potential) customers have their own preferences and ideas.

Don’t just let us furnish your payroll product though – let’s do it together! Share your ideas and preferences and give us your feedback on existing functionalities. Stupid ideas or suggestions do not exist. Of course we cannot build them all, but we certainly want to extend and improve the payroll module in line with what you want. Let’s choose the furniture together!

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