CloudPay and Acerta: Payroll Success in Belgium

CloudPay’s recent Service Partner Summit brought together satisfied partners and experienced payroll practitioners from all over the world. It was a great opportunity for businesses to share their stories of embracing the modern pay experience and learn from others’ examples to improve their own operations even further.

One of the most fascinating success stories from the summit came from Acerta, market leader for the provision of HR and payroll services to more than a million working people across Belgium. Acerta’s Director of Flexsourcing, Dirk Vanderhoydonck, explained at length how a partnership with CloudPay that has spanned more than a decade has enabled a strong, positive global payroll implementation.

Cutting through the complexity

Acerta’s solutions are used to manage the HR processes of one-quarter of all the employers in Belgium, so deploying a comprehensive and user-friendly solution was critical. Acerta began to integrate CloudPay technology with its own systems back in 2012 and had to navigate through a number of initial challenges. In particular, there were a number of technical complexities to navigate, as well as some difficulties in convincing customers of the benefits of the integration.

This required a lot of manual work to get everything running smoothly, but as Dirk told, the benefits made the effort worth it in the long run: “At the beginning, we were working very ad-hoc,” he said. “And through the years, we saw CloudPay evolving into a highly professional partner with a solid organization and collaboration structure, and a global portal that is now, at least in my opinion, really world-class. We are still discussing [today] how we can improve customer experience and operations. That is the spirit we need.”

Bumps in the road

Over the course of many integrations, a number of headwinds added complexity to each project – some of which were down to the scale of the work, and others were down to the specific characteristics of HR and payroll in Belgium:

  • Implementation stress: as is to be expected, customers can be, and should be, demanding in the service they expect during implementation, which often leads to a number of escalations
  • Legal compliance: the laws around HR and payroll in Belgium are particularly strict, and establishing and maintaining compliance can be time-consuming
  • Data security: as many as 90% of the attempted accesses to Acerta’s internet page are malicious, meaning that it is critical to always keep data secure across both platforms
  • Data input quality: some customers lacked the required knowledge of Belgian payroll regulations, so their initial data required a lot of work to bring it up to sufficient quality

Working together for long-term success

Over time, CloudPay and Acerta managed to resolve these issues, and Dirk credits this principally to open communication between both parties, working together without a culture of blame to solve problems as they arose. “I’m really convinced that this open mindset, talking to each other and working on issues, was a critical success factor for our partnership,” he said. “I always had the feeling that it was never about who was guilty, but more about how we can improve and make it work.”

Recently, the CloudPay and Acerta partnership was put to the test with a very demanding implementation. This customer had very low-quality input data, likely due to a lack of knowledge of Belgian payroll, meaning they couldn’t address the necessary Belgium-specific payroll requirements with their existing provider. This was solved by sending a payroll team member to the customer’s site, where they could retrieve existing data from the older software tool and help them set up new processes aligned with CloudPay’s procedures. This enabled a far smoother transition to the integrated solution, and a successful go-live within around three months.

As you can see from the case study above, Acerta and CloudPay are continuously crafting procedures and mechanisms to solve escalations. Indeed, more recently, Acerta’s Knowledge Centre of more than 30 legal advisors is being supported by a new AI tool that can scan the latest legal information to ease the process of maintaining compliance.

Acerta is just one of countless businesses around the world that has transformed its global payroll and HR services in partnership with CloudPay. Discover our solutions for global payroll in more detail here.

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