HR Magazine - September 2000: Merging HR Systems - A Mergers and Acquisitions Checklist

By J.W. Dysart Sep 1, 2000
HR Magazine,   July 2000Vol. 45, No. 9

Whether your company is being acquired, acquiring another firm or merging with an equal, you need to thoroughly understand your current technology before you make any decisions about how to treat HR information systems during the transition.

Ask yourself these questions, provided by Denise A. Tarka, president of The Employment Edge, a Cleveland-based consulting firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions.

  • What are the technical specifications for your current HR information systems (HRIS) and any separate HR-related applications?

  • Who uses your systems and applications? Do managers or employees have any direct access to HRIS? What information do users retrieve regularly? Occasionally? Seldom?

  • What are your security and access issues? What firewalls or other security measures do you have in place to protect HR data?

  • What are the terms of your software licenses?

  • Can your current HRIS support expansion to handle new functions you may want, such as in-house payroll or employee self-service?

  • What is the cost of systems maintenance, hardware, software and technical support?

  • Does the HRIS interface with other business systems, such as your company's accounting system, procurement system, sales incentive system, etc.? If so, how?

  • What will be the impact on those business systems if you change the HR systems? How will business systems' users be affected? What will be the impact on people who rely on information generated by the business systems?

  • What is your company's culture? For example, is HR information centralized, requiring managers and employees to come to HR with questions? Or does your company give managers and employees access to at least some HR data? How do your current HR systems reinforce your particular culture?

  • What will the new, merged company culture look like and what HR information needs will get priority?

  • Can your HRIS be integrated with the acquiring company's system?

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