Managing Payroll In A Merger Or Acquisition

17/05/2018

Mergers and acquisitions are part and parcel of the business world. However, as with all mergers and acquisitions, this can then have significant impact on internal processes.

While most of the responsibilities lies on the top management to ensure a smooth transition with the organizational changes, the HR department also has a key role to ensure that employees are kept up to date with the changes as well.

In addition to the human aspect of mergers and acquisitions, payroll can also have a major impact on how success a merger or acquisition will eventually turn out in the long run. The key here is to ensure that any changes in payroll should be in line with organisational changes. Here are some ways to execute payroll during a merger or acquisition without overlooking due diligence.

1. Assess the payroll situation

A merger or acquisition need not be a messy or complicated affair. Instead, understand how the payroll process is like for the organisations involved. There could be a chance that the organisations involved might be using the same payroll software. Additionally, with the advancement of payroll tools and cloud-based payroll software, merging employees’ data or payroll information together might not seem as nightmarish as before.

2. Have a payroll execution plan

Tasks will not be completed without a timeline in place. Ensure that there is a payroll execution plan, with specific deadlines and timeframe to achieve a certain task at each time. At the same time, ensure that everyone involved in the payroll execution or migration plan is aware of these timelines.

3. Have a payroll representative on the M&A team

The last thing you want is to surprise the organisations involved in terms of the management of payroll processes or number of payroll vendors. Having a payroll representative in the merger and acquisition team is a great way to ensure that the organisations involved are aware of the potential costs involved as well as the need to manage the expectations and contracts with these external vendors.

4. Back up every payroll data

Given that payroll data will be migrated and merged, it is imperative for every data to be backed up before integrating it with the involved organisations. Alternatively, organisations can engage external vendors to help with the data integration, to ensure that important and confidential payroll information is not lost. 

5. Keep the employees informed

The last thing that organisations should do is to keep employees in the dark. After all, mergers and acquisitions are likely to impact employees the most and there are bound to be a lot of insecurities within the organisation. Help the management team to ensure a smooth transition by keep employees informed on successful milestones, regardless of whether they are minor or major ones. This can help to build confidence and trust within the employees at the same time.

Mergers and acquisitions are bound to create tension and certainty within the organisation. Additionally, with the integration of multiple processes ongoing at the same time, due diligence and compliance issues may be overlooked at certain times. Given that payroll is also a crucial part of the integration process, it is imperative to have a plan in place to ensure a smooth transition and contribute to the organisational growth in the long run.

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This a guest post by RenQun Huang of Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll.

Strictly Confidential? You need a Non-Disclosure Agreement

10/05/2018

By its very nature, conducting business requires fluid and comprehensive communication. There are many situations where sharing private and confidential information can be crucial. This could be with an individual such as an investor or an entire company as part of a business to business negotiation. So how do you ensure that your confidential information is protected? A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) can safeguard this confidential information. It ensures that the other party fully respects your confidentiality and agrees not to disclose any information that has been shared. After all the most valuable assets a business has are its deepest secrets!

What exactly is an NDA?

Also known as a Confidentiality Agreement, an NDA is a legal contract by which a party agrees to keep information confidential. By signing this agreement, the receiver agrees not to disclose, use or exploit confidential information. The NDA will also specify the purpose of disclosing the information in the first place and how long the confidentiality obligations will apply.

When should you sign an NDA?

Broadly speaking, an NDA is a good idea whenever you are considering sharing valuable information about your business. It is crucial to ensure that the other party doesn’t take the information and either use it as their own, or use it in their own way without your approval.

An NDA ensures that all parties are agreed as to how information is to be treated. In turn this strengthens the confidential business relationship whilst also protecting proprietary information and trade secrets.

When would I need to share confidential information?

A company or individual should always evaluate any potential business relationship or partnership before agreeing to do business. If you are in talks with investors or manufacturers, for example, then a certain amount of confidential information will need to be shared In order to fully understand what a business transaction would involve. Obtaining intelligence on each other’s business models and processes may be necessary before signing on the dotted line. Full disclosure however means that measures must be taken to ensure the information remains solely between the parties involved.

When you are starting out, you may have to tell people about your business idea to get advice from various experts such as banks, accountants, insurance brokers or marketing agencies. Don’t ever assume that such conversations with advisers are automatically confidential.

What are the different types of NDA?

An NDA can either be one way or mutual. A one way or unilateral NDA is required when an individual or business shares information with another party and the receiver agrees not to disclose the information. A mutual NDA is when both parties are sharing confidential information with each other and therefore both need to agree to maintain confidentiality.

Some employee agreements may also include an NDA clause. In this case, the employee agrees not to use or share confidential information that is owned by the company.

How long does an NDA last?

The length of the agreement should be included within the document. After this time, the information may be used or disclosed. However, once the information is launched into the public domain, the NDA is no longer enforceable.

Related reading: Legal Documents Every Business Should Have

What should be included in your NDA?

Most importantly, you must identify and clarify the information that should be included. This involves defining what exactly is confidential and needs to be protected. Examples of types of information that could be protected under an NDA include ideas for a new website, innovations, strategies, software programmes, manufacturing processes, and designs or information relating to finances and customers. The NDA can also state that any information shared in presentations and meetings is similarly protected. Make sure the you include very specific information about any proprietary information and include examples. Define this as narrowly as possible but at the same time keep it concise. You should also clearly list exclusions from the definition of confidential information.

The NDA should also define the obligations of the party receiving the information. Mainly this obligation is to protect the secrecy of the confidential information as if it were their own. This also includes not influencing others to acquire the confidential information by improper means.

The specific dates for the NDA must also be outlined. You must clearly state the start and end date for when information may be exchanged between the parties. The NDA should also define a time period during which the Receiver is obligated to maintain confidentiality of the information.

Final Thoughts

An NDA can only be effective if it has been agreed upon and signed. It is simply unenforceable until this takes place and does not offer you any protection. It is crucial that signing takes place BEFORE you share any confidential information. Also, ensure that the right person with the correct authority signs the NDA such as a company director or a senior employee who is a decision maker.

Don’t just rely on an NDA to protect your information. An NDA is an effective measure and its very presence reinforces the fact that the information is sensitive thus reducing the risk of disclosure. However you should take additional steps to protect your confidential information. Consider setting up information security policies. These could be physical protection of information i.e keeping it under lock and key and also ensuring your information flow is on a need-to-know basis.

Sign up for a FREE trial with Zegal and produce your own Non-Disclosure Agreement for free: 

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How is GDPR reshaping the Internet?

09/05/2018

If you have been paying close attention, several organizations are quietly rewriting their Privacy Policies. Tech giants such as Microsoft to Google are updating their terms and preparing themselves for the massive shift in the legal space. So far, the ones affected by the new GDPR laws were the legal department, but with these laws going public, Internet users are also going to be affected.

The new rule is known as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and it is set to reshape some of the most complicated parts of the Internet.

What is GDPR?

In 2016, the European Union introduced the GDPR, which covered how organizations shared and managed their personal data. It literally applies to the citizens of the European Union, but given that the Internet is global, it will affect every online service. The new regulation introduces many changes, which users are finding difficult to adapt to.

The GDPR has been primarily built on two rules: Data Protection Directive and Privacy Shield. Firstly, the GDPR laws have raised the bar for protecting personal information with laws that have never been seen before. Going forward, any time organizations need personal information, they will need formal consent from that person. The newer laws are stronger and extend to organizations working outside the EU.

Secondly, the penalties with GDPR are even more severe. The GDPR brings hard deadlines for the organizations and will come into force on 25 May 2018. 

What is going to change?

The most important and primary changes would be on the other warnings and Terms of Service section. The new GDPR regulations would require more consent as compared to the previous laws, which means that organizations would be knocking on your door always for consent to use your personal data. In technical terms, this means clicking on more ‘click to proceed’ check boxes, with better transparency.

However, the real action will be happening behind the scenes. The GDPR sets rules for organizations as to how they share the information they have collected, which means now every organization will have to rethink their approach on analytics, advertising, logins, and more. Generally speaking, most of the websites currently have 20 ads running on the website, often unknown to the person whose data they are using. But, this won’t work anymore; GDPR will be adding better features for organizations that retrieve such data and providing better transparency in understanding what they are doing with your information.

Complying with the GDPR isn’t as simple as simply adding a ‘I Agree’ or ‘I Disagree’ dialogue box for consent. There are numerous issues in play, such as whether the authors will have control over the audience data or whether search engines can piggyback on authors for getting the data.

Related reading: GDPR: What are the changes and how to keep your business up to date?

Will this make the Internet clutter-free?

It’s too early to understand the effects of this. We have a brief idea of what compliance would look like, but have no clue what EU law enforcement will be. The simplest understanding from all this is that breaches will become expensive, and cost will run further down the network. It is going to get costlier to share data, and websites will be making new partnerships only to win on the grounds of privacy.

For the last 15 years data has been freely shared on the internet, but with the GDPR things are going to roll back. However, the most profound changes will take years to arise, potentially changing the web as we know it.

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This a guest post by Abhinav Sethi. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

Author Bio

Abhinav Sethi is an avid blogger and a tech enthusiast who enjoys writing about technology and has a keen interest in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, gadgets, etc. In his spare time, he does a bit of backyard gardening and enjoys exploring new avenues in the social sphere. Follow him on Twitter @Abhinawsethi

Successfully scale your startup with these helpful tips

30/04/2018

Entrepreneurship when successful creates financial freedom and opportunities to flourish. However, the rate of failure amongst startups is enough to deter people from even trying. The thought of working harder than you ever have in your life to earn a pittance or to be in arrears with finances is a scary thought. However, if you have the right tactics to grow, your startup can grow to an income-generating machine that can work on autopilot. Here’s some tips that you should keep in mind.

Brand your business

If you want your product or service to stand out and be valued, you need to develop your brand. There are many factors around developing a brand. However, the most valuable factor that you will invest in is a logo. The logo will represent everything that your brand stands for. The quality, the trust, the appeal, and the message that it stands for. Your logo will define the message that your business stands for.

It can be costly to setup a logo from a professional designer, however, you can create or design logo templates using LogoSnap, which allows you to develop modern logo designs for free using their suggested templates.

Create a funnel strategy

Many people expect to get sales straightaway from their marketing promotion efforts. The reality is that some of the leads will convert into customers straightaway, whilst the majority will be at different stages of the sales cycle.

By realising this, you can set up navigation paths for your leads to follow so you can convert more customers over the long-term. For example, you may have people that visited a product on your webpage, but didn’t convert. They can then be retargeted with the product or even related articles that can bring them back to the website.

Related reading: 7 online marketing tips for small businesses

Incentives can be used to get them to convert as customers or become a more qualified lead. This might involve using lead magnets, coupons, special offers or bonuses. All of these varied incentives can then be tested to see how customers convert through their consumer journey.

Commit to doing business development

This is the most crucial part for growing a business. In order for the business to grow, you must have a system that will allow you to attract qualified leads, which you can then turn into customers. For example, if you are in the service industry and run a cake toppers business from home, you want to focus on getting customers for birthday parties, weddings and special occasions. This might see you having to go to your local schools or extra-curricular events for students and meet with their parents to let them know about your cake topper service.

As a rule of thumb, 100 new contacts can lead to 1 or 2 sales. So in order to scale your business, you need to continually reach out to people in your market. It will become a numbers game and you can branch out into promotional methods such as direct marketing, leafletter drops, referral marketing, sales letter or newsletter marketing, media marketing and more.

Limit distractions

This is challenging for any entrepreneur due to the amount of multitasking that they have to do. Since they do so many tasks at once, they often end up being busy without being productive. In an employment environment, you can get away with it because you are paid for the time that you are there. But if you work for yourself as an entrepreneur, time is money. And the more time you waste, the more money you will end up losing.

Some ways you can minimise your distractions include:

Commit to an action plan

Set certain tasks with deadlines that need to be completed each week. And only focus on those tasks so that they are completed successfully. You can use web tools like Asana to help you manage the tasks that you need to complete.

Use the Pomodoro technique to improve your productivity

The Pomodoro technique uses a focus timer that you can use to work in intervals. So this might be in intervals of 25 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour. Then you reward yourself with a break in between.

Set a goal to accomplish a certain amount of tasks (e.g. 6 tasks) using the Pomodoro technique. This will help you improve your time management.

Work towards building a virtual workforce that can run your business

You want to be able to run your business and not have your business run you. You can hire local staff to manage the tasks needed to run your business. However, if you can leverage the virtual workforce, you can make sure that your business is always running 24/7. You can use sites like Upwork to find freelancers who can help you.

Related reading: 3 tips for managing your virtual office

By applying these tips, you should be able to scale your business within the next 60 days to be successful. So review what you are doing and see how you can fill in the gaps to become more successful.

Start managing your legal needs with Zegal today

This a guest post by Janil Jean. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

Author Bio 

Janil Jean is an idealist blogger and social media addict who loves conversations related to branding, storytelling, startups and small business technology and design. You can follow her on Twitter.

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