Finch Ranked #2 on On Deck’s 2023 List of Top 40 Companies
May 9, 2023
0 min read
We’re excited to announce that On Deck ranked Finch #2 on its Top 40 Companies of 2023 list, reinforcing our vision to build a future where employment is connected and programmable.
About On Deck and its annual list of top companies
On Deck launched its first fellowship in 2019. To date, the organization has helped start and accelerate hundreds of companies, which are now worth over $9 billion. What started as a passion project has grown into a worldwide network and community of the most ambitious people around the globe.
In an effort to consistently showcase the best and most promising On Deck companies, every year the organization publishes its list of top performers. On Deck considers a number of factors during the selection process, including funding raised, valuation, and momentum over the last year. The nature and importance of the problems companies are tackling also factors into the team’s decision. This year’s list includes 40 companies that have demonstrated significant traction over the past 12 months.
The market need for an open employment data ecosystem
Being recognized as a high performer by On Deck underscores the market need for an open employment data ecosystem.
The workforce is the backbone of the U.S. economy. From retirement benefits to health insurance to mental health, employers’ responsibilities have significantly increased over the years. Despite the challenges posed by the macro backdrop, U.S. employment has been growing steadily, with the unemployment rate at its lowest in 54 years.
Unfortunately, the employment ecosystem faces significant challenges due to a lack of data accessibility. Over 580 million U.S. employment records and $15 trillion of funds are processed across more than 20,000 employment data systems, including payroll, HRIS, benefits administration, ATS, and others. The ecosystem also lacks connectivity, with sensitive records mostly passed via manual data entry, SFTP, and unsecured emails.
We are here to change that by making it easy to read and write employment data at scale with our unified employment API. With Finch, applications can instantly integrate with over 200 employment systems to provide products and services to employers. To learn more, visit tryfinch.com.
Finch's Industry-Leading Employment API Recognized in GGV Capital's API-First Index
Finch is excited to announce that we’ve been included on GGV Capital's API-First Index.
GGV Capital is a global investment firm with $9.2 billion under management. It tracks the activity of VC deals for 120+ private companies to find those with the most promising approaches to API commercialization.
The significance of the API-First Index
GGV’s API-First Index focuses on API-led startups whose primary goal is developing and delivering scalable APIs, so their clients can build better products and services while improving the agility of their development process.
GGV recently expanded the index to include those that have each raised over $50 million in funding.
The index underscores the critical role APIs play in shaping the future of business and technology by highlighting the increasing importance of APIs as drivers of innovation and growth.
“We are going all-in on API companies because they will fundamentally simplify software development. APIs will allow developers to offload lower-value and time-consuming components of application development so they can focus on higher-value work,” states GGV.
Funding trends from the API-First Index
The API-First Index delivers a valuable benchmark for companies that want to keep pace with the rapidly evolving API landscape, and provides insights into emerging API trends to help businesses and investors identify potential partners and investment opportunities.
In 2022, the companies listed on the API-First Index raised approximately $2.1 billion in total funding, a 70% decrease from 2021, but 19% higher than 2020 and 45% higher than 2019.
“2021 was an outlier year for the VC industry broadly, including API-first companies. We believe it’s important to establish that 2021—catalyzed by historically low interest rates and rapid digital adoption spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic—was a once-in-a-decade moment,” said GGV in its 2022 Year in Review.
The context provided around VC activity in 2021 is important. For example, the number of deals in 2022 also decreased, but the average size of deals increased to approximately $60 million—50% higher than deals in 2019 and 2020. It could be that investors are targeting more mature companies and later-stage funding rounds, since these companies require bigger investments to scale their operations.
While the startup ecosystem has continued to see more diminished funding since 2021, the increase from the preceding years is a good sign. VC funding certainly hasn’t dried up and could be poised for a slow rebound as investors focus on making more informed decisions about companies’ potential for revenue growth.
Employment data’s future role in the API space
Finch’s inclusion on the API-First Index demonstrates that the demand for employment data portability will continue to shape the future of the API space.
Employment data includes:
Employee directory information like name, contact information, date of birth, manager, salary, and start/end date
Employee income information including hours worked, salary, wages, deductions, and taxes
Company information such as legal name, address, taxpayer classification, EIN, and banking details
An employment data API like Finch provides secure access to sources of employment data—human resource information systems and payroll systems—with a single integration.
Employment data APIs make it possible for B2B applications across a variety of industries to leverage employment data to fuel innovative products and seamless customer experiences. Here are just some of the ways B2B applications are deploying employment data to change the future of workforce management, business operations, commercial finance, tax, and insurance:
Performance management—Monitoring employee productivity in real-time and providing feedback and coaching based on performance metrics
Predictive analytics—Identifying which employees are most likely to leave the company then taking proactive steps to retain them
Personalized learning and development opportunities—Recommending specific training programs to employees based on performance metrics and career aspirations
Benefits administration—Automatically enrolling employees in benefits programs based on their payroll data
Budget forecasting—Forecasting budgets with more accuracy by gaining a better understanding of their labor costs
Tax compliance—Generating and streamlining reports on taxes, compliance, and other regulatory requirements to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations
Underwriting and risk assessment—Utilizing up-to-date census and payroll data to actively assess risk, adjust premiums, and determine appropriate rates for insurance coverage
Claims processing—Verifying claimants’ employment history and status to help prevent fraudulent claims
Employment data APIs will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of business as companies of every size, shape, and vertical increasingly demand integrated, data-driven experiences from the B2B applications that serve them.
Learn more about Finch
Finch is a universal API for employment data.
We’re singularly positioned to provide you with mission-critical infrastructure for employment data across a wide range of verticals—including read-and-write compatibility with 200+ employment systems covering more than 88% of U.S. employers—and enable data transfers between employers and applications.
With more than five million API calls every day and tens of thousands of employer connections, Finch is the trusted HRIS and payroll API solution for discerning B2B applications. For more details, visit tryfinch.com.
Finch Named to the Embedded Fintech 50 by GGV Capital
February 1, 2023
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We’re excited to announce that GGV Capital, in partnership with Crunchbase, has named Finch to its inaugural Embedded Fintech 50, a list recognizing the most promising fintech companies in the eyes of startup investors.
GGV Capital convened 57 other investment firms to nominate and vote on the 50 honorees. Having raised more than $12 billion collectively, the Embedded Fintech 50 demonstrates the enthusiasm of venture capital investors in the growth and innovation of this sector. In celebration, honorees will ring the Closing Bell at Nasdaq MarketSite today.
People are the most important component of an organization, yet the data required to understand a company’s investment in its workforce is siloed across payroll, HR and benefits systems,” said Jeremy Zhang, CEO at Finch. “Our technology is addressing an important challenge in the employment data ecosystem as companies have been unable to easily derive and act on insights from those disparate data sources, until now. We are grateful to be recognized in this inaugural list and look forward to driving the next generation of automation in a space that has been underserved thus far by the technology industry.
For the inaugural list, 175 companies were nominated, and 50 were selected through a voting process that required the nomination of portfolio and non-portfolio companies. Nomination criteria included companies with a primary product focus on fintech, U.S. as a primary market, and Series A stage. Embedded fintech is defined as financial service platforms or financial service providers that integrate into commercial or financial service platforms.
Embedded fintech is a bright spot in today’s market, and it is exciting to see how companies are democratizing access to financial services through technology,” said Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital. “We are excited for the continued development of the embedded fintech landscape and further creative innovations to come. Congratulations to the Embedded Fintech 50 honorees!
Workplace connectivity and digital employee experience (DEX) will be a major focus for organizations in the coming year, as many incorporate learnings from experiments with remote/hybrid budgets and policies since the beginning of the pandemic.
57% of employees see no purpose in their company intranet. Company intranets developed in the ‘90s, mainly to broadcast company-wide information and display employee data. While these platforms have evolved to include knowledge bases, different industries utilize various communication tools to surface company insights to the right people. A vertical-specific approach to this problem that embeds into existing knowledge-sharing workflows can drive greater employee collaboration.
Workplace scenario analysis
44% of U.S. employees prefer a hybrid work model, compared to 51% of employers, but there’s no one size fits all approach. Many tools help companies with office management, remote collaboration, and hybrid work, but it’s still difficult to identify the implications of each model. A platform that connects to productivity tools and layers on assumptions like a financial model can offer scenarios for leadership to evaluate as their workplace structure evolves.
$9.7T of payroll is run every year in the U.S., representing one of the largest expenses for a business. Many businesses benefitted from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) during the height of the pandemic, but there are few lenders that offer unique financing options focused on paying employees. A platform that offers a revolver for payroll could allow people-intensive businesses to match their payments with receivables and reduce working capital gaps.
Billing seats management
The average business has around 110 SaaS tools, many of which use a seat model. Over time, it’s difficult to track how many seats you have allocated to various tools and who they’re assigned to. Creating a centralized platform to increase visibility in SaaS seat allocations, and even manage payments, can unlock long-term cost efficiencies for scaling organizations.
Local tax credits
While businesses redeem billions of federal tax credits every year from the IRS, the 89,000 municipalities and counties in the United States often have SMB tax incentives that local companies can benefit from. However, identifying and applying for these credits can take up a lot of an SMB’s time and, frequently, their accountants aren’t even aware the opportunities exist. Utilizing data from various business systems, a next-generation local tax credit platform could unlock millions of dollars for SMBs while building a deeper relationship with their local governments.
Employees take into account ancillary benefits as part of their decision to join or stay at a company. Depending on the key characteristics of a workforce, expanding offerings beyond traditional retirement and health benefits can go a long way.
More than half of U.S. parents spend more than 20% of their income on childcare. These benefits are available at some large companies, but they have yet to proliferate amongst smaller organizations that better align with the needs of employees who are parents. Building a comprehensive childcare benefits product could allow companies to reduce the stress that comes with parenting, which can translate to better employee happiness and productivity.
Pet insurance benefits
85M (about 67%) of households in the U.S. own pets, and insurance can cost anywhere between $15 to $50+ per month. For many, pets are an extension of their family, and their health is top of mind. Full pet lifecycle coverage, subsidized by employers, can dramatically reduce the stress of vet visits and emergency procedures for employees.
Career development benefits
Learning and development is an expanding budget item as more organizations look to uplevel their employees with new training programs. Consolidating coaching, skill-building programs, and internal training into a connected platform can allow company leadership to understand where investments in their people are yielding the greatest results.
Register for a test account now to see how Finch can help you integrate with more than 180 tools across HR tech, fintech and benefits, so your startup can focus on building product, rather than be bogged down by messy integrations.
Customer Story: Corporate Merch—streamlined swag from start to finish
October 12, 2022
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Problem: Corporate Merch knew integrating with HR and payroll systems was mission-critical, but they needed to get to market quickly while also ensuring their customer base was fully covered. Before the company could commit to partnering with Finch, they needed us to add two key integrations to our 180+ list of supported systems—fast.
Solution: With a proven process in place to build integrations quickly, we successfully added both providers within weeks, and Corporate Merch was able to go live with automated integrations as large customers started onboarding.
Corporate Merch is a new breed of swag company. Not only do they create quality branded gift items for their customers to send to employees, clients, and partners, Corporate Merch also provides state-of-the-art storage and packages and ships swag item-by-item to intended recipients. The linchpin of their operation is a proprietary software system that lets customers easily view, manage—and automate—their inventory, orders, and shipments.
Integrations as a path to differentiation
Early on, it became clear to Corporate Merch that the employee swag space, in particular, needed disrupting. The reason? People operations professionals typically have to use antiquated and ad hoc solutions like spreadsheets and Google Forms to collect and track employee data and manually distribute merchandise.
Corporate Merch knew that automating these tasks would be a gamechanger—and that the key to automation would be integrating with the HR and payroll systems customers use every day to house employee data. The problem was, building all of the integrations they required to cover their customer base would take two years and a lot of patience. For Corporate Merch, that was a non-starter.
A ready and responsive partner
Corporate Merch needed a partner that could help them get integrated quickly, so they could go live with automations just as fast. Finch emerged at the top of the pack for its employment system expertise, ease of use, overall support, and technical responsiveness.
Working with the Finch team has been a breeze, and they know this space through and through—that's why we chose them.
Daniel Spirgel, Corporate Merch's President
But the partnership came with a stipulation: Finch first had to integrate with two new SMB and enterprise systems essential to Corporate Merch’s customers that were missing from Finch’s coverage network.
With a proven, proprietary system for building integrations in place, our development team was able to successfully build and test the both complex integrations in a matter of weeks, enabling Corporate Merch to get unblocked with larger customer implementations.
Finch held our hand through the whole process. They showed us the endpoints that we would want to focus on and what to stay away from. They answered all of our questions. We wouldn't have gone live so quickly if it wasn't for their help and their concern about us building it the right way.
Daniel Spirgel, Corporate Merch's President
What’s more, the support didn’t stop at implementation. Spirgel says he values the guidance Finch continues to offer the Corporate Merch team as they plot out their product roadmap, including how responsive Finch is to their questions over Slack.
The effect on Corporate Merch’s user experience has been remarkable. Now, customers have the option to securely connect their HR or payroll system at onboarding, all in a matter of moments:
Customers select their HR or payroll platform from the options provided.
They sync their account and permission the data transfer by passing their credentials through Finch's secure, compliant, and white-labeled Connect modal.
This connection allows customers to set up triggers that automate the swag process, like sending out gifts for employees’ birthdays or work anniversaries or distributing onboarding kits when new hires join the team. Most importantly, the connection is continuous, so that as employees come and go from customers’ organizations, Corporate Merch’s system is kept up to date.
As for coverage, Corporate Merch hasn’t run into a customer yet who hasn’t been able to integrate via Finch.
Now, we are confident that when we walk into a demo meeting, the integration that a prospective client needs is already built. I’d say 95% of our clients’ HR and payroll systems are covered through Finch.
Daniel Spirgel, Corporate Merch's President
At Finch, we're committed to enabling innovative platforms like Corporate Merch create the best experience for their customers. If you’re interested in getting hands-on with org-wide employment data, sign up for a free Finch developer account today!
Customer Story: PerkUp—employee rewards without lifting a finger
September 21, 2022
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Problem: To be the best-in-class employee rewards platform customers want and expect, PerkUp needed seamless, reliable access to employee data that could power time-saving automation.
Solution: With Finch, PerkUp was able get up and running with HRIS integrations in a sprint and offer their customers a seamless syncing experience. After using Finch for over a year, PerkUp was able to lower support costs, create stickier customer relationships, and expand their TAM, all without having to dedicate resources to maintaining the Finch integration.
Rewarding and recognizing employees. globally
PerkUp helps businesses drive employee engagement by making it easy for them to manage and scale their employee rewards program. Through PerkUp’s comprehensive but simple-to-use platform, customers can send incredible, curated gifts to employees worldwide.
The data conundrum
PerkUp’s primary users are busy HR and people operations professionals who are increasingly protective of their time. PerkUp knew that to be a vital solution, they would need to deliver on ease of use and reliability through automation.
But automating employee gift-giving requires employee data—fields like name, start date, birthday, location, and manager. That gave PerkUp a choice: build a sophisticated CSV uploader or find an integration solution that connects directly to customers’ HR information systems (HRIS).
PerkUp knew that a CSV uploader would not only be a heavy lift, it would also only transfer static data that would need to be regularly refreshed by the platform’s users—a friction PerkUp wanted to avoid.
Next, PerkUp considered an iPaaS provider, but ultimately didn’t want to take on the burden of managing the workflows in-house. They needed an integration solution that would enhance the performance of their product without taxing their internal resources.
That’s when PerkUp turned to Finch.
Streamlining the onboarding experience
In less than a single engineering sprint, PerkUp was up and running with Finch, creating a truly best-in-class data syncing experience.
The mechanism by which Finch works is easy, secure, and intuitive. PerkUp customers simply connect their HRIS at onboarding in two steps:
They select their HRIS from the options provided.
They sync their account and permission the data transfer by passing their credentials through Finch’s white-labeled Connect modal.
Instantly, PerkUp has data access, and customers can create the rules they need to automate their gift-giving workflows—like sending employees rewards on their birthday or company swag on their first day on the job.
What’s more, the data connection is continuous and refreshes every 24 hours, ensuring PerkUp is always working from the most up-to-date employee information. Compared to flat-file transfers and manual data syncs, the efficiencies are enormous.
Finch saves our customers time and headaches, which means they require less customer support from us. We've had 400-person companies connect their system in minutes. When that happens, it's amazing.
Thomas Mirmotahari, PerkUp's Co-Founder & CEO
Built to set and forget
Finch is designed to create a seamless "set-it-and-forget-it" experience for both PerkUp's engineers and customers.
In the year that PerkUp has been using Finch the engineering team was able to shift virtually all resources away from managing the Finch integration, only having to make updates for new data fields. Moreover, PerkUp's customers were able to establish long-lived connections to their HRIS without having to check if data was stale, creating a smooth, consistent experience.
Finch is like the Plaid of HRIS. We love that they’re going deeper, both in terms of the providers they’re adding and the data they’re retrieving. That's the type of partner that we want.
Thomas Mirmotahari, PerkUp's Co-Founder & CEO
Driving lasting business impact
Finch’s ever-growing coverage of the long-tail also expands PerkUp’s target addressable market and helps the sales team make inroads with innovative employers using next-generation HRIS.
When Finch released the HiBob integration, for instance, PerkUp was able to go back to leads who had been asking for it. PerkUp says that made their team look great to prospective customers—like they had done the work to cater to their request—when, really, it was their Finch partnership that made it possible.
Beyond sales, Finch also supports one of the platform’s primary revenue streams. For PerkUp, the business case is clear:
Finch makes our product much stickier. As our customers grow, Finch reduces the admin burden for them, embeds us more deeply in their operations, and generates additional per-employee-per-month fees for us. It supports our business on multiple levels.
Thomas Mirmotahari, PerkUp's Co-Founder & CEO
In fact, there are a surprising range of business outcomes that Finch's integrations can impact. Learn more about the eight key business KPIs that we can improve at your company here.
At Finch, we’ve made it our mission to enable innovative platforms like PerkUp create the best experience for their customers. If you’re interested in getting hands-on with employment data, sign up for a free Finch developer account today!
3 KPIs that unlock insights into your customers’ employee lifecycle
August 24, 2022
0 min read
If you’re a B2B application selling to employers—an employee training platform or employee engagement platform, for instance—then you know that creating additional value for your customers is critical to building a stickier product and, ultimately, ensuring your success. One way to create this value is to offer your customers deeper insights into their employee lifecycle by tracking the metrics customers care most about.
In this post, we’ve collaborated with ChartHop to dive into three employee lifecycle KPIs you can derive from employment data housed in your customers’ HRIS and payroll systems. Read how they are transforming their customers’ employee lifecycles here.
By surfacing similar metrics for your customers, you can help them create a better employment experience.
Let’s get started!
1. Internal mobility rate
As employees move up the ranks or across positions, the path they take can be tracked. Known as career mobility, this movement encompasses both the standard promotional structure (i.e., when employees earn greater responsibility and more senior titles) as well as lateral movement between teams and departments. So, why is this data important?
Tracking employee movement across positions and departments allows you to provide your customers with a detailed summary of their organization’s propensity to create growth and development opportunities for their employees. They can then use this data to give new hires a better understanding of the long-term career paths available to them from their first-day onwards—which can aid in cultivating a workplace culture that’s conducive to employee retention.
This metric also allows you to provide your customers with more granular insights into the flow of employees between departments. By divvying up the data by team, you can weigh how certain sectors of the organization are performing in regard to developing growth opportunities against others and reveal areas in need of improvement.
How to calculate internal mobility
Calculating internal mobility is simple: take the total number of internal movements and divide it by the average number of employees during the same time period. Once you have this number, multiply it by 100 to turn it into a percentage.
Pulling internal mobility rate from Finch
Because many systems don’t show historical organizational structure changes, you will need to record this data over time across the organization before you can calculate internal mobility rate. Here’s how:
Call the Directory endpoint to gather all active employees.
Pass employee IDs through the Employment endpoint and store the employee types you want to track—this count is the denominator.
Refresh the Directory and Employment endpoints regularly to track new employees and any changes to job title, department, compensation, or direct reports to calculate the number of internal movements—this is the numerator. You should also account for new hires and former employees which shouldn’t necessarily factor into this metric.
Learn how to ensure equitable promotions for your customers’ employees.
2. Compensation history
Any income an employee earns in the course of their regular employment is considered part of their compensation history. This can include their salary, bonuses they’ve received, commissions they’ve earned, and tips.
Knowing this information is important because it gives you a deeper understanding of your customers’ compensation distribution. This helps you flag potential areas of inequity or inconsistency across different teams, demographics, and positions, allowing your customers to improve employee retention in the long run and offer competitive compensation packages that draw top-quality talent.
How to calculate compensation history
To calculate compensation history, simply add an employee’s salary, bonuses, commissions, tips/wages, and any other sources of income together for the time period you want to track.
Pulling compensation data from Finch
To gain the most visibility into employee earnings, you’ll want to leverage both Payment and Pay Statement endpoints as well as the Employment endpoint, which contains data like base income and pay frequency.
First, call the Directory endpoint to gather all active employees.
Then, call the Payment endpoint and input the date range you are interested in to pull in earnings for that period.
Lastly, call the Pay Statement endpoint, and aggregate gross income for each employee.
Alternatively, many providers can also provide access to historical compensation changes which Finch surfaces in the Employment endpoint under the income history array. This array will include the unit, amount, currency, and effective date of previous income changes.
Read more about how companies can build responsible compensation plans.
3. Turnover rate
Employee turnover rate is the percentage of employees that leave an organization within a given period. You can use this data to drill down into more specific subsets of your customers’ organizations like individual departments or demographic groups.
If your product is centered around increasing engagement or employee retention, this data is crucial, as it allows you to spot potential issues that can save your customers money and improve employee morale and retention over the long term.
How to calculate turnover rate
To calculate an organization’s turnover rate, you’ll want to divide the employees that left over a particular span of time by the average number of employees for that same period.
Pulling turnover rate from Finch
Pulling the data you need to calculate turnover rate from Finch is a simple process:
As with the other entries on this list, you’ll first make a call to the Directory endpoint to gather all employees.
Then, call the Employment endpoint to aggregate start and termination dates.
Lastly, take all the employees whose termination dates fall within the last year, and divide it by the average number of employees who were active during that same period.
Find out what turnover rate can tell you about your customers’ business.
Align insights with your customers' goals
By leveraging the above insights, you’ll be able to better add value to your customers’ organizations—helping them streamline employee development, increase employee engagement, and boost team cohesion. This creates a better work experience that makes them more likely to retain their workers—and retain your platform’s services.
Discover how Finch helps you harness the power of employment data to provide your customers with key insights in real time. Click here to sign up for free.
Want to get in touch with our friends at Charthop to unlock people insights for your organization? Click here to learn more about what you can do when all your people data is in one place.
8 business KPIs that improve with employment system integrations
July 21, 2022
0 min read
Employment system integrations—that is, integrations with HR information systems and payroll systems—typically fall under the purview of product teams, but that doesn’t mean that they are strictly a product concern. In fact, a well executed employment system integration strategy has the potential to affect a myriad of aspects of your organization for the better, including your growth trajectory, opportunities for expansion, and expenses.
In other words, the decision to integrate with employment systems is a business one. As you weigh your options, consider these eight KPIs that employment system integrations often impact:
1. New logo acquisitions
Employment system integrations enlarge the field of customers you can work with by enabling instant compatibility with the employment systems they use, allowing you to close more deals with a wider range of organizations.
This is especially true if your strategy entails partnering with a broad-coverage employment system API like Finch that enables connectivity with many systems from a single integration. In turn, your sales team is empowered to pursue segments of the market that would otherwise be uneconomic due to lack of connectivity. With Finch’s 150+ integrations, you can service 88% of U.S. employers—and many international ones—in one fell swoop.
With Finch’s single, universal API, Green Places gained real-time connectivity to more than 90% of its customers’ HR platforms. Just as critically, Finch affords Green Places more time and bandwidth to allocate to other areas of product development.
2. Sales cycle length
Increasingly, the availability of employment system integrations is an important purchase criterion. Having integrations in place at the outset of your engagement meets a key expectation of potential customers, which can help fast-track them through the sales pipeline to a signed contract.
On the other hand, if you’re following a bottom-up sales model, you’ll appreciate that employment system integrations enable a seamless data sync process that supports self-serve onboarding and product-led growth. In other words, leads can start using your product without having to speak to a sales rep, bypassing an extended sales pipeline altogether.
Many applications realize a boost in ACV when they offer integrations as part of a premium tier of service or product access. Because employment system integrations can save your customers hours of work at onboarding and fuel deluxe features and product enhancements, you can leverage integrations to persuade customers to sign larger deals.
4. Free-to-paid conversion
If your product offers a self-serve motion accompanied by a free trial, data syncing via employment system integrations indicates a lead’s high intent to pay for your product. By granting access to their employment data, they’ve signified that they trust your value proposition and want to see your product drive ROI for their business.
Acquiring new customers is helpful, but keeping them around for the long-term is how you build a sustainable business. Data connectivity via employment system integrations supports retention in multiple ways:
It makes for stickier customer relationships. Since your product is directly connected to your customers’ source of truth, and they’ve already configured their workflow based on how your product ingests their raw employment data, they’re highly invested.
By syncing with census data, you can track champions, buyers, and other key stakeholders within a customer organization and proactively reach out when organization changes occur, helping to ensure a continuous relationship.
If your product drives employee retention, you can measure the impact of your product on individual team and organization-wide retention rates from the time of implementation. That way, when renewals come up, you’re able to concretely demonstrate ROI.
6. Revenue retention
If your product relies on a usage-based business model driven by seats or per-employee-per-month (PEPM) growth, access to customers’ employment data gives you a direct line of sight into the potential size of their contract. It also streamlines the process of expanding usage by giving your customers the ability to track new employees and automate user invites.
Additionally, if your product has multiple buyers across an organization—say, finance and HR—you can leverage your access to real-time organizational structure data to cross-sell your product into other teams.
7. Engineering expenses
If you build employment system integrations in-house, the initiative will likely be a drain on your development resources. Assuming that three engineers will work on an integration for three months (or more, if your needs go beyond basic census data), that puts the engineering costs of just your initial build-out in the ballpark of $200,000. Multiply that by the number of integrations you need to adequately cover your customer base plus maintenance costs, and you are looking at a steep, ongoing investment.
Outsourcing employment system integrations to a third-party API like Finch saves you money by eliminating the need for multiple build-outs and drastically reducing the number of hours your engineering team has to dedicate to the project. Our team does the heavy lifting, including maintenance, so your internal talent can focus on your product’s core technology and UX.
During onboarding and implementation, customers often require hand-holding—and one of the biggest hurdles they cross is data syncing. That means that your support team needs to be trained in the specific data syncing processes, formats, and idiosyncrasies of each system you integrate with—a monumental and costly training initiative. Even then, it often requires three to four calls with a customer to confirm connectivity. These are costs that don’t scale and can balloon as your customer base expands. Employment system integrations reduce the data syncing process from days to seconds and remove the friction that necessitates hand-holding in the first place, allowing you to save support resources for initiatives that increase customer loyalty.
Integrating with employment systems isn’t just a slick product enhancement; it’s a strategic business initiative that drives measurable impact across your organization. Much of the ROI, however, depends on prudent execution—namely, partnering with a universal employment system API like Finch that can optimize coverage, performance, and cost efficiencies.
In short, Finch does the hard work of integrating with HRIS and payroll systems for you, so you can optimize the return. Our dynamic, unified API offers read-and-write access and abstracts away inconsistencies across systems for exceptional usability no matter the source.
Talk to one of our experts today to learn how Finch’s employment integrations can drive business outcomes for you.
Eugenie Ma always knew she wanted to pursue a career in recruiting. After working as a tech recruiter in a variety of sectors, from IoT to public safety, she found herself at Finch helping to build a world-class team. Read on to discover what Eugenie looks for in a job candidate, why she makes diversity, equity, and inclusion a top priority in her work, and where she prefers to spend her free time.
Can you tell us about your role at Finch?
I was hired as Finch’s first internal recruiter to build the foundational pieces of our talent function. Besides building processes, I review resumes, screen applicants, and provide candidate support. One important element of my work is ensuring that candidates fully understand our company goals and how they would fit into the puzzle as part of Finch’s team. I want them to be fully comfortable with their decision to build with us.
Like all my colleagues, I wear multiple hats. I’ve been fortunate enough to work both in people operations and on employer branding projects.
What does a great candidate fit look like at Finch?
It really depends on the role. They probably already embody our core values—execution, curiosity, humility, and empathy. Our organization is quite unique because we all come from different walks of life. Our range of experiences enables us to come up with creative solutions together.
However, at the end of the day, it’s all about being organized and being willing to navigate ambiguous situations, so I look for those qualities in an applicant as well.
Do you have any advice for applicants?
First impressions have a lasting impact. That means submitting an error-free and reader-friendly resume. Then, let your authentic self shine through during the interview process. We want to celebrate your track record and learn how you’ve conquered challenges. It’s also okay to ask clarifying questions after conducting your initial research.
Did you always know you wanted to work in tech?
Actually, if someone had told me I was going to work in tech, I wouldn’t have believed them. My undergraduate degree was in business administration. I was lucky enough to find a mentor who took a chance on me. She offered a recruiting internship at an internet of things (IoT) company, and the rest was history. After that, I moved into the machine learning and computer vision space, then into public safety.
How did you end up at Finch?
Jeremy, one of Finch’s co-founders, reached out when I was an executive recruiter at Amazon. I missed working with technical populations and building meaningful processes, so I tried my hand at consulting. I could tell Finch was going to be a great fit because of how friendly everyone was. They would go out of their way to check in with me, even though I wasn’t a full-time member of their team. That’s rare—especially in a remote work environment.
Initially, I did top-of-funnel projects like generating lists of prospects, but that quickly evolved into more strategic work like crafting messaging and fine-tuning interview structures.
What motivates you to show up to work each day?
I want to leave the world a better place, and the possibility that I’ll change even one life makes everything worth it. We spend a majority of our adult lives working, so we should operate in engaging spaces. As a career matchmaker, I help people navigate the job market and align them with roles that energize them.
Finch is the youngest startup I’ve been a part of, and I’m excited to apply the lessons I’ve learned in previous positions as we grow. Plus, working with brilliant people goes a long way. Everyone at Finch is driven and process-oriented, which is a welcome change from some larger companies.
Is there an aspect of talent acquisition that especially inspires you?
Diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity goes beyond meeting checkbox requirements; it’s the diversity of thought and expressions that unlocks success. Someone once told me that it’s pointless to extend party invitations if attendees aren’t given the opportunity to dance and mingle. When it comes to recruiting, we’re striving to cultivate spaces where team members can be bold and know that their thoughts are being heard.
I’m an introverted extrovert, so I appreciate having a high level of autonomy, ownership, and impact while bringing my authentic self to the table. It’s important to me that others feel that same sense of trust and worth.
What have you learned from your teammates?
When I first started, I was very impressed with our doc center and standard operating procedures. Things were very well organized for a team of our size and stage. I’ve learned how to fine-tune my project management skills and how to create detailed documents with clear goals. Diana Liu is especially talented when it comes to project management, and she has really shown me the ropes.
How do you get to know your colleagues?
We’re a remote-first team, so all communication is very intentional. Unlike collaborating in a physical office space, we can’t just hang out at the water cooler to have spontaneous conversations. But we’ve been using Gather Town as a virtual office space to build meaningful relationships, so the ability to verbally brainstorm, whiteboard, and play games with one another is only a click away.
We also have a strong one-to-one peer-manager culture; we’re constantly adjusting our communication methods as we continue to scale.
What advice would you give a new hire on their first day at Finch?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help. Curiosity is one of our core values, and everybody at Finch is exceedingly gracious and thoughtful. Leverage the resources you have, and meet proactively with your manager as much as possible. Those early conversations are crucial for setting the expectations both for yourself and for your team.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I’m a yogi in the making—but if I’m not at my local studio, I’m probably at the gym or reading in Central Park. I’ve also started bouldering.
If you had to describe Finch in one word, what would it be?
Exhilarating. Things change all the time! There’s always something going on, and there’s always something to do. There’s never a moment of boredom.
Time in the startup world moves fast—something Sean Breen knows from experience. After getting his start as an intern at a venture capital firm in Washington D.C., he quickly immersed himself in the ecosystem of enterprise companies and their founders, eventually making his mark as the territory account executive for Mapbox, a billion-dollar mapping platform. After hitting the job market a few years later in search of a new challenge, Sean met his match with Finch. Read on to hear Sean talk about the road that led him to our team and how he has been able to succeed.
How did you hear about Finch?
I was referred to Finch by a company they use for placements called Candidate Labs. It was at the point in my career where I was ready for change and looking for a fresh challenge to energize me. When I met Ansel and Jeremy, Finch’s co-founders, I immediately understood what they were trying to build. I understood their business model and had prior experience selling technical products to developers. But meeting the team and feeling the chemistry was what sealed the deal for me.
Can you describe your role?
In the beginning, it was all about building processes. Since then, it has evolved into generating new business and growing sales. Getting new customers to join Finch is my main job, but because we’re a startup, I also work with the engineering and product teams to understand what the market is telling us and communicate that internally.
What does your work with the product and engineering teams look like?
It's very bidirectional. We're building our roadmap based on what we think the market needs and, at the same time, the market is telling us what it actually needs.
Did you always want to end up in sales?
Not at all. I was a chemistry and economics major in school. Going into the workforce, I wanted to figure out what my abilities were and what I might be more naturally inclined at than others. A few of my mentors suggested sales. The first thing I pictured was the stereotype that everybody associates with sales, but I was intrigued by how consultative the field can be. It’s more than just selling. I’m thankful for my mentors and the conversations we had that led me here.
What do you think has made you successful in a sales role?
Along with being naturally curious, I’d say it’s the ability to hear what someone is saying at face value and then deduce what will best solve their problem. Oftentimes, the real value that people are looking for is one or two layers deeper than what they might communicate. For me, it presents a fun puzzle to solve.
What excites you about your work?
I love that it's so dynamic. I’m a naturally curious person, and I like to get into the weeds. Working at a startup, some days are harder than others for a variety of reasons. You don’t know what you’re going to get. At the same time, you exercise a real impact on the company, the team, and your own career. Outside of fulfilling my own needs, it’s important to me to help other people fulfill theirs.
How do you structure your day to optimize your time?
I’ve found that simplicity is key. There are three things that I need to do to have a good day: drink water, work out, and get outside. I structure my day around these very clear objectives to ensure I can be the best version of myself both professionally and personally.
What are you passionate about outside work?
I like being outside and moving around. Last year I did a couple of endurance races, but my biggest passion outside of work is helping to organize the D.C. Bike Party. It’s a once-a-month social ride that attracts 600 to 1,000 people. We tow around a large sound system and have a DJ play music, but it’s more than just a party on wheels. We’re bringing music, the arts, and joy to the city.
What do you like best about working at Finch?
The people. Every company is going to have its customers and its product, but it’s the people that you’re working with and going through challenges with that make a major difference. The longer I’ve been at Finch, the more I realize how great my teammates are.
Being a remote-first company, how do you create strong relationships with your teammates?
Zoom. It sounds weird, but having conversations where you can see someone’s face gets you 70% of the way there. And then, because we’re a remote-first company, there’s greater emphasis on building relationships at any time, not just during office hours. For example, I was skiing in Utah and arranged to meet up with my co-worker, Sam. We skied a full day together. It was like we’d been friends for decades.
What’s something you’ve learned from your time at Finch?
The importance of process. Passion can get you a long way when it comes to certain endeavors, but process helps you scale. That’s a lesson I’ve learned in my time here, and I already feel like I can apply it to future projects.
EHIR + Finch | Empowering employers with health and productivity solutions
June 23, 2022
0 min read
We’re now an EHIR trusted partner!
Finch and EHIR are partnering to help innovative companies empower employers with health, wellness, and productivity solutions for their workforces. We’re excited to announce that we’ll be supporting their academy, innovator, and alumni communities with our employment data platform.
What is EHIR?
EHIR is a coalition of more than 75 of the world’s leading employers, including Apple, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Target, and Disney, that find and accelerate solutions to help employees attain their best health. The objective support and valuable insight EHIR provides helps member organizations navigate the shifting employer landscape and stay ahead of the curve.
Over the past six years, EHIR has worked diligently to identify and evaluate the most promising emerging health and wellness solutions in HR tech. Now, after undergoing a thorough vetting process, we’re proud to announce that EHIR has recognized Finch as a trusted partner in its exclusive network.
The important role of EHIR in today’s health benefits landscape
The pandemic has changed the way many people think about health and telehealth services. Meanwhile, the Great Resignation has afforded employees greater bargaining power, putting pressure on employers to provide more and increasingly progressive benefits.
Due to the growing demand for technology that addresses these challenges, many HR tech startups are entering the market. With so many products to choose from, it can be difficult for employers to understand which best suit the needs of their employees.
Why Finch was chosen and what it means
As an independent organization, EHIR provides employers with recommendations they can trust—saving them time and money.
By unifying data access to multiple HRIS and payroll systems through a single integration, Finch meets EHIR’s criteria as an innovative platform their community members can rely on to help them tackle data syncing challenges. We’re honored by the distinction and excited for the opportunity to support EHIR’s change-making mission.
Join the growing fleet of providers leveraging APIs to improve processes, automate workflows, and build better user experiences. Contact EHIR's team and get API keys from Finch today!
Customer Story: Green Places—streamlining sustainability-as-a-service
June 22, 2022
0 min read
Problem: Green Places relies on customers’ HR data to perform key carbon footprint calculations. To get what it needs, Green Places had to ask customers to upload the data via spreadsheets and CSV files—a high-friction, time-consuming, and low-fidelity process.
Solution: By integrating with Finch, Green Places has direct, secure, and permissioned data connectivity to 90% of the HR platforms its customers use every day—saving customers 5 to 7 hours at onboarding and unlocking new possibilities for Green Places’ product roadmap.
Collective action against climate change
It has never been more critical for businesses to minimize their environmental impact, but traditional pathways to assessing and reducing a business’ carbon footprint are, for many businesses, prohibitively expensive.
Green Places is changing that. Through its tech-first, science-backed approach to calculating, reducing, and offsetting emissions, Green Places is making sustainability attainable, so that businesses of all sizes have the power and opportunity to make a difference.
A friction-filled onboarding flow
To arrive at accurate emissions calculations, Green Places taps into many different kinds of data sources, including utility companies, databases managed by the Environmental Protection Agency, Google Maps, business accounting systems, and more.
One of Green Places’ most important data sources is the HR platforms its customers use to manage their human capital. HR platforms house many of the keystone data attributes Green Places depends on, including the number of employees a customer has, where each employee is based, and the location of their workspace. When combined with data from other sources, Green Places can determine important markers like how much clean energy versus fossil fuels a customer expends to power its physical operations and the total environmental impact of its employees’ commute.
But without direct connectivity to HR platforms, Green Places had to ask its customers to upload their HR data manually via spreadsheets and CSV files. It was tedious, time-consuming, and compromised Green Places’ mission to put seamless sustainability within reach.
The impact of connectivity
Green Places knew it had to automate the data retrieval process and set a goal of pulling 80% of emissions data across all source types. But when it came to HR data, Green Places found that most integration providers lacked breadth and depth of coverage. The sustainability platform was about to embark on a piecemeal initiative to cobble together multiple partial solutions, when it learned about Finch.
Above all, Green Places was impressed with Finch’s comprehensive coverage. With Finch’s single, universal API, Green Places gained real-time connectivity to more than 90% of its customers’ HR platforms. Just as critically, Finch affords Green Places more time and bandwidth to allocate to other areas of product development.
"We’ve always had the goal of making our product as straightforward as possible through integrations. So, now that we have a universal integration into HR platforms through Finch, we can devote our time to focusing on unlocking commerce data and other data silos."
Alex Lassiter, Green Places’ Founder and CEO
Where Finch fits in
Since partnering with Finch, customers have the option to securely connect their HR platform directly to Green Places’ system. From start to finish, the connection takes moments:
Customers select their HR platform from the options provided.
They sync their account and permission the data transfer by passing their credentials through Finch's secure, compliant, and white-labeled Connect modal.
Instantly, via a single API integration, Green Places has access to the data it needs to perform 40% of a customer’s emissions calculations. Meanwhile, customers are spared anywhere from 5 to 7 hours they would otherwise spend manually collecting and uploading HR data.
Fueling future innovation
Finch also opens up a world of potential for the sustainability platform.
Traditionally, carbon accounting is based on historical data, but with Finch’s live data connection, Green Places is uniquely positioned to upend the status quo and build carbon accounting services that are based on real-time computations.
Green Places is also planning to leverage Finch’s comprehensive HR endpoints, including employee email addresses, to fuel a higher degree of employee interaction. The goal is to foster authentic sustainability cultures within workplaces that influence systemic change.
"With Finch, we have the opportunity to make sustainability and green policies core to employees’ work experience, so that change doesn’t just happen at the top; it comes from all directions."
Alex Lassiter, Green Places’ Founder and CEO
At Finch, we’ve made it our mission to support innovative platforms like Green Places access the global employment ecosystem. If you’re interested in learning more about the potential and power of workforce data, enter your email address on our homepage here to get API keys today.
While working in quality assurance at Checkr, Lauren Wan discovered her passion for product optimization. Her willingness to confront new challenges head-on and her knack for quickly getting to the root of a problem has made her a valuable addition to Finch. Read on to see what Lauren has learned on the job and the helpful advice she’d offer others starting out in product operations.
What does it mean to work in product operations at Finch?
I’m part of a team that’s responsible for operationalizing and optimizing our product. A big part of it is being a subject matter expert on the many payroll systems we integrate with so we can help inform engineering decisions and provide insights when our customers reach out with questions.
If I were to break down my day-to-day, the big categories would be researching different payroll systems, building and iterating on processes and SOPs, investigating issues our customers have surfaced, and providing hands-on support. While I’m not a highly technical person, I love learning how a product functions and translating that to non-technical and operations folks.
What did you do before Finch?
I graduated from UC Davis with a degree in managerial economics and had various internships throughout college. One of my main projects was at the university research office, where I performed data quality assurance for a new website launch.
That’s what led me to Checkr, which was one of my first jobs out of college. I started there as a quality assurance associate in operations, which meant ensuring the accuracy of background check reports by investigating criminal records, researching court documents, and analyzing compliance laws. I was in that department for three and a half years, ultimately getting promoted to manager. Eventually, I realized that, while I loved helping the people on my team grow, I was mostly passionate about optimizing our product by rooting out inefficiencies and reducing manual workloads.
That’s what drove me to product operations, which was my final role at Checkr. I was in that position for nine or ten months before making the transition to Finch.
How did you learn about this opportunity at Finch, and why did you decide to go for it?
I heard about the position through Diana, who I worked with at Checkr. She posted on Instagram that Finch was hiring, and I reached out to learn more. I wanted to understand what product ops meant in a broader context and where my skill set might fit in. That led to conversations with Finch’s co-founders, Jeremy and Ansel, which really got the ball rolling.
I loved my team and role at Checkr, but I was ready for a new challenge. The idea of learning about a brand new product and industry was exciting, and Finch felt like a great fit. I’d known for a while that I wanted to join a smaller startup and truly contribute to its growth, and I appreciated the thoughtfulness that Jeremy and Ansel brought to the interview process. They made a point of going through all the reasons that I stood out as a candidate, and that was a defining moment for me. It really demonstrated the fantastic culture at Finch.
What would you say you’ve learned so far in your time at Finch?
Of course, I’ve learned a lot about our product and how it works, but one thing that’s emphasized at Finch is running toward problems, not away from them. Even if you’re not the person who can solve a specific problem, that doesn’t mean that it won’t impact you in some way. I’ve learned the importance of finding the right people to help you tackle an issue and collaborating with them to find a way forward.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
In product ops, you’re often operating in ambiguity. There are thousands of payroll systems out there. If a customer makes a detailed request, or if we’re exploring new integrations, I may have to explore payroll systems I’ve never worked with before. It can be challenging, but it’s very rewarding when I’m able to find the right solution.
Is there a particular project you’ve been especially proud to work on?
One of my larger projects is studying different payroll systems to understand the specific set of permissions a user needs to implement to successfully call each of our API endpoints—allowing us to provide more granular error messaging to our customers. It requires a lot of up-front research and testing across payroll systems, and it’s been super exciting to work on. The impact to our customers is going to be huge.
If someone were joining your team, what advice would you offer them?
Be flexible, and understand that what your role looks like this month may not necessarily be what it looks like next month. That’s certainly been the case for me. Product ops is a unique team, in that we’re interacting with payroll systems day in and day out—probably more than any other team at Finch. So, the requests we see from customers and internal teams can take many forms.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I’ve recently rediscovered my love of reading. I have a goal to read 52 books in 52 weeks, and I try to read a little each night before going to bed. Right now, I’m just two books behind schedule.
I also travel a lot. I moved to Denver three years ago, but I probably only spend 40% of my time here. My partner lives in Miami, and my family lives in San Francisco, so I get to split my time between these very different cities. It’s great just biking around, exploring new neighborhoods, and trying out new restaurants.
What would you say makes Finch a great company to work for?
The people here are incredible. Everyone is so hardworking and always willing to help. They’re also genuine and kind, which speaks volumes to the culture we’re building at Finch. The company as a whole has done a great job of creating a space where people feel comfortable being themselves, and there are many different personalities in the mix.
If you had to describe Finch in one word, what would it be?
Scrappy. The team has doubled in size since I joined six months ago, but we’re still small, and everyone still wears multiple hats. I love that no one’s afraid to roll up their sleeves and get in the weeds to solve problems.
3 trends driving fragmentation in the SMB payroll market
To best serve their SMB customers, technology-first companies are looking to leverage the power of payroll and HR data—but with nearly 6K payroll systems on the market, that can mean building out many tedious integrations. Fortunately, there’s a better way.
Most notable is the seismic shift in focus from productivity to people as employers look to recruit and retain talent amid the Great Resignation, strengthen their work culture and benefits, and foster better relationships with their employees. For innovative companies serving SMBs, meeting these needs requires careful analysis and considerable support from the data tied up in SMBs’ payroll systems.
Unfortunately, comprehensive payroll data is getting harder and harder to access. There are almost 6,000 payroll providers in the U.S. alone, and recent trends are causing that number to grow.
For SMB-focused companies to keep up, they need to understand what the current payroll market looks like, which factors are driving diversification, and how using APIs that span multiple systems can help them access more data, build smarter and faster solutions for SMB customers, and ultimately boost their business. In this post, we break it all down.
A heavily fragmented market
The latest data indicates there are approximately 5,700 payroll providers in the U.S., with a combined annual revenue of around $48 billion.
The top three payroll providers—Intuit Quickbooks, ADP Run, and Paycheck Flex—cover almost half (45%) of SMB employers nationwide. But extending to the top 10 only increases that coverage to 55%. For comparison, the top 10 accounting systems collectively cover 95% of the SMB market.
What’s more, beyond the top three, all other payroll providers each have less than 4% of the total market share, with coverage quickly tapering off. A number of these are newer platforms—like Gusto, Zenefits, and Rippling—that have appeared over the last decade to satisfy evolving SMB needs and a growing demand for self-serve products with transparent pricing.
That means we can expect the industry to grow even more fractured in the coming years, as innovators continue to emerge and respond to changing market conditions.
In particular, there are three trends to watch that are spurring fragmentation in the U.S. payroll market. Let’s take a closer look at each.
1. SMBs typically pick a payroll provider based on their demographics.
A business’s payroll system plays a critical role in its operations, and switching platforms comes at a high cost—so picking the right provider is essential. Still, SMBs often select a payroll provider based solely on demographics, including factors like:
Number of employees: As an organization grows, it encounters a broader and more complex range of compliance requirements and payroll schedules.
Industry: Different industries hire different types of workers (e.g., seasonal, temp, salaried, hourly, apprentice, and interns), each with its own HR workflows.
Only secondarily will SMBs look to the core capabilities and key features of the platform itself—such as options for customization, time tracking, benefits, insurance, and customer support. That means SMBs may not look for the best provider overall, but the best fit for their business.
2. World events are reshaping SMB purchasing decisions.
External circumstances—above all, the lingering effects of the pandemic—also impact how SMBs think about payroll and the support they need from their payroll providers.
Some of the most pressing considerations include:
The competitive labor market, which has made it difficult for SMB employers to attract and keep high-performing employees. Some providers offer a suite of recruiting and retention tools like pay analytics and talent sourcing services to help hire in a tough environment.
Hybrid work models, which are becoming common, especially in white-collar industries where being on-site is less essential to productivity. Some payroll providers offer a range of remote workforce management solutions to onboard and oversee dispersed employees.
New regulations that are emerging to protect employee and contractor rights and bolster workplace safety requirements. Some payroll providers build compliance tools into their platforms, so employers can easily adapt to new rules and avoid hefty penalties.
Industries that have their own regulatory bodies and in-person staffing needs—like food service, hospitality, construction, and agriculture—are particularly vulnerable to shifting conditions and face an even more complex decision when choosing a provider to accom modate them.
3. White-labeled and embedded solutions are powering new, tech-forward platforms.
White-labeled and embedded solutions allow other companies to build payroll capabilities into their existing systems—essentially enabling any platform to become a payroll provider.
White-labeled platforms like iSolved and PrismHR allow HR systems, service bureaus, and professional employment organizations (PEOs) to keep their current branding and service models while providing the underlying infrastructure to power a range of human capital management (HCM) solutions.
Embedded payroll platforms—such as Gusto, Check, Zeal, and Salsa—use an API to embed a payroll application into an existing product. While still nascent, this market has the potential to expand across vertical SaaS, the gig economy, HR tech, and fintech.
As this technology advances, it’s becoming easier for new companies to add payroll to their list of services and capabilities—and harder for a single provider to win a market majority.
The problem with payroll fragmentation
Market fragmentation means businesses serving SMBs have to integrate and coordinate with multiple payroll providers to cover a sufficient swath of their customers. It’s hard enough to build and maintain an integration with one platform—let alone hundreds or thousands.
Integrating with the top one, three, or ten payroll providers might allow a company to cover half of their customer base. But to efficiently serve the other half—or tap into new regions and industries—would require many incremental builds, draining time and resources.
To tackle this coverage issue, many fintechs, benefits platforms, and other B2B companies are turning to digital solutions that take a more comprehensive approach to payroll data and roll hundreds of payroll integrations into a single platform. That’s where Finch comes in.
How Finch can help
Finch’s universal API connects to an extensive network of payroll systems, and we are continually adding new integrations. Right now, we have compatibility with over 150 systems, and that number is always growing.
That means, with Finch, product teams designing solutions for SMBs don’t have to worry about building any integrations in house or reconciling inconsistent data outputs from different systems—they get secure, standardized, and effortlessly scalable access to the fragmented payroll market right out of the box.
How to build a best-in-class learning management system experience with Finch
Since 2020, the pace of experiences going virtual has snowballed – corporate learning and development (L&D) is no exception. Coupled with pressing talent concerns, L&D leaders across industries and verticals are poised to invest in learning management systems (LMS) that meet their need to remotely onboard, train, reskill, and upskill while also solving for their pain points around administration, organization, and analytics. Learning management systems that prioritize exceptional experiences for LMS admins and learners stand to come out on top.
One element of creating a best-in-class LMS experience is payroll and HR integrations. By connecting to the software employers use to manage their workforce, learning management systems can unlock product functions and features that set new bars in the LMS category.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the L&D pain points HR and payroll integrations alleviate and how you can leverage them to optimize your own LMS platform in ways that meet or exceed your customers’ expectations.
The L&D landscape
Before we do, let’s dig into the mindset of your customers with a brief overview of the corporate L&D landscape, which is taking on new importance in the wake of COVID-19 and the social and economic forces defining our current reality.
For one, companies are struggling—both to keep employees motivated and to close skill gaps internally without resorting to expensive (and often unfruitful) talent recruitment initiatives. They’re also responding to demands to improve the DEI fluency of their teams and foster an authentically inclusive workplace culture. Then, there’s the growth of remote work and the need for virtual onboarding and training solutions to replace in-person experiences.
At many companies, L&D has been expected to bear the brunt of these challenges and more, earning L&D a place among c-suite priorities. The numbers bear this out:
72% of professionals polled agree that L&D has become a more strategic function at their organization.
In Q3 2021, demand for L&D specialists grew 94% compared to Q2 that same year.
48% of L&D leaders worldwide, including 51% in North America, expect their budgets to increase in 2022—a six-year high.
Unsurprisingly, L&D teams are feeling more pressure to deliver on performance as well as more demands on their time. A recent survey found that the number of different L&D initiatives being deployed in 2022 has increased across the board, stretching L&D professionals thin.
To cope with their growing pains, L&D teams are looking to technology. Perhaps more than ever, they expect LMS solutions to save them time, drive learner engagement, and offer analytics that help them deliver the results they’ve been tasked with achieving.
L&D pain points
Specifically, L&D professionals are concerned about three key areas of LMS functionality and performance:
Admin time: L&D professionals want to spend fewer hours onboarding employees into learning management systems, enrolling them in courses, and managing and tracking their progress.
User adoption: To meet their objectives, L&D professionals need an LMS that employees want to use and do use. This is usually a function of an LMS being easy and enjoyable to navigate and engage with.
Analytics: It’s critical for L&D professionals to be able to view and assess the impact a particular course or learning module is having, so they can adjust their approach accordingly, report on progress, and prove their value to leadership teams.
An important element of solving these pain points for your customers is HR and payroll system integrations.
When you integrate with your customers’ HR and payroll systems, your LMS has access to their full trove of employee census data like name, job title, department, location, and much more. In turn, you unlock numerous opportunities to make your product more effective and efficient in ways that meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.
Here are just some of the ways HR and payroll integrations help you build a best-in-class LMS experience for your customers:
Admin automation: With access to employee census data, HR and payroll system integrations make it possible to build numerous features that take the manual work out of tedious tasks like onboarding users, program invitations, course enrollments, compliance tracking, and user deactivations. Instead of requiring L&D professionals to enter and manage this information themselves, or upload and reconcile clunky CSV files containing sensitive employee data, integrations pull the data instantly and output it in a normalized, actionable format for your LMS to consume and leverage.
Optimal engagement: In retrieving data like job titles, department, and location, HR and payroll integrations provide the visibility your LMS needs to create hyper-personalized journeys that are tailored to the skill sets, interests, seniority, and location-specific compliance requirements of your customers’ individual employees. By offering employees an experience just for them, they are more likely to enjoy and complete courses and modules, and L&D professionals are more likely to be satisfied with the engagement rates your LMS generates.
Valuable insights: The data that HR and payroll systems unlock can be used to identify correlations between courses and modules completed and things like compensation, job performance, and promotions. These insights can be pulled into your LMS’s dashboard to provide visibility into ROI and impact. In turn, L&D professionals not only have documentation of the value of their work, they can also make adjustments to their strategies and policies as needed to optimize that value.
Your integration options
Assuming you’re sold on the value of HR and payroll system integrations, you have a couple of options. You can either build and maintain the integrations in-house—a complicated, resource-draining undertaking—or you can outsource integrations to a specialist like Finch.
With Finch, you get all the benefits of integrations without sacrificing your internal bandwidth. Our single, universal API makes it possible to access comprehensive data sets from an ever-growing number of HR and payroll providers (142 at the time of publication) with minimal coding and zero maintenance responsibilities.
Compare that to building in-house, which can cost companies in the vicinity of $300,000, including upfront development and ongoing upkeep.
The unique value of Finch
Aside from cost savings, Finch standardizes data from disparate sources, so it’s immediately and optimally usable without intervention from your team or your customers—allowing you to focus on what you do best without having to worry about which of the many, many HR systems or payroll providers your customers use (check out our whitepaper on the fragmented US payroll landscape here).
Perhaps the most tangible benefit of Finch, though, is its effect on onboarding. What once took 30 days worth of file uploads, hand-holding, and back-and-forth correspondence with your customers is reduced to a quick and easy 30 seconds and completed entirely within your LMS. The process is simple:
Finch Connect (our secure, embeddable front-end modal) prompts your customers to choose their HR or payroll system.
Your customers authorize a set of permissions by entering their admin or API credentials to that system.
The connection is established, and your LMS starts receiving data.
We do all the legwork. For you and your customers, there’s nothing more to it.
Then there’s the matter of upkeep. When you go with Finch, integration maintenance is entirely in our court. So, instead of spending an average of 27 minutes on the phone with an HR or payroll provider trying to connect to their infrastructure so you can troubleshoot any inevitable issues that arise, you shoot us a support ticket, and we take care of it, reducing your effort to something closer to 27 seconds.
Concentrate on your competencies
In essence, Finch ensures you can take advantage of everything HR and payroll integrations offer without any of the internal hassles or capacity issues you’d run into by keeping the work in-house. Consequently, you’ll have more internal resources to dedicate to your core product, allowing you to get to market sooner and accelerate your roadmap.
Want to know more about integrations for LMS platforms?
To start building with Finch, enter your email address on our homepage here to get API keys today.
In under a decade, Erik Demaree went from working at the Bloomberg Help Desk to being solely responsible for Auth0's North American corporate, mid-market and small business sales teams—firmly cementing his success as a leader in B2B tech sales. That drive, coupled with his proven track record for selling APIs and his interest in identifying and unlocking economic opportunities, made him a natural fit for Finch. Read on to hear from Erik himself about his move to our team and the leadership principles he’s bringing with him.
You’ve been at Finch for about three months now. What were you doing previously?
After college, I worked at Bloomberg in New York before moving back to Seattle. I took a job at Auth0, which was a relatively small company at the time, and stayed with them for almost six years. Over the course of my time there, I moved my way up from a business development representative role to running commercial sales. After Okta acquired Auth0, I started my job search.
How did your job search lead you to Finch?
I had a list of things that I wanted in a new company, and I found it in Finch. I wanted to move into a role that would allow me to apply the learnings I had accumulated while offering me more focused ownership over the go-to-market process. I wanted a company with a blue-chip investment team, a product that is the core of application-building and primarily sold to developers and product managers. I wanted to sell an API that can unlock economic opportunities. In terms of leadership, I was looking for founders that are very, very, very hungry.
What does it mean, on a practical level, to be VP of sales?
My mandate is to operationalize our entire go-to-market function. That includes building out the sales team, creating a sales playbook, and working with marketing to coalesce everything into a brand and a pitch that we can sell.
What does success look like in your role?
The thing we've been focusing on, within the sales team, is that a good today is better than a perfect tomorrow. We prioritize pushing stuff out, moving forward, and then learning from that. If we need to augment or iterate, that's completely okay.
We’ll never be “done” with building out the sales process. We're always looking for ways to improve ourselves, increase conversions, and close larger deals. Therefore, what success looks like now is very different from what it will look like six months from now when we have a larger team and different customers.
How do you approach work-life balance as a leader at Finch?
Finch is cognizant that building culture can also mean giving people space to have lives outside of their job. Of course, as a 30-person company, we have to be invested in building the company from the ground up. But we are still respectful of each other’s personal commitments. Giving people the space to be flexible and to work the way they want to work is super important.
What makes Finch a great company to work for?
We are building the infrastructure that will power the future of employment data. The use cases and applicability of what we are doing are limitless and, as a result, we are addressing both tactical and massive issues for our customers. On top of that, Finch is growing at a rate where every single employee is sharing ideas and iterating to improve processes, plans, and approach. We are constantly collaborating in a way where different functional areas can improve others. One of the hallmarks of Finch is our hiring practices. We have folks from all walks of life with completely different backgrounds. By bringing this team together and focusing on how we build together, we are able to share new ideas and perspectives to turn Finch into the best company it can be.
What’s challenging about your job?
We're a startup, so there are nuances and gaps that we still have to define. This makes every day different and fresh. You don't always know where the next challenge is going to come from. We can be prescriptive and try to anticipate that, but there's always going to be an element of surprise.
What excites you about your work?
Right now we are focused on a few specific use cases – these get our foot in the door – but they only scratch the surface in terms of what our product can do. Being an integration layer between applications and payroll and HR platforms may not sound incredibly exciting, but companies in the employment space are handling extremely sensitive data in very porous ways. If we can solve this piece of the puzzle, these organizations can build better products that can help people both at work and home.
All of this is pretty exciting, especially since employers are thinking more progressively about promoting holistic workplace wellness. Employees want to feel that their company is supportive, transparent, and respectful of their values and personal priorities. We can be leaders in this space and help refine the relationship between workers and their employers.
Customer Story: Trainual—the scalable playbook for SMBs
May 4, 2022
0 min read
Problem: Trainual, a B2B SaaS platform that helps SMBs scale their operational processes and employee training protocols, needed a way to seamlessly onboard new customers and users without endlessly building point-to-point integrations with all the HR systems in its target market’s tech stack.
Solution: With Finch, Trainual has experienced a 3,620% increase in its integration setup completion rate, making it easier for customers to invite more users to Trainual—all while reducing development costs by 75%.
Writing the playbooks for business
When businesses come to Trainual for help, they’re usually small but growing fast, and their operational processes—scattered across Google docs and PDFs—can’t keep pace. What they’re looking for is a system to document, organize, distribute, and scale the policies, roles, how-tos, hierarchies, and responsibilities that make everything run.
Trainual serves as that single source of truth. With a Trainual account, customers have access to easy-to-follow, pre-built templates and tutorials for creating their business’s unique playbook, as well as the interface they need to share that information with their staff and ensure its consumption. Trainual’s goal? To make more businesses successful and help all the people within their customers’ organization love their job and do it effectively every day.
A classic build vs. buy debate
When a business signs up for Trainual, every employee in that organization needs to be entered into the system in order to properly map the roles, responsibilities, and SOPs that make Trainual’s playbooks so effective. Every employee is also granted access to the system so that the materials developed are always at their disposal.
In order to deliver a seamless experience, Trainual knew it had to integrate with the HR and payroll systems its customers use to manage their employee records. The alternative—asking customers to manually enter or upload individual employee data—was a nonstarter.
So, Trainual began building point-to-point integrations with individual systems as the need arose. As its tech team added more integrations, the undertaking became increasingly complicated and time-consuming, leaving them with a decision to make: Should they continue their course of building one-off integrations? Should they build an API? Or should they outsource integrations to a third-party provider?
For the fast-moving startup, the decision was clear. Trainual knew that partnering with an integrations provider would allow it to meet customers' expectations in a much shorter time frame. Finch was the solution.
With Finch’s single, universal API, Trainual immediately grew its integration coverage by 137% but only had to build to one centralized point instead of many, disparate systems, saving weeks of developer time and effort. Combined with the effects of outsourcing integration maintenance to Finch, Trainual has realized a 75% reduction in development costs.
Now, Trainual has greater alignment than ever with HR and payroll systems in the SMB space, meaning more of its customers use the systems Finch connects to. In turn, Trainual has experienced a 3,620% increase in itsintegration setup completionrate.
Where Finch fits in
Trainual customers feel the impact of Finch in the seamlessness of their customer journey. When they’re prompted to invite additional users into the system, they’re presented with a banner of all the different integrations Trainual supports. With Finch behind the scenes providing the rails the data travels on, Trainual customers can securely transfer their company’s employee data in two simple steps:
Customers select their organization’s HR or payroll system from the options provided.
They sync their organization’s system and permission the data transfer by passing their credentials through Finch's secure, compliant, and white-labeled Connect modal.
In moments, Finch authenticates the connection and Trainual can begin importing employee data—fields like name, title, role, start date, and supervisor—to set up new user accounts.
Because the data connection is continuous, Trainual can instantly onboard and offboard new and former employees as necessary, without asking customers to update their user data. It’s critical automation for a platform that prides itself on being built to scale with customers. The ease with which new user accounts can be added has also resulted in more user accounts across the board—an important metric for Trainual.
Finch removes friction and streamlines the process of onboarding our customers and setting up new employees down to a matter of seconds. We push Finch early in our customer journey, because we know that customers who take advantage of those integrations turn into our most successful accounts.
Taylor Sell, Director of Product
In addition to seamless onboarding, Finch empowers Trainual with the data-driven visibility to make more insightful recommendations for its customers.
Based on the data we’re able to glean from integrations—industry, company size, reporting structure, titles, tenure, etc.—we can tell customers what they should be documenting and the policies and processes they should be following. It opens up a more nuanced recommendation engine for us.
Taylor Sell, Director of Product
One of the most exciting and reassuring aspects of Trainual’s relationship with Finch is the proven knowledge that Finch’s coverage is ever-expanding and won’t constrain Trainual’s own growth or ability to make a sale.
As a new request for an integration comes in from one of our customers or we see a new provider that's coming up, we've had a great experience going to the Finch team and asking, “Is this something that you have on your roadmap?” And so far, every single one we've recommended has been added within about a week. As people request it, Finch is adding integrations quickly.
Taylor Sell, Director of Product
Without the worry of building or maintaining its integrations, Trainual’s tech team has been able to move its focus away from how to get more users into the system toward the things that matter most: the training and documentation functions that constitute the core of Trainual’s product.
At Finch, we’re excited to support innovative platforms like Trainual. If you’re interested in exploring workforce data, enter your email address on our homepage here to get API keys today.
Craig Cohen thinks the HCM ecosystem has tremendous promise—and a data connectivity problem
April 20, 2022
0 min read
The Finch advisor and former HCM (Human Capital Management) exec shares his wishes and predictions for the industry he helped shape over the last two decades.
Two years ago, Craig Cohen left his position as general manager at ADP Marketplace for the world of e-commerce. Despite the leap, he’s still very much invested in HCM, both as a financial backer and an impassioned thought leader. He’s also a valuable member of Finch’s advisory board, who has been instrumental in helping us identify our priorities.
We recently caught up with Craig to talk about the state of HCM, including a requisite pandemic analysis and the industry change he’d most like to see.
You left ADP for WooCommerce just before the pandemic hit. Looking back, where do you think HCM was headed and how did the pandemic affect that trajectory?
It was like an asteroid hit and pushed everything in another direction. I think the big focus before the pandemic was, how do I find the best people? What incentives and wellness programs can I offer? Then the world changed. People became entrepreneurs. They realized they can work from home and start their own businesses. I think that people also lost their attachment to their employer. They really started to ask, is this the right company for me?
What's happening now is that the HCM tech base has changed. It's become much more about, how do I evolve to support and keep my people that are amazing?What can I do to make sure that they're productive and successful in the world we live in? And the last piece of that is about providing connectedness. How do we build relationships when we're not in the office together? It’s a huge shift, and the HCM ecosystem is getting bigger as a result.
It sounds like HCM has stepped up to meet the challenge. In what areas, though, is there still room for improvement?
There’s a need to make systems talk together. You don't want a situation where a user has to log in to seven different accounts to enter the same piece of information. So, I think data and data communication is the number one thing.
Do you think the need for connectivity is a given at this point, or are there players that still need to be convinced?
I think the HR people within the organization get it, and I think that the data people in the organization get it. At the same time, the C-level is worried about the top and bottom line. They haven’t seen the benefit yet. So, I think that the HR and the data information people need to have a bigger seat at the table to talk about the Great Resignation and how to get the tools and data they need to create positive experiences for employees. I think leadership needs to better understand that there is a trickle down effect that happens when you have an employee who is not satisfied with their overall experience within the organization.
What will it take to get to a place of widespread acceptance?
It’s interesting, because single sign-on has been around for a while, and everybody appreciates the instant gratification of it. We need to arm HR teams with information that shows what that impact is to the organization. The more tools and resources we can give to them, the quicker change can happen.
As you look to the future of HCM tech, what do you see?
What's happening today is you have big HCM companies—the ones that everybody knows—that took their technology from premise based to cloud based. And as their APIs continue to evolve, it allows more fields and more information to be transmitted, which creates new use cases and new opportunities for growth. So, I think it's a combination of education, like I mentioned earlier, but I also think API technology transformation needs to happen to a certain degree—to allow for new use cases that people are looking for.
You’ve talked about API maturity in the past. Why should HCM stakeholders care about API maturity?
If you think of an API as a pipe with a lot of different cords going through it, then what I mean by API maturity is that someone is making that pipe, but they're only putting 20 cords in it, when it could be 45. And if you want to go in and build out those additional cords, there are implications at various points in the pipe. That's the reason people are scared to make a lot of changes to their APIs, because it could have a significant impact on employee records. You have to be really careful. It could break an area you don't even know about. It takes a lot of testing, there's security layers on top of it, and there's a lot of things that could happen illegally, too. The result is that you have smaller companies that are more willing to take the chance to do something innovative. Then you have enterprise companies that have been around for 50 or 60 years, and they're susceptible to lawsuits, so they're a lot less willing to take the risk that comes with change.
What excites you about HCM’s future?
I believe in the HCM ecosystem; that is my biggest passion. I truly believe that companies are going to go to one HCM company less and less. At one point, the stats showed that an enterprise company touches something like 80 different sources, a mid-market company touches 40, and a small business touches 13. I believe that is going to shift up, especially as you add in wellness apps. Small businesses will touch 20 to 30. Mid-market will go to 80. As that happens, you need the data to flow. Otherwise, you're going to have to hire more people—data pushers—in the HCM space. Something like 56% of HR's manual tasks can still be automated. I think that's where Finch comes in. How do I make everything work together seamlessly, safely, and securely?
What’s your wishlist for the HCM ecosystem?
I would love to see better reporting on the back end. I know there's Tableau and others, but every one of those companies has their own reporting. As you build the ecosystem, you've got to go to this one for a report, and you have to go to that one for a report. I really think that there ought to be one place where you can grab all that data and figure out the overall impact of benefits to your company—how it impacts your turnover and hiring.
Why do you think you developed such an affinity for HCM?
As a sales leader, I spend 50% of my time hiring, onboarding and training, and the other 50% of my time retaining, which is all about motivation, inspiration, leadership, and coaching. These things impact me every day, and the HCM space touches all of that.
Which begs the questions, why did you decide to go into e-commerce?
My career in HCM was about the employee experience and how it impacted people's everyday lives. I saw a correlation between that and my work now, which is about impacting the buyer's life. If I can create a great experience for a mom-and-pop shop, a mid-market shop, or even an enterprise shop to give a great customer experience, so that people aren’t always buying through Amazon, then I have succeeded.
Learn more about HCM connectivity solutions.
To start building with Finch, enter your email address on our homepage here to get API keys today.
Job searches and exploratory calls are daunting, and we get it! All of us have been there at some point—and trust us, it’s not any easier on our side. From filling out the application to conducting research and negotiation, it’s a delicate balance between art and science.
To reduce the uncertainty that only adds to the stress, Finch is committed to a policy of hiring transparency. Here's what you can expect from us:
Clear expectation-setting during the first phone call.
Updates within 48 hours after each interview.
No take-home challenge. We believe collaboration and conversations drive us forward and would rather spend our time talking through ideas together.
All we ask is that you come prepared to share your experiences, express your thoughts, and just be yourself! At the end of the process, you'll have a good sense of life at Finch. Ready to build with us?
Finch’s API helps refine the relationship between employers and employees by unlocking access to employment data across many closed systems: payroll, benefits administration, equity management, and more. Starting with payroll and HRIS (5,700+ systems) we’re already powering applications that help thousands of employers improve pay equity, provide access to mental health benefits, measure the ecological impact of their organization, and much more.
Finch is a remote-first company. Our team members are located across the United States and Canada. We stay connected as a team by collaborating in our virtual office and gathering for local meet-ups and company offsites. Visit our BuiltIn page to learn more about our culture and how you can make an impact. We’re passionate about our company values of execution, curiosity, humility, and empathy.
We care about every individual’s well-being and work-life balance Benefits and perks matter! Some of our benefits include health insurance, paid family leave, flexible vacation time, wellness stipend, and more.
Our Interview Process
Finch follows a standardized interview process and evaluation system to reduce the impact of unconscious bias.
Pro Tip: First impressions matter! Double-check for accuracy and grammatical errors. Saving documents as PDFs help preserve your original formatting. We want to hear about your career growth and how you’ve led changes in your previous roles. Uploading supporting documents is helpful but not required.
You’ve made it to the intro call! We’ll take this time to learn more about each other and review logistics. Please ask questions about Finch! If there’s a mutual fit, we’ll reach out to schedule a second-round interview.
Second Round Interview
Our hiring manager will dig into your professional history, the high and low points of your roles, and your motivations. They’ll ask you to talk about the specifics of your last few roles in depth.
Pro Tip: Come prepared to talk about a complex project you’ve worked on. It should be related to the role you’re applying for. You will be asked to break down the project in detail, your responsibilities, challenges you faced, and lessons you learned for future improvement.
You’ve made it to the final interviews, and all of us are rooting for you! Our onsite process usually has three to four interviews. You’ll be speaking with peers and managers across the company. We’ll share additional details over the phone beforehand.
After the onsite, we’ll reflect on your journey. Our offers are contingent on successful reference checks. Please have three professional references ready (peer + managers) who have worked with you in the past. We’ll discuss their experiences working with you, your ability to collaborate, and your ability to navigate through ambiguous situations.
Congratulations, we are excited to grow with you! The Finch team is open to providing additional advice and insight. Ultimately, we hope that you’ll make the decision that’s right for you.
Preparation is key for any successful interview. We encourage you to review the job description and check out our careers website for details on our values and workplace experience.
Don’t be humble: We love team players, but in interviews, we want to hear about your accomplishments. The interview is the best time to brag about yourself, and we would much rather hear “I” than “we.” Talk about your individual numbers, achievements, promotions, etc.
Provide examples: We want to hear specific examples of your strengths and areas that you are working on improving. Failures provide important learning opportunities and show that you are looking to grow outside of your comfort zone.
Introspection: When interviewing virtually, it can be difficult to read body language and gauge the room. To combat this, we recommend asking clarifying questions followed by, “Did that answer your question, or is there anything I can elaborate on?”
Your recruiter and hiring manager will be key partners. Leverage them to set yourself up for success. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions!
Next up in our Employee Spotlight series is developer success lead Eddie Hou, who’s always ready with a creative solution.
Eddie Hou likes people. He likes talking to them, getting them to open up, and figuring out what makes them tick. He’s also an engineer by trade and a problem-solver by passion. That combination of skills makes him perfectly suited for his role at Finch, which requires thoughtful communication, technical trouble-shooting, and reading between the lines to get to the core of any issues that arise. We recently spoke with Eddie to learn more.
To start, can you tell us about your role?
I lead the Developer Success function here at Finch. It’s a technical client-facing, post-sales role that requires being quick on my feet and having in-depth knowledge of the product. To put it simply, I'm a technical resource for our customers. It’s my job to set them up for success right from the start. This actually entails a complicated set of responsibilities, because the challenges that we’re tackling are unknown-unknown types of problems. We are constantly trying to define success and answer tough questions: How do we get customers to continue using our product? What type of problems are they facing? We're working with so many different verticals and personalities, the answers vary from customer to customer, and how we prioritize those wants into our roadmap is very complex.
That sounds like it requires a unique skill set. What did you study in school?
I majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering and added an engineering business minor. I’ve always been interested in commerce and business but my dad encouraged me to study something technical. He would say, "You'll always have a job [as an engineer], and you can always transition to business, but you can't become an engineer if you only have a business degree." I thought that made sense.
What did you do prior to Finch?
I worked at another startup called Moveworks as the first customer success engineer and I helped build the team there. Over the course of that process, we went from a series A company with one or two customers to a series C company with more than 150 customers. Moveworks was valued at $2.1 billion when I left. Once I was done building out processes, my day-to-day became slightly redundant and a bit too structured for me.
What did you take away from that experience?
I think my experience at Moveworks shaped who I am today. It showed me what it took for a startup to succeed and the people that I worked with side by side really made the 12-hour days feel worth it. The group of people that were part of the original cohort were extremely talented and dedicated people, especially my mentors, Gwen and Ahmed. I learned from them every single day - both the skills and the mindset to persevere and push through difficult times and problems. I’ll cherish those memories for the rest of my life.
How did you hear about the opportunity at Finch?
A recruiter reached out to me and that led to a couple of informal conversations with Jeremy and Ansel [Finch’s co-founders]. We spoke about the types of problems that they’re facing and how they’re thinking about the future of this particular space. I was instantly interested in learning more about the team. I think the team determines whether a company's going to succeed more so than the idea itself and I really liked the team.
What was your impression of the team?
I’m a people person yet very analytical so the conversations were interesting, to say the least. It was clear that others at Finch were mission-driven and passionate. They also demonstrated a high level of ownership over whatever they're working on. The reality at Finch is what I expected during my initial interactions: everyone's committed, passionate to create a change, and they're able to push through when things feel challenging.
When do things feel challenging?
Things feel challenging when you’re in the thick of everything. It’s easy to get caught in the weeds of problem solving and lose track of the impact that we’re creating. However, when you zoom out and look at our progress over a month or a year, for instance, it’s significant. It’s rewarding when we acknowledge, "Wow, we increased our customer base by 40% in the last quarter." Those numbers are only reserved for the best-in-class companies and we’re already seeing these results as a 20 people startup.
What do you like most about your job?
I like creating solutions for complex problems. It’s really satisfying when my engineering background comes in handy! I also love building relationships with customers throughout their entire journey. Internally, my co-workers are great to work with and I enjoy watching the company grow. We’ll share stories and learn from one another. These moments will be the ones that we reminisce about a year or two from now.
What do you like best about working at Finch?
Finch has a lot of great qualities; I’ll share three. First is the ability to lean in and contribute to business decisions. Every start-up would say that individual team members have the opportunity to make a huge impact within the company. In my experience, that isn’t always true. Second, there’s a constant feedback loop. Everyone is open to it and we take it very seriously. We have healthy and constructive debates where folks don't get defensive. Lastly, there’s a much better work/life balance compared to my other experiences — by far. Ansel and Jeremy care about people, and they want them to stay for the long haul.
Growing up in the small town of Rosseau, Ontario, Aren Patel never imagined he’d wind up in California working at some of the most innovative companies in the world. His college internship turned into a full-time gig at Google, and now he’s a full-fledged Bay Area engineer working to unlock access to the global employment ecosystem. Recently, we caught up with Aren to talk about his experience.
You returned to the startup world after a long hiatus. What’s the story there?
I graduated from the University of Waterloo with an electrical engineering degree. During my final semester, I joined BufferBox, a four-person startup founded by a hockey friend of mine. The concept was like Amazon Locker, but any e-retailer could ship to their kiosks, which were located in stations throughout Toronto’s GO Transit system. I was responsible for the design and development of all of BufferBox’s web services and APIs, which was an exciting amount of responsibility for someone fresh out of college. And then, while I was working there, the company got acquired by Google.
Your career at Google lasted for nearly a decade. What projects did you work on?
I worked at Google Shopping for a bit before transferring to Nest. There, I led the team responsible for building the Nest to Google account migration on Nest's login pages, and I served as the technology lead on the team that built Nest’s MyAccount data export tool. After five years with Nest, I took a position on the Orion Wi-Fi team at Google's R&D incubator, Area 120, where I developed Angular (Dart and TypeScript) web apps. After two years at Area 120, I got my green card, giving me permanent residency in the States. At that point, I was ready to join a smaller company, so I took the opportunity to reenter the startup ecosystem.
Why did you want to go back to a startup?
I like small teams and making genuine connections. Like most people, I spend a good chunk of my life at work, so building relationships while I’m there is important to me. To put things in perspective, when I started at Google, there were around 30,000 or 40,000 employees. By the time I left, there were 200,000+ employees worldwide. The dynamics are very different when you’re working with a lean team of 16, like I currently am at Finch, versus a global population of 200,000.
What made you decide that Finch was the right move?
I engaged with hundreds of companies during my search. Finch stood out to me for two reasons. The first one is the types of problems that Finch is tackling. It was a natural fit between my prior experiences at Google and BufferBox and what the team at Finch was looking for. The second is the people. After meeting Jeremy and Ansel [Finch’s founders], I was impressed with the environment they had cultivated. Throughout the interview process, they were open, honest, and willing to share. It’s safe to say that these qualities are embodied by everyone at Finch.
How was your work at Google similar to your work at Finch?
When I was at Nest, we focused on making the thermostat, smoke alarm, and camera products more open, so developers can build complementary products on top of them. Finch is doing something similar but for employer data. Our API makes it easy and secure to read and write data to any employee system, so forward-thinking companies can build innovative products on top of those systems.
Describe your role at Finch.
My title is founding engineer. Day-to-day, I am responsible for a lot of software engineering-related activities: figuring out what we're building, reviewing design docs, scoping projects. I'm a full-stack engineer, so I work on the front-end, the back-end, and everything in between. Any piece of code we have, I'm touching or changing. Just like a lot of traditional software engineering roles, I cover a wide range of responsibilities.
What excites you about your job?
The employment sector is old and stagnant, which only means that the opportunities to improve and automate processes are countless. Unlocking employee data is definitely going to be a game-changer for all industries. As a software engineer, it’s always exciting to see growth in the product that you’re working on and the impact of all of your efforts.
You also take an active role in the hiring process at Finch. What do you look for in a potential new hire?
I am always on the lookout for genuine enthusiasm for our product and our mission. Creativity is key as well. Thinking outside the box and coming up with novel ideas and solutions is essential to success at a startup like Finch. I am also interested in people who are willing to learn. They don’t have to be an expert in every subject, but they do need to catch on to new skills and information quickly and then be able to apply those learnings proactively.
How do you feel about Finch’s asynchronous work model?
It has been super helpful for me. My fiancée is a nurse, and she works crazy hours in the ER, so I tend to work around her schedule. Finch is really accommodating to that. There are no set hours; as long as you’re getting your tasks done and attending the meetings you agreed to, you’re good.
How do you get to know your colleagues if you are all working remotely and asynchronously?
At Finch, we all find ways to connect with each other–inside and outside of our remote setting. But on a day-to-day basis, one of our most effective tools is Gather, a virtual office space that we use to collaborate and stay engaged. It has been instrumental in helping me get to know everyone at Finch.
The layout of Gather is similar to the Sims game. We customize our office space, personalize our avatars, choose a desk, and chat with each other in real time. I can walk up to anyone at their desk and start a conversation like I would in a physical office, only it’s video. It has made approaching people much easier.
You might say Sam Toffler is a puzzle fanatic. Give him a riddle to solve or a logic problem to work through, and his mind won’t rest until he does (just ask his girlfriend). It’s an affinity that led him to study computer science, then to a job at Amazon Web Services, and, ultimately, to Finch. Recently, we caught up with Sam to talk about his engineering career, his next road trip, and the satisfaction that comes when something finally “clicks.”
Where are you from and how did it lead you here?
I was born and raised in South Florida and went to a really competitive high school. I think that shaped my work ethic, honestly. And it brought me to Duke, where I majored in computer science.
How did you choose your major?
I took comp-sci 101 in my first semester and it was instantaneous love. The course was basically solving puzzles and riddles, which I’ve always been obsessed with.
What did you do after college?
I took a summer off, and then I started working at Amazon Web Services on a team called Fargate. I was a software engineer there for two and a half years.
Tell us about Fargate.
Fargate is in the serverless space. I worked primarily on what we called region builds–so, expanding the service to different Amazon data centers throughout the world. For context, Amazon is present in approximately 20 locations. When Fargate launched, it was only in one location. When I joined, it was in eight, and by the time I left, it was deployed to all AWS regions.
Why did you decide to look for another opportunity?
One of the big reasons I left Amazon is because of how little coding I was doing–which some people find surprising. It was also extremely slow paced. Even a single line change could take a full week to deploy. That gets frustrating after a while. So, I was looking for an opportunity to code more, move faster, and have a larger impact on the team. That’s when I started thinking about startups.
What was it about Finch, in particular, that appealed to you?
I really liked what Finch is doing. It's a really valuable product that’s ripe for explosion. Coming from Amazon, I was a little nervous about going somewhere small, but I realized that I am at a point in my life where I can afford to take a chance and do something outside my comfort zone. And I am really happy that I did.
What does the day in the life of a Finch founding engineer look like?
Thankfully, it’s a lot of coding. I would say 60 to 70% of my time is coding–maybe not hands-on-keyboard, but I am at least thinking about my own code that often. The rest of my time is spent reviewing other people's code, conducting technical interviews for job applicants, and attending assorted meetings like sprint planning sessions and sprint retrospectives.
What is it about coding that you’re so fond of?
I think it’s the balancing act between form and function. There are a million ways you can code something, but, at the end of the day, you want to make your code as clear and concise as possible. To me, there's a lot of enjoyment in trying to make it perfect, so that people who read my code understand exactly what it is I was trying to do. The same thing happens to me when I’m writing an email or, in the past, when I took creative writing classes. It’s like trying to figure out the ideal way to craft a sentence or a paragraph. When I find the best way to say what’s in my head, it’s very satisfying.
What have you learned since starting at Finch?
I’ve learned to take more ownership. There's a lot of opportunity at Finch for my voice to be heard, and having strong convictions goes a long way because if I can make a case for what I want, people will give me the room to do it. But it’s also more than that. If I start something in one area of the company, it might spread. That’s what I find really fulfilling: when I can see the impact of what I’m contributing, and I get positive feedback that what I’m doing is beneficial.
What do you like most about working at Finch?
The people. Everybody is super friendly, smart, and respectful. When we had our in-person offsite last year in October, it was the first time I had met any of my coworkers in real life, and it felt like a weekend with close friends. We all stayed in a house in L.A., and we got along so well. I am really excited for our next one just because of how good of a time we had.
Describe Finch in one word.
Fast-paced. We're getting so many new customers, and all of our new customers want new things, and we're always getting new team members. The nature of everything is really quick, which I like.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
My girlfriend and I got a puppy over the summer. So, that's been taking up a lot of our time. I also enjoy skiing. We're actually taking a month-long skiing road trip to Salt Lake City, Park City, Alta, Snowbird, Aspen, Beaver Creek, and maybe Sun Valley. I would say golfing, reading, chess, and video games round out my downtime interests.
What are you passionate about?
The feeling of learning something and having it click. I'll give you an example. Recently, I changed my keyboard from a standard Qwerty layout, because I had read that you can make your keyboard more ergonomic and efficient by putting more popular letters closer to your pointer and middle fingers. That required relearning where all the keys are, which took practice–about 20 minutes a day for two weeks. When I got to the point that I could type 40 words per minute, I made the switch full time. Now, I type just as fast as I did on a Qwerty. The whole thing was really rewarding for me, because it was an opportunity to scratch that itch of getting good at something new.
How to build a best-in-class employee engagement platform with Finch
March 10, 2022
0 min read
The employment landscape is undergoing dramatic changes, and data integrations are crucial to keeping pace. But maintaining them in-house is a drain on your resources and a distraction from your core competencies. Here’s what to do instead.
Not so long ago, it seemed like all it took to earn a reputation for a great work environment was a few ping pong tables, some quirky seating arrangements, and a gourmet cafeteria. Then COVID-19 happened and the story changed dramatically.
Now, old standards have given way to new expectations about what it means to provide an exceptional workplace. For employee engagement platforms, it has been a clarion call, prompting innovative players to build next-generation platforms that solve the challenges employers face today and are predicted to face going forward.
One aspect of great platform design is integrations. They are foundational to best-in-class functionality and user experience, but not all approaches to integrations are created equal. In this blog post, we’ll cover how to approach integrations more efficiently and effectively, so you have greater bandwidth to focus on your platform’s core technologies and deliver a superior experience to your customers and their employees alike.
But first, let’s talk landscape
To understand how and why integrations are so important, we have to consider the current state of affairs. It likely goes without saying that COVID-19 and the concurrent social and political movements of the past few years have seismically changed aspects of our collective work life in ways that fundamentally impact how employers approach people management and employee engagement. Some of the most important include:
As activists continue to bring renewed and revolutionary attention to issues of racial and gender justice, employers are being called on to look critically at their own diversity, equity, and inclusion practices and execute proactive, ongoing plans to remedy their gaps and shortcomings. Many, it seems, are heeding the call. A recent analysis of S&P 500 earnings calls found that CEOs have discussed DEI 658% more frequently since 2018, and 40% of organizations report having hired a DEI specialist, the majority of which were added to their rosters in the past year and a half. As a result, DEI initiatives will naturally extend to employee engagement strategies, including measures like surveying employees on DEI issues, tracking and analyzing measures of workplace diversity, and instituting inclusive career growth paths and coaching opportunities to ensure everyone has the same access to success.
An emphasis on mental wellness
The collective and individual trauma and stress employees have experienced in recent years has had a toll on their mental health, making it more clear than ever that employers can no longer afford, from an ethical or financial standpoint, to ignore the overall wellbeing of their workforce. As talking about and seeking help for mental health challenges becomes increasingly normalized, especially among younger generations of workers, employers are increasingly expected to not only provide resources and benefits to support employees in crisis but also cultivate an environment that supports employee mental health. According to one study, employers (and the employee engagement platforms that serve them) would be wise to focus on reducing job boredom and monotony, supporting employees’ work-life balance, improving workplace communication practices, and fostering connections and networks of support among colleagues and managers.
These trends and others have led thought leaders to call for a large-scale humanization of the workplace. Now more than ever, employers should create opportunities and leverage technology to drive connections, inspire creativity, and help individual workers achieve their potential.
The role (and challenges) of integrations in employee engagement
Clearly, this new world order presents a litany of challenges for employers, and employee engagement platforms are working to deliver best-in-class solutions and experiences that address those pain points.
For many employee engagement platforms, this includes integrating with employers’ HR and payroll systems (e.g., Workday, ADP, etc.) to automate data connectivity and unify data across disparate sources as a means of reducing friction and optimizing the performance of their product.
But integrations are not without challenges, especially if you choose to build them in-house. For starters:
It takes many engineering hours to build one integration, let alone the dozens or hundreds required to connect with systems in highly fragmented markets like HR and payroll software, where some 5,700+ systems have shares (check out our whitepaper on the landscape here). When you consider the average salary of an in-house developer, you’re looking at an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars, excluding the considerable and ongoing expense of maintaining integrations over time (a full-time job unto itself).
They’re a distraction
All that time spent on integrations is time your team isn’t spending on your core technology—a huge opportunity cost. How much more could you accomplish and how much faster could you get to market if your team’s attention wasn’t split between your product and the ancillary technologies that support it?
They’re hard to do really well
If integrations aren’t in your team’s wheelhouse, your integrations are likely not functioning as well as they could be. That’s because different data sources have different data models, and each source value has to be mapped to a target data field to make it operable for your system. The more source values you’re working with, the more complicated things get, and if mapping is not done correctly, it can end up requiring a lot of manual intervention to make right.
Then there’s the issue of data enrichment. It takes a specialist to add value to the data you retrieve and make it optimally usable and actionable for your particular use case. In other words, it’s likely that the data you’re accessing via in-house builds isn’t reaching its potential.
Outsourcing your platform’s integrations enables you to take advantage of all the benefits while avoiding these common challenges.
One API, dozens (and dozens) of integrations
Innovative employee engagement platforms looking to build best-in-class experiences and get to market faster turn to Finch—the only integration partner focused on HR and payroll systems via the employer access point.
Finch works via a single, universal API that offers 360° integrations with an ever-growing network of HR and payroll systems (125 at the time of publication), so you can cover more of your addressable market than ever before.
By building your platform on the Finch API, your customers can authorize you to retrieve data from their payroll and HR systems in just a few clicks. Here’s how it works:
Finch Connect (our secure front-end module) prompts your customers to choose their payroll or HR system.
Your customers authenticate their account and authorize a set of permissions by entering their admin credentials to that system.
The connection is established, and you start retrieving data.
That’s it. With Finch, what was once a 30-day process of tedious CSV file uploads, phone calls, and back-and-forth between your support team and your customers is reduced to 30 seamless seconds.
From there, you have access to your customers’ entire employee roster and dozens of data attributes per worker (e.g., hire date, job title, work and home location), allowing your customers to start using your platform immediately.
Not only does that save you time and improve your lead conversion rates, it’s a selling point to customers, who can be easily deterred by a drawn-out onboarding process.
We standardize data across our entire coverage network and output it in a unified format for optimal usability, saving you from the hassle of having to worry about the intricacies of your customers’ (many) HR and payroll systems.
Our API is dynamic and built to scale, which means we can respond swiftly to new edge case systems and unlock support in as little as two weeks, ensuring you never lose a sale because of lack of coverage.
Finch is designed for large-scale synchronization with tens of thousands of employers. We surface large quantities of sensitive information reliably and securely (check out our Security page for more information).
Last but not least, we handle all upkeep and maintenance of your integrations, so your team can focus on what you do best—helping employers cultivate engaging, connected, and productive workplaces, no matter what the world throws their way.
Want to know more about integrations for employee engagement platforms?
Click the black Request Access button in the upper-right of this webpage to submit a question or ask to see our API documentation.
How to build a best-in-class retirement benefits platform with Finch
February 24, 2022
0 min read
By not dividing your team’s attention between your core product and the ancillary technologies that support it, you can build smarter, get to market faster, and create an exceptional experience for your customers.
As an innovative retirement benefits provider, you already know that the retirement benefits industry has room for improvement. Legacy business models and outdated management systems are prevalent and prohibitive–serving as barriers, in many cases, to employer and employee adoption.
This statistic also obscures the reality that access to retirement benefits is far from inclusive. In service industries, for example, workers with employer-sponsored plans drops to 40%, and in some verticals, like restaurants, it’s as low as 18%.
Clearly, something’s not working as it should. When you couple that with employers’ struggle to attract and retain employees and the challenges of remote and hybrid work models, the need for viable HR technology solutions in the retirement benefits space is apparent.
Staying ahead of the pack is another reason. Whether you choose to optimize your retirement benefits platform or not, your competitors certainly will. The HR tech market is booming, and that means next-generation benefits solutions–with best-in-class platforms–are regularly hitting the market.
Synced is superior
At its core, a best-in-class retirement benefits platform is a connected one, meaning it can exchange information with employers’ HR and payroll systems (e.g., Paychex, ADP RUN, Gusto), for a highly synced, coordinated, and automated benefits management experience.
From onboarding and enrollment to deduction management and compliance reporting, a well-connected platform–one with sophisticated software integrations–minimizes friction at every step of the benefits lifecycle, alleviating your customers of their benefits management burdens and making engagement with your platform an enjoyable and reliable experience. In turn, you realize higher employee participation and contributions.
Chances are, this is not new information to you. You’re probably building or already have built integrations with market-leading HR and payroll systems. At the same time, you’ve probably experienced one or more of these common headaches along the way:
Maintenance difficulties No matter how successful your initial build-out, integrations are bound to break at some point, whether due to a system change on your end or the data source’s. Staying on top of and solving for these changes is a full-time job that your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to handle in a reasonable timeframe – they’re too busy focusing on your core product. Ultimately, it’s your customers’ experience that suffers.
Ongoing costs In addition to taxing your team’s time, integrations come with a heavy price tag when you consider the average salary of your employees and the hours they spend building and maintaining your connections. In some cases, an initial build-out can cost $300,000 or more, not including upkeep. There are also opportunity costs to consider; how much more could you accomplish and how much faster could you get to market if your team’s attention wasn’t split between your product and the ancillary technologies that support it?
Suboptimal performance Then there’s functionality. The more integrations you build, the more difficult it becomes to get them to work optimally for your purposes. That’s because disparate data sources have different data models, and each source value has to be mapped to a target data field to make it operable for your system. The more source values you’re working with, the more complicated things get. If mapping is not done correctly, it can end up requiring a lot of manual interventions. What’s more, unless you have an integrations specialist on staff, it’s unlikely that your team has the niche expertise to optimally enrich the data you retrieve for your particular use case. In other words, the data you’re accessing isn’t reaching its potential.
Outsourced and optimized
So, how do you leverage the very best of system integrations and all the benefits they offer your customers while avoiding the pitfalls that come with in-house build outs and maintenance? The answer is outsourcing.
In a fragmented industry with 5,700+ employment systems, outsourcing your integrations saves time and money. Instead of building integrations with dozens of payroll systems yourself, an integration partner does the work for you, while also providing ongoing support and maintenance. This outsourced infrastructure lets your team focus on fine-tuning your product, executing your roadmap, and creating the best user experience possible.
That said, the right integration partner won’t just relieve you of headaches; they will add extraordinary value to your platform. For that, you need a use case specialist.
Benefits specialists > data generalists
Say hello to Finch, the only integration platform solely focused on connecting applications to their employer clients’ payroll and HR systems. This means all of our efforts are spent optimizing and scaling integrations to cover all the edge cases relevant to your business.
Finch offers a unified API with 360° integrations into an ever-growing list of HR and payroll systems (125 at the time of publication). In this context, 360° means read andwrite access, so you can pull census and pay statement information as well as push payroll deductions depending on employee contributions. Since Finch abstracts away inconsistencies across systems, all these actions can be accessed through a single set of endpoints.
Aside from streamlining technical workflows, Finch offers high-touch support, ensuring any issues are dealt with swiftly and, most importantly, without intervention from your team.
From 30 days to 30 seconds
Perhaps the most immediate benefit of Finch is the hyper-streamlined onboarding it enables. With Finch, it only takes a moment for customers to authorize you to retrieve and send data from and to their payroll and HR systems. Here’s how:
Finch Connect (our secure front-end modal) prompts your customers to choose their payroll or HR system.
Your customers authenticate their account and authorize a set of permissions by entering their admin or API credentials to that system.
The connection is established, and you start reading and writing data.
That’s all it takes. In seconds, you have what you need to begin enrolling employees in retirement plans and managing their payroll deductions.
Automated onboarding and compliance
Once you’re connected, you can access live census data to streamline onboarding and offboarding of eligible employees. From day one (or the first day they can participate), you’ll have their key contact information, location, and worker status to ensure they can start contributing to their retirement as soon as possible. Similarly, when someone is no longer employed or eligible, you can offboard them from the system automatically and transition their account to a non-employee access so they can still manage the plans they do have.
For retirement benefits applications that also act as recordkeepers, you can access current and historical pay statement details down to the line item to ensure proper tracking of all contributions (pre and post-tax), enrollments, and TINs required to comply with IRS regulations.
End-to-end deductions management
Now that employees are onboarded, you’ll want to make sure they start contributing to their retirement goals with their first paycheck. You’ll need to create benefits, enroll participants, and make changes directly in payroll as their retirement savings plans shift.
Using Finch’s Benefits endpoint, you can create benefits (pre-tax, post-tax, recurring, one-time deductions), enroll individuals to one or many benefits, and select their $ or % contributions with employer matches where applicable. Throughout this whole process, the sponsor’s HR admin doesn’t have to lift a finger to upload deduction files or manually enter changes. That can amount to hours per month saved and dozens of potential human errors avoided.
Onward and upward
Best of all, Finch is dynamic, responsive, and built to scale.
For new edge case systems that come up in customer conversations, Finch can unlock support in as little as two weeks. That means, on the off chance you’re trying to land a customer that uses a system not yet covered by Finch, we have a gameplan to expand coverage so you don’t lose a sale.
Finch is also designed for large-scale synchronization with tens of thousands of employers, from small startups to massive public companies. Our team has accumulated expertise in constructing mission-critical infrastructure over many years, enabling us to surface large quantities of sensitive information reliably and securely.
Want to know more about integrations for retirement benefits?
Click the black Request Access button in the upper-right of this webpage to submit a question or ask to see our API documentation.
How to build a best-in-class health & wellness benefit experience with Finch
February 16, 2022
0 min read
Health and wellness benefits in the United States are at an inflection point. And if you’re a health and wellness benefits provider, that puts you in a favorable position.
The reason? Converging factors have prompted many employers to reconsider their approach to benefits–not only to entice great employees but to help existing employees stay healthy and productive. Among them:
Changing expectations around the types of benefits employers should provide
Meanwhile, employers also continue to face old problems like outdated benefits management systems, costly and time-consuming manual processes, and health benefit underutilization.
To gain traction and earn market share, emerging and established health benefits providers can use integrations with payroll and HR systems to create best-in-class health and wellness benefit experiences that help employers meet their complex needs and mitigate some of their most pressing issues.
A trend toward technology
A review of employers’ attitudes around benefits technology suggests that the time is ripe for integrations.
Studies show that employers are demonstrating an increased willingness to pay for digital initiatives. According to a recent survey, spending on HR and benefits technology grew 15% between 2017 and 2021, with 70% of employers reporting a renewed focus on benefits technology following the pandemic.
With employers receptive to data’s potential and poised to pursue new benefit technologies, health benefits providers would be smart to use integrations to help address some of employers’ most pressing wants and needs.
Here are just some of the ways that integrations can serve your customers:
1. Automated enrollment and benefits management
Historically, processes like benefits enrollment and payroll deduction changes have been time- and labor-intensive for both employers and employees. With integrations, enrolling an employee in any benefit takes just a few clicks–no manual paperwork required!
Integrations also allow you to push information to payroll and HR systems, making tasks like payroll deduction changes practically friction-free. In short, manual tasks that once took days or weeks and a lot of effort can now happen in minutes.
Innovative benefits providers know that integrations are a key component of good product design. By making it simple and seamless to onboard new employers and manage workers’ benefits (i.e., no more CSV files), integrations contribute to an all-around better user experience, which can help employers realize improved utilization rates, healthier and happier employees, and cost savings.
Take HSAs as an example. Because integrations make it easy for HR teams to enroll an employee in an HSA and manage their HSA payroll deductions, more employees are likely to take advantage. In turn, employers can realize lower HDHP premiums and lower FICA taxes.
3. More insights and personalization
From their social media feeds, to their Netflix recommendations, to their subscription cosmetic boxes, Millennial and Gen Z consumers are accustomed to being catered to with highly personalized experiences, and they’re bringing those expectations with them to the labor force. In response, employers are looking for ways to offer more tailored health benefit experiences to their employees, and they are willing to trade data to get there.
Integrations allow that exchange of data to happen securely, seamlessly, continuously, and in real time, so innovative health benefits providers can build the next generation of custom benefits experiences. As a bonus, integrations can also provide benefits providers with granular visibility into how benefits are being used (or not) across customers and systems, making possible data-substantiated strategies for improving engagement and utilization.
4. Better benefits packages
Offering attractive benefits is a research-backed strategy for finding and retaining talent. At a time when there are nearly 11 million U.S. job vacancies and workers are quitting jobs in droves, employers are starting to evaluate the benefits they offer and look for ways to improve. In today’s climate, that means offering things like mental health assistance and telemedicine services but also focusing on the quality of core health benefits like insurance, HSAs, and FSAs.
By automating countless health benefits tasks and processes, integrations free up time and help employers reduce administrative costs, making it possible for employers to offer more and better benefits to their workers. This is especially true for small businesses, who generally don’t have the bandwidth to manage traditional HR packages in house. Consequently, if a benefits provider makes it easy (with the help of integrations), offering health insurance can suddenly become feasible. And with 46% of workers saying health insurance strongly influenced their decision to accept a job, the ROI to employers is practically assured.
However, there might be something else at play as well. By automating tasks that were once the purview of internal benefits administrators, HR teams have more time to allocate to the human side of human resources–that is, helping individual employees not only understand and engage with their benefits but also develop professionally and grow in their careers. In turn, employees are more likely to feel seen and valued, and that can be reason enough for anyone to stay put.
The build vs. buy debate
In summary, integrations are essential to building industry-leading benefits products and services for your customers and their employees. But being responsible for your own integrations is a mammoth undertaking. The payroll and HR management systems industry is so fragmented (5,700+ providers - read our whitepaper here) that you would need to build and maintain dozens (if not hundreds) of integrations just to cover your total addressable market–not to mention, figure out how to properly scrub and standardize the data input and properly format it for consumption. Talk about a distraction from your core competencies.
The better solution is Finch, which provides integrations to major and boutique HR-management and payroll systems like QuickBooks, ADP Run, Workday, and Paylocity via one universal API. Finch unifies access to and smoothes over the differences among these systems to support many innovative use cases. And as we add new systems to our coverage network (which is always), you can turn them on in one click.
How Finch works
On the front end, Finch presents as a friendly, intuitive module that lets employers grant your application secure, instant, and regulation-compliant access to their payroll and HR systems. The process takes less than 30 seconds:
Finch asks your user to link their payroll or HR system.
Your user finds their system and enters their login credentials or API keys.
The connection is established.
The connection allows your application to read information like census data, which streamlines onboarding and enrollment, as well as write information like contribution and deduction adjustments, which streamlines benefits management.
Basically, Finch makes innovation possible for health benefits providers that want to disrupt an industry that clearly stands ready for change.
Before joining Finch, Phil Hong was honing his sales skills with leaders in his field. When he felt that he had reached his learning potential in his previous role, he sought out a new opportunity with a growing startup–somewhere he could really make his mark. In a recent conversation with Phil, we talked about the road that brought him to Finch and what he learned along the way.
Tell us about your role.
My official title is Enterprise Account Executive. My day-to-day consists of building relationships with prospects, building out processes and SOPs, implementing GTM strategies, communicating customer feedback, and evaluating where the market is and how Finch should approach it over the next three to six months.
What did you study in college?
I graduated from USC with a math/econ degree. I am not a math wizard by any means, but I like finding the objective truth in things. This gave me the quantitative reasoning skills set to communicate and resolve problems in both my personal and professional life.
What did you do next?
After graduation, I joined DocuSign’s sales team in San Francisco. I started as an Enterprise Market Development Representative. After a year, I was promoted to a Healthcare & Life Sciences Account Executive – my first closing role! It was humbling to work with top industry executives while also mentoring the next wave of sales reps. Docusign was a very rewarding company to be at and I cannot express how thankful I am for all the experiences. I was always surrounded by supportive leaders and coworkers. Thank you, DocuSign!
How did that lead to an opportunity at Finch?
My last role was getting slightly repetitive and I was mentally ready for a new challenge. Thankfully, Finch reached out. I went through the entire interview process and from my perspective, Ansel and I got along really well. Unfortunately, they decided not to move forward with me, because they were looking for someone more experienced.
It was heartbreaking because I really understood the problem Finch was going to solve and knew the potential Finch had. A few days later, I called Ansel and asked, “Hey, what if you brought me on as a sales consultant for a couple months? It’s a win-win situation! And then, as you build out the team, if there’s room, I’d be happy to join.” Ansel liked how I approached the situation–that I was solution oriented and did not just put up my hands and quit. So, I interviewed with an investor, pitched the team, and the rest is history.
What was it about Finch that made you go that extra mile?
The primary reason is the problem that Finch is solving. Simply put, there is data that is walled off and difficult to get to. If you can solve the data accessibility problem, you can solve the majority of the entire employment landscape problem. The impact that we are going to have on businesses and people in general is going to change the way the industry thinks about employment.
The second reason is realizing that Finch is a company where I would be working with very like-minded individuals who are hungry, who are passionate, and who are, quite frankly, smarter than me. That is the type of environment I strive to be in order to push myself and others around me.
What excites you about your work?
The people I’m interacting with. I'm selling to developers, engineers, and founders. It's exciting to hear their feedback and to learn about different businesses. I truly believe that Finch will solve problems beyond the surface level use cases we see today and will provide better employee opportunities for years to come.
What one word would you use to describe Finch?
Gritty is the best way to put it, because we are constantly coming up with— sometimes outside-the-box—creative solutions for our customers. It’s amazing how accessible our founders and team members are to respond to our customers. If there is a problem, we will fix it.
How do you feel about Finch’s remote-first policy?
It’s incredible. I travel a couple times a quarter. Sometimes, I'll work in New York, Texas, Florida, or small little ski towns. Finch allows me to do that, because, at the end of the day, geographic locations do not impact our work.
What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about creating things. One of the cool things about Finch is I've been able to create a lot of the workflows, processes, and the foundation for Finch’s sales culture. Outside of work, I’m always creating business plans with my friends. We’ve printed t-shirts, purchased real estate, and invested in several projects together.
What else keeps you busy outside of work?
I like to spend my time snowboarding, golfing, and watching football. I played football growing up, through high school and for two years at a junior college where I received a scholarship to play at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Ultimately, I decided to attend USC because it was a better opportunity for me academically. That was a huge part of how I got to where I am. The majority of what I learned from that experience still applies to what I do today. It sets the foundation for my process-orientated way of thinking and acknowledging that having a strong work ethic is paramount to any career.
What are you proud of?
I am proud that I graduated from USC. I was the youngest of three boys raised by a single mom and came from very humble beginnings. Getting academic grants and scholarships to pay for USC was a monumental accomplishment for me.
Customer Story: Lane Health — Helping More Employees Afford Medical Expenses
January 12, 2022
0 min read
Problem: Lane Health, the first company to offer tax-deductible medical loans for employees with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), needed a secure, compliant way to access employee data and track deductions of different amounts per every payroll period.
Solution: With Finch, Lane Health synchronizes employee data, enabling Lane Health to save 8-12hours a month of manual data entry for employer admins!
An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account. An HSA account holder can use it to pay for out-of-pocket qualified medical expenses for themselves and their dependents. Using untaxed dollars in an HSA to pay for copayments, deductibles, etc., can significantly reduce healthcare expenses. Yet many employees choose not to take advantage of an HSA—then regret that decision when faced with high medical bills.
Lane Health is revolutionizing the HSA industry by helping employees pay their medical bills through a unique line of credit. With Lane Health, employees can borrow against future deductions to pay their bills, even if the employee originally elected zero deductions. The company’s award-winning product helps employers stand out and gives employees peace of mind—especially since more than 60% of Americans cannot cover a surprise $1,000 expense.
The First Line of Credit + HSA
Lane Health was the first administrator to combine a line of credit with an HSA, allowing employers to offer tax-effective lending for employees. With Lane Health, employees can pay for care over 12 months, reduce their taxes, and lower their total cash outlay. While the product is especially attractive for employees with a high deductible health plan, Lane Health offers significant benefits to all employees—without risk or lending fees for employers.
In addition to their groundbreaking HSA, Lane Health provides Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs), Dependent Care Savings Accounts, Commuter Benefits Accounts, and other popular tax-advantaged spending accounts, all bundled on a convenient, single card solution.
Managing Ever-Changing Deductions
For employees who do not elect to fund their HSA—then choose to borrow money through Lane Health—the amount deducted per paycheck will vary, depending on how much the employee owes, how they repay, and other factors. An employee might owe $12 one paycheck, $20 the next, then $25 the next. So instead of entering deductions once per year for 100 employees, for example, an employer now has to enter deductions once every payroll for a few dozen employees.
To accomplish their mission and grow their company, the Lane Health team needed to streamline integration of complex, ever-changing employee data across various payroll providers. However, they needed to move quickly and work within two highly regulated industries—HSAs and lending. That’s when Lane Health began looking for a better solution, and found Finch.
A Finch-Powered Solution for Health Savings Accounts
With Finch, the Lane Health team can save employers countless hours—and dollars—by syncing the entire employer’s system with Finch’s platform.
Previously, employer admins had to pay their payroll provider for a flat file for each payroll period, then send that file to Lane Health. Now, the employer can utilize Finch’s API to sync this data in just a few seconds at a fraction of the cost.
“It’s always an interesting opportunity to partner with somebody that can essentially solve problems, and Finch seems to offer exactly that,” explains Lenny Blyukher, Chief Technology Officer for Lane Health.
⏳8-12 hours a month saved by employer admins that would normally be spent updating information in Lane Health or exporting and importing flat files
$50,000-$100,000 saved by Lane Health using Finch instead of building and maintaining an API in-house
Finch offers a very robust way to integrate with the industry standard web services, and automate all the things that we have to do manually on a regular basis.
Lenny Blyukher, Chief Technology Officer
Where Finch Fits In
All three use cases are unlocked in <30 seconds:
Lane Health’s onboarding flow asks employers to link their payroll system.
Admin users sync their organization’s system by passing their credentials through Finch's secure and compliant Connect Flow.
In a matter of seconds, Lane Health’s clients can start enrolling employees across the organization into HSA and additional benefits.
Peace of Mind for Employees
The exclusive Lane Health HSA makes paying medical bills easier for all employees—not just the few who choose to contribute to an HSA. Moving forward, Lane Health is on a mission to continue providing cutting-edge, inclusive products that improve financial wellness.
We’re sharing our pipeline with Finch, and they’re listening to our suggestions and helping drive our roadmap, which will continue to put us ahead of our competitors.
Crystal Peel, Vice President of Client Solutions
At Finch, we’re excited to support innovative platforms like Lane Health. If you’re interested in exploring workforce data, please send us a message here, and let’s unlock an entirely new use case together!
Problem — Pry needed to empower business decision-makers with detailed headcount cost data to supercharge their financial planning process.
Solution — With Finch, Pry is able to surface key insights into employee and contractor costs.
Finance for Founders
Pry is on a mission to empower founders to make better financial decisions.
Running out of cash is the second most common reason start-ups fail, surpassed by the lack of product-market fit. According to CB insights, 29% of start-ups surveyed pointed to cash burn as a key driver of business collapse. For founders busy building, it can be challenging to monitor all the moving pieces of their finances across systems to ensure they have enough runway.
With Pry, businesses can have their accounting, financial planning, and business intelligence all in one place. Features include but not limited to cash runway forecasting, budget vs. actuals, customizable models, hiring plans, scenario planning, and custom dashboards.
Andy Su, Co-founder & CEO
To accomplish this mission, Pry needed to incorporate data on one of the highest costs for most start-ups: their employees and contractors.
A Finch-Powered Solution for Headcount Planning
Using Finch, the Pry team is able to seamlessly pull in live department and compensation data for each individual at the company and automatically categorize them based on the P&L segments. It’s a nuanced automation but one that materially improves the accuracy of headcount planning.
Previously, admins would need to manually enter in layers of assumptions and categorizations to ensure their team was accurately represented in their financial model. Working with Finch to pull in the raw data from workforce systems, Pry can reduce that manual work into a 30-second sync and keep it updated as the company grows the team.
🔑 70% increase in headcount planning data after 3 days from sign-up.
With Finch, we are able to split employees by department and access data that no one else has (unique resource for financial planning). We care about this because we care about our conversion funnel. Anything that reduces friction and contributes to our conversion funnel is very important from a bottom-up approach.
Hayden Jensen, Co-Founder & CTO
Where Finch fits in
Pry unlocks headcount planning in <30 seconds:
Pry’s dashboard requests employers to link their payroll system.
Admin users sync their organization’s system by passing their credentials through Finch’s secure Connect Flow.
In a matter of seconds, Pry’s clients can start building headcount planning scenarios to better understand their business’s trajectory.
The end result is a beautiful UX with actionable headcount insights for founders and decision-makers.
Extending Strategic Finance Across the Ecosystem
Over the long term, Pry’s goal is to unlock financial insights for start-ups, CPAs, and investors.
Headcount planning powered by Finch is just the first step in a long journey to improve the future of strategic finance.
Working with Finch has been great. They’re constantly working on adding new integrations to provide better coverage and support for our clients. For any company that has employees and/or is planning to hire, I can’t imagine not using Finch to help automate headcount planning.
Tiffany Wong, Co-Founder & Head of Ops
At Finch, we’re excited to support innovative platforms like Pry (sign up here!). If you’re interested in exploring workforce data for your application, please send us a message here and let’s unlock a completely new use case together!
Secureframe and Finch — Scaling Up Security Compliance
March 18, 2021
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Secureframe is on a mission to make the most powerful security simple and accessible for every organization.
Secureframe allows companies to unlock enterprise opportunities by becoming SOC 2 and ISO 27001 compliant within weeks, rather than months. The platform automatically monitors 25+ services to assess security practices and ensure compliance standards are met. Secureframe continuously collects audit evidence, runs security awareness training, monitors infrastructure, and more, all automatically.
🔗 30+ integrations — Secureframe uses 30+ of Finch’s integrations to address their growing range of customers that utilize different providers.
👩🏽💼 10,000+ individuals connected —Every customer’s employees and contractors need to be accounted for to ensure they undergo multiple compliance requirements like background checks and cybersecurity training.
⏳ <30 seconds to sync —Finch’s streamlined Connect Flow allows Secureframe customers to sync their workforce data in <30 seconds so business leaders can focus on higher priority compliance measures.
Without Finch — Disjointed User Experience
Before implementing Finch, Secureframe had to build integrations one at a time with each offering a disjointed user experience. Customers often had to leave the interface altogether to navigate through their payroll system, completely breaking the user flow. The support team had to walk customers through the process manually to troubleshoot issues, navigate the nuances of each system, and confirm that the right permissions were set. The rapid expansion of the platform’s customer base compounded the UX friction with every new client.
Accessing live employee information is essential for Secureframe’s customers to maintain SOC 2 compliance since every employee needs to undergo background checks, review company policies, and complete security training as soon as they join. Gathering this data is one of the first steps in the account creation process. Without a live view into the HR systems, Secureframe wouldn’t be able to offer customers powerful automation tools to make compliance easy at scale.
Compliance is not just a one-time activity. It’s an ongoing process that only gets more complex as organizations scale up. We need to have a live view into our customers’ headcount data no matter what systems they use so there’s no lapse in compliance. We chose Finch since their mission critical infrastructure is the most reliable and offers the best coverage for our growing customer base.
Shrav Mehta, Founder & CEO
With Finch — Unified User Flow & Continuous Compliance
Today, with Finch integrated, Secureframe can allow customers to seamlessly sync their HR system and move onto higher value compliance tasks. The entire process was reduced to <30 seconds vs. 10–15 minutes seen previously with a more fragmented user experience that often required live support.
Customers select their HR provider within Secureframe’s dashboard.
Customers authenticate their account using Finch Connect, Finch’s secure, standardized authorization experience that embeds explicit data permissions.
Fin! In a few seconds, Secureframe can start automating security compliance as customers scale up their teams.
Now, with access to live census data via Finch, Secureframe can automatically add new employees and contractors to compliance checklists so there’s a minimal lapse in compliance for customers. As the platform’s customers grow their headcount Secureframe can work in the background to ensure best practices are reinforced across the organization in real-time.
Integrations are an important part of Secureframe’s platform since we have to monitor a wide range of vendors for our customers. Syncing with HR systems was a top priority as it allows us to automate individual employee compliance. Finch’s single integration unlocked support for many HR systems.
Natasja Nielsen, Founder & CTO
Secureframe and Finch are just starting to unlock compliance automation using workforce data. Live employee data can be used to identify key stakeholders responsible for different security processes, proactively reach out to individuals that need to re-take security training, and more.
At Finch, we’re excited to partner with game-changing platforms like Secureframe. If you’re interested in exploring workforce data, reach out to us here and start building on our API.
Mosaic and Finch — A strategic partnership powering modern business finance
February 10, 2021
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Mosaic is building the future of strategic finance by empowering companies of all sizes to make better financial decisions.
In today’s SaaS-driven world, the data business leaders need to make effective decisions is siloed across many different systems. When critical financial information lives in disjointed tools like ERP, CRM, and HR platforms, it is almost impossible to get a real-time view of your business.
Mosaic has built a next-gen financial reporting and forecasting system that seamlessly integrates data from key business systems (Billing, ERP, CRM, HRIS) into a single source of truth that can act as a compass for business leaders. By tackling this complex data integration problem, Mosaic enables modern teams to spend time on strategic and forward-looking growth initiatives.
📈 70% of SaaS company spend is driven by employees. Understanding the cost of your people is vital for efficient growth. Finch enabled Mosaic to rapidly serve companies using a wide range of HR Systems.
📐 20+ key metrics — Integrating Payroll and HR data to Mosaic unlocked real-time insights into 20+ key metrics including employee churn, department costs, fully loaded cost per employee, sales efficiency metrics, and more.
⏩ 94% faster integration — Finch enabled Mosaic to build connections with HR providers 94% faster than building them all in-house.
Without Finch — Building Costly in-House Integrations
Before Finch, the Mosaic team was building integrations one by one with different providers. This process varied across systems and required lengthy business development and technical discussions that stretched months.
The engineering team had to build out a data mapping system to ensure compatibility across platforms. The slow rollout of new integrations and incremental engineering efforts required meant that not all customers could unlock live workforce insights needed to run their businesses effectively.
Mosaic’s wide range of customers and use cases meant they needed to support multiple systems quickly. HR and Payroll data is a critical component of Mosaic’s comprehensive strategic finance platform — without it, they wouldn’t be able to provide detailed insights into the largest expense for most businesses.
Employees are the largest expense for most businesses, meaning that decision-makers need a comprehensive view of their employee’s costs to build smart, sustainable headcount planning strategies. Finch helps us build that view for a broader range of customers.
Bijan Moallemi, Co-Founder & CEO
With Finch — Seamless Expansion of Coverage
Today, using Finch, Mosaic is able to service an ever-expanding range of customers with the platform’s growing list of supported providers while saving hundreds of engineering hours. Integrating with Finch took only 4 days instead of the grueling month-long project necessary for separate connections with each provider.
Customers can now authorize Mosaic to retrieve key data from their payroll and HR systems providing actionable metrics that directly improve the health of their businesses. On the back-end, the engineering team can rely on Finch’s standardized data schema to seamlessly pull information and make live calculations regardless of the underlying provider.
Finch Connect, Finch’s secure, standardized authorization flow, prompts customers to select their payroll provider.
Customers authenticate their payroll accounts and authorize the key set of permissions Mosaic requests by entering their admin credentials.
Voila! In a matter of seconds, Mosaic can start surfacing payroll data insights to business leaders.
The power of our platform is the ability to synthesize disparate data patterns and distill them into actionable signals. Our engineering resources need to be focused on this core imperative. Finch’s quick integration process and scalable infrastructure allows us to dedicate more engineering hours to value-driving initiatives.
Luke Braud, CTO
Finch and Mosaic continue to work together to unlock new endpoints, coverage partners, and edge cases that better capture the differences in the organization structure. As Mosaic refines its powerful analytical engine, Finch can provide greater granularity into employee data to generate new metrics for tracking business health. This partnership is just the beginning.
The tools we’re building on top of Finch increase engagement across our platform. Now we can help a wider range of businesses across the country make smarter, data-driven strategic decisions. We’re excited for the future of this partnership.
Brian Campbell, Co-Founder & CPO
Finch is always looking to partner with innovative teams like Mosaic, so if you’re building a product that can leverage payroll and HR data sign up to test out our API here.
Finch and Codat are partnering up to help lenders better serve SMBs for PPP loans
January 26, 2021
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Finch and Codat are partnering to empower financial institutions to supply the funds SMBs need to weather economic challenges, starting with PPP loans.
What is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) represented an unprecedented action by Congress to help SMBs that experienced major business disruption in the wake of the global pandemic. Over 5.2 million loans were approved by 5,460 lenders totaling $525B as of August 2020.
In January 2021 the second wave of PPP loans was made available totaling $284B in order to provide additional emergency financial support to SMBs.
There was a range of problems experienced by the first round of PPP loans. Lack of clarity on the correct forms that needed to be completed, large corporates being provided with loans whilst the small businesses were left hanging; and a complete lack of understanding into how forgiveness worked.
This time around businesses and lenders are better equipped to receive and offer funding through the program, but it’s still not an easy process.
So what is the process?
The number of steps and the depth of information required from various systems to facilitate a successful PPP loan can be overwhelming.
SMBs have to fulfill a range of eligibility requirements. They must dig up key business data, calculate estimated loan amounts using average payroll costs, and then go through a separate process to apply for forgiveness that includes cost summaries for qualified expenses.
Lenders have to conduct good-faith reviews for loan amounts, disburse funds quickly, and confirm the qualified expenses by asking for proof.
A partnership that streamlines PPP application all via a single API
While submitting an application, businesses are required to provide:
Proof they have suffered a decrease in revenue
A detailed breakdown of the business’s expenses along with the receipts attached to those expenses
Granular employee-specific information as well as aggregate wage amount
This can take small business owners hours, if not days to produce manually.
Many of these data points can be made accessible through Finch and Codat’s platforms to help SMBs and lenders make the most out of this program, seamlessly & securely allowing these businesses to share their payroll and accounting data with lenders.
Using Finch, lenders can retrieve key payroll information directly from the business’s payroll system for specified periods, employee-level data to calculate the maximum loan eligibility and auto-populate key business data required in the PPP loan application.
Lenders can use Codat to obtain access to accounting data, including existing debt & expenses as well as revenue, to build a comprehensive view of the SMB’s financial situation. Codat also allows lenders to extract key evidence to support the expense claims (i.e. receipts).
Once the capital is disbursed, lenders servicing the loans can utilize the same ongoing connections to confirm how the funds were spent, using Finch to confirm payroll spend and Codat to verify other qualified business expenses. All without businesses having to re-authorize the connection to their financial software.
Using both platforms lenders can cut down application time and reduce errors that could arise from manual calculations.
Finch and Codat combined can help lenders make a faster impact on SMBs with access to PPP loans.