The Customer

Veolia Water Technologies

Is the world’s largest supplier of water services. Around the globe, Veolia helps cities and industries to manage, optimise and make the most of their resources. The company provides an array of solutions related to water, energy and materials – with a focus on waste recovery – to promote the transition towards a circular economy.

Veolia’s 200,000 employees are tasked with contributing directly to the sustainability performance of customers in the public and private sectors, allowing them to pursue development while protecting the environment.

As such, employee’s are spread out globally across a diverse range of industries including engineers, manual workers and operatives, information technology, sales, accounting, human resources, finance, program and project managers among several others. As a result, Veolia’s payroll environment is complex with varied services needed to ensure the organisation’s employees and regulatory responsibilities are covered.


– a flexible solution tailored to the needs of Veolia’s business and employee’s across Australia and New Zealand.

The Challenge

Migrating to an outsourced payroll model

Transitioning data seamlessly without error or down time

Short time frame

Large employee base with complex pay

Any payroll change can be frustrating. From managing multiple paycycles, navigating local tax laws, or implementing bespoke salary models, balancing a complex workforce is tough. As the world’s largest supplier of water services, Veolia was faced with the difficult challenge of transitioning it’s Australia and New Zealand payroll from an in-house model to an outsourced model.

To add to the pressure, the team was looking for the migration to be completed in a short time frame, with only a small team dedicated to the project.

Ascender’s outsourced services help manage all payroll and HR functions – frees up employee time to think about the bigger picture of people management and improve the employee experience.

The Solution

As Veolia’s trusted payroll advisor, Ascender examined the challenges and recommended Veolia migrate from its in-house payroll solution, Ascender PAY ANZ, to a new outsourced solution, Ascender Preceda.

With Preceda, payroll processes are automated and streamlined, managing complex payroll calculations with just a few clicks. This provides Veolia with more time to grow and be successful, focussing on what its business does best, whilst giving team members more time to become a strategic part of the business.

An outsourced payroll model also makes it easier to pay their team while ensuring compliance with changing legislation. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, it’s high system uptime would ensure Veolia’s employees are paid correctly and on time.

Transition Process

Ascender was able to fully take on the transition process, reducing the complexity and time required to manage the organisation’s payroll migration. This included, data migration, running parallel tests, configuring the payroll system and most importantly ensuring everything was inputted accurately. Aligning with Veolia’s schedule, the full migration from an in-house payroll model to an outsourced payroll model was planned to complete in just 10 weeks.

“It’s been more cost-effective for us to go to an outsourced model now that it has been implemented. It’s been a great change and that's not only in the cost that we're paying on a monthly basis but also in terms of my time and the time that people in the organisation are spending on payroll. ”

– Wendy Thomas, HR Manager at Veolia Water Technologies

Preceda delivers fast and accurate payroll processing coupled with industry leading security. While automation and integration with Preceda modules minimises labour-intensive and time-consuming processes, and virtually eliminates the risk of errors in pay and allowances. Veolia found the first parallel payroll run to be 100 percent accurate.

It’s estimated 30 per cent of HR and payroll staff time is consumed by employee query issues. Preceda’s self service functionality dramatically cuts that rate and eliminates burdens such as transactional processing and the double entering of data. With self service, Veolia employees can review and update their personal information, complete timesheets, enter leave requests, and much more. For Veolia managers, self service provides secure access to hundreds of Preceda screens, reports and workflows.

Preceda workflows can be configured to automate many HR processes, saving time and reducing errors. Workflows notify relevant parties when they have an action pending and can be configured to include automatic and scheduled reminders.

Escalation measures can even be set to handle non actioned processes; and with all workflows delivered as an online service, they fully support geographically diverse workforces and offices. This ultimately increases team productivity and enables them to address any issues quickly and efficiently.

An outsourced payroll solution means data is hosted remotely in Ascender’s state-of-the art and secure data centres. Veolia employees only need a computer with an internet connection to access the full range of Preceda features and with its high system uptime, payroll deadlines are always met.

“I would definitely recommend Ascender to another business that was considering using them. The system has been really good for us and the way they’ve managed to do our outsourcing payroll has been very efficient without errors. It also reduced the time I and my team spend on payroll tasks, so I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending”

– Wendy Thomas, HR Manager at Veolia Water Technologies 

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