-Worklinks attracting national and global partners
By Margaret Magner
In 2008 when Anil Chawla was searching for the right location to develop a state-of-the-art web-based payroll software system, he explored opportunities in several Canadian provinces. A young entrepreneur and computer engineering graduate from Carleton University, he’d already established a Toronto office and was creating advanced payroll-related software for Kraft Canada and Ceridian Canada Ltd. Eager to shift focus from consulting to software development, Chawla chose Summerside, P.E.I., as the home for his latest innovation – the Worklinks suite of payroll solution products.
“P.E.I. was the most business-friendly province by far, with less red tape and all levels of government onboard to promote our project,” says Chawla. “We also had a P.E.I. employee leading the way.” Eight years later, a team of business analysts and software developers in Summerside’s historic Holman Centre has created a cloud-based payroll application that’s generating interest from international industry leaders.
Worklinks provides businesses with user-friendly, end-to-end solutions streamlining the entire payroll process and enabling accurate and efficient payroll processing. Highly customizable, it meets the statutory requirements of all 13 Canadian provinces and territories. “We ensure people get their pay cheques on time which can be challenging for companies with complex payrolls including pension plans, RRSP deductions, and hourly and full-time salaried people,” says Aaron Brown, Worklink’s Summerside senior business analyst. Brown is taking the lead building electronic funds transfer capability for government payroll-related remittances and direct deposit into employee bank accounts from the Worklinks payroll system. This innovation recently won a P.E.I. Development and Commercialization Fund grant for projects ready for full-commercial production.
Worklinks originated as an add-on for its sister product Pendylum which provides a human resources workforce management suite including scheduling and timekeeping. The broad acceptance of Worklinks as a leader in the delivery of Canadian payroll solutions has made it the company’s core component with plans to integrate both systems.
NGA Human Resources, a global systems integrator, partners with Worklinks to process regular-and-pension payroll for its multinational clients with Canadian employees, including major worldwide pharmaceutical firms, an animal-health company, and a leading publisher. “It’s notable when a company like NGA which serves clients in 145 countries across five continents selects a relatively small company like Worklinks as its Canadian payroll solution,” says Chawla. “Being smaller, we have to bring something distinctive to the table.” Worklinks is finalizing an additional partnership with one of Canada’s largest pension-administration companies with the potential to significantly expand Worklink’s size and the number of its employees.
“Within five years, we anticipate growth across the company to reach 50 percent with significant hiring in P.E.I.,” says Chawla. “I’ve already relocated people from Toronto to Summerside who prefer the lifestyle there.” The company is actively hiring through Holland College, UPEI and the SkillsPEI Graduate Mentorship Program. “Worklinks was developed in P.E.I. using local talent,” says Chawla. “We’re not going anywhere.”
Margaret Magner, Ph.D., is a freelance journalist in Charlottetown (www.magnerink.com).