Introducing Flatfile: All the Benefits of a Unified API, No Engineers Required

June 25, 2024
0 min read
Finch announces its newest product, Flatfile, which delivers standardized employment data via SFTP.
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Finch's newest product, Flatfile, automatically delivers standardized employment data via SFTP. Get all the benefits of a unified API with no development work.

Getting access to the employment data locked inside HRIS and payroll systems can be a huge challenge for apps across HR, benefits and fintech. For decades, the industry standard has been to use secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) integrations or manual file uploads to share data between systems. While API integrations —the gold standard for data access—have grown in popularity over the past few years, many organizations don’t have the technical resources to build or maintain these integrations themselves. 

At Finch, we recognize this challenge. That's why we’re excited to introduce our newest beta feature: Finch Flatfile. Flatfile helps organizations with limited technical resources leverage our infrastructure to retrieve data from HRIS and payroll systems – without engineering resources. Flatfile customers can retrieve standardized data from 30+ HRIS and payroll systems, without subjecting employers to a drawn-out SFTP onboarding process or manual administration work.

Get started with Finch Flatfile today -->

What is Finch Flatfile?

Flatfile enables you to get up and running with Finch faster to unlock streamlined employer onboarding, data standardization, and secure file delivery. Flatfile users don’t need to build an API integration to Finch, making the feature accessible to all companies, regardless of their development resources.

Flatfile users can simply log in to the Finch Dashboard to provide a destination for SFTP-based file transfers, generate Finch Connect links, and monitor the status of connections. Employers still connect their system through Finch Connect, and all data is standardized across providers. 

In short, Flatfile lets you enjoy all the benefits of Finch’s Unified Employment API without the heavy lift of building to our API.

How does Finch Flatfile work?

Finch uses its existing integrations with leading HRIS and payroll providers to pull data directly from their systems. This data is then standardized through the Finch API and delivered by file to any single SFTP server you provide. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Share a link: Simply log in to the Finch Dashboard to generate a Finch Connect link. You can then share this link with any employer to enable them to connect their HRIS or payroll system.
  2. Connect Providers: Employers can then go through the Finch Connect process to authenticate as usual. Finch walks them through any nuances between providers.
  3. Receive Files: Each pay run, you’ll receive a file that is standardized across every provider. The file is delivered by SFTP, and contains all the information you could get through our API.

For more details, check out our step-by-step guide on working with Finch Flatfile.

The Finch Flatfile onboarding workflow is shown in three easy steps.
Onboard employers to Finch Flatfile in three simple steps.

How is Flatfile different from a traditional SFTP integration?

While Flatfile uses SFTP, there are a few key differences when compared to a 1:1 SFTP integration with an HRIS or payroll provider. 

In a typical SFTP setup, the provider (HRIS/payroll) would work with an individual client (employer) and third-party application (your app) in order to configure a custom file to transfer routinely. Each provider has different setup requirements, implementation timelines, and costs associated with this process. Generally, each employer must go through the implementation individually, making it difficult to scale.

With Finch Flatfile, you can avoid the months-long SFTP setup process and get up and running in minutes. You begin receiving files over SFTP once an employer has permissioned your app to access their system.

Benefits of Finch Flatfile

Flatfile users enjoy a range of benefits over traditional SFTP integrations and manual file uploads.

  • More integrations: By eliminating the Operational burden of managing multiple SFTP processes, we make it easier for you to support more of the integrations your customers need. Flatfile is currently compatible with 30+ providers.
  • Easy authentication and onboarding: Traditional SFTP integrations involve a lengthy implementation process with a lot of back-and-forth between your support team, the provider, and your client. With Flatfile, employers simply go through Finch Connect to authenticate. No data mapping, implementation fees, or testing required. 
  • Data standardization: Unlike a direct SFTP integration with a provider, Finch offers a single, standard file format for every HRIS and payroll system that matches our unified API. This simplifies any manual work for your Operations team, and eliminates the need to manage unique data schemas and naming conventions. 
  • Secure file delivery: If you already use SFTP for integrations, there’s no need to set up something new. Simply provide your credentials to Finch, and we’ll upload fresh files upon first connection and after each pay run.

Get started with Finch Flatfile today

Once enabled, Finch customers can start using Flatfile in minutes. Learn more about our supported providers by contacting our Sales team. 

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Learn more in our State of Employment Technology report ->

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Download the report to learn more

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