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How an Integrated Payroll and Time Tracking Solution Can Help Grow Your Business

Integrating payroll and HR in your business can save money and increase efficiency while eliminating unnecessary redundancy in key business systems.
Man using smart watch for time tracking and payroll integration

Integrating a time and attendance system with payroll software can have a major impact on your company's budget and level of employee management. For many entrepreneurs, managing employees' time and attendance is a significant and time-consuming task related to owning a business. Companies that are currently using separate, non-integrated systems for payroll time tracking and administration are likely still experiencing inefficiencies and added costs that can be alleviated with an integrated system.

The disadvantages of manual time tracking

When the time and attendance process relies on manual entry and functions separately from payroll, the potential for errors and inaccuracies can be high. For instance, employees who use paper-based time and attendance systems may forget to complete their time sheets by the deadline, and then may make errors rushing to submit their hours. They might not recall precisely what time they came to work, the length of their lunch breaks, or the exact time they left for the day.

This opens the door to businesses either not paying employees enough for time they've worked — a frequent complaint among workers — or overpaying them. Issues revolving around payroll (such as not being properly paid) can negatively impact employee morale, which in turn can affect productivity in the workplace.

Using disparate systems for time tracking and other HR tasks

Even if HR departments use software programs to track various HR tasks, disparate systems can lead to inefficiencies, increased costs, and frustrations.

For example, a company may have purchased a standalone license for a payroll processing software package, but that software doesn't integrate with electronic time clocks or other tools. When an employee has an address change, it may be processed in one system but not the other, leading to a paycheck being sent to an outdated address. HR staff may also be frustrated with the inefficiencies of having to enter information into various systems multiple times and having to find and correct mistakes repeatedly.

Benefits of integrating time and attendance with payroll

Integrated payroll time tracking systems can help ensure that information is consistent across the board for all systems. Since information is updated automatically, it also reduces the workload on HR staff from having to input changes multiple times in different work systems.

When integrated systems are combined with the intelligent logic of automation, work systems and employees can reach maximum efficiency. For example, electronic time tracking software can collect, track, and manage employee work hours and pay, freeing up HR staff to work on higher level tasks that cannot be automated. Data is analyzed on a real-time basis, enabling managers to review and approve employee time for payroll processing with greater efficiency and accuracy.

Automated systems can help track time in several ways, such as reading:

  • A magnetic stripe or bar code on an employee's company card.
  • Biometric information (eliminating the problems of lost badges or of one employee clocking in and out for another).
  • Times logged in and out at the employee's personal computer.

Additional core benefits of an automated time and attendance system can include:

Managing an efficient workforce

Automated time and attendance solutions give managers the ability to match scheduling to workload projections. This can help increase efficiencies, meet production goals, and manage costs. An analytics dashboard also allows managers to review data over time, watch for opportunities to be more efficient, and head off problems that can derail productivity. Integrated solutions can then import those projections into other scheduling or budgeting systems, allowing managers to make more effective decisions with all the available data at hand.

Less paperwork

A significant reduction in paperwork is another immediate benefit to employers and their workforce. With an integrated payroll system, there's no more printing of paper time sheets or data entry into the payroll system. Once the data from electronic time clocks is added to the system, HR staff can automatically calculate and process payroll for the current period. Then, funds can be pulled automatically from the company bank accounts and directly deposited into the appropriate employee accounts on file. All records can also be automatically integrated into individual employee portals, giving workers immediate access to payroll records and reducing the need for physical paper checks.

Freeing managers and HR staff from repetitive administrative tasks

Relieving supervisors and HR staff of time-consuming administrative tasks is another big plus for employers. Information from tax forms, benefits data, and performance reviews only needs to be entered one time and into a single interface. In this way, your HR staff can turn their attention to broader and more strategic activities, such as new and more efficient ways to recruit and retain valued employees.

Protecting against claims of non-compliance

An automated time and attendance system can help your company defend itself against claims of non-compliance with wage and hour laws. For example, depending on applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, staff members may have a maximum number of hours they are allowed to work per shift or per week.

Time and attendance software can help maintain compliance by allowing managers to set notifications and to be immediately alerted of scheduling conflicts. In addition, it's possible to manage overtime to help  your business remain within government, contractual, and company guidelines regarding scheduling and compensation.

Archived time records and policies (and more consistent data collection overall) can help make complying with various wage and hour laws and regulations much less onerous for employers. In the event your business is audited for allegations of wage and hour violations, the data accuracy generated through an integrated payroll system may help facilitate the audit process.

Improving employee satisfaction

Scheduling and handling time-off requests are important elements in maintaining a satisfied workforce. When employee satisfaction increases, issues like turnover may dramatically decrease. Companies that offer staff enough hours to maximize their incomes, while being flexible enough to accommodate vacation requests or scheduling needs, generally foster a desired employee experience. With automated systems, it's possible to quickly review, approve, or address such requests and manage planned absences to minimize their effect on your company.

Employee reviews and pay increases can also have a significant impact on employee satisfaction. Automated alerts within the system can notify HR staff of upcoming employee anniversaries, benefits eligibility dates, and other important milestones. Once reviews or pay increases are entered into the employee's file, an integrated system can automatically update the employee's pay rate, enabling the raise goes into effect immediately. When HR has the tools to act quickly on these actions, employees can feel valued and more satisfied at work.

Boosting data access and security

Streamlining data entry can also help increase the accuracy and security of your payroll and HR information across platforms. Because fewer authorized people are entering information and accessing the system, data is more likely to be accurate and there is less chance of unauthorized changes or incompatible information across different platforms. This can ultimately help prevent costly errors and save the time and money it would take to correct inaccuracies.

An integrated interface can also help improve data security, since payroll and HR benefits systems contain highly sensitive company and employee information, such as salary and social security numbers. By integrating these systems into a highly secure HR platform, you can help lower the chance of data breaches. By reducing the number of access points into the system through an integrated platform and eliminating disparate systems, companies can help reduce the opportunities for internal or external hackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Time tracking as part of an integrated payroll and HR solution

When payroll and HR information are available together through a single interface, self-service features are much more effective. Employees can log into the system and quickly access information about payroll, available vacation and sick time, current tax deductions, and benefits. This allows employees to answer basic questions themselves, which can boost satisfaction and decrease the amount of time that management and HR spends resolving simple issues.

An integrated interface can also make it easier for HR staff and managers to access employee information on demand, saving time and enabling them to make informed decisions. Managers can also feel confident that the information they are viewing is accurate and up to date.

Don't let outdated, manual, or separate time tracking processes drag down your productivity. Switch to a payroll system that is fully integrated with a powerful online timekeeping solution to effectively manage HR processes while minimizing internal inefficiencies.

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* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.

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