Columbia EDP Blog

How can I speed up payroll?

Is payroll a hassle? Integrating payroll and employee timekeeping makes payroll a whole lot easier. It also makes life easier for your employees, managers, and HR team.

Today’s post is for organizations that have separate payroll and employee time and attendance systems.

What’s the problem with separate systems?

If your systems are separate, you are duplicating work. And if someone is doing manual data entry, mistakes are sneaking through.

This real life example explains why payroll can take so long:

“Every 2 weeks, I run payroll for 200 employees. 39 of them are salaried, and about 50 of the hourly employees work in 24-hour programs. I copy each employee’s regular and OT hours from the software into an Excel spreadsheet. Without breaks or interruptions, this process would take about six hours. I’ve never done it in less than eight. It’s exhaustive and exhausting.” 

Why is manual entry a problem?

In this story, the payroll manager does manual data entry. The hours must match up with the correct employee. He could inadvertently enter an extra digit, omit a digit, or transpose two digits.

There is little chance that all that manual entry is flawless. A conservative estimate of the error rate would be 2%. For 200 employees, that means four employees could get an incorrect paycheck. If you have two pay periods per month, this amounts to 96 incorrect paychecks annually.

When a number is off, it starts a chain reaction of problems…time management overtime

If you pay your employees by the hour, your payroll is based on the hours entered. Either you short that employee or pay too much.

If the employee hours are wrong, the paycheck amount is wrong. If the paycheck has an incorrect amount, the FICA withholdings are wrong. This could be due to inaccurate clock ins or corruption during the manual import.

Paper timesheets add more risk of inaccuracy. An employee can enter an incorrect shift start time. The employee could do a math error when totaling hours. The manager who approves it could misread the handwriting.

If the hours are off, accruals follow suit. Employees might not earn vacation time or sick days that they are rightfully due.

It doesn’t end there. If the deductions are wrong, the employer portion of the taxes is wrong.

You are probably thinking: “What is a better way?”

You need automated time tracking that syncs to payroll. Your error rate will fall dramatically. A bio-metric time clock synced to an advanced employee time and attendance system is the best way to go.

Here’s how it works:

It all starts with tracking employee time. Tracking time accurately is the first step to smooth and accurate payroll processing. A bio-metric time clock is the best way to ensure that you track time to the minute. It’s virtually impossible to fake a biological identifier to buddy clock for another employee.

“What if some of my staff is offsite?”

If you have mobile employees, they will need another clock in method. TimeWorks Mobile with GPS the geographic location when an employee clocks in on the web portal. This is not as fraud-proof as a bio-metric clock. But it beats taking their word for it.

It’s not just time theft that can mess up payroll…

A bio-metric clock and automated employee time and attendance lets you enforce schedules and set overtime alerts. Some bio-metric clocks have tools that present associates with logical prompts so they don’t make common punch mistakes. Make sure your time and attendance system has a mobile app for offsite punches.

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Posted Date: 2019-03-07

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