In Ireland, many businesses make use of time and attendance systems nowadays. Every type of business, regardless of how large or small it may be, needs to focus on the expenditure it creates from workflows, especially with respect to labour costs. Consequently, anyone who is tasked with saving money on operational matters will usually first focus on the comings and goings of employees. Efficiencies can often be found by organising workers’ shift patterns better, identifying who takes more breaks than the average worker or by tracking individuals as they pass from one business location to another – something that is particularly important when fieldwork is being conducted, of course.
There again, time and attendance systems have become even more important in the post-pandemic commercial landscape when so many more people work at home, at least for part of the time in cases of hybrid working. For this reason, numerous enterprises in Ireland have invested in more sophisticated time and attendance systems than ever before. Although there are some companies that still rely on legacy card-based systems with which workers physically clock in and clock out, it is more common for digitised systems to have replaced them nowadays.
However, digital time and attendance tracking systems only offer optimal outcomes for business owners and managers when the data it captures can be used to help bring about operational efficiencies. What many decision-makers overlook with their implementation of time and attendance technology is how closely their chosen system will integrate with the human resource functions, in particular their payroll system. This is where Quantum Payroll, by Snow, is such a significant leader in the market.
Our payroll solution integrates well with a raft of time and attendance systems available today, such as Mitrefinch TMS, Softworks and Timepoint. If you currently run Flextime, Timeworks or Alkimii, then it is also useful to know that Quantum Payroll offers full integration. Equally, if your business is considering investing in Bizimply or Strandum, two more popular time and attendance systems, then these software packages also integrate well with our payroll solution. Why is integrating your time and attendance software with your payroll functions beneficial, though? Read on to find out.
The Benefits of Integrating Time and Attendance With Payroll Software
When you integrate payroll with a compatible time and attendance system, your will be able to view your employees’ data over whatever period makes sense to you. Perhaps you need to plan for a peak period of worker demand, such as when a large order comes in or to cover the festive period in the hospitality sector. There again, you might want to look at all of your workers’ time and attendance data going back for years if you are looking to downsize the business and want to retain the most productive employees. Essentially, integrating time and attendance data with payroll information allows you to not only track individual workers and their schedules but their relative costs in terms of pay, as well.
Even better, you can perform all of these reporting and data analysis tasks with no need to cross-reference old spreadsheets, paper-based logs and manually inputted timesheets. In other words, automation through digitisation of such records means you can produce the data you need from customised queries in moments, not hours. Bear in mind that the automated tracking of employee attendance data is useful. With simply displayed, readily available worker data, you can also confirm your payroll processes are correct and ensure that no employee is paid wrongly for overtime they didn’t do or attendance bonuses they’re not entitled to.
Integrating time and attendance data with payroll also helps to ensure regulatory compliance is met. This key advantage of integration means that you won’t pay workers when they’ve been on shifts for longer than the regulation allows for, for example. Better integration also assists with payroll compliance matters. For instance, it will help to make sure workers only get paid for the hours they are contracted to do with the correct tax deductions made at source. Depending on the exact scheduling in place or contracted work that is being undertaken, integrated payroll also means time and attendance data is calculated in compliance with agreed overtime rates. Equally, you typically need fewer people to manage payroll data when both systems are integrated. This can help you in terms of employee privacy and data protection compliance since potentially sensitive data necessarily needs to be stored on fewer devices.
Another key benefit of running a time and attendance solution that functions within your payroll software is that the calculations needed to pay your staff will be automated. With an integrated payroll system, all payments will be an accurate representation of the actual hours worked by employees, not estimations or averages based on past payments. Indeed, you can automate your payrolls within different time periods given the right system has been adopted. With Quantum Payroll, for example, it would be possible to pay some workers on a weekly basis based on their time and attendance data for the previous week while other employees could be paid fortnightly, four-weekly or monthly, in the case of salaried staff.
Note that payroll integration will also automate the production of payslips and even the preparation of bank transfers to employees’ bank accounts for the pay they are due to receive. Such automation that transfers data between the time and attendance system and the payroll software also helps to minimise the possibility of human input errors. Even if you employ very diligent payroll clerks who aren’t prone to significant errors, automation will still significantly lessen the time that needs to be spent on manually entering time and attendance data into your payroll system, streamlining your operation and allowing you to achieve more with less.
Why Keep Time and Attendance Separate from Payroll?
Given all the advantages there are available to Irish companies if they integrate their payroll system with their chosen time and attendance software, you may well ask why some businesses choose not to. In some cases, this simply comes down to an old-fashioned approach to time and attendance systems. When these haven’t been digitised and rely on paper timesheets, for example, even running a well-honed digital payroll system may mean that business owners want to continue with potentially outdated methods for tracking worker attendance.
Equally, some businesses consider themselves to be too small to bother with time and attendance software even though their payroll functions might be outsourced successfully each month. However, even a company that has a handful of employees will often benefit from integrating their time and attendance data with their payroll function sooner rather than later. In short, keeping them separate – whether due to the size of the enterprise or because of the desire to retain a long-established analogue system – is a false economy.
This is because separation necessarily means creating two sets of records. Separate time and attendance data that is distinct from your payroll ledger entries could have discrepancies. Tax officials may take unkindly to payroll information that doesn’t tie up exactly with the hours employees have worked. Even if no deliberate false accounting or incorrect tax payments are found, such discrepancies can cause reputational harm to businesses. Likewise, employees who think they’ve been paid incorrectly will often complain about it, especially when underpayments are noticed. In turn, this can place HR departments under strain and lead to greater staff churn than would be the case with a properly integrated and, therefore, more accurate payroll process.
In the end, there is nothing that says you must integrate your payroll software with your time and attendance system. However, failing to do so when your competitors probably are can lead to a loss of productivity and, in severe cases, a lack of competitiveness. Contact Snow Technology today to find out more.