HR and payroll professionals are all too familiar with the process of reconciling employee work hours and leaves with pay, but using multiple systems that don’t talk to each other can overcomplicate that process and increase the risk of error.
At any given time, the employees in your organization may be experiencing a range of changes that affect their employment and pay, including shift differentials, fluctuating overtime and pay rates, and different paid and unpaid leaves. When you track those changes using siloed HR and payroll systems, the efficiency of your workforce management activities can take a hit, leaving you with a frustrated team and dissatisfied employees.
However, there is a way to get all your tech tools talking. By selecting integrated workforce management tools, you can say goodbye to disjointed time and attendance tracking, inefficient payroll processes and more.
The Complications of Working with Disparate Tech Tools
Working with a collection of disconnected tech platforms is a bit like walking around a river instead of taking the bridge. You may ultimately wind up at your destination, but with one path you’re working much harder.
If you rely on disparate HR tech tools to support your workforce management activities, it will be more challenging to reach your goals for efficiency, compliance and employee experience. Here are some of the problems you can encounter when you lack an integrated workforce management system:
Inaccuracies and Reporting Errors
Working without an integrated system increases the chances of data-entry error, which can also carry over into reporting. For example, if you use a time and attendance system to schedule employee shifts and track overtime, but you need to transfer data from that system to a payroll or human capital management (HCM) system, important details can get lost in translation. Instead of having information flow seamlessly between the two systems, you have to rely on human intervention in the form of a file download, spreadsheet or email. One small error could result in incorrect payroll reporting.
Lacking integration is like throwing time (and money) away. According to a Reward Gateway survey, HR professionals spend 512 hours a year — almost two hours a day — manually updating, checking and maintaining multiple HR applications. This is not only inefficient, but also takes precious time away from other priorities.
Furthermore, instead of automating key processes and making them more efficient, working with disparate systems can lead to double or even triple data entry, eating up all of the possible efficiency gains you might have realized through automation.
Navigating the many compliance regulations that govern workforce management is no small task. For example, you need to stay ahead of labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and applicable state laws. When you work with disconnected tech tools that don’t conform to the same compliance standards, you can end up with compliance violations—such as underpaying employees for earned overtime.
Such violations are more common than you might think. In 2020, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor collected $706,000 in back wages per day for employees who did not receive their earned overtime pay.
Inconsistent User Experience
When employees need to use multiple platforms—one to punch in and punch out, one to request time off, and another to view their pay stubs—they can quickly become frustrated with the tech overload. The situation may be even worse if employees have limited self-service in some areas and none in others.
As a result, employees may have no choice but to go to HR for routine questions and basic information requests, making information exchange more bothersome for all involved.
The Benefits of Integrated Workforce Management Technology
To understand and measure the many dimensions of your workforce, you need integrated systems that can store and report employee data with accuracy and consistency. With all relevant systems speaking to each other, you can achieve efficient, streamlined processes for managing employee information. Here are the key benefits you can expect from integrated HR tech tools:
With integrated payroll and time tracking systems, you don’t have to wonder if an employee’s overtime exception made it into the payroll system. Any recorded hours, changes, and exceptions in your time and attendance system automatically flow to your payroll system. With two-way integration, you can also rest assured that any payroll changes—such as an employee classification from FLSA exempt to non-exempt—will automatically flow to your time and attendance system.
Unified Source of Data
Integrations ensure that data entered in one system will reflect in another, eliminating inconsistent data across systems. For example, if an employee worked ten hours of overtime in a week, those same hours will be reflected in both your payroll system and your time and attendance system.
Having a single source of data also boosts your employee self-service capability. Instead of logging into separate systems, employees can use one platform to submit time-off requests, check their accruals, and see how much overtime pay they earned during a specific period.
Decreased Chance of Human Error
The automated workflows that result from integration cut down on the need for manual data entry. Instead of using paper, spreadsheets or emails to transfer information between platforms, you can use an integrated system to calculate data, transfer records and automate tasks that are typically more prone to human error.
When systems for payroll and time and attendance speak to each other, you can reduce the chance of employee information falling through the cracks and creating a compliance mishap. Automated calculations and a bi-directional information flow ensures that employees earning tips or working split shifts and shift differentials receive the correct amount of overtime.
Enhanced HR Analytics
Integration allows you to pull together consolidated reports that deliver insights and support data-driven decision-making. No more generating reports from multiple systems and trying to match them up manually. Instead, you have an easier path to data that highlights historical trends in areas such as overtime expenses, time-off totals and annual leave amounts.
Work Smarter with Integrated Tech Tools
Thanks to the power of technology, your organization may already have access to the many benefits offered by payroll, HCM, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. In addition to automating key aspects of workforce management, these systems offer data collection and storage capabilities that help you better manage the employee experience.
Thanks to the power of integration, you can sync your payroll, ERP, and HCM systems with specialized platforms — such as time and attendance software — and expand your workforce management capability even further. Integration saves time and provides streamlined access to accurate data and reporting. Instead of getting bogged down in manual double-entry, integration allows you to work smarter.
For more insights about the benefits of integrating your workforce management tech tools, read our e-book, Integrations Maximize Your Payroll & ERP/HCM Systems.