The 3 Phases of the Perfect Payroll Process

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Between unexpected absences, shift swaps, and no-shows, we all know that the real-time facility schedule usually ends up looking a bit different than the originally distributed schedule. Since you cannot take for granted that “schedules” and “actuals” are the same thing, it is critical that your payroll system is being fed the real-time schedule.

The perfect payroll process plans for real-time pay. When evaluating your current procedures, you should look at it in 3 phases: planning, real-time management, and pay distribution.

And an automated scheduling and absence management solution is critical to help you achieve all 3. Here’s why.

1. Forecast

Since your organization can only be proactive if you’re actually acting on labor metrics, the ideal payroll process should include forecasting. That way, there are no surprises during the pay period and each facility can stay on budget.

By looking at your historical data to determine past staffing levels, you’ll make more accurate schedules in the future. For example, you can run a report for each month to see how much overtime was issued. If you notice that you had a lot of OT during June consecutively for the past two or three years, then you’ll know to plan for more straight-time staff for the upcoming June.

Of course, such analytical data is not inherent in paper schedules. To make sure you are consistently staffed to match only what you need, an automated scheduling solution will provide you the right analytics (employee data, historical demand trends, current labor demand, etc.) to let you forecast seamlessly.

Your finance department will thank you for embedding such proactive cost control measures at the point of scheduling.

2. Real-Time

We touched on the volatile nature of a live schedule. Real-time shift schedules never seem to match what the scheduler planned for a week in advance, do they?

You are doing your payroll process—and your employees—a disservice by relying on outdated time and attendance records to distribute payroll.

With T&A systems, someone needs to constantly initiate a change manually. For the right people to get paid for time worked, someone is responsible for updating the pre-set, static T&A schedule that was uploaded in the back-end whenever any change to the real-time facility schedule occurs. That’s a lot of responsibility, and there is no guarantee that this pertinent information is being updated in real-time.

This is why your ideal payroll process should include automated scheduling and absence management that accommodates for real-time schedule changes. Each employee action (that they initiate themselves), from time off to volunteering and shift swapping, is auto-logged. Now you know that the shift schedule is actually up-to-date and shows the right employees at the right jobs—no matter how last minute a filled vacancy occurs.

Now that you know the schedule is accurate down to the last minute of the shift, you can get to the final phase.

3. Pay

With automation, syncing with payroll has never been easier. You now have the ability to send real-time schedules directly to payroll, avoiding manual entry and its associated costly errors—we’re talking about the 33% of organizations that make billions of dollars in payroll errors annually. Yikes.

Still relying on paper, spreadsheets, and/or a T&A system because you like to be able to have more control over checks and balances? That’s where approval tools come in. You can still audit even the most automatic process.

With approval tools, you can authorize those real-time schedules/timesheets prior to payroll integration. For audit purposes, information is automatically locked for future analysis (making everything come full circle when it’s time to go back to phase 1: forecast). Shift supervisors electronically sign off on employees’ time worked and easily submit those hours to payroll. You can even allow for multiple levels of approval to further safeguard the process.

Once everything looks kosher, the schedules get sent to payroll.

The Indeavor Solution

Want to leverage planning, real-time management, and automated pay distribution? With Indeavor, you can make the most of all 3 phases.

Depending on what works better for you, our automated scheduling and absence management solution can either integrate with your current T&A system or replace it entirely.

Learn more or request a demo here.

Workloud is our workforce management SaaS solution which offers clients an end-to-end, cloud-based employee scheduling, time & attendance, and absence management system. Workloud integrates with your human capital management and enterprise resource planning systems to create a robust platform that provides you with real-time employee data.