Effectively Integrating HR, Payroll and Timekeeping Systems
While an all-in-one workforce management system (WMS) that facilitates HR, payroll and timekeeping tasks offers numerous advantages to an organization, the cost and time needed to implement this type of system is out of reach and unnecessary, especially if the organization relies on independent HR, payroll and timekeeping systems that readily meet its needs. Organizations can, however, capitalize on the unique benefits offered by an all-in-one WMS by integrating independent systems together with the help of the timekeeping system. An effective timekeeping system offers straightforward integration with other systems and time clocks, seamless data sharing, simplified data management and a dashboard-style interface with drill-down capabilities so that HR and payroll tasks are significantly streamlined.
Taking Advantage of Workforce Management Integration
Workforce management systems that manage specific tasks such as HR, payroll and timekeeping come in all shapes and sizes. Some organizations invested and implemented each system separately over time, while others sought an all-in-one system to handle HR, payroll and timekeeping tasks. The advantages of an all-in-one workforce management system (WMS) are many. An all-inclusive WMS offers data sharing across the HR, payroll and timekeeping modules, allowing for up-to-the-minute reporting, speedy information updating and enhanced interdepartmental collaboration. However, the expense of configuring and implementing a WMS across the organization can be cost-prohibitive for many organizations. Additionally, companies using separate HR, payroll and timekeeping systems that readily meet their needs see no reason to switch to an all-in-one solution, and understandably so. With the benefits of an all-inclusive WMS eluding companies that opt for separate HR, payroll and timekeeping systems, the question becomes: Can these businesses find a way to gain the advantages offered by the all-in-one WMS? The answer is yes.
Benefits of WMS Integration
Independent workforce systems can be effectively integrated using a lead system capable of communicating with all of the other systems. In many cases, a timekeeping system is best suited to this role if it is designed to integrate with existing HR and payroll systems. The timekeeping system acts as a liaison to the other systems so that data can be sourced and reported from all systems through the timekeeping system, providing organizations the same—and in some cases—better advantages offered by an all-inclusive WMS.
A timekeeping-integrated WMS:
- Allows an organization to continue using independent systems that readily meet its needs. Streamlines processes and creates efficiencies in payroll, scheduling, labor budgeting, and HR tasks. Has the appearance and ease of an all-in-one solution with the convenience of a single sign-on to multiple systems. Provides an overview of all systems through the lead timekeeping system. Simplifies the management of duplicate data among systems. Clearly, the benefits of WMS integration speak for themselves. But what should an organization look for in a lead timekeeping system to ensure successful integration with other existing independent systems?
Choosing the Right Timekeeping System
The right timekeeping system offers specific features that promote easy inte- gration, seamless data sourcing and reporting, simplified data management, integration with a variety of time clocks, and a dashboard-style system interface with data drill-down capabilities.
An effective timekeeping system automatically integrates with industry-standard payroll vendors and HR systems. Because providing accurate information to the payroll and HR systems is vital, the timekeeping system must allow data to be exchanged easily among local and hosted systems.
Seamless Data Sourcing and Reporting
Data sourcing and reporting across systems is facilitated by the timekeeping system. Information is easily imported, exported or shared through a secure Web-based data transfer. Integrated reporting pulls data from all linked systems, and, as data is updated in any system, all related reports reflect the information changes immediately and automatically. A timekeeping system that features predefined and customized reports, offers report-sharing and collaboration tools, and provides security measures to safeguard confidential reports, delivers additional flexibility and value.
Simplified Data Management
Successful integration simplifies data management, especially in the event that two (or more) systems store duplicate data. The integrative timekeeping system synchronizes updates to duplicate data automatically so information does not need to be changed in multiple systems. For example, if an employee’s personnel file is updated in the timekeeping system, the updates are sent simultaneously to the HR system so that duplicate information is accurate without taking additional manual steps.
Time Clock Integration
The timekeeping system integrates with a variety of timekeeping clocks and offers real-time data transfer to ensure records are immediately updated when an employee punches in or out. Because lag time is eliminated, accurate time and attendance data is collected and provided to other integrated systems, especially payroll, and adds context to the labor budget and departmental scheduling reports.
Dashboard–Style System Interface
Because the timekeeping interface facilitates a user’s interaction with system data, a dashboard-style interface offers a holistic view of scheduling, HR and payroll information in a single screen. A drill-down capability provides more information on a specific data point; users can start with a high-level view and easily drill down into more detailed information as needed.
Streamlining HR and Payroll
From a data management standpoint, WMS integration offers significant advan- tages to an organization. What specific benefits does the integrative timekeeping system offer to specific to the payroll and HR departments?
Benefits to Payroll
The integrative timekeeping system is designed to simplify and expedite payroll activities from the dashboard interface. In the managers’ dashboard, time and attendance issues are highlighted and can be corrected, and managers can review and approve employee timecards, which streamline the timecard submission process. Payroll managers can initiate payroll in a single click, review pertinent payroll information in summary, and export payroll totals to a spreadsheet or directly to the payroll system with one click. The timekeeping system also tracks employee time, offers budget management and automates complicated pay rules.
Benefits to HR
A timekeeping system that integrates with the HR system provides easy access to archived employee attendance data, accrues employee benefits and tracks leave balances and disciplinary management. Archived employee attendance data is easily accessed and HR managers can create customizable reports in the event of an FLSA claim. The timekeeping system also automates time-off requests, eliminating paperwork and communicating essential information between a manager and employee. Managers can review their department schedule and approve a leave request through the dashboard with a single click.
Updating employee information is also streamlined. Personal information changes, new hires, paid time-off balances and pay rates or raises can be added and managed through the timekeeping system and shared with the HR system or vice versa.
Effectively Integrating Workforce Management Systems
Using a timekeeping system to integrate other workforce management applications such as HR and payroll offers significant benefits to an organization. When the timekeeping system offers easy integration, seamless data sharing, simplified data management, time-clock compatibility and a dashboard-style interface, HR and payroll departments benefit. HR tasks, such as benefit accrual and leave requests, and payroll tasks, such as timecard corrections and payroll initiation, are stream- lined, automated and expedited, providing peace-of-mind to an organization’s HR and payroll managers.