Payroll costs consume 50% or more of the budget at most companies. To reduce costs, HR managers are increasingly adopting intelligent workforce management solutions such as cloud-based time and attendance tracking to streamline payroll processes.
Processing payroll quickly and accurately, enforcing labor policies with consistency, and keeping employees busy and productive are essential for efficient workforce management. However, in large, complex organizations and growing businesses, those tasks can be overwhelming to HR departments. They need an easy-to-use solution that simplifies and automates time and attendance tracking while enforcing company rules and policies.
HR and payroll administrators have their work cut out for them when it comes to choosing such a solution. Many require considerable integration effort and staff training, or feature complicated user interfaces that inhibit adoption or lead to errors in time reporting. Security is also a concern; confidential business data must be protected with the very best security systems and practices available.
A recent webinar hosted by Replicon and the American Payroll Association (APA) addressed these topics, drawing over 1000 members of the APA and many thought-provoking questions from the audience. During the webinar, Scott Bales, Replicon’s Director of Solutions Engineering, discussed how old, outdated enterprise software is being replaced by cloud-delivered solutions—even business-critical systems such as time and attendance tracking systems used for payroll processing are better in the cloud.
Cloud Solutions for Better Workforce Management
The cloud, said Bales, is empowering payroll managers with automated workforce management solutions that are easy to adopt, access, and use, to eliminate errors with built-in checks and balances. “Cloud-based solutions allow for fast implementation, more reliable time capture and reporting, and fewer headaches,” said Bales. “Less time spent chasing timesheet submissions and fixing errors means HR personnel have more time to focus on value-added activities.”
With cloud-based time and attendance tracking, organizations can begin to move away from administrative functions and begin to add business value. Optimizing payroll processes with an end-to-end integrated solution frees up staff from time-consuming manual tasks, allowing them to be more strategic.
Not surprisingly, the Aberdeen Group found in a recent survey that 73% of the organizations that participated want better workforce management. More than a third (38%) said they prefer and deploy cloud-delivered solutions over on-premise software.
We polled our attendees on 2 questions:
Tackling Concerns About Cloud
Following his presentation, Bales had the opportunity to address some questions from the audience surrounding security, integration, compliance and usability. Here’s a quick summary:
|Q.||I’m worried about compliance with internal policies as well as labor laws. How can a cloud-based solution help me pass my audits?|
|A.||Cloud-based solutions like TimeAttend make it easy to configure business rules, so you can automatically apply overtime, time off, meal breaks, rounding rules, and other attendance policies. All attendance and payroll data are securely and easily accessible from the cloud, providing you with the information you need to achieve labor compliance across your organization. Cloud vendors such as Replicon create applications for a wide audience, so they design a great deal of flexibility into their products to accommodate a wide array of user requirements with simple configuration choices.|
|Q.||What if I don’t have time to train my people to use a new system?|
|A.||Cloud-based systems such as TimeAttend are easy to deploy, configure and use. They offer consolidated reporting and easy mobile access, and they are designed for all possible users—managers, administrators and staff.|
|Q.||What about security?|
|A.||Many organizations are still worried about data security in the cloud. In response, legitimate cloud vendors have beefed up controls to meet the requirements of even the most security-conscious enterprises. For example, Replicon provides a fully-redundant cloud architecture that complies with stringent annual SSAE 16 audits. These security measures are far above and beyond what most data centers deploy and include enterprise firewall technology, SSL encryption and permission-based authentication.|
|Q.||If I have other systems already in place that I don’t plan on replacing, what should I do?|
|A.||Integration is what sets best-of-breed cloud vendors apart. In addition to out-of-the-box compatibility with most of the popular HR and payroll systems, many have application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable integration with in-house and proprietary systems. For example, Replicon’s RepliConnect connects all of our products on a single platform and makes it easy to share data between Replicon solutions and existing business applications for project management, HR, accounting and ERP systems.|
Webinar Recording and Whitepaper
A recording of this APA-Replicon webinar is available at http://www.americanpayroll.org/product/50/196. Also coming soon is a whitepaper that focuses on the differences between “real” and “fake” cloud solutions.