As you’re evaluating different human capital management (HCM) vendors for a time-and-attendance software solution, you no doubt ask questions very similar to these:
- How simple is the experience for the end user?
- How flexible is your system to address our different time-and-attendance scenarios for our different employee groups?
- What time capture options does your system support (e.g. mobile, web, clock, etc.)?
- How does your system help me with compliance requirements (overtime, ACA, etc.)?
- How flexible are your reporting options?
These questions are fairly basic. They’re also important questions because they act as great tools to help you cull through your options.
Complex Time-and-Attendance Challenges Require Next-Level Questions
Managing your time and payroll isn’t simple. It’s made up of constantly changing regulations, mobile workers, telecommuting employees, compliance needs, and more. When looking at programs or services to provide accuracy, efficiency, and an acceptable ROI, you need to probe even more deeply as you research different time-and-attendance solutions.
Here are the three next-level questions you should ask to ensure your needs are met, as you look to move forward with a time-and-attendance system.
1) How flexible is your system for configuring overtime rules for different employee groups?
Overtime reporting rules are changing come July and there’s a good chance at least a portion of your workforce could become entitled to overtime pay.
To help prevent lawsuits – and to keep your team members’ nights from becoming sleepless – your time-and-attendance system will need to be flexible enough to accommodate these changes, as well as any future adjustments the Department of Labor deems appropriate to mandate.
That’s just for starters. Depending on your industry and types of employees that you staff, you’ll need to dig deeper into additional overtime-related functions that the time-and-attendance software provides:
- Do you have commissioned employees? If so, does the software apply their commission against any overtime they earned during the reporting period (usually one month or one quarter prior)?
- Does your company work on different projects, clients or grants? If so, you may want a product that distributes overtime proportionally across projects worked, instead of when a worker meets the 41st hour.
- Do you offer incentives based on an employee’s productivity (including piece rate) or gain sharing? If so, ask how the time-and-attendance software calculates production earnings and incorporates them into the weekly overtime rate.
- Do you pay on a semi-monthly rate? If so, find out if the system can accommodate your need to base overtime on full work weeks that routinely span different pay periods.
- Do you employ salaried non-exempt employees? If so, can the time-and-attendance system calculate a “fluctuating” or “coefficient” overtime rate that pays overtime on a blended rate that reduces based upon hours worked?
Make sure the vendor’s system works easily with the overtime rules used for your different employee groups.
2) Does the system accommodate calculating different labor rates based on your rules?
Does your company pay your employees different rates depending on what they do and where they do it? If so, then you need a system that can take the labor grading and the varying rates associated with each and calculate it automatically.
For example, let’s say Hannah Smith in Division 123, Department ABC, Job 9999, and Task 444, earns $15.50/hour, but if she worked in Division 456, Department DEF, Job 9999, and Task 444, she’d earn $16.25/hour. Can the vendor’s time-and-attendance software accommodate such complexity to determine the rate based on your multiple variables?
3) How does the time-and-attendance system automate your organization’s incentive pay?
Incentive pay programs are great ways to encourage employees to work harder, produce more and be more efficient. Yet they can be fraught with complications, not the least of which is the payroll and accounting teams’ ability to manage the process accurately.
Currently, most companies manually manage their incentive programs in spreadsheets or with other manual methods. However, time-and-attendance systems have advanced considerably to help with this critical process. Be sure to ask an HCM vendor how easy it will be for the vendor—or your payroll employees—to calculate or integrate your incentive policy information into the system.
Your firm’s time-and-attendance needs are only going to grow more complicated this year and beyond. If a vendor is close but not quite able to meet your needs based on these next-level questions, contact us at IDI to see how we can help. We have complemented HCM systems for 20+ years to address these complex yet critical policies and automated processes that historically were done in spreadsheets or paper.