The introduction of the personal computer more than 30 years ago was supposed to usher in a paper-free era. It didn’t happen. In fact, you could make the case that we generate more paper now than we did before the PC. But the problem is not computers or digital technology. It is one of trying to force manual systems into the digital space. The two are incompatible.
When it comes to transitioning from manual to digital payroll, the same challenge exists. The whole point of going digital is to increase efficiency, save time and money, and reduce mistakes. Those goals can only be achieved if digital payroll is embraced for what it is. When companies or payroll providers try to force manual systems to work with their digital counterparts simultaneously, it just creates more problems.
An Example of Confusion
A company transitioning to digital payroll has to let go of manual processes. Below is an example illustrating what can happen when those manual processes are allowed to stick around. The resulting confusion only creates more problems than digital payroll solves.
Manual Time and Attendance
Moving to digital payroll but maintaining manual time and attendance is one of the most baffling things payroll providers have to deal with. There are so many great digital time and attendance solutions out there, yet companies insist on holding on to their manual processes. It can lead to problems.
A manual time and attendance solution requires someone to verify hours worked, then tally up those hours and enter the data into a computer system. It may require multiple employees if a company’s staff is large enough. What happens if a mistake is made? First, it may take some time for the mistake to manifest itself. Once discovered though, HR staff have to go through manual records once again to try to figure out what happened.
Did the employee make a mistake? Was it an error in tallying the hours worked? Perhaps it was a data entry error. An integrated, digital time and attendance solution eliminates both the error and the need to fix it.
Plan before Implementing
It should be clear that trying to combine digital and legacy solutions does not work well for payroll. Even the most basic payroll solution that combines in-house tasks with outsourced services cannot function at its best if manual processes are still utilized. It is like trying to put a round peg into a square hole.
BenefitMall, a national payroll processing company based in Dallas, says the best way to approach transitioning to digital payroll is to plan before implementation. In other words, start with figuring out what you want digital payroll to accomplish. Figure out what you want your digital solution to look like. Then start working backward to create the various components that will make up the finished product.
BenefitMall says it is entirely possible to create a customized payroll solution for any company. They should know. They offer a generic, off-the-shelf solutions to clients who want it, alongside specialized solutions for the construction and restaurant industries. In between, they can create a customized solution for any need.
The long and short of it is this: transitioning to digital payroll is a smart move. The key to making it work successfully right from the start is letting go of those manual processes that have been relied on for so long. There is a reason for going digital. That reason is not to merely find a prettier way to package legacy systems. It is to replace those systems with more efficient, more accurate, and less costly digital alternatives.