Manage Timesheets and More using a VMS | DCR Workforce Blog

Manage Timesheets and More using a VMS

The complexity of managing wage and hour related issues without an automated system is a daunting prospect and becomes completely untenable as the size of an organization increases. The complexity increases when companies have multiple work sites because many states have a separate set of rules to be complied with and compliance is mandatory, not optional.

For most organizations, gone are the days of time cards, a “punch in punch out” time clock, and a bookkeeper dedicated to calculating weekly payroll.  Many companies have different approaches to how time is collected and charged for every location, department, job function, work shift and type of worker.    The bookkeeper would rapidly be overwhelmed by the challenge of processing payroll, verifying approval of submitted hours, and making adjustments and corrections.  Reports would be manual and “after the fact”, providing little value to corporate executives attempting to understand and manage their payroll-related expense.  This challenge is further complicated when compensating contingent workers, as the company must verify hours worked, provide that information to the staffing agencies who serve as the employer of record, while also ensuring compliance with additional regulations specific to the use of temporary workers.

By using a VMS, organizations can easily calculate pay and overtime for contingent workers, using the appropriate pay rates; automate the approval process, and charge the costs to the appropriate cost centers, programs and projects. Rules and processes can be specific to each worker type of situation, including those workers whose shifts, jobs and pay rates vary throughout the work week.  These VMS capabilities provide huge value to companies by enabling efficient forecasts, budgeting and planning as well as by reducing administrative effort and payroll errors.

Human Resources, Procurement, Finance, Staffing Agencies and the supervisors overseeing the workers can act as one in tracking the Contingent Workforce. This task becomes easier with having a VMS handle it. Automating the schedules, timesheets and time requests and providing online access to them for contingent workers reduces timesheet to invoice cycle times and allows tracking of approval history. This method provides timely and accurate visibility into contract labor costs.   An effective VMS system will simultaneously provide the approver with the timesheet and information regarding the specified pay rates, policies for determining premium hours, and remaining budget for this position. It will track non-paid hours, and will also issue alerts for end dates, end of PO funding, or abuses. The g system should provide an easy interface for adjustment that allows for corrections to any time card within a defined look back period.

The real return on investment for an automated system lies in relieving busy managers from timekeeping duties, eliminating possible errors from manual processing of payroll and overtime, while helping to monitor productivity against actual hours worked. There is no gainsaying the fact that a well-designed time keeping system is a huge value-add for any organization in its cost allocation and planning activities.  However, these values are only realized when the system is effectively implemented.  To get started, follow these important steps:

  1. Evaluate the current state from all perspectives.  Document your existing payroll processes for all worker types, locations, and departments.  Be sure to understand the roles performed by everyone involved in managing payroll for contingent workers.
  2. Establish and communicate payroll policies. Consider the needs of all constituents.   Address time submission, approval, processing, exceptions and adjustments, and reporting requirements.
  3. Automate the process.  Select a system that easily interfaces with other critical business systems.  Ours is a mobile society, so choose one that provides device-independent access for time submission and approval.  In addition to automated administrative processing, the system should guide you through compliance with government and union regulations.  It should offer extensive automated management reporting.  And, of course, the system should provide audit trails, archive payroll records and provide extensive security and redundancy.
  4. Train all user types.  The benefit gained from the VMS system is driven by your team’s understanding of your policies, processes and system usage.  Be sure that everyone involved in the process is up to speed.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.