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Why we have "Re-imagined" the paper timesheet

Recently we've been thinking a lot about who we created MyTimesheets for and Why?

We wanted to create something which has a positive impact on both employees, payroll people and the businesses which employ them.

This is why we are so focused on re-imagining paper timesheets and time clocks.

The cloud is an interesting space because payroll people live and die on trust, but in some quarters there’s still a trust issue with the cloud. There are still people who we talk to on a daily basis who say, no I don’t want my payroll system in the cloud, but who will then turn around and use their internet banking system. So they don’t trust the cloud for payroll but they do trust it for their banking, which seems crazy to us, but that’s the case.

Despite this we think the cloud will grow, albeit it will be a long time before it can grow in volume. For bigger employers running the big systems in the cloud can be problematic just from the scope of the software, using it through a browser and all those sorts of things.

We believe for small to medium employers, so the Xero target market, it will grow, but the challenge will be that payroll is such a specialist area. Thats why when we decided to come back into the "payroll" industry we decided to create tools which can work with any payroll, in any country, without actually developing a payroll.

One of the challenges with payroll is that it is very country specific which means that if you want to take a system global you have to have many versions based on where it will be used. Whereas when it comes time, an hour is an hour no matter what country you are in.

So MyTimesheets was born.

In the coming years we will see more of these peripheral "add on" products designed to handle areas such as, how do you capture your time, how do you process your time, how do you handle leave applications, how track time on jobs, how do you handle this is a mobile environment. Also how do you deliver the information?

That’s where we see the cloud coming into its own. The "cloud" is a great tool for capturing and delivering information.

If you think about the critical area of capturing employee time and attendance, how does an employee fill in their time sheet? Is this a piece of paper that nobody can read and nobody can add up or do you use a mobile phone, or browser or a tablet as a time clock?

Capturing and analysing the information is key.

If I use a paper time sheet, I’ve got to sit down and work out that I worked from 8.15 to 4.25, what does that look like in reality?

We think that’s where the next wave of innovation will be. It’ll be the capture and delivery of information. So we will see mobile optimised digital timesheets as well as employee portals, where the employee can go online and look at their leave balances and put in a leave request. They will be able to view the times they have entered in realtime, where they are working, using devices such as smartphones and tablets and both the employee and employer can view this information when it suits them rather than waiting until the end of the week.

This type of software will be a massive time saver for anyone who any number of employees or for situations such as seasonal employees, mobile employees, employees working in remote locations or where you need to track time spent on jobs/tasks that you need to bill a client in a timely manner.

If you think about, especially for someone in an area like Hawke’s Bay where we are based, if you’re running a gang of horticulture workers, how do you capture their time? Or if you have remote or mobile employees working on projects which need to be billed, how do get access to this information easily?

We believe these systems will also have a huge impact on the payroll process. The more you speed up and make more accurate the data capture process, then the more time the payroll office has got to manage the payroll.

It’s actually about managing profitability because one of the biggest costs in any statement of financial performance is going to be people. So if you can more accurately define that, then you can forecast your costs in a better way.

As important as managing cost and improving the payroll process is the fact that you are also empowering your employees because they want to trust that their pay is right. By using a digital system to calculate the hours, apply rules and then feed that data to a payroll they know that there is no-one manually calculating or keying the data, they can have more confidence in the process.

If employees are  responsible for capturing their own information, they’ve got a bigger stake in the game. Where as if they’re trusting somebody else to work out the time sheet or work out their time and then key it into a payroll system, there’s an opportunity for error.

And what could those errors cost? The costs could be in real dollar terms or they could be the impact on staff morale.

Even if you could say that you're 99 percent accurate all year, all the time, that’s fine, but what’s that one percent of your Payroll costing? What is the impact when and employees pay is incorrect. For most business’ it’s huge.

So there’s a potential if you can fix that one or two percent, then you’ll save money and there are costs obviously all the way down the track not only the paying of the staff, but the effect of that job costing or the processing they’re doing, what their performance is looking like, you know the reality of actual performance versus theoretical performance and that’s where I see the change is going to come.

This is why we have created MyTimesheets and despite the fact that some people think we are doing this as a "big brother" type situation, we think it is much broader than that and that accurate capture of employee time is a win - win for both employers and employees.

Why not try MyTimesheets for yourself. Click here to set up a free, no obligation trial account


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