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Electronic Time and Attendance: A Logical Step in Nonprofit’s Business Evolution

This article is authored by Louis Medina, outreach and advocacy manager for Community Action Partnership of Kern.

Managing staff time and attendance, payroll and benefits for an 800- employee agency serving nine central California counties can be a daunting enterprise – especially if a lot of the work is done on paper.

But transition­ing seamlessly to a paperless Human Capital Management system can be just as challenging – unless the right resources and technology are in place.

That is what Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) learned in the fall of 2015, when it successfully implemented ADP’s Workforce Now – an integrated HCM platform designed specifically for midsized businesses – under the leadership of CAPK’s Payroll and Human Resources Information Systems Manager Eric Kelley.

It was a project that the agency had wanted to implement since around 2010, said Kelley, who came on board with CAPK just a little over a year ago.

“Several sincere efforts at paperless time and attendance implementation were attempted,” he said. “However, such a tran­sition cannot interrupt ongoing operations and unless a commitment is made to assign someone to lead the effort in a dedicated, focused way, implementation is difficult.”

He credits CAPK senior leadership and board of directors with the vision to make administrative operations as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

“The change to electronic time and attendance was a logical step in our natural business evolution,” CAPK Executive Director Jeremy Tobias said. “It is more ac­curate, less prone to human error, increases our efficiency and productivity, and lessens the time spent on calculating payroll.”

Jeremy Zager, ADP district manager for major account services in the Kern, Ante­lope Valley and Santa Clarita areas, said: “Our goal is to help companies streamline their HR processes so they can spend less time worrying about their back-office needs and more time focusing on the strategic part of their business. By automating the payroll, time and attendance, and reporting processes, HR no longer has tons of paper files to manually update and you empower your employees through self-service. That’s good for employees and helps organiza­tions build better workforces.”

At CAPK, every employee, whether hourly or salaried, part or full time, is given login credentials for managing their elec­tronic timesheet, which includes tracking lunch breaks, sick days, vacation requests and time off accruals. Supervisors are given administrative rights in the system to manage their own timesheet, as well as approve time off requests and make correc­tions on their employees’ timesheets.

Thorough training and a rollout period that involved using ADP’s automated system in tandem with paper timesheets for backup documentation were the keys to a successful transition.

“We created a series of training videos and published them on YouTube for our employees to watch and learn from,” Kel­ley said. “You quickly realize that, with a technologically diverse workforce, you must explore a combination of training approaches, from in-person, to hands-on, to on-demand training.”

CAPK’s ADP time and attendance system is certainly robust, Kelley said. Besides employee count, the customized, cloud-based system takes into consider­ation CAPK’s multiple worksites, scores of supervisors, special scheduling needs for different programs and allocation of worked hours to particular funding streams. The system also provides the flexibility to clock in and out using a variety of options, including an employee’s desktop or laptop computer, a phone dial-in function, a mo­bile app for smartphones and tablets and a wall-mounted fingerprint scanner available at certain CAPK facilities.

Each employee record can be analyzed across integrated technology platforms that track data related to time and attendance, payroll, benefits and HR, including for pur­poses of complying with Affordable Care Act reporting requirements, ADP sales executive Nick Cunico said.

“ADP is heavily invested in research and development in order to keep up with automation,” Zager said of the company, which has been delivering payroll-process­ing services for more than 60 years. “Most of our innovation is initially based on feedback from our clients. We listen to our clients and ultimately provide them with the tools to help them work the way that’s best for them.”

This article originally appeared in the Kern Business Journal.

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