Inaccuracies and late timesheets were costly for the district
When Doyle Piper was hired as Edina School District’s new payroll specialist in September 2019, he reviewed reports from the previous quarter as part of onboarding. Unfortunately, the data revealed that the district’s hourly time tracking processes occasionally resulted in errors that generated costly overpayments and delays. In a handful of cases, employees inadvertently submitted more hours than they worked.
Of the timesheets submitted, only 40% were approved by the employee and manager on time, creating last-minute time crunches. Employees were generally submitting their timesheets on time; however, there were delays with manager approvals. Once the pay period closed, these delayed approvals created unnecessary off-cycle processes and payouts.
Piper’s data review also uncovered errors that hadn’t previously been caught. For example, records showed an employee clocking out at 3 a.m., instead of 3 p.m. These types of data-entry errors led to instances of employees being paid for more hours than they worked.
Due to limited staffing in the payroll department, there wasn’t much time to monitor timesheets or approvals. On some occasions, time tracking data had to be exported to the payroll system on good faith. Fortunately, finding these issues didn’t deter Piper.
It was my goal to plug every hole I found in the leaky canoe.
With TimeClock Plus, on-time submission of timesheets more than doubled
Piper knew there was an opportunity to leverage TCP’s TimeClock Plus software to streamline time-tracking procedures for hourly employees. In addition to clicking on every button and tab in the system, he regularly partnered with TCP’s customer support to learn all he could about how to use the software to improve payroll processes.
“Every time we had a call, we found something new that Edina School District could improve,” says Kelsey Sheffield, the TCP Customer Success Manager who supports the district’s account.
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One of the first tasks was to tighten up the timesheet approval process. Due to the high rate of late timesheet approvals, the team was sending individual emails, reminding employees to submit and managers to approve timesheets twice a month. Even with the prodding, stray timesheets were a common occurrence and required extra time and effort to ensure employees received accurate pay.
To address the issue, the district set up an automated email through the TimeClock Plus platform that reminds employees to submit timesheets. They also started closing and locking the pay period immediately after data is exported to the payroll system. Employees now know that if they submit hours after the close date, they will have to wait until the next pay period to get paid for those hours.
Thanks to these changes, 90-95% of hourly timesheets are now submitted and approved on time—more than double the previous rate of 40%.
The district has also implemented other software features to automate tasks they’d been doing manually. For example, TCP’s customer support team helped set up report templates. Instead of running a new filter for each payroll import, Piper saves time by using the same template every pay period.