December 15, 2022

Transitioning to Automated Time and Attendance with Banner® Integration

A Manual, Labor-Intensive Payroll Workflow

SFASU tracked employee hours in numerous ways: some employees clocked in and out from a mechanical time clock, some used paper timesheets and some departments kept up with all their employees’ time on departmental timesheets. Additionally, many employees were paid on a commission basis, so compensation had to be calculated based on that amount, rather than a number of hours worked.

The variety of processes used to accommodate SFASU’s numerous departments and their needs did not easily lend itself to one simple reporting process; consequently, all departments had to transfer all of their employees’ time to university-mandated paper timesheets, forcing even the departments with automated systems to use the paper forms. One large department on campus already used a TCP solution to gather their employees’ hours, but then had to transfer that data by hand to the university’s paper timesheets every pay period.

As Judy Duffin, Payroll Manager, said…

“We needed to find a solution that would allow us to interface with our ERP system, eliminating the need to print paper timesheets.”

The departments were also sent a second set of forms for each pay period with current balances and accruals for vacation and sick leave for every employee so administrators could report usage of vacation, sick and FLSA compensatory time accrued and taken for the month.

SFASU’s hourly employees were paid semi-monthly, so the labor-intensive, paper-pushing payroll process had to be repeated twice each month. Additionally, timesheets and leave reports were consistently received, requiring many hours each payroll cycle to collecting the data, manually entering it into Banner and processing the late timesheets in supplementary payrolls.

Related Content: Is Poor Leave Management Costing You Money?

Ad-Hoc Reporting and Banner Integration Required

SFASU needed to address the payroll process inefficiencies and procure a lasting solution that would maximize productivity and reduce unnecessary paperwork. It needed software that improved the tracking of employee hours and provided robust reporting for the departments. The system had to interface with SFASU’s existing Banner solution to eliminate the need for printed timesheets and manual data entry.

Much of the work performed by the payroll office each month was to account for employee compensatory time earned, so the right timekeeping solution also had to properly account for the way SFASU handled compensatory time. Ms. Duffin told us, “When our consultant informed us how Banner® handles compensatory time by paying the first hour and banking the half hour, we knew we needed to find a solution that would work the way we handled it by banking FLSA compensatory time at time and a half.”

A quick implementation got the new campus-wide timekeeping system live in just two months.

Versatile and Cost-Effective Solution Needed

After research and deliberation, SFASU leadership eliminated timekeeping solutions that were cost prohibitive or lacked required flexibility, ultimately choosing TCP’s TimeClock Plus software. TCP was charged with implementing a new, automated process across such a large and diverse campus and knew challenges were inevitable.

For SFASU staff, change was long overdue and their challenges included reluctant administrative staff, technology glitches, and a long list of specific calculation and interfacing requirements that would call for customized programming. The university was committed to making the transition successful and TCP was confident that SFASU’s desire for a unified system that interfaced with Banner was achievable.

Overcoming Challenges to Ensure Complete Satisfaction

The first challenge came from some resistant staff members in several departments who were not accustomed to clocking their time and preferred to enter their time manually after the fact. SFASU administration granted these departments the flexibility to decide for themselves how they would each record time for their employees. They made use of TCP’s timesheet option, which provided a way for some employees to enter the hours they work each day instead of requiring them to clock in and out. With additional options offered by TCP, support for the rollout process was significantly improved.

As the rollout progressed, it became clear that the export/import processes needed additional tweaking to make it functional on a day-to-day basis for those who needed to complete exporting and importing tasks regularly. TCP provided a project owner to help the system deliver results as expected and listened to the concerns of those affected to ensure a solution could be quickly implemented.

TCP is now used at an enterprise level throughout Stephen F. Austin State University.

One of the greatest benefits of this system is the flexibility allowed to individual departments…providing them with a system that isn’t one size fits all.

Streamlined, Automated Process for Payroll and Leave Reporting

Results from the TimeClock Plus implementation were apparent immediately. Administrators could now edit time efficiently, saving hours on recordkeeping and auditing processes. SFASU could also pay hourly employees accurately and report leave accurately and in compliance with state and federal reporting requirements for all employees subject to FLSA.

The payroll office could also run more efficiently, proactively reviewing reports prior to paying as opposed to being reactive when a department finds an error. Valuable square footage was opened up in the payroll office by eliminating the need to retain paper timesheets in bulky, heavy file cabinets.

More than a decade later, SFASU is still equipped with a timekeeping solution that continues to grow with the thriving institution. The staff believes that one of the greatest
benefits of this system is the flexibility allowed to individual departments, preserving their autonomy and providing them with a system that isn’t one size fits all. No matter which
time-tracking method is utilized, a clear audit trail is always available for staff to review time reporting for accuracy.

And TCP’s customer service continues after 10 years, as Ms. Duffin tells us “…we still receive calls to find out how we are doing and if we need anything.”

Get ready to get time right.