December 15, 2022

Centralized Time Tracking & Reporting for 20K Employees

Accuracy and Banner® Integration Were Key for TTU

Texas Tech University is comprised of four separate universities in Texas employing approximately 20,000 faculty, staff & students. In such a large, diverse system, a multitude of time and attendance solutions were used. Knowing the current system could not continue to keep pace with the growing needs of the university, TTU needed to find a better solution to streamline the hours reported by employees.

The university required accurate reporting and an efficient Banner interface, and recognized that the gateway system was not a permanent solution to their time and attendance needs. According to Kelle Hester, Programmer Analyst IV, “It made sense to have one 3rd party timekeeping system for the university as a whole. Eventually gateway will be sun-setted.” Knowing the current system could not continue to keep pace with the growing needs of the university, TTU needed to find a better solution to streamline the hours reported by employees.

“The current decentralized structure presented an audit risk,” Hester stated. “Data was not feeding from Banner to the departmental systems entirely, and the departments had the ability to manually change data in their systems. There was always the risk of human error.” The Banner Web Time Entry system, for example, functioned as an “honor system,” exposing supervisors to the risk of employees altering hours in their favor. Despite the variety of processes used, this expansive system fell short and could not satisfy Texas Tech’s numerous departmental needs, nor did it easily lend itself to accurate time reporting.

TTU needed a stable mechanism for uploading hours into Banner and one powerful, versatile, timekeeping system for use across their diverse campuses. Additionally, the university needed greater data accuracy from Banner, including a more reliable record of employee time. Some departments already used a TCP solution to gather their employees’ hours. Their favorable experiences combined with the positive relationship TCP built and maintained with the university led to TCP being the solution of choice.

The current decentralized structure presented an audit risk.

Creating a Smooth Interface with Banner

During set up, a feed was developed to load data to TCP’s TimeClock Plus system. This feed, running twice daily and on demand, loaded all updates from Banner and immediately improved reporting.

Additionally, from Day One the unification of this new system significantly reduced audit risk while still providing departments with a considerable amount of flexibility related to capturing time and attendance data. Departments were able to choose from a proximity reader, card swipe, biometric or web clock. These options ensured departments could give their employees the best solution.

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Streamlining Processes for Every Department

For TTU staff leading the transition, the challenge was to streamline university processes in a way that made sense for all departments. The implementation of a new process across a campus the size of TTU meant challenges were inevitable. One initial challenge was integrating the current protocol with the new system. For TTU, specific interfacing requirements would need some custom programming. The university’s existing Central Authentication Service (CAS) presented a challenge, but a team of TCP and TTU programmers customized a process to eliminate this concern.

Additionally, the system was too large to have just one company setting in TCP with the many different departments and cost codes involved. Often, employees work in multiple departments with different supervisors and numerous positions and cost codes.

Thankfully, TCP thrives on innovation for optimum customer satisfaction, and adapted their versatile timekeeping system to allow a company to be set up for each department. Customized configurations were used for cost codes allowing each department to function independently.

Integration with Banner Posed a Few Concerns

When submitting time to Banner, departments needed the ability to pre-edit the data prior to the payroll process. Without this option, the department had to coordinate with Human Resources and Payroll for corrections, which delayed the payroll process.

An interface was written to solve this problem that allowed departments to submit hours in an audit mode. Departments received reports in ePrint to determine if corrections were needed. This improvement allowed departments to proactively correct errors prior to submitting files in an update mode, which effectively eradicated costly human errors. Departments submit in update mode once error reports are clean.

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For Some Departments, Labor Savings Cover the Cost of Implementation

TTU believes one of the greatest benefits of this new system is the unified process across the board. TCP now provides optimum reporting capabilities and seamless Banner integration. Data feeds from Banner are now cleaner and more accurate. No matter which method is utilized, whether fingerprint (biometric), card swipe or web clock, a clear audit trail is made for staff, reducing any audit risk.

An unexpected benefit was that many departments said they recovered the cost of implementation through labor savings. And now, more than five years into the relationship, Texas Tech is just as happy with the results. “We chose TimeClock Plus because it gave us a unified time tracking system that still allowed departments to function independently. We stay with the solution because TCP has been a dynamic partner, demonstrating flexibility and guidance throughout the relationship,” says Kara Newcomb, Chief Payroll Officer for TTU.

TCP has been a dynamic partner, demonstrating flexibility and guidance throughout the relationship.

Get ready to get time right.