SUCCESS STORY: TOLEDO PUBLIC SCHOOLS TRANSPORTATION DEPT.
December 19, 2022
Automated Timekeeping and Reduced Payroll Effort by 85%
Previous Processes: Error-Prone, Cumbersome and Unsustainable
Prior to implementing TCP’s TimeClock Plus, Toledo Public Schools’ payroll coordinator, Angie Pack, was executing payroll entirely by hand. She regularly worked 15-plus-hour days including weekends to ensure TPS’ Transportation Services employees were paid accurately and on time. Any payroll “data” was in the form of physical timecards, which Angie would have to manually transfer to a separate document to track the total hours worked for each employee over a 10-day period. Angie would then upload this data into SunGard, their human resources management software, using an MS-DOS program at the end of each pay period. Oftentimes, Angie would have to chase down specific workers to collect missing signatures or pull previous time punch cards to fix discrepancies between what she approved for payment and what employees believed they’d earned.
This antiquated system made the overall payroll process error-prone, cumbersome and unsustainable and led the Transportation Coordinator, Cindy Fox, to conclude she needed to find a better solution that didn’t depend on the Herculean effort of one payroll coordinator to issue correct paychecks in a timely manner. As she puts it,
I walked in one day and saw stacks of paper on Angie’s desk. I learned they were our employees’ timecards…
Specific Goals for TPS’ Transportation Services Department and TimeClock Plus:
- Eliminating its dependency on physical punch cards for timekeeping and manual workflows associated with moving data into the payroll software system
- Increasing employee accountability within the payroll process to reduce downstream reconciliations and errors
- Automating complex rate calculations based on unique transportation union rules and regulations
TPS’ Transportation Services department implemented TCP’s TimeClock Plus solution in 2019, nearly a decade after Angie joined the organization. Throughout the 2010s, Angie had digitized as much of the payroll process as she could but was never able to solve her biggest pain point—the transportation department’s ongoing use of physical punch cards for timekeeping.
Once the department decided to switch over to TCP’s digital timekeeping solution, Angie tasked TCP’s implementation team with meeting the payroll department’s unique needs. For instance, she was responsible for tracking hours for overtime in quarterly increments, adhering to a complicated collective bargaining agreement and taking complex Fair Labor Standards rates into account. During implementation, TCP Software was able to meet each of the requirements Angie set forth and more.
According to Cindy Fox, “TCP Software’s implementation team was amazing. We were able to work through every specific payroll rule and design the solution for our department, which is different from any other department in TPS.”
TPS also took advantage of TCP’s Advanced Scheduler tool and created automated reports around clock-in and clock-out times. Today, when employees don’t clock in within 15 minutes of their scheduled start time, supervisors receive automatic alerts, which enables them to follow-up immediately.
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An additional benefit of implementing TimeClock Plus was employee accountability. Rather than simply turning in physical punch cards, workers are now required to approve and submit their reported working hours before the information goes through payroll. Making this change drastically reduced how much time Angie spends chasing signatures or fixing discrepancies and errors after paychecks have already been issued. She says, “I’m no longer doing double work. I rarely have to go back and address issues regarding past pay periods. I have placed a lot of the onus on the employee. If they are working overtime, it’s on them to let me know, which is now so much easier to implement.”
As a result of installing TCP’s TimeClock Plus solution, the transportation services department only dealt with seven corrections in total over the last school year. By comparison, Angie used to spend countless hours each month making upwards of 40 corrections every pay period. In addition, Angie confirms that despite early resistance during the implementation process, TPS’ transportation employees have fully embraced the new digital timekeeping tools and can’t imagine going back to the way things were.
I’m no longer doing double work. I rarely have to go back and address issues regarding past pay periods.
Faster Payroll Turnaround Each Pay Period
TCP Software’s system significantly accelerated the TPS Transportation Services department’s payroll process. Whereas Angie used to brush up constantly against deadlines for pay submissions, she can now close a week on a Friday, pick up where she left on a Monday and be done with the payroll process by Tuesday morning.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and TPS’ offices closed, TCP’s software proved especially valuable. To ensure department employees still got paid, in less than two minutes, Angie was able to import data remotely into a newly created payroll template using TimeClock Plus.
Before implementing TimeClock Plus in 2019, Angie had accrued more than 300 hours of comp time because she needed to work excessively long hours to get payroll finalized and wasn’t eligible to receive overtime pay. Since then, Angie has been able to pull back significantly and is now only owed 40 hours of comp time, thanks to the massive time savings
enabled by TCP Software’s workforce management solutions. Overall, she spends 85% less time inputting data into the department’s payroll system, a tremendous improvement over what she did for years to ensure employees in the TPS Transportation Services department were paid accurately and on time.
For more information on how TCP Software’s solutions make workforce management easy for K-12 school districts and to schedule a demo, visit https://www.tcpsoftware.com/k-12-schools
TCP Software’s implementation team was amazing. We were able to work through every specific payroll rule and design the solution for our department…
The Toledo Public Schools’ (TPS) transportation services department has over 260 employees. Until 2018, the department relied on an entirely manual payroll process fraught with duplicative work, payment errors and labor-intensive data entry.
- Use of physical punch cards for timekeeping and manual processes made running payroll slow and error-prone
- Difficulty collecting missing signatures and fixing discrepancies
- Complex rate calculations were difficult with manual processes
How TCP Helped
- 99% improvement in payroll accuracy: seven total vs. 40 per pay period
- Time savings: 85% less time spent on payroll activities
- Increased accountability: employee involvement in payroll submission process