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Data Visibility: The Key To Tackling 5 Common Payroll Challenges

Data Visibility: The Key To Tackling 5 Common Payroll Challenges

by Damien Durston, Head of Sales ANZ

How Data Visibility Can Tackle 5 Common Payroll Challenges

In today’s business environment, it’s more important than ever to have visibility over time and attendance data. Gone are the days of the single worksite or office – employees increasingly expect remote and flexible working to be the norm, and HR software needs to keep pace. 

Time and attendance software provides visibility over time logging and work, providing instant real-time insights into your workforce and accurate information to your payroll team. 

The right time and attendance software can save time, reduce payroll errors, build trust with employees and improve workforce productivity. It’s so much more than a time-tracking service – it’s a value-adding solution that can deliver benefits across your organisation. 

Software’s role in overcoming common time and attendance challenges

Intelligent time and attendance software can bridge the gap between workers and payroll staff, providing clarity and visibility over a range of data points. 

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Challenge  #1: Inconsistent payroll data

The time recording process may be manual, complicated or outdated, leading to intentional and unintentional time logging and payroll errors. Payroll staff need to perform time-consuming manual audits to ensure there are no accidental or intentional inconsistencies in scheduled and worked hours and that staff are being paid what they’re owed. 

Solution: Automated time tracking

Swipe cards and/or biometric technology replace manual timesheets, and the data is instantaneously reported to payroll, ensuring 100% accuracy. 

“Reconciling and checking time sheets was a huge task for

our supervisors: when you have to manually double check the worked hours

for a team of 100 staff members, it’s easy to let inaccuracies slip through.

There were definite gaps in the time recording process,

allowing employees to write their name down on the timesheet for hours they

actually had not worked, whether intentionally or not. Using paper time sheets

meant that some employees could record whatever time they wanted, leading

to errors in payroll.”

– Manjur Hossen, Business Manager (Strategy and Change) BKH Group

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Challenge #2: Time theft

Time theft and buddy clocking cost organisations billions in lost hours and productivity every year. Without visibility over who is clocking in and where it can be easy for time theft to slip through the cracks. 

Solution: Clocking in/out technology, geo-location tracking

Biometric technology, fobs and swipe cards create a single source of truth. Where previously payroll staff would have to contend with manual time logging and disparate schedules, they can now get real-time data on exactly where and when employees are working and pay them accordingly. 

 “I had witnessed loads of examples where manual time recording resulted in

incorrect entries. For example, it would not be uncommon for someone

reading off a timesheet saying “8 o’clock” when it actually says “3 o’clock”

- that would be someone misinterpreting someone else’s writing. We also

had instances of time theft, where some employees would be inflating their

hours worked on their timesheet."

– Ann Bruce, Payroll Manager Wettenhalls

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Challenge #3: Time-consuming manual admin

Whether through physical timesheets, spreadsheets or online forms, plenty of businesses are using manual payroll processes that are decades out of date. The time consuming data entry also leaves businesses open to human error and inconsistencies along with frequent double handling of data. Employees often need to make a manual enquiry to their payroll department to check time records or view payroll data, which ideally would be readily available. 

Solution: Automated rostering, automated data and reporting 

Advanced time and attendance software can deliver automated rostering, time tracking and reporting, removing hours or even days worth of manual administration. 

“Advanced software helped us reduce payroll

processing time from 3 full days down to a

maximum of a day and a half. It’s a big timesaving for our department!”

– Ann Bruce, Payroll Manager Wettenhalls

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Challenge #4: Accurate labour forecasting

Many payroll teams are tasked with finding ways to maximise efficiency by assigning the optimal amount of staffing for any given task – something that’s virtually impossible without data. 

Solution: Autorostering 

Using real-time data and actionable reports, payroll teams can conduct accurate labour forecasting and ensure the right amount of staff power and resources are available on any given day. 

“We have up to 20 sites spread out around Australia.

Dealing with so many locations is definitely an admin challenge. Our biggest sites

are Geelong, Colac and Altona; some of our sites have few employees but it does

not change the fact that no matter where our employees are located, we need

a solid time recording system.”

– Ann Bruce, Payroll Manager Wettenhalls

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Challenge #5: Lack of staff buy-in

Payroll teams are often frustrated by employees not following correct time logging or attendance procedures. Timesheets are often left half-filled and typos or illegible entries can be an absolute nightmare to chase up. Employees often don’t see the point in spending their valuable time filling out complicated paperwork, especially when there’s double handling involved. 

Solution: Cloud-based time and attendance software 

People expect modern, user-friendly time logging and attendance software that’s accessible on their phones. It needs to be an easy to use self-service solution and should eliminate pain points like needing to constantly enter a password, verify an account or re-enter the same information over and over. By providing a streamlined and simple time and attendance system, you can boost employee buy-in and ensure the correct procedures are consistently followed. 

“Some employees can be reluctant to change in the workplace but if you explain

the benefits of these changes and make sure there is solid training and

implementation to support the project, then people do come around. In the

case of a change in how worked hours are recorded - which can be a sensitive

topic for employees, make sure you explain why you are doing this; explain that

ultimately, it will help ensure they get paid correctly and on time, every time!”

– Ann Bruce, Payroll Manager Wettenhalls

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What to look for in time and attendance software

  • Customised solutions – every business has unique time and attendance needs, from pay regulations to geographical considerations. 
  • Real-time reporting – your time and attendance software should provide instant real-time data and insights to help you make labour forecasting decisions and view accurate employee data. 
  • Tiered access – your software should have the capability to provide different access levels to different employees, allowing all team members to view the information that’s relevant to them. 

“One of the reasons that I like Advanced Time

and Attendance is the customisation of the work

rules, adaptable for different types of employees

or different divisions or different departments.”

– Manjur Hossen, Business Manager (Strategy and Change) BKH Group

  • Mobile-friendly – your software should be optimised for mobile use, enabling remote and flexible workers to clock in whenever and wherever they need to. 
  • Cloud-based software – a cloud-based time and attendance system provides easy access to data from anywhere along with automatic software updates.

“Advanced Time & Attendance was one of

the easiest software integrations we’ve ever

experienced. We found that it integrated

easily with our payroll software.”

– Ann Bruce, Payroll Manager Wettenhalls

Corporate HR
Damien Durston

Damien Durston


Head of Sales ANZ

Damien leads Advanced's workforce management team in Australia, helping organisations reduce costs and increase productivity.

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