Solving the Payroll Challenge With Time Tracking

Identifying the Challenges

Michelle Long, a CPA, and Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, established in well–documented white paper titled “Payroll for Today's Accountant” a cycle of payroll challenges that many businesses face. Long identified that the payroll process includes understanding employee regulations, tracking employee time - including sick days and vacation time, employee deductions, payroll and managing tax liabilities.

Payroll Info Graphic from Intuit

As Long pointed out, a true benefit that ProAdvisors and Accountants provide to businesses, is assistance in almost every area of the payroll process. The critical piece of tracking employee time as it relates to the payroll process, however, is often overlooked, likely due to the lack of an easy to use, Quickbooks integrated time tracking system.

Identifying the Realities

Entrepreneur.com contributor, Jonathon Blum, says, “The concept of tracking employee work hours can be deceptively simple. In practice, it can be a vexing chore.” Blum attempted paper timesheets within his organization, had employees email time (when they could remember), and invested in a online project management software that was too complicated. What business can't relate?

Yet according to a Small Business Administration (SBA) article, “Using Technology to Stay Competitive” time tracking software is one of five technologies they recommend that small businesses invest in. “A time tracking device will help you determine what tasks result in a profit and what tasks do not. This will help you determine what tasks can be eliminated, outsourced, or improved.”

In Michelle Long's previously referenced white paper, she addressed the challenges and realities in payroll, referencing poll data by the National Federation of Independent Business' (NFIB). The results showed 64% of small businesses process their payroll in house with 62% of them using a spreadsheet and 66% not tied to an accounting system. According to the NFIB, the reasons given were to save money (37%) and to maintain greater control and oversight (32%).

Solving payroll challenges with time tracking

A Time Tracking System Worth Mentioning

Using the data reviewed by a hands–on Advanced ProAdvisor like Long, in addition to the NFIB polls, an ideal time tracking solution for ProAdvisors and their clients would consist of the following:

  • Automated time tracking (replacing their spreadsheets)
  • Integrated with an accounting system like QuickBooks
  • Affordable and flexible pricing for small or large businesses alike
  • Able to provide greater control and oversight (i.e. real-time reporting and job costing)
  • Proven: successfully adopted and used within businesses

Using at minimum these requirements, there is a time tracking system worth mentioning: TSheets. TSheets is a web-based employee time tracking software that not only meets the time tracking challenges related to payroll listed above, but has exceeded traditional perceptions of time tracking and is loved by employees worldwide.

Quickbooks and TSheets

A Perfect Payroll Ending

As stated by another ProAdvisor and Entrepreneur.com contributor, Pam Newman, “The key to having an effective payroll system is keeping accurate data that can be retrieved at a job level within your overall accounting system that is managed by a capable individual -- be that internal or external to your organization.”

For accurate data that can be retrieved in real-time at job level and available within QuickBooks, there is TSheets; for capable individuals to assist businesses in managing their overall accounting and payroll process, we defer to capable ProAdvisors everywhere. It's a perfect payroll ending.

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