Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day? If you haven’t you’re missing out on a Bill Murray classic.  Bill Murray plays a weatherman who relives the same day over and over until he realizes the only change possible must happen within himself before he can move on. It’s hilarious, but also poignant. Real change must happen within.

When we sit with our clients and look at the inner workings of their Payroll operations we find many things in common.  The day to day operations of the payroll department is probably the most important job in any company.   However companies often don’t put enough resources towards their payroll departments.

The nature of Payroll and HR departments lends to things being very repetitive.  This can become mundane and almost thoughtless, this thoughtless aspect of these task can lead to your mind drifting off to more important tasks that need to be done.  Without your proper attention errors can be made and errors can be very costly.  Other tasks are very difficult and require a lot of thought or calculation, yet another error prone aspect of Payroll.

At HBS we love developing solutions to our customer’s problems.  Almost all repetitive tasks can be automated, if not fully automated at least partially.   The simple tasks can often be automated pretty easily.  The more complicated tasks can be more difficult or more expensive to automate but typically well worth it.  We recommend creating a list of these tasks as well.

We have never seen a Payroll department that is over staffed with employees having not much to do.  Its the contrary, under staffed, underappreciated and always under the gun.  Here are a few simple steps to start automating some processes.

Start by making a list of all the simple and more complicated tasks that need to be accomplished each day, week and month.  Then rank them based on how time consuming the tasks are, how difficult or error prone they are and how long it would take to implement change.

Review that list with your Payroll or Time and Attendance vendor and look for tasks that are easy to automate.  If they can’t help you, give us a call.

At HBS we love helping our clients with the analysis, planning and implementation of automating tasks.  We pride ourselves on helping clients develop solutions to their most complicated problems.