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Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to visit to our new Consulting Services Blog. I am Andrea White, the Manager on Porte Brown's consulting services team.


The team and I would like to welcome you and look forward to sharing helpful information on the topics of managerial consulting, strategic consulting, and technology solutions, such as ERP Solutions, CRM, and custom software solutions.


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Consulting Services Blog

4 More Payroll Tips to Keep in Mind

- Friday, June 03, 2016

Managing payroll is painstaking and time consuming. More than the effort, the time and the complications can make your job difficult. To make payroll management a cakewalk you need the right tools. You don’t need to hire an HR firm or a full-time HR manager. You don’t need to race against time either. All you need is the ideal solution.

Here are four more payroll tips that can be of immense help:

• You should have timesheets. Your employees may be paid weekly or monthly but the wages will be calculated based on the amount of time they have worked, or the number of days they have turned up. Some companies pay hourly while some have a system of paying daily wages, based on the number of days one has worked in a week or month. Whatever your company policy is, you would need timesheet software. Timesheet automation can make payroll management much simpler. You don’t need to spend endless hours trying to tally the hours your employees have put in or how many days employees haven’t turned up for work. The timesheet software will do it for you.

• You shouldn’t pick a timesheet software that doesn’t offer any other features. You need a full-suite software that will help you automate every process that can run without human intervention. From managing the employee database to calculating salaries, incentives and adjusting for taxes or absenteeism, everything should be taken care of by the payroll software.

• In addition to timesheet automation, you must automate federal and state taxes. Anyone who has worked on federal and state taxes knows how time consuming it can be. More importantly, at the end of the day it turns out to be an exercise that has no productive value for the business. Automating federal and state taxes will ensure that you keep paying taxes on time, which can avert fines or penalties. Automating will also greatly reduce the chance of errors in calculating taxes and save you time and effort.

• You should classify your employees. You may have part-time and full-time employees, freelancers or contractors, remote and onsite employees. The more finely you classify your employees, the better it is. You also need to factor in the taxes, as professional and corporate taxes vary for employees and contractors. You cannot classify interns, freelance contractors and full-time or permanent employees in the same group.

Reduce Errors and Be Happy with the Right Time & Attendance Software

- Tuesday, May 10, 2016

When you have a problem and there is an immediate and obvious cause, you can quickly rectify it and move on. Such problems are not much of a concern. For instance, if you have made a wrong calculation and you can identify the data that you entered incorrectly or what you may have skipped, then you can easily correct the error, recalculate and get the problem solved. The scenario can get complicated if you don’t know where you went wrong, which data is incorrect, or if the information you have to compile is staggering. In such cases, you have to search for the information or data through all reports or records and then find the root cause of the problem. It is not the proverbial needle in a haystack; it is a piece of hay in a haystack.

Payroll can be a hotbed of errors. There are so many variables that you can easily go wrong unless you have a very effective strategy. The trick is to be right all the time so that when it comes time to compile all the data and work on the salaries, there is nothing amiss. Should you go wrong with anything in the entire process, you may end up with a problem that cannot be easily solved.

At the core of most payroll issues is time and attendance. Timesheets are essential for time and attendance, but what happens when you go wrong with your timesheets? You could lose a few timesheets. Some of them may have wrong entries or information. Many timesheets can be poorly filled out or employees may have scribbled the entries, making them unreadable. Companies that are yet to use digital timesheets will have stockpiles of paper. Storing and managing them is a herculean task. Sorting them, finding the right timesheets when needed and the entire onus of working on payroll makes for a daunting job. As a result, you have poorly maintained timesheets and erroneous accounts of time and attendance.

This will lead to unhappy payroll managers who would fail to deliver the accounts and thus, salaries on time. That would lead to unhappy employees and eventually you would have unhappy customers. What companies must do is use payroll software and automated timesheets. Generating records of time and attendance with such timesheets is a piece of cake. Employees love it, payroll managers find it convenient and everyone is happy at the end of the day.

Features of the Really Good Time Tracking Systems

- Thursday, April 07, 2016
Tracking the punch-in and punch-out times is the absolute basic feature of a time tracking system. There are obviously other features that are of immense significance. When you pick a time tracking system or software, you should look for the following features:

  • • The time tracking software must allow you to setup overtime, auto-punch and rounding rules. There are employees who leave early and those who work late. Many do overtime while some are rather averse to the practice. You need to know which employees are leaving early and which are working overtime. More importantly, you need a way to approve or setup overtime. Auto-punch and rounding rules are also integral features of a good time tracking system.

  • • A good time tracking system will allow you to set up groups for timesheet approval. Your company will obviously have more than one department or group of employees. Not every department needs to work in the same manner. From availability to the nature of the work, the demands could be very different. Thus, you cannot have all timesheets approved in the same manner. One of the quintessential time tracking system features is that you can segregate various groups and work on them accordingly. Timesheets must also factor in the job, phase or department so the records of punch ins and outs are in accordance.

  • • A time tracking system should have a calendar that will be exclusively used to keep a record of who is scheduled to be unavailable or off for a particular day or period. You cannot have key positions unattended. The calendar will notify you of upcoming leaves or unavailability of key personnel and you can then come up with a backup strategy. Unless a profile is disposable or you already have people capable of doing the additional work, you will need to take this calendar very seriously.

  • • Finally, one of the most important time tracking system features is the interface with payroll and accounting software. You may be attending to your own payroll and accounting, or you could be using a payroll service. The time tracking system you have must work in tandem with such accounting software or payroll services.

Employee Time Tracking Explained

- Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Many people often ask how does timesheet software work and what are the benefits? This article will examine how mobile time sheets and employee tracking software can benefit any business.

What is Employee Tracking Software?
Put simply, it is either software or cloud-based computing that allows you to monitor and track employee working hours. Some companies offer full integration to your existing payroll, making the role of HR and administrators much easier.

In a nutshell, your employee, hired freelancer or you, as the employer, can login to the program and track hours and even minutes worked on the assignment or employee task. In most cases the employee must login to activate the time tracking. A few companies offer multi-device login capabilities, where the employee can login via computer, mobile phone or other electronic device.

For most businesses time is a precious commodity, and ensuring that each employee is contributing for the commission or hourly wage they are paid is vital. Time and attendance are both easily monitored and recorded, affording you the knowledge that you can check and ensure your employees are doing work when they state they are.

This knowledge often allows you to empower your employees with flex-time contracts and remote working assignments. In addition, you can hire staff who only work at home, which may allow you to reduce overhead costs. No office rates, no office equipment, all by using timesheet software.

Benefits of Using Timesheet Software
Far too many companies simply do not realize the huge benefits that using a web time clock or an employee time tracking service can offer. If you give your staff 30 minutes for a meal break, you want that member of your team back at work within that time and not stretching it by 5-10 minutes or even much longer.

Timesheet software can allow you to accurately monitor employee attendance. Poor attendance costs all businesses money. Fact: By monitoring “sickness patterns,” say the last Friday of every month or every third Tuesday, you can establish employee absentee and sickness records.

Sometimes tracking software offers additional features that can benefit your company no matter how large or small, such as the ability to predict project costs. This feature is a huge advantage, enabling you to accurately know the cost of a project before you allocate tasks.

Additionally, a few of these providers offer multiple employee tracking, making time tracking suitable for any number of employees, from the single freelancer to the whole company work force.

In closing, timesheet software and time tracking allow you to both empower and monitor your employees. Many companies have seen the benefit of remote working contracts, and this is often achieved with good timesheet software. Many businesses now use time tracking. Isn’t it about time you see the advantages as well?

Using An Automated Time System To Bring Your Company Into Compliance With New Government Requirements

- Tuesday, March 08, 2016

There are certain rules and regulations that define how you need to record employee hours. This is especially true if you have people working for government contracts, as the DCAA, or Defense Contract Audit Agency, will penalize you with loss of the contract or worse if you do not comply. As technology continues to improve and the requirements for compliance continue to become more refined, companies are having a hard time meeting these requirements with simple punch card technology. As a result, more and more companies are turning to automated time systems to meet the requirements of 21st century employment. Let’s look at the ways that an automated time system can help bring you into compliance with new government requirements.

The Benefits of Automated Time Systems For Your business
Running a smooth business requires minimizing compliance risk. Compliance risk is when the practices of your business do not cover everything government requirements mandate that you do. Traditionally, all hours for employees and laborers were recorded with punch cards. These punch cards included the time the employee entered and left their job every day that they worked. In the past few decades, the requirements mandated by the government have continued to increase. This means that for companies running traditional punch card systems, there is a greater risk of missing something and not being compliant as a result.

Automated time systems negate this problem. Designed by a third party that provides their services to a range of companies, automated time system companies work every day to ensure their software is fully in compliance. This means that you will not only have the options you need to meet all obligations placed on you, but you can also rely on the software provider to answer any questions you may have regarding the process. More often than not, the software provider will include a guide on how to use their software, as well as what is important legally for you to follow.

Where Does That Leave Us?
While automated time systems are far from perfect, they do dramatically decrease the risk that your company will be found not in compliance with government requirements. When your company is centered around business provided by the government, then possible failure can mean dire results. Instead of risking this, strongly consider getting automated time systems for your company.

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