Best Practices For Tracking Contractors’ Hours And Payroll

Anna Aguilar
May 11, 2022

Tracking Contractors’ Hours And Payroll: Introduction

Tracking hours and doing payroll have traditionally been very labor-intensive processes. For staffing, keeping accurate hours and payroll can be more challenging than for most other industries. With large numbers of workers on the payroll at any given time and a high population of transient workers, there’s simply more opportunity to make mistakes, leading to a lot of work for not a lot of output. That being said, the output that is produced is critical to almost every type of organization. Remember, we’re talking about both time and money here, and automation can help save up to 75% on labor costs when properly implemented. In order to accomplish this, we recommend using a combination of automated timekeeping and payroll programs optimized for contractors.

Timekeeping Software

Timekeeping software is a key component of almost any business these days. Offering a host of benefits over traditional punch card systems, it allows for a reduction in payroll while increasing accuracy in time tracking. Here are some of the top benefits of using automated time tracking software.

Reduce Legitimate Error

Sometimes mistakes are going to be made, even the best employees make them. But there is a way around this, automation. By automating your timekeeping process, you virtually eliminate this risk. Simply put, there’s no one to make an error during this process as the entire thing is managed by software.

Lower Labor Costs Associated with Timekeeping

Manual timekeeping requires manual data entry. At this point, it’s more cost-effective to automate than staff many roles. This isn’t necessarily news, but it does need to be taken into consideration. For timekeeping specifically, eliminating the need to collect and enter time information into the system can be a huge timesaver with so many contractors on the payroll. 

Enhance Real-Time Financial Planning

The ability to accurately know how you’re doing is key to planning for the future. That’s why automated timekeeping software’s ability to provide that data is so appealing. With traditional timekeeping, companies had to wait until payroll got involved to have a real idea of where they stood in regards to labor costs. Even then, the data was out-of-date by the time it arrived. Now, with the ability to have accurate labor costs in real-time, forecasting is easier than ever.

Decrease Scheduling Time

The need to schedule large groups of individuals can be time-consuming. The maintenance of these schedules after publication even more so. Having them centralized in a single location, where there can be no mixups that leave a client short-staffed, is paramount to keeping clients happy. Should a change need to be made, a qualified manager or administrator can go in and make them and it will be disseminated to everyone who needs to know in an instant.

Cut Down on Time Theft

This is the big one that occurs to most people when you mention the benefits of automatic timekeeping software. Buddy punching, “forgetting to clock in” and giving a false start time, and the manual alteration of timecards have been problems in the workforce for as long as people have been paid by the hour. With an automated time tracking system, those problems are things of the past. Keeping an exact digital record of arrivals and departures of your workers with ease makes time theft a much harder task to accomplish.

Payroll Software

Just like timekeeping, payroll automation and software have gone a long way toward reducing now avoidable errors when paying employees. A critical part of nearly every business, payroll software is responsible for managing, maintaining, and monitoring payments to employees by a company. These programs are ubiquitous and come in a variety of flavors. However, all share the same key benefits.

Employee Self Service

A payroll manager’s day can be busy enough without everyone personally stopping by who needs a copy of an old paystub or some minor piece of personal information adjusted. By offering self-service portals for employees. These types of programs can take a great deal of strain off the payroll department. Most employees would rather get this information themselves rather than be a bother, so the process is doubly efficient. 

Stay Compliant

With the Fair Labor Standards Act requiring a minimum of the previous three years’ payroll records to be saved at any given time, automating your process ensures that every bit of information you’ve entered into the payroll system is saved until you delete it. This way should any issue ever arise with the government, you can have everything you need right at your fingertips.

Generate Reports

What good is data if you don’t do anything with it? With automated payroll software, you can create specific reports based on almost any payroll-related metric. Whether it’s total payroll over the years or comparing an onslaught of contractors during a specific time of the year, every year, by having your data in digital form you can easily create most reports you can think up.

Save Money

Automation came around to save money, plain and simple. Today, one of the biggest drivers behind the adoption of automation in payroll is still cost-cutting. Beyond the accuracy and increased capabilities, there is also money to be saved, a fact not to be forgotten. In fact, automating payroll can decrease your payroll expenses by as much as 80%.

How Bilflo Can Help

So, now we know how useful automation can be in the world of payroll and timekeeping. But the staffing world has its own unique challenges. That’s where Bilflo comes in. Specifically designed to integrate with your existing ATS through open APIs, it helps cut down on back-office expenses by automating essential but often time-intensive processes. Below are some examples of how Bilflow can help your staffing company cut down on unnecessary overhead while attaining new levels of accuracy and efficiency in hours tracking and payroll.

Tracking Contract Data

Keeping track of every detail of contract assignments can be a real lifesaver when you have so many contractors working for you at the same time. Bilflo can track a wide variety of data points associated with your contractor, all in a single easily accessible place. So, rates, burdens, timecard types, overtime rules, job site addresses, workers’ comp codes and rates, location-based burdens, approvers, sick and vacation journals, client agreements, candidate onboarding records, and more, are all at your fingertips with Bilflo.

Timecard and Expense Management

There’s a lot that goes into managing time and expenses. Particularly when you have such a large and transient pool of workers. With all of this, there can be many issues with inaccurate time, whether accidental or otherwise. The American Payroll Association estimates that 7% of total payroll can be attributed to inaccurate time. That’s why automation can be so helpful. With Bilflo, you can:

  • Automatically create, send & get approval for contractors’ timecards
  • Calculate overtime in all 50 states
  • Contractors can upload necessary documentation for reimbursement or as required
  • Timecards come in a variety of forms to suit your needs or can be imported from another program.

Automatic Data Transfer

As we just showed with timekeeping, manual entry of information is one of the biggest causes of error in business. The manual transfer of information between payroll and billing software can wreak serious havoc on a company’s finances due to errors and inconsistencies. By automatically retrieving and transferring data from contractor profiles to and from payroll, there is a significantly reduced risk of error.

Take the Guesswork Out of Invoicing

When invoicing, there can be a lot to keep track of. With Bilflo, you don’t have to rely on memory or handwritten notes. You don’t even need to access more than a single digital repository to see everything you need to invoice with confidence, including:

  • Payment terms, billing addresses, line item information, POs, email, and mail delivery preferences.
  • Automatically create invoices from client-approved timecards.
  • See reports in real-time on your contractors’ timecard status.

Accounting Integration

Integration between timekeeping and payroll makes sense on just about every level. However, there are many payroll departments that aren’t communicating as well as they should with their counterparts in timekeeping. With more businesses than ever are using accounting software to track their billing, integration between accounting and timekeeping software is more important than ever. Bilflo was built with this in mind. Now, you can export invoices in full detail and programmatically create and update invoices in your billing system all in a single place.

Find Answers Easily

Now that we have all this data, what can we do with it? According to Bilflo, the implications are broad. Because so many different data points are now held in one place, they can be utilized to create in-depth and novel reports that make the most of the various metrics Bilfo collects in innovative ways to give you the most utility out of the raw data input.

Tracking Contractors’ Hours And Payroll: Conclusion

Whether it’s the time-intensive nature of administrative tasks when performed by a human or our unfortunate propensity for error while completing those tasks, automation goes a long way toward limiting inefficiencies in the back office of staffing agencies by addressing those very issues head-on. By providing integration with a host of different ATSs and automating the most problematic tasks, Bilflo will help streamline your business processes so you can keep your focus where it should be.