The uptick in the application of automation is nowhere more common than in the business world. Many back-office tasks that used to be the domain of human workers have rapidly shifted to being run by software programs, and it’s not hard to see why. Programs are consistent, never need to take breaks, and don’t cost nearly as much per completed task as a human worker. The staffing industry, in particular, has benefited from the introduction of increased automation of back-office tasks and staffing automation tools. This allows for the managing of far more contractors than ever before while ensuring accuracy in the tasks assigned to the programs.

Below we’ll discuss some of the most common areas for staffing industry back-office automation and some of the leading programs in each field.

All-In-One Automation Tools

When we write about all-in-one automation tools, we mean a program that can link up all your other automation tools into a single interface. This overall program should be able to provide greater control and organization and ease of use improvements over using each of the programs independently. Let’s dive into two of the best.

Bilflo

Have you ever wished you could integrate your applicant tracking system with payroll and accounting, all in one easy-to-navigate location? Bilflo does just that. By linking seamlessly with the vast majority of the top software offered in these three areas, it can function as an aggregator of three independent data sets, including sales activity, timekeeping, and accounting, a rarity in this space. But it does so much more than that. Featuring built-in metrics that make the most of all available data, you can easily keep track of your team’s performance. Can’t seem to find a preset that works for you? Create your own analysis by any available metrics. This further level of integration also creates the need for fewer human employees, in turn leading to savings.

Bilflo is set up for both contract and direct placement work.

  • Contractors
    • Manage your roster of current contractors
    • Automatically invoice clients based on the number of hours worked by your contractors
    • Automatically send data to payroll and accounting
    • Create reports based on metrics of your choosing
  • Direct Placement
    • Provide a single place to manage all of your placement data
    • Automatically invoice clients based on the terms set out in your agreement
    • Keep track of your payments and commissions
    • Create reports based on metrics of your choosing

Bullhorn One

Like Bilflo, Bullhorn aggregates and centralizes the information from your applicant tracking system, payroll software, and timekeeping software, all with an easy-to-use interface to boot. One key benefit touted by Bullhorn One is its built-in integration with HereFish, a leading automation platform also made by Bullhorn. Indeed, stressing the importance of automation is very central to all of Bullhorn’s products. And when you find out how much time it can save each recruiter and effectively multiply the number of candidates they can manage, you’ll likely be interested in learning more as well. However, while Bullhorn is amazing at what it does, its focus is typically on larger clients and their products are therefore costlier to purchase and implement.

Applicant Tracking Systems Automation

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are at base repositories for all candidate-related information. Today’s ATSs go well beyond simply holding information. They must be well designed and easy to use, and provide insight into each candidate and requirement. Here are some top options on the market today.

Avionte

A mix of ATS and customer relationship management (CRM) software, Avionte strives to make every candidate and client profile easily accessible in an intuitive manner and short amount of time. It accomplishes this through the integration of automation. Among its automation features are:

  • Resume parsing
    • Find resumes with the qualifications you’re looking for quicker than ever
  • Email synchronization
    • Track and send emails through any provider, including Outlook and Gmail
  • Fast and accurate search
    • Boasts a powerful engine for boolean searches
  • Comprehensive order management
    • Provides tracking for status, types, durations, and requirements
  • Mass/quick assign
    • Assign multiple recruiters to large requirements at the same time

Bullhorn

Another mix of ATS and CRM comes from the previously mentioned Bullhorn. Its software promises to increase margins by maximizing productivity per recruiter through the use of automations. Post-placement relationship management is another area Bullhorn puts emphasis on in its program design. All of this allows you to make better business decisions through the availability and analysis of data.

JobAdder

JobAdder has many of the same features as Bullhorn and Aviante, including resume parsing and intuitive search. One area that JobAdder seems to have a leg up on the competition is its easy-to-use mobile app. It touts the app’s number one ranking and rave customer reviews including claims helping agencies get jobs to market two to three times faster. As a bonus, they claim to be able to post to more job boards than any other provider, which saves time and increases productivity and speed to market.

Accounting Automation Tools

Keeping track of numbers is an area uniquely suited to computer programs. After all, everything they do ultimately comes down to ones and zeroes. And accountants have been using tools to assist them since the time of the abacus. For this and other reasons, there is a proliferation of accounting software on the market. Here are a couple that stand out from the rest.

QuickBooks

There are many options available in the QuickBooks family for everything from payroll processing and taking payments through the accounting software we’re discussing today. The progeny of one of the first accounting programs on the market, this is probably the one you were most likely to have heard of coming into this article. By automating tasks like bookkeeping, invoicing, time tracking, and more, valuable company resources are freed up for more strategic roles while overall headcount drops, minimizing expenses. This also helps ensure there are as few errors as possible while surfacing the relevant data when called upon.

MS Dynamics

If the Quickbooks family serves a large number of verticals, MS Dynamics from Microsoft operates in almost every corner of the business realm. There is little it doesn’t touch, from commerce to supply chain and marketing. Its high-level approach to finance emphasizes forecasting abilities and overall adaptability in the face of change, while its automation allows for greater accuracy and lower headcount. Frankly, with the power of Microsoft behind this, it’s best not to ignore it.

Payroll Automation Tools

Your company wouldn’t have employees very quickly if you stopped paying them. Traditionally, the process of actually paying employees has been a fairly labor-intensive process. Poor record-keeping in this area could lead to legitimate lawsuits or leave you open to frivolous claims. That’s why it can be refreshing when you first use either of the two programs below.

ADP

An all-in-one payroll and HR solution, ADP has been around for years and built up a good reputation during that time. By, like all these platforms, utilizing automation in ways that eliminate the need for unnecessarily large department sizes, ADP saves your company time and money. Offering different services to suit the needs of companies large and small, they strive to have something for everyone. Just starting out or have a smaller business? They’ll help you get your small business tax credit. Have thousands of employees? Maybe their tailored compliance services are more for you. The backbone of this all is comprised of their tested payroll and HR services which rarely disappoint.

Paychex

Payroll, HR, and benefits are the three areas where Paychex operates. In addition to allowing for faster and typically more accurate than non-automated payroll methods paycheck and payroll processing, it can calculate, file, and submit your payroll taxes for you and has built-in integrations with their other two areas of expertise. A compliance feature is also present to help businesses of all sizes not run afoul of relevant regulations.

Staffing Automation Tools: Conclusion

As we’ve seen, back-office automation saves businesses time and money by applying machine processing power to tasks that used to require large numbers of individuals and where the results were often suspect. Indeed, the modern staffing organization wouldn’t be able to function without some or all of these four functions receiving some degree of automation. Which one is right for you in each area will require additional research on your part and reaching out to some for consultations before making final decisions. But we hope this list has proven a good jumping-off point for your journey towards further back-office automation in your staffing agency.

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.

We totally believe that many mistakes are technical and unintentional, but they can be costly for businesses. In fact, according to the IRS, 40% of small to mid-sized businesses face IRS penalties related to incorrect and delayed payroll filing.  But what, exactly, are the mistakes that happen during the payroll process?  Here are the 3 most expensive payroll errors and how to avoid them.

Most Expensive Payroll Errors

  • Depositing employment taxes late
    • It’s important to be crystal clear on employment tax due dates.
  • Mis-classifying employees and contractors
    • It’s crucial to make sure you understand each classification and classify every person you hire correctly straight out of the gate.
  • Processing payroll using the wrong state
    • If you have employees that work in different states, keep accurate payroll records and organize your files based on the state they work at and NOT where your office is based.

We know that no business wants to spend its hard-earned revenue on payroll penalties. But when you process payroll manually, you’re leaving a lot of room for human error. 

Our team at Bilflo helps staffing companies automate their back-office workload such as timekeeping and payroll to reduce these costly errors and streamline your existing processes.

Bilflo ensures that our timekeeping software handles different timecard options and is fully customizable to meet your organization’s needs, we also handle overtime calculations in all 50 states to help you stay compliant by only showing state-applicable overtime rules.

Aside from this, we take automation to the next level by combining it with Business Intelligence to provide you meaningful insights to make data-driven decisions.

Feel free to take 3 minutes for a preview of Bilflo.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you reach your goal, please schedule a Discovery Session with our team today.

Related Articles:

Overtime Penalties: What is it and how to prevent it

Utilize Automation To Ease Workloads and Improve Outcomes

Under the FLSA, employers must pay overtime wages for any overtime worked—authorized or not. Failure to do so could land business owners with an expensive penalty, a lawsuit, or even jail time.

According to the Department of Labor, violators of federal overtime rules may be prosecuted criminally and can be fined up to $10,000. Repeat offenders can be imprisoned and are subject to civil money penalties of up to $1,100 per violation.

Avoiding Overtime Penalties

  • The best way to deal with overtime penalties is to not incur them in the first place. The easiest way to do this is to track employee hours and ensure that any employee working overtime gets paid accurately.
  • Implement an overtime policy that should state when you allow overtime, how to get overtime authorized, and what happens when workers ignore the policy. It should include clear instructions and consequences for employees, managers, and supervisors.
  • Automate your back-office processes to minimize errors that can lead to miscalculation of regular and overtime hours.

At Bilfo, we believe that there should be specific software to manage your back-office while providing you with Business Intelligence that you need to grow your business.

Bilflo helps you stay compliant by only showing state-applicable overtime rules in all 50 states and automatically calculates your employee’s pay. This means no room for errors and definitely no penalties!!!

If you are interested in learning more about Bilflo’s back-office management and Business Intelligence tool, schedule a Discovery Session with our qualified team today.

Employees rely on their employers to pay them correctly and on time. When that doesn’t happen, it can at the very least cause annoyance. But the consequences could go well beyond that, leading to more serious repercussions both for the employees involved and ultimately for your business. Here are just three ways how much manual processes costs a business:

Manual Processes:

Unnecessary Administrative Costs

When a payroll error is identified, it needs to be followed up on, corrected, and records such as tax payments or pension contributions must be appropriately calculated. This leaves your administrative staff with tedious work instead of working on company initiatives that increase employee productivity and loyalty.

Employee disengagement

An error on your employee’s paycheck can lead to several issues for the individual or individuals involved and this only has to happen once to have a negative impact, damaging employee goodwill and engagement. If it’s a significant mistake, or if it happens several times, you run the risk of convincing employees that it’s time to look elsewhere too.

Higher Employee Turnover

Many employers don’t realize how expensive it is to replace employees. A number of studies have reported that it costs about 20% of the annual salary to replace an associate making less than 50k a year and the costs increase with higher-paid employees.*, for example: for a team member making $50,000 a year, that would be $10,000.

These common issues can be resolved with the power of automation.

Automation takes over repetitive tasks and takes away the tedious process of timekeeping, payroll correction, and reporting, giving your HR/administrative team to focus on meaningful work.

In addition, it also addresses employee disengagement and high turnover rates as employees are compensated correctly and on time. This builds trust, loyalty, and employee morale.

At Bilflo, we believe your back office should be on autopilot. Bilflo is back-office management and business intelligence software designed specifically for staffing agencies, AND it’s modular, integrating within your current business ecosystem without disrupting your day-to-day operation.

If you are ready to automate your back office process while gaining real-time reporting for your business, simply schedule a Discovery Session with our team and we’d help take your business to the next level. 

Please feel free to check out these 30-sec videos on how our software works:

Keep Your Business Healthy by Getting Paid Fast

One of the top challenges that we face in the staffing industry is getting paid for our services. It shouldn’t be such a headache. Staffing firms find themselves in a cash crisis when waiting out extended payment terms or late payments from customers and as a result, they are unable to make payroll, provide benefits for employees and meet tax requirements. 

Aside from the cash flow impact, time chasing payments is time taken away from recruiting new candidates and securing new placements preventing some companies to grow their business.

A new survey by Melio and YouGov filled between March 26, 2021 and April 7, 2021. Completed by 1,002 U.S. B2B small businesses shows the following key findings:

  • 55% of small businesses think their clients are deliberately delaying payments
  • 50% say late payments should incur significant interest
  • 59% say they have direct experience with late payments
  • 44% say late payments are a challenge affecting their business
  • 47% say late payments have gotten worse due to COVID-19

Melio’s survey shows that due to late payments small businesses have or have considered: 

  • Delayed hiring (40%)
  • Delayed purchasing inventory (39%)
  • Cut employee hours (36%)

It also reveals that if they were paid on time, they could have:

  • Invested in growing their businesses (64%)
  • Paid back and lines of credit more quickly (58%)

Here are some tips on how to get paid in time:

  • Maintain great client relationships: Maintain a good relationship with your clients. A client that feels like more than just a revenue stream will want to do more business with you and as a result, will pay you on time.
  • Invoice on time: It should go without saying, but if you want your clients to pay on time, you need to invoice them on time. The sooner you get them that bill, the sooner they can pay you.
  • Use cloud-based services: Cloud-based accounting automation software help agencies stay on top of their accounting with some advantages that the old method lacks.
  • Stick to a payment schedule: If you expect to get your payments regularly, you need to invoice your clients regularly. You maintain the same, consistent calendar. One of the top challenges that we face in the staffing industry is getting paid for our services. It shouldn’t be such a headache. Bill was designed by a busy staffing agency to radically improve back-office payment processes and to ensure that invoices are in perfect order before sending them to customers/clients. 

One important thing you can do to improve your payment processing is to migrate from manual accounting to automated accounting. At Bilflo, we find ways to help staffing agencies become more efficient and improve their current process to make room for growth.

See how our integrated solution works by checking out our resources:

Source: Melio