Kronos® Technology Transforms Pace University's Workforce Management Processes
Founded in 1906, Pace University has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling almost 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. Academic experiences at Pace emphasize teaching from both a practical and theoretical perspective, drawing on the expertise of full-time and adjunct faculty members who balance academic preparation with professional experience to bring a unique dynamic to the classroom.
Manual timekeeping resulted in OVERTIME OVERPAYMENTS and INACCURATE LEAVE BALANCES.
Pace University used a time-consuming manual timekeeping process for all nonexempt employees, including student employees, who represent about half of the workforce. The process took well over a week as timesheets moved from one department to another for approval, calculation, recalculation, and data entry. Overtime rule miscalculations by department managers resulted in overtime overpayments. Incorrect leave calculations often made leave balances inaccurate. Leave liability was difficult to calculate, and audits required rummaging through timecards stored in a dorm basement.
Interested in leaving manual processes behind, Pace University selected a Kronos automated workforce management solution that has streamlined payroll processing, improved compliance with pay and work rules, reduced overtime expenditures, and provided accurate leave balances and fast leave liability reporting.
Automated solution correctly applies pay and work rules
Using paper timesheets, managers had their own ways of collecting time, tracking employees’ daily hours, and calculating overtime and paid time off. After signed timesheets reached payroll, three payroll employees recalculated employee hours, including overtime and paid time off, because managers didn’t always understand the rules or apply them correctly. They might calculate overtime on a daily, not weekly, basis or misinterpret how much paid time off an employee accrued each month. This overwhelming process sometimes led to late paychecks.
Now, all nonexempt employees, including student workers, enter their time in the Kronos solution. Exempt staff members other than faculty use the solution to record their vacation and sick time. All Pace University pay and work rules — which are configured in the solution — are automatically applied correctly, reducing compliance issues.
Payroll processing time dramatically reduced
“Going from paper to being completely automated has transformed how we do payroll,” says Shuana Thompson, director of financial information systems. “We went from two days of calculations and data input to no time to get our payroll data into Banner, our ERP application from Ellucian. All the calculations are done when managers enter employee time in Kronos, and the interface takes less than a minute.”
Remaining payroll tasks take two days tops each semimonthly pay period, she adds, freeing up payroll staff to analyze payroll and see overtime trends. When a full-time payroll employee retired shortly after the Kronos solution was implemented, the department did not need to fill the position.
Correct calculations bring overtime savings
When department managers incorrectly calculated employee overtime daily and not weekly, employees received unearned overtime. “Using the Kronos solution, we were able to see overtime savings right away,” says Thompson. “We saved overtime in a lot of departments because they weren’t calculating it correctly before. Now there’s no misinterpretation of the rule, so it’s calculated correctly.” Using the solution’s special queries, she can track overtime by department to see trends and patterns. Knowing that employees in departments such as transportation work a lot of overtime, she can be selective during the reconciliation process.
TWO DAYS of payroll calculations now takes less than a minute.
Improved oversight of leave-taking and liability
When department managers oversaw employee leave balances on paper timesheets while HR staff managed leave policies, knowing whether balances were accurate and in compliance was nearly impossible. To determine the university’s leave liability for unused paid time off, payroll staff would have to locate and review timesheets, calculate days taken, and figure the leave balance — a long, arduous process.
“Once we implemented our Kronos solution, we were able to easily record leave time and leave balances,” says Thompson. This automated process has helped immensely in auditing leave liability, with information available quickly in a leave report.
Student workers track time to multiple jobs
Students who work multiple jobs in multiple departments used to fill out a timesheet for each position. Sometimes they filled in the same time slot for more than one position, leading to overpayment. With the Kronos solution’s multiple jobs functionality, student workers can see all their positions listed and input their time for each position on a single timecard before each manager approves time worked. This has eliminated overpayments. Multiple jobs functionality also enables tracking labor to specific grants and budgets.
Advances using transformative technology
Thompson says the next step is to upgrade the university’s Kronos solution to take advantage of new functionality that automatically configures the solution to any device screen, including smartphones — an option especially appealing to student employees.
“I like that Kronos technology can transform the way we do business,” Thompson shares. “It makes it easier, so we can spend time doing the things we need to do, instead of data entry.”