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Workforce Management Software Belongs in Your Budget

5 reasons workforce management software belongs in your 2019/20 budget

We are entering budget time, and while you may be hesitant to add any big-ticket items to your list for 2019/2020, bear in mind one in particular – integrated workforce management software.

Think about the processes and software you currently use to manage onboarding, rostering, time and attendance and payroll. Do you know exactly how much are they really costing your business? It’s likely to be more than you think (you can find out using this calculator), and more than you really need to spend.

While you are tallying up your expenses for the coming financial year, it’s worth considering these five reasons why a new, integrated workforce management and payroll system deserves its own line in your budget spreadsheet.


1. It will save you money on subscription costs for multiple HR & payroll software packages.
It’s a hard truth to swallow, but if you are using multiple pieces of software and APIs to connect them, you are wasting money. Firstly, each of these is costing you a subscription fee, and with several systems, the cost per employee adds up quickly.

Secondly, it’s also likely you don’t use all the features they offer to the full extent (wasted cash right there) and have had to supplement them with other processes and connectors to ensure you have everything you need (more money going out).

An integrated workforce management platform that consolidates just the right features you need for one subscription fee is a far more cost-effective option. As a bonus – it’s easier to track and calculate cost per employee.


2. You’ll have tighter control of staff costs (no more over-staffing or unnecessary overtime).
Rostering too many staff on or paying for overtime that shouldn’t have been required are huge money pits for businesses with shift-based workforces. Payroll software on its own will only give you a total of what you paid – not what you budgeted. And rostering and timesheet software will only tell you what you’ve planned to pay (hopefully it’s already been calculated using a Modern Award Interpretation engine).

An integrated workforce management system will tell you exactly how much you planned to spend against actual expenditure and with accurate clock-in and clock-out data you can see instantly where overtime and penalty rates are being used excessively. Just by switching to an integrated platform with greater visibility, one of our clients saw a reduction of 26.9% in overtime costs and a reduction of 13.9% in Sunday penalty rates after only one month of using Roubler.

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3. You’ll improve staff retention and save on recruitment costs.
Recruiting a new employee costs more than just a job ad on Seek. It can cost almost $5000 to hire a customer services specialist when advertising, recruitment, onboarding, and training are taken into account. It doesn’t include the costs associated with lost productivity because you are understaffed (e.g. sales). Can you afford those costs in your budget? Just as it costs less to keep a customer than to attract a new one, your bottom line will be better off if you retain the great staff you have.

Using an integrated workforce management system ensures you roster people correctly (e.g. not when they’ve booked time off for their sister’s wedding), communicate changes to them regularly using an Employee Self Service smartphone app, and pay them properly – all crucial factors in maintaining employee morale and reducing the likelihood that they will leave.


4. Fewer systems mean you’ll face fewer technical issues and errors.
The more complicated a system is, and the more connections it needs, the more likely things are to go wrong: the complex human body faces far more issues than a single-celled organism like an amoeba. The same goes for software – when you add more pieces of software, more APIs, more manual intervention, you increase the likelihood that you’ll face data errors as information passes from one step to the next. These lead to incorrect pay runs, calls to technical support (expensive if you don’t have it in-house) and paying for ‘make up’ pay runs.  Add to that your hourly rate for the time spent sorting out these messes and it becomes quite a costly endeavor.


5. You’ll drastically cut your risk of penalties from employment law non-compliance.
We keep harping on about compliance because it’s so important to your business, and because non-compliance is expensive and completely avoidable. We don’t know of any employers who have a budget line dedicated to penalties from the Fair Work Ombudsman, but for those without a proper workforce management system that’s underpinned by Modern Award Interpretation software, they might like to consider adding one in.

A failure to comply with a breach of the Fair Work Act – for example underpaying an employee – can result in financial penalties of up to $31 500 for a company and $6300 for an individual per infringement. The cost of just one maximum penalty for one staff member is 43 times more than an average subscription for workforce management software for one employee.


Interpreting Modern Awards and employment laws is complicated. And unless you have a law degree or are a payroll expert, working out wages and rosters is fraught with danger. Save yourself the money and heartache and ensure every task you complete is compliant by using an integrated workforce management system. Your budget will be healthier for it.


Words by Katrina Strathearn


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