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When it came to payroll, Sedro Woolley Wash.-based Snelson Companies found itself bogged down in paperwork. All time sheets—from multiple employees on multiple jobs in the field—would come into Snelson’s payroll department and would be manually entered into Spectrum using the payroll pre-time entry function for each employee. Seeking to streamline these processes and avoid duplicate entries, Snelson, a longtime Spectrum user, worked with Dexter + Chaney to find a solution. The result was a reliable way to let field staff/supervisors enter time daily on the jobsite.

Snelson Workers Laying Pipe

“It’s very easy with Spectrum to import data from the field,” said Aimee Johnson, Snelson’s accounting system and P-card administrator. “We use Spectrum Data Exchange to give all of our field staff the ability to enter time daily. This results in fewer errors, much less processing time, no duplication of effort and a more accurate tracking of actual labor costs for each job.”

Snelson combines the use of Spectrum Data Exchange with Spectrum’s time entry workbook. These features help close the gap between the field and the office by opening access of Spectrum to employees outside of the walls of the accounting or human resources offices.

“Switching over to using this workbook and using this import process, it is a lot simpler for multiple people to complete the form and then automatically import it into the system” Johnson said. “Now, our payroll department sees the whole picture. We have different jobs submitting time and people could be moving around between jobs. So we see payroll data for the whole week, per person instead of spending time doing the manual daily entries.”

The result, Johnson added, has been lower overhead in the payroll department, a reduction of paper, fewer errors, and more time to concentrate on other payroll matters, such as federal and state compliance, providing bidding/estimating data, and process improvements. “It used to be that it was at least a solid week for our payroll department to process time and payroll information, and now that it is being done in the field, it is usually a one- to two-hour process. That includes checking employees’ pre-time reports in Spectrum, making any adjustments, verifying the final payroll reports, and processing the payment.”

The enhanced payroll capabilities also were important to Snelson from the project management side. “We need to know where our jobs stand on a daily basis in terms of labor costs. Labor costs typically make up 60-70 percent of our entire job, so getting that information and having that available to the field was one of our top priorities,” Johnson said. “It used to be at least a week and a half before we were getting costs to project managers, just due to the payroll processing factor. But now utilizing our current processes with Spectrum, and having the field staff enter time daily and importing it, it is available and in the system for their use—on a daily basis. The very next day, they can see where they’re at on their jobs.”

Snelson also uses Spectrum’s HR capabilities to track employee training and certification and documents related to payroll and employment. “Spectrum’s Payroll and HR capabilities gives us the total package to streamline employee data and effectively track documentation, handle multiple pay rates, manage union wages and much more!”

The above Spectrum Payroll case study is available for download by clicking here.

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