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Bank Axes Payroll System, Not Employees

Wisconsin-based First Banking Center is stuck with a payroll system with more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese.

Wisconsin-based First Banking Center, whose territory covers the southern portion of the Dairy State, was stuck with a payroll system with more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese.

For years, the institution collected time and attendance data using clunky DOS-based software. Employees at each of the bank's 16 locations keyed start and end times into a designated PC, using a badge identification number. The system automatically collected the totals each evening, and then, on a weekly basis, summary data was faxed to branch supervisors for review. At the conclusion of the pay period, time and attendance data had to be compiled from every location and converted to the appropriate format for an outside payroll vendor.

Branch supervisors had no means to check employee punches on a daily basis. In the case of missing punches, employees entered their start and end times a week after the missed punch, degrading overall time and attendance accuracy. Faxing punch totals and corrections to multiple departments in 16 branches caused delays as well.

Inaccurate time and attendance reporting caused overtime to swell. Overtime reports were time-consuming and often arrived too late for corrective measures.

First Banking Center decided to scrap the DOS system, and began searching for alternatives. "Our principal goal was to give supervisors immediate and direct access to employee punches from each location," said Bonnie Brown, HR assistant at Lake Geneva, Wis.-based First Banking Center. "We also wanted complete historical information and reporting available company-wide for better management of overtime, holiday and sick policies."

The company eventually settled on Attendance Enterprise from InfoTronics, Farmington Hills, Mich. The product is a Web-enabled time and attendance system featuring a Microsoft SQL Server database which provides up-to-the-minute information to remote locations. Attendance Enterprise closely emulates the look and feel found in applications like Microsoft Outlook.

The bank installed Attendance Enterprise on a server in its Lake Geneva administrative offices and e-mailed the program to its 16 locations. After a parallel testing phase, the bank and branches were fully live in a little over a month.

Employees now enter time and attendance information online at their desktops.

Supervisors and department heads at each location have real-time access to time card information for the current pay period or any previous period, instantly seeing hours worked, transfers, supervisor edits, exceptions, schedules and summaries.

"Instead of relying on me to pull together outdated summary reports, supervisors at each location get the current picture of employee attendance themselves, as needed," said Brown.

Attendance Enterprise has reduced the time spent handling employee attendance data by 12 hours each payroll.

"It frees me from printing and faxing weekly punch detail reports, manual editing, and overtime, holiday and sick report generation," said Brown. "The institution is better able to manage our greatest resource-our employees."

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