The Advantages of Software for Efficient Workers’ Comp and Payroll Management

The Advantages of Software for Efficient Workers’ Comp and Payroll Management

Words and Photos: The Hourly Team

While working for his family’s real-estate development company, Tom Sagi was frustrated by the time-consuming payroll process and the expensive workers’ comp audit bills that tripped up the company’s cash flow—he could never get a clear read on how much his workers’ comp added to his labor costs. 

To make matters worse, his workers’ comp premiums were often wrong because they were calculated with outdated payroll numbers which were more than a year old. While this problem plagues all businesses, it’s even more drastic for masons and businesses with hourly and mobile workers like Tom’s. As projects come and go, a masonry business scales up and down to keep up with demand—and this affects workers’ comp premiums. Businesses are either hit with a big bill at the end of the year or refunded and neither outcome is ideal.  

When Tom couldn’t find a solution on the market to save time and uncover his labor costs, he created his own solution—Hourly—which connects workers’ comp, payroll, and time tracking in real-time. By connecting all three, the platform uses millions of real-time data points to pinpoint exact labor costs and calculate premiums with unmatched precision—in just a few minutes. This saves small businesses with hourly and mobile workers a whole lotta time and money.

Who’s on the Clock and Where

Let’s dive into time tracking first since payroll and workers’ comp rely on who’s working and when. Manually tracking dozens of workers across multiple job sites often feels like a herculean task even for the most experienced managers. With any time tracking software, you don’t need to lift a finger since employees clock in and out from their own phones and tablets. Even better? No more manually tallying or storing timesheets. Time management software can take care of it all every time a worker clocks in or out.

At every job site, employees can select what tasks they’re working on. Whether finishing a brick chimney, laying a foundation, or putting up a retaining wall, you’ll know exactly what your employees are working on and where they are. If your team is constantly on the move, keeping track of everyone can feel like herding cats. That’s where GPS location features come into play. If your team needs to be on-site to install a granite countertop or patch stucco, geofencing prohibits employees from punching in and out unless they’re physically at the job—and not when they’re five minutes down the road at a McDonald’s drive-thru. 

Mistakes happen. We get it. Sometimes there’s a fishy timesheet with too many or too few hours worked. The app makes it easy to fix a shift too. What about that one employee who always forgets to clock out after leaving a location or constantly works overtime without approval? Your payroll app reminds employees to clock out or ask for manager approval. 

Payroll Done in Minutes (Not Hours)

Payroll day. Ugh. Most business owners would rather wrestle a grizzly than tackle this. Whether it’s a weekly or bi-weekly affair, entire workdays disappear making sure everyone gets their paycheck. It’s precious time wasted and business resources that could be better spent. 

But when employees have accurate digital time cards, payroll is a breeze. Since all the shifts can be automatically recorded, it’s just a quick spot-check and BOOM—payroll’s done. There’s no reminding, texting, or calling workers, or collecting, sorting, and manually transferring timesheet data. Software can handle different types of payments and worker classifications, whether you’re dealing with hourly, salaried, or tip-earning employees, subcontractors, or even paying yourself as sole proprietor.

Pay your team weekly? Other payroll companies charge a fee for that. Do you have a worker with child support? Another fee. Is it time for bonuses? Need a wage advance? You guessed it, more fees. While many companies will nickel-and-dime you for every type of payment, good payroll software will offer unlimited payrolls runs and will cover these scenarios with just one low monthly charge—no extra fees attached. It is important that you pick the software that is best for you and your needs.

In short, good payroll software ensures that a complicated and laborious process is quickly crossed off the to-do list, letting managers and business owners move on to more profitable matters. 

Accurate Workers’ Comp Insurance Premiums

So how does workers’ comp fit into payroll software? Workers’ comp premiums are usually calculated from last year’s payroll numbers. Because of this, they’re often outdated and this opens up the potential to get hit with a huge audit bill. At best, business owners receive a refund for overpayments, but any mason will tell you they prefer to have that extra moolah throughout the year to pay for building materials and other business essentials. At worst, masonry companies that hired additional workers to meet a business boom scramble to find tens of thousands of dollars to cover a hefty audit bill.  

Imagine the joy of knowing your workers’ comp premiums are accurate down to the very last penny and audit bills (if any) are negligible. Spoiler alert: You don’t have to imagine because there is software out there that bridges the gap between workers’ comp and payroll. 

Control Your Labor Costs and Expenses

Masonry labor costs are a beast, often munching up to 40% of a product budget. Are workers taking too long to cut, shape or mix materials? Could more training help decrease the time it takes to lay down bricks? Software that uses real-time data not only calibrates accurate workers’ comp premiums, it also captures your true labor costs and helps you spot areas for improvement. 

You can also break down costs by tasks, number of hours, and time periods. All this data can help businesses estimate costs for similar jobs and increase or maintain profitability as you bid on new jobs. Saving on workers’ comp and uncovering true labor costs with data? A win-win.

Don’t Sweat the Switch

I know, I know. Changing the way you handle payroll sounds like trying to learn a new dance when you’ve barely mastered the Macarena. (All that company, bank, and employee data that need to transfer over, settings to reconfigure, and a new platform to learn. Argh!) But the right software support team can do it for you. Some providers go above and beyond, offering a one and done service to set you up for a seamless transition. So you can kick back, relax, and let them do all the hard work. Now, how’s that for a game changer?


About Hourly

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Hourly.io is a data driven insurance startup offering workers’ comp insurance and full-service payroll for small and medium businesses with hourly workers. Powered by real-time data, Hourly’s platform ensures running payroll is as quick as pressing a button and that you get accurate workers’ comp premiums down to the penny. For more information, visit www.hourly.io

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