Changing back-office functions with online timesheets
Nick Woodward is Managing Director at Etz Timesheet Solutions, an international provider of online timesheet-management solutions, processing some 500,000 timesheets annually for some of the UK’s leading recruitment agencies, including McGregor Boyall, Kellan Group plc, Morgan law and Investigo.
He thinks that recruiters are hurting their share-price and exposing themselves to legal risks and mountains of red tape, because of a failure to change the way they manage back-office functions.
1. What are the key benefits of online timesheets for recruitment agencies?
Online timesheets delivered through Software-as-a-Service solutions, automate all the number-crunching; from financial analytics to client invoicing and calculating tax obligations. This frees up admin team time to perform high-value tasks and/or enables agencies to redeploy staff. Time is saved through automating the timesheet and invoicing process speeding up cash flow and decreased aged debt. Because timesheets are now stored in the cloud, they can be viewed and updated from any location, there is no risk of data loss and no need to buy extra hardware or software.
2. How do they work?
Online timesheets can be uploaded remotely from any location, errors instantly flagged up and invoices generated automatically. These timesheets can be instantly authorised by someone in a remote location as soon as it has been created, and the candidate can be notified by text or email that their timesheet has been received. This dramatically speeds up the whole process. For example, Etzs software can capture an image of the timesheet and generate a new invoice in just sixty seconds.
3. What features do they have?
The latest, feature-rich systems can send candidates automatic text or email nudges to fill in their timesheets, include a faxback service for clients with no computer access, electronically sign documents (branded to your company), offer secure encrypted links for signing confidential documents and include everything from document-management, to HR compliance, within one system. Systems are usually updated centrally to include new employment laws or tax changes, so that you can claim back all tax owed, or automatically include crucial changes in employment law within your timesheets.
4. What do these timesheets mean for recruitment agencies processing thousands of timesheets on a monthly basis?
Online timesheets eliminate the admin headache of managing fluctuating employee databases or tax and legal obligations, from holiday rights to maternity leave, for different workers on different contracts. Agencies can be flexible and responsive to changes in their environment.
5. How reliable are they in comparison to paper-based time sheets?
There is no risk of lost timesheets or timesheets with mistakes in, late invoices failure to chase up errors, unpaid client bills or legal oversights.
6. How do they transform the back office recruitment process?
The admin team is freed from the human error and the burden of labour-intensive, low-value tasks, such as reporting, analytics, client and employee reminders, filing away timesheets and revising contracts to incorporate new regulations.
7. How much time can they save?
The most sophisticated timesheets, built from the ground up for recruitment agencies, are estimated to shave up to 70% off labour hours, translating into massive cost savings.
8. What additional functions can this service perform?
Because of the data timesheet solutions have, they can create reports with detailed management information. This can include gross margins and gross margin percentages.The latest systems can integrate with CRM packages, carry out invoicing, contract and document management, and automatically sign your timesheets for you, and it can link in with accounting and front end systems.
9. Do you think that paper-based timesheets will soon be a thing of the past?
Two further trends will lead to widespread adoption of online timesheets over the coming years. Increasing economic pressures and the growing legal quagmire of employment law, make it increasingly imperative that businesses streamline their back-office functions, without putting themselves in legal jeopardy. And cloud-computing is now going mainstream: agencies are starting to wake up to the benefits in terms of cost and control, of having scalable, easily-accessible data. It wont be long before recruiters begin to see how those benefits can help with managing fluctuating agency workforces, across the unpredictable legal and economic climate.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Nick Woodward .
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