Posts Tagged ‘HRIS’

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Joe ReillyI’d like to give all of our customers and friends a big “Happy Holidays” wish!!  Regardless of how you celebrate the holiday season, I want you to know how much we at PCS appreciate our relationship with each of you.  Last week, our celebration of Thanksgiving allowed us to pause and give thanks for all of our blessings…family, friends, health, country, and everything that makes us happy.

We will keep all of you in our thoughts, and wish you a prosperous, healthy, and happy 2012!!  We look forward to continuing to serve you, and our community.

As always, if you have any thoughts or comments concerning PCS, please call me on my cell phone, 763-567-8387.  I always welcome your ideas.

Warmest holiday regards,

Joe Reilly

Founder and CEO

Payroll Control Systems

FLSA Record Keeping Requirements

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

FLSA Record KeepingEvery covered employer must keep certain records for each non-exempt worker. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires no particular form for the records, but does require that the records include certain identifying information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The law requires this information to be accurate. The following is a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain:

1. Employee’s full name and social security number.
2. Address, including zip code.
3. Birth date, if younger than 19.
4. Sex and occupation.
5. Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins.
6. Hours worked each day.
7. Total hours worked each workweek.
8. Basis on which employee’s wages are paid
9. Regular hourly pay rate.
10. Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings.
11. Total overtime earnings for the workweek.
12. All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages.
13. Total wages paid each pay period.
14. Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.

How Long Should Records Be Retained?
Each employer shall preserve for at least three years payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, sales and purchase records.

Records on which wage computations are based should be retained for two years, i.e., time cards and piece work tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages. These records must be open for inspection by the Division’s representatives, who may ask the employer to make extensions, computations, or transcriptions. The records may be kept at the place of employment or in a central records office.

PCS Ascentis HR provides employers with a comprehensive platform for maintaining all of their employee records in an electronic format.  Click here for more information.

What About Timekeeping?
Employers may use any timekeeping method they choose. For example, they may use a time clock, have a timekeeper keep track of employee’s work hours, or tell their workers to write their own times on the records. Any timekeeping plan is acceptable as long as it is complete and accurate.

PCS has a variety of web clocks and physical timekeeping systems that are inexpensive and easy to implement and maintain.  Click here for more information.

Additional Information:

FLSA Index

Department of Labor Website

PDF of Record Keeping Requirements

Submitted By:

PCS HR Department

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and by no means should replace or substitute other legal documents (governmental or non-governmental) reflecting similar content or advice. If you have any questions concerning your situation or the information provided, please consult with an attorney, CPA or HR Professional.

Are Telecommuters Happier and Healthier?

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Working From HomeIn a recent survey done by Staples Advantage, the business to business division of Staples, Inc., 86 percent of telecommuters said they felt better and were more productive when working from home.  The SHRM article reporting on this survey stated that telecommuters were:

  • Happier and Healthier: stress levels were down 25 percent and happiness was up 28 percent, plus 73 percent said they ate healthier when working from home.
  • More Loyal: on average, respondents were traveling 77 miles round trip to work prior to telecommuting.  By working from home they saved this time and used it to spend extra time on work related tasks.
  • Better Balanced: 80 percent stated they were better balanced with work and life.

The survey also noted opportunities to improve the telecommuting experience such as providing allowances for furniture, equipment and supplies.  Improvement in these areas helps to create a more efficient home office setting that maximizes productivity.

Technology obviously plays a lead role in establishing a solid telecommuting environment for the employee.  In addition to internet connectivity and secure access to company networks telecommuters rely on email, instant messaging, videoconferencing and unified communications technologies to stay connected to their co-workers.  Implementation of a proactive security and data backup strategy are very important to ensure confidentiality and data integrity.  The SHRM article strongly recommends IT and security best practice training along with providing telecommuters with tools that make it easy for them to collaborate and stay connected.

PCS offers internet based timekeeping, payroll and HR solutions that can help keep all employees connected and informed.

  • Timekeeping: PCS offers two choices for timekeeping, both of which have the ability to collect in/out punches or honor-based entries via the internet.  Supervisors can edit the time and approve the hours worked online making it easy to collect and approve payroll each period.
  • Payroll: Most of our payroll processing packages include employee self service (ESS) which allows the employee to view and print various demographic information including check stubs and pay history.
  • HR Solutions: Our HR System provides the complete employee ESS experience including the ability to view, edit and print information in their employee file.  You decide what the employee can view or edit and if you allow editing, whether approval is needed for the change to flow into your HRIS, payroll and timekeeping systems.
  • Paycards: The PCS paycard solution allows you to electronically pay every employee in your company without worrying about their banking status.  The employee can achieve no fee card usage by following simple user instructions to access or transfer their funds.

Utilization of these products and services is making it easier to deal with the new telecommuting employee and allows many companies to achieve paperless payroll and electronic HR files.  In most cases, the implementation and on-going costs are offset within months due to the efficiencies created.

For more on these services, contact us or call us directly at 763.513.5951

Submitted By:

Bob Willbanks
VP of Sales and Marketing
Payroll Control Systems

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and by no means should replace or substitute other legal documents (governmental or non-governmental) reflecting similar content or advice. If you have any questions concerning your situation or the information provided, please consult with an attorney, CPA or HR Professional.

Should You Consider Automating HR and Benefits?

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Automating HRSource: Ascentis White Paper, “Automating HR and Benefits Management for Strategic Success”

Maximizing the potential of the HR department
HR departments in mid-tier organizations are models of versatility. Their responsibilities include everything from answering employee questions about health benefits and vacation time and sorting out the process of employee reviews, to high level long term planning and organization of training, employee retention plans, management development and other important issues that fundamentally affect the productivity and success of the organization.

Most organizations of this size would agree that they would greatly benefit from their HR professionals having the opportunity to focus more of their energies on strategic issues, as is the case in larger organizations. It is no secret that the top-performing companies in the S&P 500 are the ones that have the strongest focus on employee development.

However, in reality, the majority of their HR department’s time and resources is consistently taken up with day-to-day tactical issues—up to five hours of every eight-hour day, some studies suggest.

For larger companies, the technology to automate HR and benefits issues has been available for some time, and is widely used. However the resources and infrastructure required to install and maintain one of these large and complex systems has made the cost of entry prohibitive, both financially and technologically, for companies in the mid tier. As a result, only about 15% of mid-tier companies have yet adopted a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) solution.

Today, software solutions are emerging that can provide a practical answer to organizations of this size. The problem then becomes how to choose the one that is the best fit for their requirements and that is affordable, flexible and agile enough to cope with constant change, whether it comes from within the organization or from legislation such as HIPAA and the E-sign Act.

What to look for in an HRIS
First and foremost, a good HRIS needs to be based on a solid, modern technology foundation.

A quick survey of the marketplace will show that there is a wide range of solutions available today. Further study, however, will reveal that most of them are designed for very large organizations, costly to set up and maintain, based on heavy-duty legacy technology and requiring the services of an army of consultants to keep them operational. Most of the systems designed for smaller organizations concentrate heavily on either HR functions such as attendance and compensation, or on benefits management, but lack the ability to combine the two issues.

To be a practical investment choice for a mid-tier organization, a satisfactory HRIS solution must have its HR and benefits functions highly integrated. It must be both agile and robust in order that it can easily be kept abreast of constant change, and it must be built on a tried and true foundation that is both easy to use and maintain, such as a modern database like SQL Server.

Ease of use is a vitally important feature for an HRIS. The learning curve on any new software is often a challenge for people whose primary function is non-technical, such as the average HR consultant. It is important that if the investment is made in a product, it is accepted to the extent that it becomes part of the fabric of the department. There are three things to look for that will make an HRIS easier to use and more accepted by staff:

  • Wizards: Wizard-based technology makes it easy for staff to enter or import information and make changes and updates, by following through a set of simple instructional, fill-in the blanks forms on the screen, rather than their having to learn to program or call in the consultants.
  • Strong HR facilities combined with flexible benefit capabilities: The system should be able to handle compensation, attendance and recruitment, and legal requirements such as FMLA and OSHA, while integrating them with benefits issues such as COBRA.

Role-based operation: A good HRIS solution should be able to cater to the needs of a wide range of people and functions within the organization, and should appear seamlessly tailored to their requirements. Role based administration is becoming increasingly important in the HRIS marketplace. With this feature, HR administrators can define what an individual can see in the system, allowing managers access to the information they need about their particular team, while locking them out of information that is not pertinent to them. Role based administration can extend further into proactive alerting—a particular manager or management level can be automatically alerted by the system that it is time to conduct a review, for instance, with those alerts being based on the specific mangers role and needs within the organization.

Benefits for the entire organization
There are three constituencies whose needs must be addressed in the selection of a new HRIS solution: HR and IT managers, the HR department itself, and the “customers,” i.e., the executives, managers and other employees of the company.

HR and IT managers must be satisfied that they have chosen the best tool for the job—one that is going to offer a good return on their investment of both financial and time resources; the HR department must find that the solution allows them to become strategic thinkers rather than data processors, and employees must find that they are receiving a more efficient service and are able to make better and easier choices.

Unless the chosen solution offers benefits to everyone in the organization, it will not succeed.

For a detailed recap of the questions that should be asked for HR and IT managers, HR Personnel, employee expectations, and a list of essential features, please download the white paper or contact PCS for a copy.

The Future of HRIS
In looking at HRIS solutions, it is important to look at the longer-term prospects for the technology. The HR industry is in a state of flux, and any product that a company installs today must be based on a platform that can readily and rapidly adapt to change, and must offer concrete plans for coping with the future.

In an ideal world, widespread, electronically enabled end-to-end HR management and benefits enrollment would be the norm. Employees themselves would be able to perform many operations such as online benefits enrollment and selection, the updating of personal information, and other tasks such as viewing compensation and benefits information that are currently performed for them by an HR professional. Relevant data would be routed based on business processes, allowing role-based task assignment and monitoring, allowing team leaders to manage their own staff without the constant need for the services of the HR department.

Two things are helping turn this concept of complete end-to-end benefits enrollment into a reality. First of all, the advent of the HIPAA Administrative Simplification laws. By making the acceptance of standard electronic data formats mandatory for all carriers and benefit vendors across the country, HIPAA makes it possible for software vendors to create a common interface using these new data standards, allowing enrollment information to be transferred to the insurance carriers and TPA’s electronically, eliminating the error prone manual system that exists today.

Secondly, leading vendors of HRIS solutions are ensuring that their software is fully Internet enabled and able to transfer data electronically to benefits carriers. This is a key concept in making complete end-to-end benefits enrollment a viable proposition. It enables the user through employee self-service to access and use their HR and benefits information from just about anywhere. It makes electronic benefits enrollment possible and will also allow online premium remittance, whether via the Internet, a Virtual Private Network, or through a standard modem connection.

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, the need for the HR department to be freed to be a more of a strategic force in the organization has become apparent. In order for this to happen, it is essential that mundane, day-to-day tasks be automated.

This automation must be brought about in such a way that the HR department can truly become more productive, rather than simply exchanging one set of tactical tasks for another, and it must be done cost-effectively. The solution chosen has to be easily usable and configurable by regular HR staff. In a constantly and rapidly changing environment such as HR, it isn’t practical for every minor change in policy to require precious resource be spent on employing outside consultants to reconfigure systems.

The chosen solution also has to offer significant benefits to end user employees, whether they will use it in a “self-service” fashion, or still receive their answers through the HR department. These benefits include immediately apparent advantages such as faster and more accurate responses and less reporting errors, but also more important and long-term features such as a broader range of benefit choices.

Lastly, the chosen solution has to offer a solid return on investment. Not only through greater employee satisfaction and the freeing of the HR department for more important strategic functions, but in actual terms of reduced benefit costs through greater efficiency in plan administration, less errors and faster pick-up of problems and issues.

For Additional Information Contact PCS or visit the HR Section of our website.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and by no means should replace or substitute other legal documents (governmental or non-governmental) reflecting similar content or advice. If you have any questions concerning your situation or the information provided, please consult with an attorney, CPA or HR Professional.

Automating HR and Benefits

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

HR AutomationA White Paper By:
PCS Partner, Ascentis Corporation

How automating HR and benefits can lead to significant cost savings for your organization.

The role of the HR department has become increasingly complex in the past few years. Even in small to mid-sized businesses, the range of areas that the HR department is expected to cover has expanded significantly. With that increase in complexity and range has come a new problem – the need to contain costs. The areas that the HR department is now responsible for have become significant cost centers within the organization. As a result, it is important that the CFO becomes much more involved in what’s going on within HR, as it starts to have more of an impact on the company’s bottom line.

This paper focuses on the three main areas within the HR department where the need for cost containment can be easily identified and significant savings can be made.

  • Eradicating benefit errors
  • Managing attendance
  • Automating compliance

Eradicating benefit errors
The cost of providing benefits to employees has increased dramatically. To prevent these costs from spiraling out of control and start significantly affecting a company’s bottom line, it has become imperative that organizations put in place effective HR and benefits management systems. This will have the added payback of providing a more timely response to employees and will reduce the vast amount of errors that are currently an issue for benefits managers.

Managing benefits has traditionally been the role of the HR department. It’s a complex and time-consuming task, even in a relatively small company, and can soon require a disproportionate amount of the HR department’s available resources unless the right tools are made available to them.

Accurate enrollment
The amount of paperwork generated in traditional benefits management is staggering – both for the employer and the employee. Consider what happens during open enrollment in a 200 person company. If that company offers ten benefit plans and each of those plans involves just four documents, then the HR department has to deal with 8,000 documents in an accurate and timely fashion.

The question of accuracy is very important. If each of those documents is filled in by hand by the employee and then that data is transcribed and transmitted to the carrier by the HR department, the room for error is obvious. In smaller companies where an insurance broker is also involved in the picture, another layer of complication and room for error is added.

Despite the best of efforts, mistakes are made as insurance carriers enter benefits data from handwritten, photocopied, and faxed employee benefits enrollment forms. And, most HR departments don’t have the tools or the time to reconcile insurance carrier invoices against their own benefits information. Inaccuracies rapidly add up.

The amount of time wasted in clearing up noticed errors is a problem in itself, but it pales in comparison to the issues involved if an employee or an employee’s family member ends up without coverage due to an HR error. The potential liability is huge.

The answer to this problem is to provide employees with an online benefits enrollment system. The employee can use their computer, either at work or at home, to compare and contrast different benefit plans and fill out their personal information. This data can then be electronically submitted to the insurance carrier upon HR approval. The process will be the same for a new hire or for making changes due to life events.

The HR department maintains control of the process by monitoring an employee’s whereabouts within the enrollment process and can define communications templates that encourage employees to complete processes and to ask questions.

Managing attendance
While attendance management may seem like the most basic and simple of HR tasks, it presents more problems than are initially obvious. Relying on all managers to consistently log employees’ sick or vacation time is an ideal situation, but does not always happen. This creates accruing liabilities that affect a company’s bottom line.

The main areas that can benefit from automation are time clock management and vacation, sick, and other time-off policies. Many employees don’t keep track of how many vacation days and sick days they are entitled to or have taken and consistently ask the HR department how much time they have available currently and in the future. This equates to time and effort wasted on mundane tasks executed by highly-paid HR professionals. If an employee could log onto a secure HR system and simply look up the information they need and even view the amount of leave taken and then make an online leave request, this would eliminate the time the HR department would spend on these type of questions and would allow them to devote more time to strategic development.

From a departmental manager’s standpoint, an HRIS can provide the following scenario:

  1. An employee makes a request for vacation.
  2. The employee’s manager receives an email from the employee requesting time off. If the manager happens to be out of the office or unable to acknowledge the request, the email will automatically be forwarded to another decision maker.
  3. Once the request is received, the manager can use a calendar view to check whether the request will clash with other department members’ absence.
  4. The manager can also verify at this time that the employee is titled to the time off.
  5. Then the manager can simply accept/reject the time off request accordingly.
  6. If the vacation or medical leave request is approved, every system from HR, to payroll, to benefits, will automatically be updated.

Calculation of vacation time is often a contentious issue. If it is sloppily managed, employees can take more paid vacation time than they are entitled to because it can’t be proven that they haven’t already taken it. Online leave request ensures that leave is taken and that leave requests are accounted for.

When terminating an employee, companies typically pay a salary for leftover vacation. If proof of what has been taken is clearly available, it can make the termination process run quickly and efficiently. If absenteeism is becoming a problem, automating the reporting and managing and logging sick days is a good way to track and control whether there is an issue. A good attendance management system should be largely self-managing.

Once a company has defined unique business rules, the HR department should have to expend little or no effort in ensuring that it is running smoothly. In addition, having a single, electronic access point, directly integrated to the payroll system offers an easy solution to these issues.

Automating compliance
Compliance is a current hot topic. It isn’t necessary to be willfully negligent to be confronted with serious and expensive problems. Even the most compliance conscientious employer who meets the variant interpretations of specific regulations may encounter unexpected litigation and find their efforts fruitless. Many companies presume that they are adhering to strict regulation guidelines when in fact they’re at fault for violating a compliance specification located somewhere in the fine print.

For instance, an average of 450 employment lawsuits are filed in the U.S. each day and 57% of companies have been named as defendants in at least one employment related lawsuit in past years. Lawsuits by disgruntled employees are one problem. But nowadays, a company can face suits from candidates who were never hired, as well as from former employees months after termination.

Compliance with federal and state regulations involves a mind-boggling array of topics, most of which fall within the purview of the HR department. OSHA, FLSA, COBRA, EEO, VETS, SOX and EDA all have minutely detailed requirements, many of which are open to individual interpretation and they all have severe penalties for infraction. It is a never-ending, full-time task to keep up with these requirements, ensure corporate compliance and follow the required reporting procedures.

Human error is seldom seen as an acceptable defense in cases of compliance infraction. Nor is it sufficient for management to simply pay lip service to compliance issues such as OSHA. It’s now essential that an entire company, from the employee on the factory floor to senior management, understand the ramifications of non-compliance.

Compliance management comes in several forms

  • Managing company documentation to define a set of policies and procedures. Ensuring that every new employee has read the company guidelines and understood the expectation to comply with those guidelines along with state and federal regulations.
  • Training staff to maintain a code of conduct, ethics and expected behavior.
  • Setting processes in place and ensuring careful documentation and monitoring of every step.

In addition to these practices, many organizations are now choosing to automate as many of their compliance maintenance procedures as possible. For instance, if HR has both benefits management and payroll automated and linked, it is an obvious move to add in COBRA compliance to this mix. This particular piece of automation offers the added benefit of preserving privacy – an important HIPAA compliance requirement. Forms and templates necessary to maintaining compliance can be built-into many parts of a corporate intranet, making it easy for employees and managers to adhere to reporting requirements and understand the regulations that pertain to their particular activity or sector of the company.

Compliance automation plays a critical role in both preventing violations by ensuring that requirements are automatically monitored and fulfilled, and in defending alleged compliance violations. The best defense against an alleged violation is a watertight reporting system and automatic documentation of everything related to a specific case. For instance, in a case of proving OSHA compliance, an updated, organized on-line injury reporting system in the factory is going to carry more weight than the standard illegible notebook.

In addition, some compliance authorities, such as VETS-100 and COBRA will waive strict reporting requirements if it can be proved that appropriate data-collection and tracking systems are being used.

This paper has determined three areas where automating HR and benefits management processes can provide demonstrable and direct benefits to the corporate bottom line. Eradicating benefit errors managing attendance and automating compliance will provide significant time savings and reduce costly errors and liability.

A more subtle benefit is the amount of mundane, repetitive work that will be alleviated from the HR department. By automating the minute tasks that use a significant amount of time, HR personnel will be available to focus on more complex and needed planning and management tasks that will benefit the long-term growth of the organization.

HR automation should be a simple operation. A good solution will allow HR managers to use processes straight out of the box that mirror or improve their current way of working, without requiring months of set-up time and complex customization processes. HR managers should be able to customize and control each individual process intuitively, with minimal training and without extensive IT knowledge. The HR system should offer seamless connectivity between all parts of the organization – everything from benefits, to time and attendance and payroll with just a single point of entry from a single individual.

By putting good business processes in place, those processes will largely manage themselves. Employee morale and conduct will improve throughout the organization with clear, defined guidelines, easy places to access information and fewer inaccuracies in matters that are truly important to their well-being. The bottom line is this will save your organization money and time – both immediately and in the future.

PCS Ascentis specializes in automating HR and payroll processes for mid-sized organization with integrated and powerful – yet easy-to-use and learn – HRIS, payroll and timekeeping software solutions. PCS Ascentis understands the critical requirements of reporting, and how to create a virtually paperless open enrollment period using employee self-service.

Call your PCS Sales Representative to find out more about how an HRIS system saves money and time and more importantly increase the engagement of your employees.

SOURCE:  White Papers prepared by Ascentis Corporation.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and by no means should replace or substitute other legal documents (governmental or non-governmental) reflecting similar content or advice. If you have any questions concerning your situation or the information provided, please consult with an attorney, CPA or HR Professional.

Employee Self Service

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Human resource managers are constantly challenged to increase efficiency and provide better employee services. One dramatic way HR managers have responded to this challenge is by deploying web-based solutions that offer employee self-service, giving the entire workforce immediate access to critical information, helping to attract and retain the highest quality employees and enabling more effective communication across the organization. The SaaS solution offered by PCS is fully integrated with our Millennium Payroll System and is fully implemented and supported by PCS staff.

What Is Employee Self-Service?
Employee Self-Service (ESS) is a combination of technology and organizational change that enables users to interact directly with their human resource data to inquire, review and act upon transactions in the workplace. This human resource technology is known as “Employee Self-Service”, and “Manager Self-Service”.  ESS promises a “paperless” office, streamlined business processes and the elimination of administrative entries for human resource staff because employees and managers conduct via computer basic transactions that formerly were completed on paper forms and then processed by HR staff.

There are several types of self-service applications, including interactive voice response, internet and intranet. ESS creates a single, secure repository for confidential HR information and processes. It provides an easy-to-navigate environment that is accessible by all employees, regardless of where they are located, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Access rights for each employee are established by HR and are typically determined by the employee’s position in the organizational hierarchy, department and key job functions.  ESS and MSS will quickly reduce HR data entry tasks and allow your staff to focus on HR coaching and managing non-administrative duties which makes HR a valued partner on the Management team of your company.

What Are the Usual Features?
You can break down all human resource functions into four basic categories: organizational administration, human resource, benefits and payroll. Within each category, various functions can be performed “on demand” by employees using ESS.

Organizational Administration

  • Forms Request
  • Employment Verification
  • Corporate Policies
  • Corporate Communications
  • Employee Directory
  • Organizational Chart

Human Resource

  • Personal Information Maintenance
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Dependents and Beneficiaries Maintenance
  • Job Postings and Applications
  • Employee Development


  • Benefits Inquiry
  • Benefits Enrollment
  • Flexible Spending Account Selections
  • Primary Care Physician Selections
  • Retirement Plan Transactions
  • Summary Plan Descriptions
  • Stock Purchase Plan Transactions


  • Time & Labor Reporting
  • Duplicate W-2
  • Federal and State Exemption Maintenance
  • Direct Deposit Setup and Maintenance
  • Electronic Pay Statements
  • Paid Time Off Inquiry and Requests

Self-service includes a range of administrative services (employee communications, benefit services and personal data updates for employees), management productivity services (employee change actions, salary actions and approvals) and recruitment-oriented applications (job postings and job requisitions for managers).

When a company implements ESS, HR may choose to give employees the ability to view and update information. The ability to update information is dependent upon two factors: a) if the information is the employee’s own personal information and/or b) if the employee is given management rights. Otherwise, the employee will have the ability to view the data only. Additionally, managers can be granted the right to view and update information about their employees and to perform manager-specific tasks.

Accessing Employee Self-Service: Intranet or Internet?
A company can provide access to employee self-service in two ways, via intranet or Internet. With a corporate intranet, employees access the self- service features from computers connected to a computer network within the company.

If a company chooses to open access via the Internet, employees can access self-service from anywhere in the world by using a computer, a browser and a phone line connection to the Internet. Companies with employees geographically dispersed in one country or in many countries find this to be an economical way to communicate with their employees. Typically, these companies use a “firewall” to prevent intruders from accessing the rest of the computer network.

The HRIS system PCS provides is an internet based system. In companies where employees do not have computers, computer kiosks can be set up in convenient locations and shared by employees.

Benefits: Saving Costs and Improving Employee Satisfaction
Regardless of whether employees access self-service via a corporate intranet or the internet, the benefits are the same and fall into three categories: cost savings, cost avoidance and revenue generation.

In terms of cost savings, the primary gain is in reduced costs for delivering human resource and payroll services to employees. When employees have access to self-service, they can answer many questions independently, thus lowering the number of phone calls to the HR and payroll departments. When employees and managers can update information online, less money is spent on paper forms. Because employee information is captured electronically and sent to the appropriate approver or database, less time is spent processing employee transactions. There is no re-keying of data from paper forms.

A prime example of hard savings is in the move to electronic pay statements where employees no longer receive paper direct deposit advice statements. Employees can view and print their pay statements via self-service as soon as the payroll has been posted. Not only do these companies eliminate the time and cost of printing direct deposit advice statements, they also say goodbye to stuffing and mailing envelopes with the attendant postage costs, and fed-ex costs to remote locations.  Employees have quicker access to their pay statements and do not need to worry about losing the document. By using self-service, they can print a new pay statement on demand.

In the area of cost avoidance, HR departments can provide satisfactory service to more employees without increasing department headcount.  Companies with successful self-service implementations report a staff-to-employee ratio of 1:151, while companies without self-service have a ratio of 1:99. In addition, employees experience improved quality of service. Access to information is available to all employees 24/7, whether local, remote or international. The potential to update information online is key. Who is better than the employee to update his or her personal data correctly? HR managers can rest easier knowing the information in their databases will have a higher degree of accuracy than ever before. When managers can submit new hires, salary increases and performance reviews and have them routed automatically to the appropriate HR manager for approval, transactions are processed faster than paper-based systems.

A third area of benefits to consider is revenue generation. Companies are beginning to establish their employee self-service systems as a portal, or doorway, to other products and services. For example, a company might sign up with and place a link to on their ESS web site. Whenever an employee “clicks through” to and purchases a book, the company receives a small percentage of the price.

Finally, employee and manager self-service results in a key benefit for the HR department. For years, HR managers have expressed the desire to play a strategic role in corporate operations but have been bogged down by compliance and clerical work. With self-service handling much of the administrative transaction processing, the HR team is free to focus on issues of strategic importance for the company.

Please contact your PCS Sales Representative for an in person or web demonstration of our HRIS solution.  We will be happy to show you the features that will help eliminate the drudgery of HR paper tasks and at the same time provide the management team with the reporting data while increasing employee communication and satisfaction.

Submitted By:

Jean Austin
Manager of HRIS Services
Payroll Control Systems

PCS Expands to Other Cities!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

PCS LocationsSeptember 2010

By: Joe Reilly

Thanks to the support of all of our customers, we have had the good fortune to expand our business to other cities!  In January of 2009 we opened a new PCS office in Phoenix, AZ.  In October of 2009, we opened in the state of Washington with offices in Seattle and Spokane.  We’re proud to announce that we recently opened a new PCS office on September 1st in Milwaukee, WI.

As you know, referrals are the lifeblood of any successful business.  Because of that, we’re asking all of you, our valued customers, to think of us if you have colleagues in any of the above cities.  No referral is too small or too large. Our experience has been excellent with company sizes ranging from under 10 employees up to over 3000 employees!

We’ve found that our business model of personalized, quality service is helping us gain a solid base of new business in cities that were once dominated by the “big boys!”  And, because of technology, we’re able to support each of these cities from our Operations and Client Account Management groups in Minneapolis.

If you have suggestions or questions, please call me on my cell phone, 763-567-8387.  I’d be happy to talk with you regarding any ideas you might have.

All of us at PCS appreciate your continued commitment to PCS.

Best regards,

Joe Reilly, Jr.

Making the Right Choice

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Making the Right ChoiceThere are many choices you face when deciding what products and services are right for your business regarding your timekeeping, payroll and human resources needs. Whether you have one employee or hundreds of employees in multiple locations, making the wrong decisions can have disastrous consequences.

Our advice; don’t box yourself in by selecting “big-box” solutions that limit your choices and future growth or migration needs. We’ve found that these solutions may sound easier, but in the long run you will pay more and get less.

Our philosophy is to ask questions first, helping us to gain an understanding of your needs and what you are trying to accomplish. We then select from our wide range of products and services crafting a solution that fits YOUR needs. We stick to our core competencies which are timekeeping, payroll and HRIS solutions. For everything else, we partner with local vendors that bring expertise in their respective industries to the table. This provides our Clients with the widest possible range of solutions to choose from, experts to guide them, and local, in-person implementation, support and training.

In most cases, organizations we work with have grown throughout the years by having a personality of their own. They usually have some interesting and quirky ways of incenting employees which makes them unique. We like to think of them as stars – lots of angles and edges. When you try to fit a star into a box, you either have a lot of wasted space, (you’re paying for things you don’t use) or you have to “settle” for a smaller box which does not provide all of the bells and whistles you’re looking for.

Our experts will custom tailor a solution that will fit your needs without the “wasted space” of products and services you don’t need. Our implementation team ensures a smooth transition including in-person training that is tailored to you and your “angles and edges”. On-going service is provided by your personal Client Account Manager who gets to know you and your special needs.

All of this may sound too good to be true, but we deliver on our promises as evidenced by our 30 day and annual customer survey rankings. Surveys from over 300 new Client starts over the past year and one half show a 92.5% customer satisfaction rating after only 30 days on our service. Better yet, over 97% of the customers surveyed said they would recommend PCS to their friends. It gets better. Our annual surveys show customer satisfaction increases with time to 97% and 98.5% respectively. It’s why we’ve earned an A+ rating with the Minnesota Better Business Bureau and are known as the company that cares.

If you’re already a customer, thank you! Please take a moment to review your current services with your Client Account Manager or your Sales Representative. We’ve added quite a few products and services internally and via partners. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create new efficiencies throughout your organization.

If you’re not a PCS customer, give us the opportunity to show you the PCS difference! Visit our website at and review our solutions. Then schedule a time to meet with one of our consultants. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

Submitted by:

Bob Willbanks
Sales and Marketing Manager
Payroll Control Systems
6040 Earle Brown Drive
Suite 250
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Cell: 612-298-1176
Fax: 763-513-5968

PCS Ascentis HR – Full-Scale HRIS

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

PCS Ascentis HRIS is an easy-to-use, on-demand (SaaS) HR software solution for small to medium-sized organizations. This human resources management software maintains all employee data in a single database, even if you have multiple companies, with multiple payrolls.  Human Resources professionals no longer have to spend hours searching through paper files for specific information. Employee data is instantly accessible and always up-to-date.

Critical Human Resources Function Automation

  • Benefits management
  • Payroll connectivity
  • Workflow automation
  • Hiring processes
  • Full-scale HR and Benefits Management

  • Billing reconciliation
  • Attendance
  • Compensation
  • COBRA administration
  • Compliance, i.e. OSHA, HIPAA, EEO, VETS
  • Online open enrollment
  • FMLA and other attendance tracking
  • Automated employee correspondence
  • Employee self-service and Manager self-service
  • The PCS Ascentis HRIS software contains a rules-based benefits engine which supports multiple types of employee benefits. Rate tables are automatically built into the database and virtually any benefit plan can be created. A few examples of traditional and non-traditional benefit plans that can be set up in PCS Ascentis HRIS include:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • STD and LTD disability
  • 401(k)
  • Many Types of Life insurance and AD&D
  • Paid employee parking
  • Health club memberships
  • Voluntary benefits
  • Long Term Care
  • Additional PCS Ascentis HRIS software features and benefits include:

  • 300+ reports with step-by-step instructions for creating unlimited custom reports
  • Import and export capabilities to reduce data entry time and data duplication errors
  • 30 standard email alerts to keep HR managers ahead of employees’ needs
  • Electronic transfer of enrollment data to both HIPAA and non-HIPAA insurance carriers
  • Electronic EEO and OSHA reporting
  • Full integration with PCS Millennium payroll
  • For more information, visit our website by clicking here.