Photo from freedigitalphotos.netWell, maybe not everything, but I hope this post will open your eyes to the complexity of payroll, especially for staffing businesses or businesses that manage their part-time, mobile or temporary staff in a similar fashion. Whether it’s overtime, holiday pay, variable shift work, or any of another dozen or more factors, calculating gross pay is no small task.

One of the most common challenges the organisations we speak to face is around geographic-specific guidelines for working hours. For example, an agency that’s primarily functioning in Oregon might be providing delivery men to clients across the border in California where rules around overtime are much more strict and, it follows, generous to the employee. In the old paradigm of payroll calculation, these variations were managed in a complicated and ugly spreadsheet (or on paper!) on the desk of one poor person in the finance department in the back room of a basement office.

But at the intersection of cloud computing and mobile computing lies a paradigm where these rules can be established, managed, and easily viewed from nearly anywhere in the world on whatever device. But it’s more than just managing the rules and making life a bit easier for that poor soul in the basement office. It’s about leveraging those rules when you’re building team rosters and budgets. It’s about understanding the impact those rules have on staffing and your bench of employees. It’s about building payroll easily regardless of where you’re located or your employees work.

For example, one of the most complicated set of national guidelines around employment in Europe is found in Norway. Many norwegian organisations struggle to build rosters that respect their country’s laws and then run into another set of challenges when calculating payroll, taking an already overly manual task–for most companies not already using Sirenum–and adding a layer of manual complexity that even the most seasoned finance department abhors. To give you a sense of how complicated things are in Norway, here are just a few of the rules companies are expected to follow:

  • No more than ten hours of overtime in a seven day period
  • No more than nine hours in a 24 hour period for students
  • No more than 48 hours in a seven-day period for non-manager, non-students

What’s really powerful about seeing these rules and their role in staff management is not the impact on payroll, however. What really stands out is how these rules impact the rostering process for our Norwegian clients. No longer do they have to keep a manual tally and remove employees from schedules when they’ve breached these and other guidelines. With Sirenum, their team rosters are built with these rules already automated. With our auto-scheduling technology, that means that rosters are built from the ground-up without violations. And with any ongoing schedule management, changes that violate these and other rules are immediately flagged for editing (or override as needed), audited, and reportable.