The Advantages of Automating Paid Time Off Tracking

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There are many problematic drawbacks to manual tracking and accounting in HR. For example, manually tracking paid time off (PTO) limits a company's HR department in several ways. In this post, learn more about these issues and how your company can benefit from automating your Paid Time Off processes.

PTO is typically granted to employees on a credit basis. Accrual per pay period requires manual tracking without automation. Therefore, accurately accruing paid time off becomes a difficult process; one that can divert otherwise productive HR time into unnecessary paperwork.

The problems with a manual process

The problems that arise from a manually executed process are numerous. Because it is a manual process, requests for time off must be processed via paper or email. The manual nature of this process makes retention of requests and notification cumbersome, and ensures that records and posting of exemptions cannot be done in a centralized location that is convenient for the entire organization. Any time taken during a pay period requires a corresponding reduction in accrued time off for that period. The calculation is simple, but the task of determining the correct figure is time consuming and prone to human error.

The lack of automation and reliance on manual processes makes it virtually impossible for a company to standardize its methodology.  As a process remains inhomogeneous, a greater variety of forms and retention periods leads to lost documentation and non-compliant HR practices.

How can HR automation help?

There are at least as many advantages to automation as there are disadvantages to manual processing. Some of the benefits include:
  • Automated Paid Time Off (PTO) tracking enables an enterprise-wide tool for requesting and monitoring PTO requests. This way, requests are submitted, approved or denied, and kept electronically instead of manually.
    In addition, automation allows all approved PTO requests to be entered into a company PTO calendar. The company-wide calendar provides access for all employees to know when their colleagues are out of the office.
  • Since PTO accrual in most cases is tracked on a different basis depending on length of service, PTO calculations per pay period can be managed with a simple network formula. In this way, automation frees up company resources for more productive and cost-effective tasks.
  • Online calculations integrated with the payroll system allow calculations to be made strictly based on hours worked. This eliminates the need to manually track time off from the amount of time accrued during the pay period.
  • Automation in this area eliminates the possibility of human error while significantly increasing the overall efficiency of PTO tracking.
  • Automation lends itself to standardization.  Using an automated process completely negates the practice of one-time emails, paper requests, and multiple repositories.  Automation itself ensures that the process is standardized and communicated consistently throughout the organization.

In conclusion
While there are always pain points when moving from a current process state to an automated one, the benefits realized far outweigh the challenges. Change is a constant in today's dynamic marketplace, and managing change in internal processes should become standard practice. A practice that leverages efficiency and technology to overcome the shortcomings of manual processing.

In short, any organization will realize a gain in effective internal operations if it takes the time to implement and leverage automation for its paid absenteeism tracking function. In addition, automation fits well into the structure of any organization for the future and allows for growth and scalability that is in no way available with a manual process.

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