A December, 2015 survey of Microsoft® Dynamics™ GP users, commissioned by Journyx and conducted by MSDynamicsWorld.com, showed that 64% of respondents are currently integrating their time and expense tracking solution with Dynamics™ GP. This is an encouraging number, as it shows that many organizations understand the benefits of syncing employee time and expense data with other critical business systems, such as accounting or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
However, this survey also revealed three major reasons why companies do not integrate third-party time tracking with Dynamics™ GP:
They do not feel the need to integrate time tracking with other business systems.
The time tracking solution does not integrate with a specific business system.
They do not know their time tracking solution can integrate with their existing business systems.
The second and third reasons uncover a gaping issue among both end users and many time tracking software vendors: a lack of knowledge about the importance of syncing time and expense data across other critical business systems.
No matter what ERP, accounting, payroll, HR or billing system you use (whether that's a Dynamics™ ERP system, QuickBooks®, ADP®, etc.), if your organization is either currently using a third-party time tracking solution or evaluating new ones, it's important to understand not only if that software will integrate with your other business systems, but how doing so will benefit your company's bottom line.
Note: performing an integration of a third-party time tracking system with your other business systems is quite an undertaking, and will most definitely require time, team effort to ensure the most effective integration, and technical expertise requiring someone proficient at administering your specific business systems. This undertaking, however, will provide both short-term and long-term benefits to both company profitability and employee sanity.
Benefit #1: Consolidating time tracking into one system.
One of the biggest challenges we hear about from accounting, payroll, and finance professionals almost every day is time being tracked in several different places. One department may be using an antiquated time tracking system that does not pass any information to other systems like accounting or payroll, while another department or office may be tracking time in spreadsheets. This leads to a manual process of collecting timesheets and inputting time data into the appropriate systems for accounting and payroll purposes. This will inevitably result in longer processing times and greater margin of error for things like paychecks, client billing, and expense reimbursements.
A time and expense tracking system that integrates with your different business systems will keep all your employees' timesheets in one place and allow for that data to flow directly to accounting, payroll, and billing systems, resulting in less manual work (and less headaches for everyone).
Benefit #2: Enhancing your other business systems.
You may think to yourself, "But my [ERP, payroll, billing] software already has built-in time tracking." While that is certainly true, you may find that your built-in time tracking may be lacking certain features that are critical to your business. These can include:
Having multiple levels of people with the ability to approve their direct reports' timesheets.
Sending reminders to employees to submit their timesheets.
Collecting time data in a way that meets certain federal requirements, such as DCAA or HIPAA.
Allowing employees to track time and expenses from mobile devices.
Tracking equipment usage.
Tracking crew-based time entry.
Many native time tracking applications within ERP systems lack the flexibility and additional features that a third-party time and expense tracking solution provides. By integrating time and expense tracking software with your other business systems, you'll not only benefit from these additional features, but also enhance the capabilities of your existing systems.
Benefit #3: Getting more and better reporting insights.
A BI and reporting study conducted by MSDynamicsWorld.com in Spring, 2016 of Dynamics ERP users revealed that nearly 70 percent of Dynamics™ GP users felt that their organizations were either not meeting their reporting needs, or meeting some, but not all, of their needs. This indicates changing expectations on what reporting and analytics should and needs to be within many organizations.
Let's face it: not all business systems are one-size-fits-all and will have the ability to process and report on the data you want it to report on. For instance, you may not have all the time tracking data you need inside of your ERP software, and you need a way to pull that information in and create meaningful, useful reports. By integrating your time tracking software with other relevant business systems, suddenly you'll have greater reporting functionality at your fingertips and the ability to sync and process your time data in a way that makes sense for your business – allowing you to make better, more informed decisions.
Finding the right solution for your needs
Even if you're not currently using time tracking software, but considering and/or evaluating solutions, it's important to think about how you would need the software to work together with your ERP or other business systems. Then, make sure to ask each vendor about their abilities to integrate with those systems and if the resulting output will meet your specific requirements.
Discuss Your Thoughts
If you're currently using time tracking software, is it integrated with any other business systems? What kinds of benefits are you realizing from this? Is there anything missing that you wish your time tracking solution would provide?
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