This week we introduce a new series, A Day in the Life. In this series of three blog posts, we will profile a different employee and highlight their typical challenges. This week – meet Payroll Polly…Why is she pulling her hair out
A Day in the Life: Payroll Polly
Payroll Polly is a Payroll Clerk at a large global manufacturing company. Her job is to compile and record employee time and payroll data. She is responsible for seeing to it that each employee is paid accurately and on time. She’s been with the business for almost two years and while she loves her coworkers and thinks it’s a good company to work for unfortunately, she hates her job. Polly believes in efficiency and in doing things in a smart way, but when it comes to the frustrations of her job in payroll, she dreads going to work each day…
Polly arrives at the office each morning around 9 a.m. She logs into her PC, then into the accounting system for the US, and then another accounting system for Canada. It’s a payroll week, which means she will spend 6-8 hours each day mired in a series of antiquated processes set up by her predecessor (who worked at the company for 30 years and recently retired). She checks her email and begins the tedious process of reading, downloading and sorting through hundreds of emails and spreadsheets from each of the offices and plants across North America.
When Polly returns from lunch, she begins to enter the data manually from the spreadsheets into the accounting systems. While she is transferring the data from one program to the other, she also has to flag certain groups of employees who are paid on different frequencies. Next, she has to go back through all of the employees and process any changes in deductions or benefits. Finally, she remembers she has a huge pile of corrections to make from the previous payroll. Ugh, she sighs. There has to be a better computer system out there that could automate all of this! There has to be a better way….
Polly decides she needs a break and heads to the break room where she bumps into a manager from the sales department who complains to her that the sales teams’ commission checks are still wrong. She apologizes and explains that it’s a glitch in the system and that she has been waiting for two weeks for the payroll system’s support department to contact her about the fix. After she returns to her desk, there are two voicemails - one from a manager in Toronto who reminds her that he has several new hires who haven’t been added to the system yet, and another from her boss who is looking for a report that will take her hours to put together.
Polly looks at the clock wishing that it was 5 o’clock. To avoid the drudgery of getting back to work, she stops by her coworker Sara’s office to ask how her day is going. Sara is excited to show her the new online system that sales & marketing just had implemented – it automates every customer communication and allows sales to see all customer activity from one web portal. The new system replaced three previous disparate programs that both teams were using! Polly looks on with jealousy – that’s what she needs! One system that unifies all of her payroll needs into one place, automates all those tedious, manual tasks and streamlines the entire process…there’s got to be a better way!