Category Archives: Business

Attendance System for Businesses

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend TSheets as the best time and attendance system for businesses with a mobile workforce. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of time and attendance systems on our best picks page.

Why TSheets?

TSheets offers numerous ways for employees to clock in and out, tracks remote workers’ location throughout the day and is easy to use.

TSheets costs $5 per employee, plus a $20 monthly base charge for businesses with less than 100 employees, or $100 for businesses with more than 100 workers.

Mobile Tracking

What makes TSheets such an attractive system for businesses with employees who always, or sometimes, work outside the office is the variety of ways they can manage their time and attendance. Of all of the services we examined, TSheets offers mobile employees the most options for clocking in and out. With this system, on-the-go employees can use laptops, mobile apps, telephones, text messages or Twitter to record their time each day.

The TSheets mobile app, which is available for both iPhones and Android devices, allows employees to clock in and out, track the time they work on specific projects, view time sheets and see which of their co-workers are also on the clock. Additionally, it lets employees view their schedules, receive notifications when their schedule changes, and create and submit paid time-off requests.

Employees that use the mobile app can have their location tracked throughout the day. Besides logging exactly where employees are when they clock in and out, the mobile app records their specific location every 10 minutes. With this feature, managers can log into the system to get a clear picture of where their remote workers are spending their time each day. This level of detailed tracking of on-the-go workers wasn’t offered by most of the other services we investigated.

The mobile app also has a special feature for those in charge of managing an entire crew while out in the field. With this tool, supervisors can clock an entire group of workers in and out at one time. What’s nice about this tool is that it works even if the smartphone being used is out of a service area. In those instances, the time sheet data is stored offline. When cell service returns, the supervisor can click the “sync” button to immediately send the time card data for the entire crew back to the office.

In addition to the mobile app, employees can log in and out of TSheets via a mobile website that can be accessed by any smartphone, and by texting, tweeting or dialing-in from any telephone.

A Guide for Businesses

imagesLooking for an online payroll service? Here’s everything you need to know about what an online payroll service is, what it offers and how to choose one. If you already know what you’re looking for, visit our best picks page to see which ones we recommend, as well as a complete list of others that might work for you.

Online Payroll

  • Online payroll services operate in the cloud and allow businesses to manage and run payroll from anywhere.
  • They can be used to pay full-time and part-time employees, as well as contract and freelance workers.
  • Online payroll typically includes a variety of services:
    • Payroll processing: Online payroll services automatically calculate how much employees should be paid each pay period. The systems take into account shift differentials, overtime, holiday pay and taxes, as well as Social Security and benefit deductions. They then make payments to employees by direct deposit or check.
    • File and pay payroll taxes: These services can withhold employee taxes, file quarterly payroll tax reports and pay tax withholdings to the proper state and federal agencies. In addition, they issue employee W-2 and 1099 forms at the end of the year.
    • New hire reporting: Many services report new hires to the government on your behalf.
    • Integration: Online payroll services can integrate with a variety of payroll-related programs businesses are already using, such as accounting software, time and attendance systems and human resources software.
    • Paid-time-off management: Many of these services manage paid time off by keeping track of how many vacation and sick hours employees have earned and how much they’ve used.
    • Employee self-service: Typically, employees are provided access to the system in order to view pay stubs, PTO balances and year-end tax forms.
    • Mobile access: Many systems offer mobile apps or mobile-friendly websites that let businesses manage and run payroll from smartphones or tablets.
    • Payroll reports: Most systems offer detailed wage and labor reports that provide a deeper look at how a business operates.

Pros and cons: The biggest benefit of online payroll services is that all of the work — payroll calculations, payroll tax payments, year-end tax forms, etc. — is completed for you. Payroll can typically be run in just several minutes. This saves you a ton of time and effort. One downside is that using an online payroll service is more expensive than handling payroll on your own. Another potential negative is that you are entrusting the payroll provider you choose to get everything right. If the provider makes a mistake, you may face a rash of angry employees or a fine from the government. Also, if you are in an area with spotty internet service, an online payroll provider will likely not be a fit for you.

Ambidextrous Leader Tips

A few pages into Lead and Disrupt: How to Solve the Innovator’s Dilemma (Stanford University Press, 2016), business professors Charles A. O’Reilly III and Michael L. Tushman present two lists of companies. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be too much difference between them. Each features 27 companies, most with familiar names and long histories, such as GM, Siemens, and Lego.

The second list includes some dead companies — such as Circuit City and Bethlehem Steel — and some companies that are shadows of their former selves, such as RadioShack. But the histories of the companies on the first list reveal that many of them have experienced their fair share of hard times, too. For example, the French media conglomerate Vivendi endured a period of turmoil after a series of aggressive acquisitions in the late 1990s.

Nevertheless, O’Reilly, the Frank E. Buck Professor of Management at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and Tushman, the Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, see a clear difference in the success of the companies on the two lists. And they peg leadership as its source.

The companies on the first list, they contend, “had ambidextrous leaders who were able and willing to exploit existing assets and capabilities in mature businesses and, when needed, reconfigure these to develop new strengths.” The companies on the second list were not so lucky. Their leaders, say the authors, “were rigid in one way or another — unable or unwilling to sense new opportunities and to reconfigure the firm’s assets in ways that permitted the company to continue to survive and prosper.”

Putting the support for that contention aside, ambidextrous leadership is a beguiling concept. Maybe RadioShack and Circuit City would still be leading electronics today if, decades ago, their leaders had asked the question that O’Reilly and Tushman say all ambidextrous leaders ask: “How can we both exploit existing assets and capabilities by getting more efficient andprovide for sufficient exploration so that we are not rendered irrelevant by changes in markets and technologies?”

As the book’s subtitle suggests, ambidexterity also might offer a solution toClayton M. Christensen’s innovator’s dilemma, as well as to the challenge of simultaneously addressing the conflicting dictates of exploitation and exploration (pdf) posed by Stanford organizational expert James G. March. Perhaps an incumbent company won’t get caught flat-footed by a new player using a technology that’s barely created a blip in the marketplace if it’s already trying to figure out how to put that technology to work. Further, the ambidextrous incumbent might have an advantaged position with regard to resources. After all, it has a core business that can fund and staff its efforts, while a new player has to scare up external financing/bootstrap its way to scale.

Online Payroll Service

unduhanAfter conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend SurePayroll as the best online payroll service for paying household employees. We chose SurePayroll from a pool of payroll services for household employers, as well as general payroll providers that offer household employer services. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of online payroll services on our best picks page here.

Why SurePayroll?

SurePayroll offers services for all types of household employees, allows unlimited payroll run and provides full tax services. It’s our best pick for a variety of reasons. One is cost. SurePayroll charges a flat monthly fee of $39.99 for up to two household employees. Here’s a detailed breakdown of why we picked it as our winner.

Services and Features

SurePayroll provides everything a household employer needs from a payroll service. The company handles all of the payroll and payroll tax responsibilities.

What makes SurePayroll so appealing is that its services can be used for all household employees, including nannies, elder care givers, home care providers, private nurses, drivers, yard workers and cooks. Some of the other providers we examined had services only for nannies.

With SurePayroll, you can run payroll as often as you want each month and pay household employees with a written check or by direct deposit. Not all of the services we analyzed offered direct deposit for household workers.

The service also handles all payroll tax obligations. This includes calculating and deducting Social Security, Medicare and federal and state unemployment taxes, along with filling out and filing federal, state and local tax forms. In addition, it makes all tax payments for you. The service guarantees that your taxes will be filed and paid correctly and on time. Should an error be made, SurePayroll pays any of the fines or interest fees you incur. Not all of the services we investigated offered this type of guarantee.

SurePayroll also files a quarterly 1040-ES on your behalf, and provides you with a signature-ready Schedule H (Form 1040) that attaches to your annual 1040 filing. These services are all completed automatically, without any extra input from you.

Continuing Education for Digital Leaders

Whether you’re a newly minted MBA or an experienced leader, you’re always honing your skills and navigating change. And technology is one discipline in which you really can’t afford to stagnate. With digital transformation so central to strategy for most companies, all executives — especially CEOs — must embrace a learning mind-set. Gone are the days you can delegate the job of keeping up with technology to the IT staff.

Chief information officers (CIOs), of course, should regularly brief the management team and the board on new developments, demoing exciting new technology, bringing in external speakers and vendors, and using other tactics that promote tech learning and engagement. But keeping up on technology trends is also the responsibility of every executive. And while that can be daunting given the vast tech landscape and seemingly limitless avenues for learning, it’s also incredibly exciting.

So, if your job title doesn’t include the words information, technology, ordigital, how do you stay current? And how do you ensure your organization isn’t falling behind? Consulting digitally literate kids, grandkids, or Millennial staff for help, as many chief executives tell us they do, won’t cut it. Here are three easy ways to begin boosting your digital acumen:

1. Get hands-on with new technology. Firsthand experience is a great way to better understand how your organization can apply technology to improve processes, better engage with customers, or create new lines of business.Personal exploration with emerging technologies not only adds to your knowledge base, it also puts you in the shoes of customers and employees. This forces you to think about the human experience, which is often ignored as companies think primarily about the strategic or technological implications of their digital projects.

So go ahead: Play Pokémon Go with your kids. Download an AI assistant app. Take a VR walk-through of your kitchen remodeling project at the home improvement store. Or tinker with Internet of Things devices for your home like smart locks or automation hubs. What you learn in the process may surprise you.

2. Become a maker or a mentor. Take the hands-on approach one step further by mimicking makers, those intrepid do-it-yourselfers who play, experiment, and build tech-based projects. Attend a local Maker Faire, design a stapler, jar handle, or other household gadget on a 3D printer at your local library, join a makerspace in your community, and get inspired.

Even if you’re not inclined to roll up your sleeves in the workshop, you can still get involved — and get smarter in the process. I recently had the opportunity to serve as a mentor for my son’s high school robotics team. Now, in my role as PwC’s chief technologist, I am immersed in technology innovation on a daily basis and need only pop into our Emerging Technology Lab or visit one of ourExperience Center digital hubs to see the art of the possible. Yet even I learned a lot from the experience of guiding a group of smart and enthusiastic teens as they envisioned, prototyped, tested, and competed with their robots. In particular, I came away with insight into effective innovation practices that all enterprises would do well to emulate.

3. Get schooled online. Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, have grown in popularity. Learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udacity allow people to sample courses from leading universities. Indeed, the art of continuous learning itself may be the most sought-after skill for tomorrow’s workforce as well as the key to solving tomorrow’s problems. Explore the catalog of courses on any of these platforms to find the fields of study you’d like an introduction to, including design thinking, machine learning, and cybersecurity. In fact, at PwC we’re so bullish about the concept, we’ve recently rolled out a data analytics specialization on Coursera that’s available to everyone, not just our own people.

Can’t commit to a MOOC? Become a regular downloader of tech-focused podcasts, such as those produced by 99% Invisible, A16Z, and Freakonomics Radio. And don’t discount the many TED talks, blogs, and newsletters that highlight tech developments, deals, and industry happenings. The trick is to take a disciplined approach, devoting as little as 15 minutes a day to as much as several hours a week.

What about your company’s Digital IQ?

Now that you’ve charted your own personal digital learning path, take a look at what your organization is doing. Has it been successful in raising its collective Digital IQ?