Case Study

Making Payroll Simpler. Easier. Faster.

How Winneconne Community School District reduces human error and cuts a full day (or more) off the time it takes to run payroll every two weeks.

Winneconne Community School District Hero Image

District Background

In a mostly rural farming community 25 miles southwest of Green Bay, Winneconne Community School District (WCSD) occupies one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. Payroll Administrator Kris Kiesow is one of three employees in the Business office. She does not miss the days of yellow paper timesheets.

“Literally, you were checking line by line,” she says. People made mistakes totaling their time, and getting payroll processed every 2 weeks took the previous payroll administrator the better part of a week. “It would more than likely take her from Monday until Thursday to get the payroll done.”

Adding Time and Attendance to Absence Management

WCSD already used Frontline’s Absence Management, and over the summer of 2020, the district decided to add Time and Attendance, which works hand in hand with Absence Management to ensure leave is accounted for on an employee’s timesheet. Kris began implementing the system right after July 4, working with the payroll manager to set it up in a way that made sense for them. By the time school started again, the system was up and running.

Faster Payroll with Fewer Errors

Now, Kris handles payroll and compared to before, she has cut a full day or two off the time it takes to run payroll each pay period. “When things are going well and it’s not utter craziness or a blue moon or something foolish, typically I can get a payroll done by the time I go home Tuesday afternoon — or for sure by lunchtime on Wednesday.”

Of the approximately 200 people who work in Winneconne Community School District, 145 are salaried, such as teachers, administrators, and assistant principals. The rest are hourly, and district leadership wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to log their time. “We set it up so it automatically populates their time sheet. All they have to do is make changes if they come in early or stay late,” Kris says. The system accounts for absences “Because Absence Management is beautiful, and when they put in an absence, it automatically puts that on their time sheet.”

“Using Time and Attendance has taken all that guesswork out of it, because if they come in early, they add the time to the front of their day and Frontline figures it out. If they leave late, they add the time to the end of their day and Frontline automatically figures it out. There’s no guessing.”

Kris Kiesow
– Frontline & Payroll Administrator

Because of the way the systems work together, Kris oversees both Time and Attendance and Absence Management. “It’s just easier to catch errors and that’s why I don’t mind doing both sides, Absence and Time and Attendance along with payroll, because I know exactly what’s coming up. I know who’s got unpaid time. I know who worked overtime. It’s all right there.”

There is no need for Kris to manually check absences against time worked. “No more paper time sheets, no trying to physically call people to get a sub. And if you have both, they work hand in hand together so well, provided it’s set up correctly. It’s pretty seamless.”

Streamlined Payroll

In the past, employees would sometimes hand in their paper timesheets after the deadline, too late to be included in payroll. Now, it’s all in the system whenever Kris needs it. “The other thing that really helps is there’s no delay as far as, ‘Where’s your time sheet?’ ‘Oh, I left it in my bag in my car. I forgot it at home.’ Nope, there’s no more of that because it’s all online.”

“It’s much simpler for the supervisor as well, because it’s all right there online. They’re all together. They’re all alphabetical. All they have to do is look at each one and click ‘Approve’ or not. So, there’s no lost paper time sheets in their office mail or in the car or the backpack.”

Summer Employees

Every year, WCSD hires a summer crew made up of students, or employees who have 9-month contracts and want to work through the summer. Kris sets each of them up in Time and Attendance and Absence Management. Sometimes summer employees can only work shorter shifts due to their age, or because they’re in summer school and their work schedules can be irregular, so they clock in and out each day in Time and Attendance through a mobile app. “The best part about that is that they can do it in an app on their phone. There’s never a reason for, ‘I can’t get logged into the computer.’ No, as soon as you show them that it’s on their phone, they’re all over it like flies on fly paper. It’s just fantastic,” Kris says.

The system automatically calculates time worked, and Kris doesn’t need to worry about trying to read poor handwriting. “I don’t have to deal with yellow paper time sheets, which is amazing.”

More Time for Other Work

With the time saved by using Time and Attendance and Absence Management and using Frontline Central to handle onboarding and employee records electronically, Kris says that she and her colleagues have been able to turn their attention to more strategic work.

“Oh my gosh. We are doing so much more through Frontline Central, being able to spend more time on HR things, problem solving, troubleshooting, trying to think outside the box, coming up with, ‘Let’s try this.’ Brainstorming different things. What can we try to get more subs? What can we make our people happier? What other programs could we offer our employees so we can keep them?”

That’s the kind of work that will make a difference for employees and students alike.