Should Your Employee Management Software Be Fully Integrated?

Attendance Tracking System Integration

Integration of employee systems is an age-old debate. Should your Attendance Tracking system be integrated with your HRIS and payroll? Should you buy your Time and Attendance, HRIS and Payroll systems only from one vendor? Should you buy all your employee management software systems from one vendor only and in one integrated system or can you buy them as you see fit and match them up together? There are many schools of thought on this and after twenty years of experience in dealing with this I have my own opinion.

First of all, there are definitely benefits to buying your time and attendance system and all your employee management systems from one vendor only. Purchasing this way gives you an integrated system and you never have to move employee data from one system to the other. All the data is in one system. You can also pull information from any area of the employee information including time and attendance, HRIS, payroll or applicant u a tracking.

Employee Management Software from a Single Vendor

Purchasing your employee attendance tracking system from a single vendor with all the other employee management software components in the same integrated system also gives you a single provider who will have to answer to any and all of the issues that come along. The single vendor is responsible for as many of the areas of the software as you purchase and cannot put the blame on anyone else if something goes wrong. This can really give you some power in getting issues resolved and save you a lot of headaches when things go wrong. Also the crossover in training from your time attendance software into payroll and HRIS can give you solutions that have the same look and feel and reduce your staff training time and increase their ability to move from one area to the next within the same interface and user experience in each area.

What I have found interesting through my years of dealing with this subject is that some single solution vendor’s products bear true to these statements of single data source and others are not quite so true. More interesting is how many single solution vendors are not actually selling database single solutions. These vendors have purchased companies in areas that they originally did not have and then rebranded the products under their own brand. What they haven’t done is unify the data sources in many cases. The systems will transfer the overlap data between the various systems in the background so that it appears to the end user that the time and attendance, HRIS and payroll systems all share one integrated, single database solution when in fact they don’t. If you read the literature from these vendors it can often be difficult to determine that the employee attendance system is not integrated. I personally have a problem with this and enjoy pointing it out to clients when the situation arises.

Time and Attendance Software

So why not always buy only time and attendance software that is part of an integrated solution? The alternative is that you find the products that you like in each of the employee management software areas and then have the vendors work with each other. Many vendors already have partner arrangements with complimentary products so their working relationship and interfaces are already in place.

This type of purchasing, where you find each piece or combination pieces of software individually, is known as “Best of Breed”. You buy what you consider to be the “Best of Breed” in each area and you get what you see as the strongest product in each area. You then connect all the products together with interfaces.

The end result of Best of Breed systems depends on two things. 1) The quality of the interfaces and 2) the people involved in setting up and running the interfaces. It’s quite simple. If the interfaces are good and the people are good, then the Best of Breed method works fine and, in my opinion, is a better solution because the products will be better. However, if the interfaces are not so good, or the people setting them up or running them are not so competent, then the Best of Breed solution can be, well, not be such a good solution.

Employee Management Software Integration Conclusion

I think that there is no definitive answer as to which method is better. Each case, integrated or Best of Breed, both have their pros and cons and each client case is different. You have to look at each client situation individually to know which is the right solution.

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Pingraphy – A Great Social Media Scheduling Tool

If your a social media manager, you know how frustrating it is to have to manually post to Pinterest. Pinterest is one of the largest growing networks online. If you’re wanting to grow your business, you better be using it. I am going to share with you a tool I just recently found to do just that. It will not only make it easier to market Pinterest, but save you tons of time to do what you do best: your service.

Like I said earlier, as a social media manager, Pinterest is one of the top social media networks people are hiring for to manage. But, Pinterest is not an easy platform to manage if your client wants to pin 6 times a day. Each time you want to pin you have to go to do it manually and people just don’t have the time to take every three hours to pin. Now there is a site that does just that. Its called Pingraphy.

Pingraphy is a managing tool for all your Pinterest needs. If your familiar with hootsuite, you know how much time you save out of your day by having everything scheduled. The downfall of hootsuite is you can not link it to Pinterest.

Pingraphy does what hootsuite does but with your pins. Pingraphy will schedule all your pins for the day, week or how every you like, so your not having to hassle with setting up an alarm on your phone every couple of hours to pin to Pinterest. No one has time for this especially because you have to be on a computer to get the best results.

Besides, what if your enjoying some downtime and your reading through articles, and you want to remember to pin it. You don’t want to forget which article you wanted to post so what easier way to schedule for later and forget about it.That’s what Pingraphy does for you. When you are reading an article you can just click the pingraphy bookmark (they provide a link to add to your bookmark) and schedule it for a later time.

This allows you to go about with what your doing and not be spamming everyone’s newsfeed because your pinning every 2 minutes. No one enjoys when your posting everything at once. Spread it out.

Another great thing about Pingraphy is that you can track your pins. For example, you can see how many repins you got from each specific pin. You can also see how many likes and comments each pin gets. This let’s you know what your audience is more interested in, and you can determine what pins to use. And vise versa, you can see what pins did not do so well and be know what not to talk about.

All in all I would definitely recommend this to anyone, who wants to study how their audience or their clients audience reacts to the content.

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Three Ideas for Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Your taxes have just been filed and now it’s time for spring cleaning – clearing out the dirt and clutter in your homes and work space to allow for a chore-free summer. Why not also use this opportunity to “clean” up your finances? With a little annual clean-up and our three ideas, you can keep your current financial situation well-organized, streamlined and up-to-date.

Clear the document clutter

We are all human and sometimes accumulate piles of important documents and statements. Now is the time to look through your financial documents and consider which to keep and which to discard. Keep recurring documents, such as investment and bank statements, property and casualty insurance renewals or social security and retirement statements, for one year. You need only keep household bills and credit card statements until you have a record that the bill was paid (unless you need these statements as evidence for tax filing or proof of purchase). Shred all outdated and unnecessary statements.

Try organizing your saved documents into a folder with the newest date on top. This way, if you go looking for a specific document, you won’t shuffle through a year’s worth of back up. Maybe, you prefer storing everything digitally. If so, consider naming folders starting with the year, followed by the two-digit month and ending with the name of the institution or document. This keeps the files sorted in an easy, chronological order. Remember, all electronic files should be backed up regularly, whether stored locally or in the cloud. These days, there are plenty of that will sync your devices and securely back up your storage.

When you pare down and keep only what is necessary – for tax purposes and tracking financial records – you’ll have less clutter and a better understanding of what is in your possession.

Consolidate retirement accounts

How many retirement accounts have you accumulated? Throughout your career, you may have switched employers and acquired multiple retirement accounts. You’re not alone: Many people have aging 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement accounts of convenience. Talk about financial clutter! Now is a great time to consolidate these. IRAs, SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs can all be consolidated into a single IRA. (Roth IRAs can only combine with other Roth IRAs.) Old 401(k)s can also be rolled into your IRA. When distributing an old 401(k) into your IRA, be sure to review the investment options and expenses in the 401(k) as compared to what is available in your IRA. Combining multiple accounts, may save you fees and most certainly will save you paperwork. Most importantly, you and your advisor can more easily and strategically invest your retirement account for today and the future. When it comes time to take withdrawals, calculations and taxes will be much easier as well.

Update your critical information

Finally, as you begin to clear the financial clutter, you may have various accounts and people who have changed since the last time you organized. That’s why this is a great time to record all your critical information in one central location. We like to call this your critical records organizer. If you already have your information in one organizer, maybe your information is outdated or professionals have changed. Use this spring cleaning time to review the information and make updates. If you have never organized your important information, you should include all your current account numbers, access information and professional contacts. You might like to keep this information in hard copy or choose a mobile app (such as 1Password) or cloud-based document service (such as Dropbox). Creating a central location of this information is not only useful for you each year, it might become critical for your family. You might have account information and professionals in your life that you interact with, but the rest of your family may not know how to contact. Once you update and organize your critical information, remember to let the important people in your family know where they can find this information for the future.

Spring cleaning your finances doesn’t have to be an exhausting process. By keeping important account statements in one place, tossing recurring documents, and shredding unnecessary or outdated personal paperwork, you can clear the document clutter in your life. Consolidating multiple accounts that have lingered over time, will bring you fresh confidence and control over your nest egg, and updating your information in a central location keeps you protected for the future.

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An Overview of Game Design Careers

Game design careers are some of the hottest careers available right now. Many young people grow up playing video games-on their computers, with friends, in arcades, on cell phones-and dream of sharing their own interactive gaming creations with the world. And just imagine how fun it would be to sit around all day and dream up new kinds of games, and to create photorealistic 3D worlds in which people can immerse themselves and go on adventures.

The number of video games sold in 2008 was FOUR TIMES the number sold in 1996. And the number of video game platforms keeps rising as well. Video games reach audiences of young people as well as adults; in fact, the average age of a gamer is thirty-five, much older than the teenagers that video games are often associated with. Some studies have even indicated that as many as twenty-five percent of all gamers are fifty years old or older.

So how can you cash in on these trends and make a lot of money as a video game designer? First, it’s probably a good idea to move to, or within commuting distance of, a large city, as the largest video game design companies tend to be in urban areas, especially in New York and California. You’ll also want to get as much training as you can before you embark upon your career. There are several colleges and universities that offer majors in video game design, and the number is likely to increase by a lot in coming years, given how strong the demand for these degrees is. You don’t have to have a degree in video game design to work in the industry, however. You do have to have sharp technical skills, and a real eye for design and animation. When you go searching for that first job, you can apply to large companies or to small firms (or you might want to send resumes out wherever you can). Large companies might offer better salaries and more benefits, but some of the most exciting work out there is being done at small start-ups, where video gaming wizards are trying to conquer the world with their exciting ideas. You might find the work environment at a start-up to be more to your liking as well-you might be able to dress casually and set your own hours, for example.

Maybe the best idea is to take a job wherever you can and create the best work you’re capable of every day. Once you have experience and some credits under your belt, you’ll have a portfolio that could win you a job at the company of your choice. Keep in mind, too, that you might have to start out in a position like “quality tester”-where you just play games to make sure they work correctly-before you can get hired for such prestigious positions as animator, programmer, or even producer.

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