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Credit Union Banks on a Modern HR and Payroll Solution

June 22, 2020 Case Study

One of the oldest credit unions in Alabama, Avadian Credit Union, originally named Alabama Telco, started out in the 1930’s serving telephone company employees and their families. Today, they serve 80,000 members and need an HR and payroll software that can keep up with their growing needs.

The Challenge

As Avadian expanded, with members and employees all over Alabama and the surrounding areas, their HR payroll provider couldn’t keep up. The small HR team was bogged down by manual processes and thousands of paper files taking over their offices. Payroll Administrator Brittany Mills explains that they were on one of the earliest versions of their previous payroll provider’s software. “Trying to upgrade our equipment and software was a nightmare,” says Brittany. “We always had issues with the integrations with our Time and Attendance and Payroll. The customer service was awful, it could take weeks to resolve a case. We value good customer service and it is a priority that we provide that for our members, and we were shocked and dismayed we didn’t have the same experience with our previous provider.”

Prior to the change in HR and payroll providers, Avadian was not paperless. Stacks and stacks of documentation for all 250 employees littered the office. The scanning and filing took days. With the previous system, there was a lot of room for human error, requiring manual crosschecks that relied on workload bandwidth and accessibility.

But it wasn’t just the physical paperwork that was overwhelming. In the past, to become part of the Avadian team, a candidate would email their resume to a generic careers email address that went to every member of the HR team. HR Generalist Lindey Lawrence would manually filter through applications. The three-person HR team would print and mail packets with new hire paperwork. Often the packets would be forgotten or incomplete on the first day.

Once all new hire documentation was complete, Lindey would scan, save, file and then key the information into the system. Everything had to be crosschecked, and this was done every three weeks for upwards of 10 new hires at a time. The physical time spent in creating these packets and processing the information, as well as the shipping expense, added up.

The Approach

Change can be difficult, especially for the nearly hundred-year-old company with history and heritage. Brittany was pleasantly surprised to find upon her return from maternity leave that Avadian was shifting payroll providers to Paylocity. With the change, she would make the move to Payroll Administrator. Brittany enthusiastically explains how she had started her career with Avadian part-time as a teenager. She fell in love with the company, and it changed the course of her life, including a shift from a Child Development major in college to obtaining a Finance degree. “Payroll is my dream job, and the culture is the best thing about Avadian,” exclaims Brittany. “It starts at the top; our CEO is very down to earth and makes it known she cares about you. It’s one big family, and that family atmosphere trickles down to our members.”

The positive change in her role was reinforced as they transitioned solutions. “I can’t say enough about the implementation with Paylocity. The client services team is very responsive. There’s always a bit of anxiety when transitioning to something new, but it has been a breeze.”

Shift to Paperless

Little did the team at Avadian know that the shift to paperless would be critical in the months to come. In the wake of a Stay at Home Order during the COVID-19 pandemic, a quick pull of an employee file wouldn’t have been possible with their previous provider. Brittany explained there was a little hesitation and concern about security, but with VPN and all additional security measures taken, she is shocked they didn’t make the switch sooner. It wasn’t just employee files that were stored in file cabinets around the office. Lindey says they save applications for two years. Now, everything is stored right within the Paylocity’s Recruiting module – freeing up entire file cabinets.

Prior to the pandemic, the team had never worked remotely - it just wasn’t feasible. With Paylocity in place, employees can clock in and out from their computers, and all their employee records are saved digitally and securely. Now Brittany can process payroll from anywhere. From legislation updates, to webinars Brittany and Lindey were pleased with the level of support they received during the uncertain time.

“The shift to working remote was hard for us, but it was something we had to do. It wouldn’t have been possible before the switch to Paylocity."

Saving Time and Money with Recruiting and Onboarding

Avadian hired several people during the coronavirus pandemic. Since the move to Paylocity’s Recruiting and Onboarding platforms, applicants can fill out a targeted application, and the system automatically filters out unqualified candidates. After the application is submitted, the system sends a survey that must be completed to move onto phase two in the process. They have integrated with Indeed and other career sites to increase traffic now that the process is much more manageable. “We use the candidate report every single month to see where our applicants are coming from. It is easy to pull and gives us a snapshot of where candidates are coming from. We really like that feature,” Lindey says.

Onboarding and training these employees was also a little different during the pandemic. “The government shutdown was concerning when it came to processing I9s, but Paylocity put us at ease,” says Brittany. Orientation and onboarding are conducted in the corporate office but with restrictions on travel, most of the training is now done virtually. Lindey adds, “Paylocity set us up for success for onboarding, especially while remote. That just wouldn’t have been possible before.”

Processing Payroll with the Push of a Button

It wasn’t just onboarding that was manual and time-consuming. Since the shift to Paylocity’s Time and Labor, Brittany fields fewer questions from employees about Paid Time Off (PTO) and spends considerably less time fixing issues with missed punches for the 180 people that have to clock in and out. Brittany says, “Employees love that they can add notes. If they forgot to clock in, they can make a note right in the system rather than sending an email.” Planning PTO can be a chore for any manager. However, with the Time Off Calendar, people can see a snapshot of the entire department’s time off requests, and it feeds directly into their timecard.

According to Brittany, Paylocity was there for her when she needed it most. During the COVID-19 pandemic, “Paylocity has made it easy for me to manage who is taking advantage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and not have to stress about it when I process payroll.”

“I can't say enough about the implementation with Paylocity. The client services team is very responsive. There's always a bit of anxiety when transitioning to something new, but it has been a breeze.”

Brittany Mills, Payroll Administrator

 

As an HR leader, reporting is a critical part of the role. When Brittany’s CEO started requesting a turnover report, she was able to pull the data with the push of a button. Avadian's previous provider charged extra to run reports. “Paylocity's reporting is amazing,” says Brittany. “It’s pretty simple to follow, and I love that I can preview my report before I actually run it. I’ve only had issues once or twice with creating my own report, and customer service assisted really quickly (because they are the bomb!)”

“The shift to working remote was hard for us, but it was something we had to do. It wouldn't have been possible before the switch to Paylocity.”

Brittany Mills, Payroll Administrator


The Payoff

The shift to a paperless office couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, allowing the team to continue functioning from the safety of their homes when the world mandated it. It enabled everyone to be more efficient, while saving time and money. The seamless interaction from Expense Reporting into Payroll has reduced errors. Now everything is handled digitally and is automatically processed through payroll. Brittany jokes, “I think I am going to eventually turn that file room into my office! So there is a little extra motivation to finish cleaning it out.”

Avadian Credit Union offers their teams commissions and incentives. “I used to have to enter these all by hand every single month,” says Brittany. “Our account manager showed me an easy way to do this. Now I upload my spreadsheet into the Payroll module, and it is the best thing for me! Even with the 401(k), we used to have to go through 50,000 hoops – now Paylocity does it for us. It went from a 30-minute process to a five-minute process.”

Efficiencies surfaced from integrating Recruiting and Onboarding - employee information now automatically feeds into their new employee file. Taking manual work out of the recruiting process allowed the team to spend more time finding quality candidates. This streamlined, single-employee record also saved time when it came to payroll, taking the process from a week to two days! The team can also focus on expanding their own HR and payroll capabilities in training sessions and webinars to become better, more well-rounded employees. But most importantly, Paylocity has helped the employees at Avadian get back to what matters most – serving their members.

“I have Paylocity on speed dial. The first time we had to call, someone answered. We obviously made the right decision. The level of support is incredible.”

Brittany Mills, Payroll Administration

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