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Cooper Grace Ward Harnesses Workflow and Gains Efficiencies

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers (CGW) is one of the top five law firms in Queensland and was recently named as one of the 10 fastest growing Australasian law firms in the “ALB Fast 10”.

The workforce of this Brisbane-based law firm consists of over 220 full-time, part-time and casual team members working across a variety of legal, finance and administrative roles. CGW runs two fortnightly pays, one each week.

Internally CGW strives to provide high Human Resource (HR) service levels. Through process efficiency and the use of technology this approach maximises workforce potential and minimises the administration burden.

Smiling business woman

Maximising Potential and Minimising Costs

CGW recognised that its outdated HRIS would soon be obsolete and that a contemporary system would be needed to support their firm’s initiatives. In 2006, following in depth research CGW purchased Micropay Meridian and ConnX eHR. Cathy Robson, Payroll Analyst, headed a team of three to manage the implementation and rollout of the systems.

“The previous system was DOS based and more complex to learn. Training new people was time consuming and restricted my ability to take extended leave. The new ConnX system is web based and so much easier to use, more intuitive and so quick to learn”, Ms Robson said.

The rollout of ConnX was handled with care, ensuring any change management issues were addressed prior to project completion. “We managed the rollout one department at a time. Once the first department was completed, the team recognised the potential of the system and I started to receive enquiries from other departments eager to get started”, Ms Robson said.

Saving Time with Workflow

Prior to implementing ConnX, CGW reviewed its manual procedures and was able to harness the workflow capabilities within ConnX. “Workflow has enabled us to eliminate many manual processes and streamline the processes that surround transfers, terminations and new team member requests”, Ms Robson said.

Summary of Time Savings

Leave automation & HR workflows:
4 hours/week
Timesheet automation:
6 hours/week
Payslip delivery:
2 hours/week

Automated Leave Management

Before ConnX was implemented CGW required dedicated time to manage the leave calendar and process leave forms. Team members now input leave requests directly into ConnX and the leave calendar is automatically updated. “We are saving four hours per week on leave management time plus considerable line management time and team time due to automation and self-service. In addition, team members now rarely call to enquire about their leave balances because all the information they need is at their fingertips”, Ms Robson said.

Timesheet Automation

Managing timesheets is also less cumbersome – team members input their hours and their managers approve them. If managers are late with their approvals, a reminder can be sent via ConnX. CGW has utilised the customisation capabilities within ConnX to duplicate the hard-copy timesheet template online which simplified the learning process for the team.

To fast track timesheet processing and approvals, CGW also implemented a timesheet colour-coding system. Team members who are allowed to claim overtime have a red timesheet template and those not permitted overtime have a different coloured timesheet template. “Late timesheets no longer hold up payroll processing. We have been able to shave three hours per week from payroll processing by utilising ConnX for timesheet management”, Ms Robson said.

Pay Advices Online

Team members’ pay advices are no longer printed and hand delivered. This ensures they do not get lost, and it saves time and reduces costs. “I used to spend my afternoon delivering pay advices. Now team members simply receive an email notifying them that pay advices are available in ConnX”, Ms Robson said.

Moving Forward

CGW has been innovative in its implementation of ConnX. The firm now has a system that streamlines processing and their talent management initiatives.

“ConnX is extremely flexible — you are only limited by your imagination in terms of what you can do with it”, Ms Robson said. “When you add them all up, the time savings are significant”.

“It is very difficult putting a dollar value on the total savings as the impact is experienced at all levels across the firm. However the direct cost savings would be in the order of $25,000+ p.a.”
Cathy Robson, Payroll Analyst, Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

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