Case Study: Central Michigan University
Central Michigan University Relies on SpinifexIT to Boost the Accuracy and Efficiency of Payroll Reconciliation and Reports
ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Established in 1892, CMU has more than 18,000 students on its Mount Pleasant campus and more than 9,000 enrolled online and at more than 30 locations across North America. Approximately 20 percent of CMU’s main campus students supplement their on-campus classes with online courses.
Among just five percent of U.S. universities in the highest two Carnegie research classifications, CMU offers approximately 300 academic programs at the undergraduate, master’s, specialist and doctoral levels.
Optimise your key US and Canadian year-end Payroll activities
Central Michigan University experienced a complicated process to meet payroll reportings and reconciliation requirements.
Since implementing Easy Balance, we have been able to more easily find discrepancies in tax reporting such as unemployment, uncollected FICA and zero federal withholding. These reports save hours of reconciliation time over our old process.
Asst. Controller/Financial Services
Like most payroll departments, the team at CMU carefully balances and reconciles payroll taxes to comply with federal, state and local regulations and university audit standards. To meet payroll reporting and reconciliation requirements, CMU developed many custom ABAP reports over the years, including an expense distribution process designed to split salaries along with the appropriate percentage of retirement and benefits. “That process was very complicated and did not allow us accurate reporting from SAP without writing custom ABAP programs,” said Kim Wagester, Assistant Controller for Financial Services.
As development resources dwindled, the time spent on manual tasks as well as the effort required to develop, test and
modify custom report code led CMU to seek a more efficient and less expensive way to report on and reconcile their SAP payroll and tax data and results.
CMU turned to SpinifexIT to help its users produce more cost effective payroll & tax reports. The university first implemented Easy Reporter, which enabled users to create and maintain reports that had previously only been possible with costly ABAP development. After a brief training from SpinifexIT’s solutions team, users quickly began creating their own reports across HR, payroll, organizational management, time management and more without development or technical assistance.
In addition to Easy Reporter, CMU acquired SpinifexIT’s Easy Balance solution for payroll & tax reconciliation. Easy Balance’s built-in payroll reports and tools allow CMU’s users to easily spot and analyze differences and exceptions in payroll and tax results that otherwise would cause issues or delays.
Prior to Easy Balance, the CMU payroll team spent quite a bit of time manually monitoring key payroll and tax data for errors. For example, the team monitored FICA exemptions, yet still had to correct undiscovered errors after year-end when deadlines were looming. Easy Balance’s pre-delivered reports allowed the team to be proactive and catch FICA exemption and other key payroll tax data errors throughout the year, saving significant time and stress at yearend.
CMU has also been able to use Easy Balance to assist in the monitoring of uncollected FICA from their employees. This process used to be very cumbersome and difficult to monitor, but Easy Balance’s userfriendly reports reduce manual intervention by only returning results on errors and discrepancies. Running a report to find exceptions and variances is now a simple task that can be done at any time throughout the year, not just at year-end.
The CMU team has seen an immediate impact on their payroll and tax reconciliation processes that will ultimately lead to a much less complicated, less stressful tax reporting. Despite these successes, Wagester admits they have not yet fully realized the potential of Easy Balance. “We anticipate finding many more benefits of Easy Balance going forward”, she added.