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3 Reasons to Ditch Manual Processes (and Use the HR Technology You’ve Already Paid For)

In the fight for competitive advantage in this digital age, businesses must race to embrace cutting-edge technologies. However, those businesses do not always stop to consider if the technology they have purchased includes process automation — a critical component for the tech to be scalable with the growth of an organization.

Sierra-Cedar recently conducted a survey of more than 1,200 organizations and found that almost 50% have not fully adopted the HR technology they already had purchased. Instead, employers rely on manual processes to perform daily tasks and generate analytics. Though seemingly harmless, not using, or partially utilizing, HR technology can pose a serious threat and hinder organizational growth. In light of this information, what do manual processes actually cost businesses?

1. Unnecessary Exposure to Compliance Violations

There’s no denying it – relying on outdated processes is dangerous for any organization. Among the top risk factors are exposure to human errors, such as incomplete or inaccurate paperwork, loss of documents and the inability to audit completed forms. Additionally, in the worst-case scenario, lack of adoption can cost businesses in terms of fines and penalties associated with noncompliance.

For example, take into consideration I-9 violations, which can cost anywhere from $216 to $2,156 per employee, depending on the offense and severity. The seriousness of such consequences was made evident in 2015, when a design and event production company was fined $605,250 for incorrectly completing the Form I-9. An automated HR system can help organize and reduce costly oversights. Moral of the story? Through automation, businesses can reduce exposure, making the difference between compliance and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

2. Inaccurate Reporting

Not only can manual processes significantly increase the risk of compliance exposure, it also can increase the risk of erroneous information. In other words, once data-entry tasks are complete, who’s to say the information is even accurate? According to Forbes, roughly 88% of spreadsheets contain mistakes, with the majority due to human error. Of course, inaccuracies can be corrected if caught, but that only amounts to more lost time (and pay).

Plus, errors add up over time. In recent years, incorrect, inconsistent or redundant data has cost the U.S. economy over $3 trillion, attests the Microservices Expo Journal. Given the aforementioned findings, it’s easy to conclude most of the loss could have been prevented had establishments updated antiquated processes and launched full-force into the 21st century.

3. Poor ROI on Technology

Finally, it’s no secret companies of all sizes are spending a record amount of money on technology each year. Yet, how many are actually profiting from a return on investment (ROI)? The results may shock you. According to, of the nearly $600 billion invested in digital ventures, almost two-thirds – or $400 billion – failed to produce the expected ROI.

While there are many reasons for low adoption rates – lack of training, disinterest or distrust, and familiarity, to name a few – one thing is certain: Failure to use purchased HR products is an unnecessary waste. However, by formulating a plan of early adoption, organizations can stay ahead of the game, reducing the chances of a poor ROI.

Fully utilizing all-in-one HR and payroll software is critical for businesses to reduce risk, eliminate distractions, get out of the weeds and focus on key objectives that increase capital gain.

For more valuable insights, download our new white paper, “Discover the Cost of Manual Processes” or check out the on-demand webinar of the same name.