The Cost of Not Using HR Tech? $4.39 Per Data Entry, According to New Ernst & Young Study


Jennifer Kraszewski

| Nov 19, 2018

We often hear HR technology providers tout the time self-service software can save. It makes sense, given that it automates and streamlines laborious manual processes.

A 2016 nationwide study by found that to be absolutely true. The large companies surveyed reported that allowing their employees to complete HR tasks through software saves their HR department an average of seven hours every week. In fact, in roughly half of those organizations, the weekly total rose to 10 hours saved!

Related: Every Second Counts … and Costs: Why Everyone Should Use HR Tech

Therefore, we know that when businesses stick with manual instead of going digital, they lose time. But one question remained: How much money do they lose, too?

The real costs

No one was able to say for certain the cost to complete an HR task or enter data without self-service technology. But now, Ernst & Young (EY), one of the world’s leading professional services organizations, has released its findings on the comprehensive research it conducted to pinpoint such findings. What EY discovered is likely to give your CEO or CFO – or both – a serious case of sticker shock.

EY’s study concluded that, on average, a single HR task or entry of data without self-service functionality takes $4.39 to complete, including labor and other costs (e.g., printing, copying and postage).

Think about it: Across the entire employee life cycle, every time a person at your organization completes an HR task, it costs your employer an average of $4.39.

Add it up

Note that EY’s average is just that: an average, meaning some tasks carry an even higher price tag! For example, without self-service tech, the cost for each instance of data entry is:

  • $9.27 for communicating plan information (including changes and comparisons) for benefits enrollment to employees
  • $8.23 to complete a Form I-9 (including printing)

The I-9 figure is particularly troubling, since the form is required for each new hire. For an organization that is onboarding 200 employees a year, that’s nearly $2,000 wasted annually.

Mind you, that cost doesn’t include the potential risks or fines associated with noncompliance. With 49 pieces of data entry on the I-9, that little form possesses a lot of room for errors when data is manually re-entered or forms are stored physically, posing an even greater risk to your organization.

 3 key areas

Among 41 tasks EY examined across all HR operations, the research data indicated three areas with the most potential for cost savings – all areas in which employees can perform with a full-service, single-database software, independent of other personnel:

Even in areas where employees cannot perform tasks completely on their own – such as performance reviews, expense management or time management – substantial time and money are saved when HR tech with self-service functionality is used.

This tech bypasses the need to re-enter data from paper forms, thereby also bypassing errors that are rife in re-keying.

The bottom line

Based on EY’s findings, two types of organizations have reason to worry:

  • businesses that have yet to purchase self-service software
  • businesses that have purchased it, yet are not fully utilizing it

In either case, a failure to embrace the digital transformation adds needless and hefty labor costs on time-consuming manual tasks – and associated errors – that could be reduced or eliminated with the right HR technology.

About the Author

Jennifer Kraszewski

Jennifer Kraszewski, Paycom’s Vice President of Human Resources, has more than 20 years of HR leadership experience, driving transformative, business-focused human capital strategies in high-growth industries to achieve efficiencies, compliance and employee engagement. Kraszewski holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and an MBA from Oklahoma City University, and is SPHR- and SHRM-SCP-certified.

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