Employee benefits are an important part of both small and large businesses. Discover how to choose an employee benefits management system.
Providing benefits is a great way to find and retain reliable employees. Many employees base whether or not they accept a job based on what benefits are available. Employees are also more likely to stay at a job where they receive positive benefits. There are a number of benefits you can offer as an employer. Health insurance is considered the most important benefit. It is not uncommon for employees to stick with a company because of the insurance benefits. The type of insurance benefits you provide varies depending on the medical carrier and your personal finances, as well as the number of employees you need to insure. The more insurance benefits you provide, the happier your employees. Including additional insurance, such as dental and vision will make your company seem more prestigious.
Not all benefits are insurance related. Another concern for employees is what retirement options are available. The most common retirement plans for businesses include 401k and 403b accounts. Retirement options make employees feel valued and encourages them to work their way through your company ranks. Offering benefits is great for your business, but it also involves tracking extra financial information. To simplify the process, you can use employee benefits management systems.
What is an Employee Benefits Management System
An employee benefits management system is a specialized software primarily used by HR departments. The software keeps a record of what benefits each employee is eligible for and how much the company is spending to provide these benefits. It also keeps track of when the benefits are used. Some programs focus exclusively on benefits, but most programs also provide other administrative features, such as tracking payroll and employee attendance.
The exact services vary depending on the program, but there are a few common tasks you can expect no matter what employee benefits management program you use. A key feature for many companies is online benefits enrollment. This allows employees to create an account to view and track all their benefit information, such as what health insurance is available and contribution options for retirement plans. It can also track paid sick leave and vacation time without having to contact HR.
On the administrative side, benefits management systems also include options to easily compile and send reports. For example, you can automatically submit Affordable Care Act reports to show your company is providing all the necessary insurance benefits. You can also print out compensation statements to prove employees are using their benefits.
Selecting an Employee Benefits Management System
With so many possible software options, it can be difficult to choose an employee benefits management system. Do not make the mistake of only looking at the cost. While price is an important factor, you ultimately want a system you can easily use. User interface and compatibility with other business software are both important considerations. Software compatibility greatly simplifies tasks for both your HR and financing department. This is important because benefits spending, especially for health insurance, can be costly for your company. You want both departments to be on the same page and understand how much money is going into employee benefits.
Another consideration is whether you use a cloud based service or local software. With a cloud-based program, all of your information is stored online. This means you can login to your account from any device, making remote work much easier. It is also a good way for management to login and view an account without having to request a report from HR. Cloud based software is also managed by an outside provider, which puts less pressure on your tech support team.
Local software is installed directly onto a computer. All the data is stored on your network. This requires more management, but it also means you are not reliant on a third-party. Not only does this cut down on costs, but it provides more control. For example, if the cloud provider temporarily goes down, there is nothing you can do but wait. With a local system, your tech support team can directly address the issue.
Zenefits is a cloud-based employee benefits management system primarily aimed at smaller businesses. It features an easy-to-use interface that includes many other HR programs. Because it is designed for smaller businesses, it has a reasonable price, with several plans available. You can also receive a substantial discount if you use a Zenefits broker. You also receive a generous discount if you pay annual instead of monthly. With both of these discounts, you can cut the total costs by over half. A basic plan, which includes hiring, onboarding and employee documents in addition to benefits tracking is $10 a month, per employee. The most expensive plan is $27 per month and includes additional payroll advisory services and assessment reporting.
PeopleKeep is another cloud-based benefits software designed for smaller businesses. It primarily focuses on tracking healthcare benefits. Because it is a specialized program, it makes tracking healthcare reimbursement much easier than other software. Both you and employees can keep track of records in real time, either from your computer or using the PeopleKeep mobile app. It has a simple UI, with options to customize each employee account. It also has options to easily incorporate multiple policies. There is only a single plan, costing $15 a month per employee as of writing. PeopleKeep also has a one-time $150 setup fee.
ADP is a viable benefits management system for both small and large businesses. It is considered one of the most powerful systems, with detailed tracking options for insurance, retirement and educational benefits. It even includes options for less popular perks, like pet insurance. You can even create custom plans based on your own custom employee reward programs.
You can also purchase ADP Workforce Now, a larger HR program that includes payroll, talent management and attendance benefits. It is compatible with many other business programs, including Xero and QuickBooks. ADP offers custom quotes, based on the number of employees you have and the exact services you want from ADP.
GoCo is an excellent service if you want full customization over your management software. It allows you to craft your own benefits tracking, with options for nearly every benefit imaginable. GoCo is consistently updated to provide integration with other HR and financing software. The company has also been praised for their personalized customer support. GoCo plans start at $5 per employee each month, but this price is likely to change once you start creating your own package.