When you think of software support you generally think about getting help from the developer when you need it. Your concerns would probably be how reliable the “support” is, how fast the response time, and how knowledgeable and helpful the support technicians are, etc.
But great software support is significantly reflected in the developer’s practice of ongoing, pro-active updating in response to changing situations.
A very recent and critical example of this was when the President issued an Executive Order that all U.S. employees could have their 6.2% of Social Security payroll tax deferred until after January, when it would then be due (Order does not say when), unless Congress acted otherwise. The order was signed on August 8th and to be reflected in pay checks beginning September 1st!
Because our staffing software’s payroll module includes all changes necessary to comply with state and federal requirements, we immediately responded by:
- Consulting with our own tax consultants on how best to enable the order.
- Developing the programming changes necessary to implement the order.
- Training our own support staff in the new changes so they would be ready to help our clients to implement.
- Notified all clients of the changes on August 19th and 20th
- Scheduled a training Webinar for clients to implement the order for August 22.
Note: There is still confusion about some elements of this Executive Order. See blog article on these by Bridgeware Systems President, Brian J. McMahon titled “A Staffing Software Developer’s Thoughts on the Optional Deferral of Employee Social Security Tax”
This past March (2020) both houses of the Congress approved, and the President signed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” or FFCRA. It was approved on March 18th and was to be effective April 1. (note the timeframe between approval and implementation!). The law required employers to provide paid leave time for certain categories of employee situations related to the Coronavirus.
Since the category of the employee’s situation (6 categories) and the amount and duration of the paid leave benefits varied, depending on the category, everything needed to be tracked. These necessities were not only to ensure an accurate accounting but to provide accurate reporting and documentation for the government reimbursements via tax credits.
So, again our software development team swung into action to figure it all out, notify our clients, develop an integrated beta and final implementation of an FFCRA “tool”, integrated with our payroll module, trained our support staff in use of the tool, and schedule a formal Webinar training session for our clients for April 10.
(Note: The Federal Regulations for the FFCRA implementation were not available until April 6th)
Another example would be the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I was going to review that little history in terms of the software development required for implementation. It is a wonderful example but even an overview of that developmental history would be so long and complex that any reader would simply move on before getting beyond the first paragraph!
Let us just say the ACA implementation took many months of conversations & consultations with government agencies, staffing association executives, our CPA, and our clients before the actual programing began. It was a more complex process, especially for the staffing industry because of the many part-time employees who were still eligible for coverage depending on the overall number of hours for certain periods of time etc. But we worked it out
Other examples would be E-Verify changes, New Federal Math Packet, modification of new federal reporting forms, and on it goes.
All of these software development projects are done regularly, as changes occur, and there is never an extra charge to our clients. That is why I have referred to them as the “Hidden Gems of Staffing Software Support”. Great software needs great support and we are happy to provide it.
Thanks for listening!