Employer Solutions / HRMS Newsletter – November 2019
Keeping You Up-To-Date With Information About Employer Solutions / HRMS
Disasters Come in All Shapes and Sizes
Each year, employers are confronted with disasters that can interrupt the smooth functions of the HR and payroll department. At Net at Work, we have worked with many of our clients to mitigate disasters large and small, natural and man-made. Here are a few actual situations we worked on. (The details of the employer have been disguised to protect their identity.)
Payroll managers are given an unprecedented level of trust with employee data. They literally hold the ‘keys to the kingdom’ in most organizations. But what happens when that trust is abused?
Our consultants were called into an employer by a new Director of Finance for the organization. He could not make sense of the reports that were being generated by the payroll department and he assumed that the program was the cause. Tax deposits didn’t balance and what was booked to his general ledger after the pay date didn’t match the reports. Something was wrong.
Our consultants began with a deep dive into the system. We promised that we could get to the bottom of the discrepancies. Eventually, we suggested that the client install Alerts and Workflow. The system now sent notifications to the Director of Finance whenever an on-demand check was issued.
A pattern quickly emerged that the payroll manager was coming in on the weekend, issuing an on-demand check to herself and then voiding the check after it was printed. Eventually, the payroll manger was tried and convicted of fraud as a result of our work with the finance department.
Water, Water Everywhere
Not all disasters are man-made, of course. In another instance, our consultants were called in to deal with a flooded computer room. Naturally, the servers were stored in the basement and when a hurricane passed through the area, water flowed into the server room and rendered the equipment useless. This client had to get out their payroll in spite of the disaster.
Our consultants came onsite and reestablished their HRMS system on an office laptop. A backup tape was located and a tape drive was jury-rigged to the laptop. The data was transferred to the laptop and updated. Once a printer was attached, the client was able to get out their payroll without relying on the server network thanks to some creative thinking on our part.
An electrical fire in our client’s facility appeared to have destroyed the entire building and its contents – a total loss of all equipment and backup media (as well as the building itself). The job of recreating the employee records seemed insurmountable as the HR Director surveyed the damage.
However, there was a gleam of hope when firefighters discovered a damaged laptop near the back of the building. As luck would have it, it belonged to the HR Director. Net at Work experts helped him get the hard drive contents transferred to a new workstation. Before the disaster site had been cleared of debris, HR was up and running, making it possible to continue to hire and pay employees.
Computer hackers have no scruples. Not too long ago, Net at Work was contacted by one of our largest non-profit firms. Their servers had been hacked and the victim of ransomware. The IT administrator felt confident that the system could be restored from backups and called Net at Work in to assist in rebuilding the servers. Once new systems were built out, Net at Work was able to reload the software. However, when the backup files were pulled up, it was discovered that they too had been hacked and were useless without paying the ransom.
Eventually, the ransom was paid, and the files were unlocked. However, there were missing new hire records since the hack, lost report formats and a general feeling of discouragement among the HR staff.
Our consultant worked patiently to restore the system, importing new hire data from Excel spreadsheets and restoring Crystal reports from original implementation notes and rough drafts of the reports. Just as importantly, he worked to restore HR department confidence in their HRMS system. Net at Work, IT and HR worked together to ensure they had an offsite copy of their system at all times so that if they were attacked again, they could get their HRMS up quickly.
It there is a common theme in our experiences with our clients, it might be that on-site systems are more vulnerable to disasters, natural or otherwise. Net at Work recognized that vulnerability and invested in a hosting platform for our clients’ systems. Cloud at Work offers a highly secure system with multiple redundancy and 99.999% uptime. The clients who we host know that their data and systems are secured by experts in the field, that server failures are a thing of the past and the system is available from any device, anywhere.
To learn more about how you can host your system on our Cloud at Work network and know that you are protected from disasters, join us for an informative webinar on Thursday, November 21st Cloud at Work: Avoiding Disasters.