Automation in Practice: Catch Billing Mistakes Before They Happen

automation in practice

Payroll or back-office problems require significant time to fix. Plus, they can provide a poor experience to your placed candidates. What if you could ensure you caught mistakes before they became a problem — better yet, with no additional time required for anyone? That’s what this Automation in Practice is all about. Let’s jump in.

Here’s the problem:

Mistakes were mostly discovered after they had become a problem and made their way to payroll. Then, the back-office team would have to urgently fix the problem. Missing or delayed paychecks would provide a poor experience for anyone affected. Then, Bullhorn Automation came along.

Here’s how the client fixed it:

The client created an automation to check all placements for anything abnormal and send a notification to the back-office team if anything came up: for example, end dates from the past, missing pay rates, missing margin or burden, margin or burden that was too low, or incorrect overtime rates. Once the notification was sent, this allowed the appropriate team to quickly rectify the issue.

The result: this client had six mistakes fixed in near real-time in the first two weeks of this automation going live. These mistakes were corrected before they reached payroll processing. The client saved time by not having to deal with these problems later — after they had become problems — and provided a better experience not only for their placed candidates, but also for their internal employees.

Here’s how you can do this yourself:

To make this use case happen, we’re going to create a placement-based automation.

  1. In the top right corner of your Automations page, select Add Automation.
  2. Select Blank Automation.
  3. Select Placement-based.
  4. Under Choose the type of automation, leave the type as Standard. This can be candidate or contact-based. Name your automation and hit Save.
  5. Any of these triggers will be list criteria; that’s the main mechanism operating behind this automation. We’ll come back to this later.
  6. What we’ll do is send a notification, so select Add New Step, then Send Notification. That will send an internal email, so you can route that to whoever the notification needs to go to, whether that’s a team, your back-office, payroll, etc. That notification will go out if anything matches your criteria.
  7. Going back up to Automation Enrollment, we’ll now set the list criteria. Select Create New List.
  8. Under Choose the type of list, select Always Updated.
  9. Usually, you’ll want to use a placement status, so under List Summary, type and select Placement Status Is Approved, Pending, Submitted, or whichever naming convention you use throughout your process, just to show that you have something new that’s happening. Here, we’ll select Approved.

Now, just to walk through a few potential options, you could find placements that have end dates in the past. Under the And section, you would select Placement End Date More than 0 Days Ago. You could even add a Placement Date Added criteria — say, Less Than 7 Days Ago. This would capture placements created in the past seven days that have an end date in the past. This, obviously, is a mistake. Oftentimes, this can happen if you’re copying an old job record or an old placement. If this mistake happens, the automation will then send a notification.

If you do multiple types of placements, you might want to segment by the different employment types. If so, you can add another criterion: And Placement Employment Type Is Contract, Temporary, or whichever placement type on which you’d like to focus.

Other criteria you can focus on is pay rates or overtime rates. If either of those categories is missing, or less than they should be, you can flag that as well. You would just add another criterion: And Placement Pay Rate Less Than and add whichever number you deem appropriate. 

Similarly, you can find anything that’s missing a burden percentage by adding the criterion And Placement Burden % Is or Less Than whichever percentage you like. If you have margin in custom fields in your placement record, you can take the same action there. 

The whole idea is to find those anomalies — those things that are incorrect — notify the appropriate people, and fix them before they become a problem in your payroll processing.

See this Automation in Practice:

Watch the video below to see Billy Davis put this automation into practice:

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