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Teachers first in class with ADP time and attendance app

KinderCare Education, a provider of early childhood education, and Concur, which provides travel and expense software, are among the companies benefitting from HR technologies.

For teachers at KinderCare Education, a time and attendance app on their smartphones has become a valuable, time-saving tool.

About 26,000 employees of KinderCare Education use the ADP Mobile Solutions app on their phones for functions such as viewing pay statements, recording hours worked and requesting paid time off.

Cathy Maloney, senior director of financial operations at the company, based in Portland, Ore., said the ADP mobile app is reliable and "super simple" to use for teachers and other employees. The time and attendance app integrates with ADP eTIME software, she said.

KinderCare, which describes itself as the nation's largest private provider of early childhood education, is part of a growing trend in human capital management. Many companies are moving HR technology to apps, Josh Bersin, founder and principal of Bersin by Deloitte, said. "We think it is going to be a disruptive trend," he said in an interview.

Although many HR software vendors build a mobile version of their products that is delivered via Web servers, they also need to build apps that are as compelling, fun and interesting to use as other mobile apps, he said.

Concur, travel and expense software owned by SAP, is helping lead the boom in the use of mobile expense apps. Deepak Seth, senior director of mobile products for Concur, said people are adopting the Concur mobile app in a huge way. He said about 5.4 million people use the Concur mobile app, a 40% increase since the start of 2014.

Mobile app speeds expense reporting

With their Concur mobile app, business travelers at Vanderbilt University will sometimes submit their expense reports as their plane is taxiing back to the airport terminal.

"They don’t have to worry about it once they get to the office," Sabrina Kronk, travel program manager at Vanderbilt, said.

Kronk said the mobile app was used by 4,477 of 12,297 travelers in 2015. Vanderbilt spent $10.9 million on airfare alone. "The great thing is you don't have to be sitting at your desk to file your expense reports."

Concur users often need to take pictures of receipts and then upload them to Concur. The process is easier than with a laptop because the mobile app and camera are both on the same device. 

"If I have breakfast, I lay my receipt on the counter at the table, take a picture, attach it to the correct expense type and then move on to the next one," Kronk said. A manager can approve expense reports on a mobile app, and employees can also book travel on the app, she added. When employees use the mobile app to file reports more quickly, they can also get reimbursed more swiftly.

Seth said a mobile app provides a much quicker and simpler experience for users than a Web connection with a laptop.

At KinderCare, for example, teachers open the ADP time and attendance app, press an icon and it records their start time automatically, Maloney said. They press the icon again when they leave classrooms for lunch, for example, and they push it to mark the end of their work day, she said. With the app, no one uses a keyboard to type information for checking in and out.

At work locations, teachers also have the option to use dedicated kiosks to clock in and out or access information about their pay. Certain other employees can call a toll-free number to record their time worked.

Increasingly, teachers are using the ADP time and attendance app to bypass the kiosks or telephone call, because the app is quicker and provides real-time information, she said. Teachers and other employees also can use the app to access a calendar to request paid time off, or vacation days. Inside the software, they can see how many vacation days are used and how many are available to them, she added.

Employees also can use the app to view a PDF of their pay statements, including tax and other deductions, Maloney said.

ADP recently redesigned the app, which was launched four years ago and has experienced growth of 235% year over year. About 160,000 companies use the app.

As part of the ADP time and attendance app redesign, employees at KinderCare can set it up to read their fingerprint, if that function is enabled by a smartphone, according to Maloney. Another option allows employees to access the app with a security code.

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