How Criterion Improves Labor Allocation for Microsoft Dynamics Users

For most companies, their biggest expense is labor. While pricing a simple job with a small team may be relatively easy, things only get more difficult once you start scaling up. Whether you’re in construction, manufacturing, distribution, or any related sector, labor costing quickly becomes a massive undertaking with a lot of complexity. How do you make sure your projects are profitable when you may have hundreds of employees on a single job at one time?

If you’re using Microsoft Dynamics as your ERP solution, you already know the power of its financial tracking and project management functionality. With the ability to track projects and manage tasks across departments and gain superb insights into the financial dimensions of your business, it’s no wonder Dynamics is a top choice in many industries.

But while Dynamics is built to enable growth on many levels, it’s mainly enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, meaning it isn’t the perfect solution for payroll or other HR-related processes. However, you can enhance the capabilities of MS dynamics by integrating with an HCM solution designed to handle the toughest HR and payroll challenges across industries. Criterion HCM is built with HR professionals in mind, allowing you to achieve better labor allocation, calculate complex payroll automatically, and much more.

What Is Criterion HCM?

Criterion is an HCM built for integration with ERPs and other complex platforms. We provide best-in-class human capital management software with enterprise functionality for a mid-market price. We've built HR, payroll, and talent engagement features into an intuitive interface that’s easily adaptable by HR professionals.

We’ve partnered with Microsoft Dynamics to help you create a more connected, profitable system, with your people at the center of your operations.

Our open API allows for integration with any ERP, and our single-database structure provides seamless connection between all of your data. When you integrate Criterion HCM with MS Dynamics Business Central or MS Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, you achieve continuous, instantaneous data transfer. Criterion’s Payroll and HR modules, combined with Microsoft Dynamics’ finance and operations functionality, allows you to streamline multi-level labor allocation to ensure your projects actually drive revenue for your company.

The Burden of Complex Labor Allocation and Job Costing

With any for-profit organization, labor is a key factor to consider, especially in variable, project-based businesses. To scale your operation and still remain profitable, your team needs to be skilled at multi-level labor cost allocation, tracking time, project costs, labor hours and more against the price your customers pay for each project.

Let’s say you have a construction company with 500 employees, and you’re currently working on 30 different construction projects at once. Now, imagine there are 15 specific jobs within those projects, and each project is in a different state. For each of those projects, you are likely going to be tracking:

  • Regular wage rates
  • Union wage rates/prevailing wage
  • Overtime

These are just the figures related to payroll and labor. You’ll also be tracking material costs, contracting fees, licensing fees, equipment costs, and much more. You might even have more variable rates to account for in payroll, and wage rates per union may change by state or locale. On top of that, you’re calculating taxes and deductions like union dues and healthcare benefits for each worker.

It’s easy to see how this can quickly become a very complex calculation. If you’re tracking all this against the price you quote for each job, you’re no longer looking at a general ledger with a few hundred lines. You’re looking at several thousand lines to analyze and report on each payroll cycle.

This is a significant burden for any financial department to handle. To gain insight into your profitability, you’re going to be combing through a lot of complex financial data on a regular basis. Performing this kind of financial analysis at scale in spreadsheets or similar formats is wildly inefficient. Traditionally, teams need to pull information from multiple sources and create complex formulas only to generate lackluster reports (clean, branded reports take a lot longer to generate). Then, factoring in multiple states, multiple unions, and even multiple countries, and manual processes may as well be impossible. Not only will it be time consuming, labor intensive, and expensive — it will also be prone to error.

For robust analysis and accurate accounting, you need a best-in-class workforce management tool that performs all of these calculations for you and automates your payroll and general ledger matching. Accelerate your time to insight and eliminate duplicate data entry by integrating Dynamics with Criterion HCM.

What Can You Do With the Criterion/Dynamics Integration?

Criterion HCM offers the ability to unify your financial database with your human capital management system of record through a bi-directional integration with seamless API-to-API connection. The integration allows for immediate data sharing, connecting project data, payroll, and financial data into one unified system, ensuring data integrity without versioning issues.

Let's look at what the integration enables you to do:

Sync Projects and Tasks to Criterion for In-Depth Labor Allocation

With Microsoft Dynamics as the system of record for project and task data, you can easily sync that information directly to Criterion. Once the project name and all financial dimensions are synced, Criterion can start tracking labor against those figures automatically in real time.

As employees track time, that information is automatically calculated in your payroll process with all other related factors within an employee’s profile (wage rate, union affiliation, tax liability, location, etc.).

When payroll is processed, that data is tracked against financial data for the project (from Dynamics) to provide workforce insights regarding labor costs. These insights can be shared with your financial team instantly via custom, visual reports, shortening your time to insight. Overall, the integration makes labor allocation faster, easier, and more accurate.

Sync Payroll Journals and Project Journals for Job Cost Analysis

To accurately track labor costs for each payroll cycle, you need to leverage the data in your general ledger. After each cycle, Criterion will submit a journal entry report back to Microsoft Dynamics automatically — with project data factored in. You can then use that data to gain better insight into each project’s profitability. This provides you with more accurate and insightful records without all of the manual effort.

Our reporting functionality can take you even further. With Criterion, you can generate custom reports based on any field in the system, combining and tracking them against each other. You can track equipment costs against the wage rates of the employees on each job. Or, you can track material costs against location data and prevailing wage rates of a certain union. There are virtually no limits to the reports you can create.

We offer you this ultimate granularity because we understand the full complexity of labor costing. But we don’t believe it should be difficult or time consuming to complete. We eliminate these frustrations and connect powerful reports to the rest of your system so you can work seamlessly with your ideal tech stack.

What Else Can Criterion Do For You?

Criterion HCM has three modules designed according to best practices for human resources across the industry. With HR, Payroll, and Talent Engagement capabilities, your organization will be well-equipped to handle any challenge. Each one is entirely configurable to your liking and unified under a single database.

Here are a few of the tasks you can easily accomplish with Criterion:

Calculate Complex Payroll

At Criterion, we specialize in multi-state, multi-union payroll. Our platform has many of the necessary calculations built in already, so you can rest assured your payroll is accurate and on-time. Criterion also helps you easily manage benefits packages, deductions, time off, and more, allowing you to distribute preset packages to new employees with ease. All of this information is automatically factored into payroll without any additional effort on your part.

We also give you access to all of the backend tables, so you can easily customize your automations to your liking and make changes on a dime. With Criterion, employees can track time in the field with self-service time entry features accessible from any device.

Manage and Deploy All HR Data

With Criterion as your HR system of record for employee data, everything else (your ERP data, payroll data, etc.) is connected to what really matters: your people. Criterion is built on a single database and utilizes a pod-style structure. This means that all modules operate on the same database, allowing payroll, union affiliation, location, wage rates, benefits, position data, and much more to remain completely connected in the same system. When you update employee information, the rest of the system accounts for it automatically, truly putting human capital at the center of your operations.

What’s more, our cloud-based solution allows for virtually infinite data storage. As your organization scales and your data grows exponentially, the system grows with you automatically — but you’ll never feel the effects of that growth. Our pod-style data structure continues to expand to handle all of the data your organization needs to function properly.

Streamline Recruitment and Talent Engagement Workflows

A key factor to a more productive and profitable workforce is hiring better employees in the first place. Criterion helps you keep track of hiring, onboarding, and training workflows all in one place. Manage applications and resumes, interviews, and visually move candidates through your custom recruitment process. Seamlessly hire the candidates you like and reject the ones you don’t.

With Criterion HCM, you can build custom training courses, communicate across departments, streamline performance evaluations, and create unique reward systems to engage your employees more effectively.

See the Criterion/Dynamics Integration Live

Labor costs allocation doesn’t have to be difficult. Don’t let redundant, manual processes get in the way of your continued success and growth. Don’t let other clunky HR products get in your way either.

Criterion is a best-in-class HCM solution built to integrate seamlessly with your ERP. We support integrations with Microsoft Dynamics, Acumatica, Unanet, Sage Intacct, Procore, and much more.

We’re not some giant HR tech company that’s just looking for another contract. We’re a team of professionals dedicated to providing great HCM software designed for real people facing real challenges every day. No matter how complex or unique your system is, you can use Criterion to make your payroll, HR, and talent engagement processes more efficient across the board.

To see how Criterion integrates with MS Dynamics Business Central or MS Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, and learn more about how Criterion can help your team, book a demo today.

Gary Anderson
Gary has been a driving force at Criterion since 2016, bringing over twenty years of experience in HCM, HR & Payroll solutions to our executive team. His team continuously works to anticipate & understand the HCM needs of SMBs, helping us to produce solutions to solve key business issues our customers face.
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