App in Review – Deputy
App in Review Deputy
Deputy is a team management tool that has been around in the app marketplace for a while, so you might wonder why I am writing about it now.
For a long time, I shied away from using Deputy, incorrectly believing that it was an expensive solution to the ongoing headache of scheduling staff. It was only after my client and I had battled through spreadsheets and light weight scheduling solutions that we realised we had to bite the bullet and try Deputy– and we were pleasantly surprised.
We were surprised to find that Deputy is much more than just a rostering system. It is also a team communications tool, task manger, and budgeting tool with great management reporting capabilities. The communications tool was a particular win for my client who manages a virtual team spread across a wide geographical area. Messages can be sent via the Deputy app with a push notification alert to the employees’ phone. Messages can be sent to individual employees or teams of employees.
As you would expect, the scheduling component is great – easy to set up, easy to repeat and easy to slot different team members in. The bonus for us was the fact that Deputy is integrated with Xero and prices the cost of shifts according to the hourly rates of the staff allocated. It also links directly with the various employee awards, which automatically update when there has been a change. This is a fantastic budgeting tool which allows business managers to ensure they are working within prescribed cost boundaries and meeting Fair Work requirement. Deputy integrates nicely with many cloud applications, including Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks .
Another nice feature is the ability for the team to clock on and off via their mobile phone, which can record a geographic stamp if needed. For those team members that struggle with punctuality there is a lovely reminder sent to managers when a team member is late – again a great feature for a virtual team.
So lets address my initial concern – the cost.
The subscription can be managed monthly or annually (with a discount) and starts at $2 per user per month. A user is defined as any worker who has a roster published and submits a timesheet. A premium package with additional features such as inbuilt awards, integrated timesheets and additional reporting is available for $4 per user per month (paid annually) or $5 if paid monthly. I would recommend this option . The ability to produce a cost sensitive roster and report on variances will inevitably lead to cost savings so it is well worth including these options in your subscription. For a team of 20 , this was a very manageable monthly cost for my client as the time saved and brain cells replenished far outweighed the monthly subscription.
Is Deputy supported?
From the start I was impressed by the level of support offered by the Deputy team to ensure a smooth onboarding process. We were assisted in the set up of our file (which I had heard rumoured was difficult, but this isn’t true) via a video link. Additional queries that I had were answered via the online chat with a response time of 2 minutes. Ongoing free training sessions and access to a detailed help library has made the transition to Deputy an easy one.
How will it help your business?
Based on my recent experience, my client is finding Deputy to be an invaluable tool to manage their growing team. It has changed what was once a stressfull, disorganised process into an easy, almost fun experience for management and employees. The shared information and improved communication has strengthened the team and improved efficiency. They have also been able to identify areas in the roster which were not financially optimal and make necessary improvements. With less brain space devoted to shuffling around staff schedules, my client has more time for productive, strategic thinking which ultimately will push their business forward.
Is there anything we don’t like?
To be honest not yet, Deputy has been such a relief in many ways that we haven’t found any negatives yet. If anything does arise I am confident that it will be only a small inconvenience as we are very happy with the application of Deputy so far.
Overall we highly recommend Deputy to any business struggling with staff rostering and budgeting.
If you would like advice or assistance in choosing an app that suits your business call Balanced Advantage on 1800 883 439 and ask about our App Advisory Service. Take your accounting processes from average to amazing.