Tech and Innovation Logs (Tails)


By: Michael Dickran, Director of Enterprise Sales, Arcoro

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US builders and contractors currently have a huge business opportunity, thanks to federal investments in public projects. Several acts have launched over the last couple of years that will eventually add trillions of dollars into infrastructure, clean energy construction and semiconductor and supply chain projects, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Taking advantage of the billions in funds that are currently trickling down to all 50 states requires an understanding of prevailing wage and other requirements for federal contractors.

What is Prevailing Wage?

Prevailing wage is the amount employees must be paid when working on government-funded projects. It’s a mandate laid out in the Davis Bacon Act or DBA, which was created in 1931 to protect workers from receiving low pay while competing for federally funded construction projects during the Great Depression. The act, as currently amended, requires that any federal contractor who takes on a job over $2,000 on public buildings or public works must pay their workers no less than the prevailing wage and fringe benefits as on similar projects.

The prevailing wage rate is determined by the by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and is dependent on where the work is and what type of work is being done, i.e., specific geographic areas and jobs, like laborers, carpenters, installers and so on.

How Certified Payroll Fits into the Equation

Prevailing wages must be paid on all hours worked on the site of the work and employers must submit weekly certified payroll records. Certified payroll reports provide proof of compliance with DBA. Federal contractors must submit Federal Form WH-347 for certified weekly payrolls on contracts subject to the DBA and make sure each of the form’s fields are filled out correctly, including correct names, addresses, worker classification, hours worked and pay. Current DBA wage rates for each state can be found online by filling in a few fields or providing the wage determination (WD) number. Once the WH-347 form is filled out, submission is certified by signing the compliance statement in the form. It’s important to note it must be an officer of the company or someone that’s able to bind the company into a contract, like a controller, that signs off on the certified payroll report.

If figuring out prevailing wage and certified payroll seems like a lot, it’s because it is. But you don’t have to be an expert on the subject, let HR technology help handle the details.

The Solution: Tracking Accurate Hours

Tracking and logging accurate working hours are the foundation for fulfilling certified payroll requirements. This includes knowing the exact time when each of your employees starts and ends a job that’s funded by government money along with other details like:

  • What jobs your employees performed, i.e., worker classification
  • Where the employee worked
  • Tracking subcontractors
  • Tracking apprentices
  • Signing off on time sheets by having them approved by the employee and supervisor
  • Setting up wage tables for jobs via your payroll software
  • Feeding the information to your payroll system to print certified payroll reports

Accurately tracking worker time, transferring the data to payroll and submitting certified payroll reports can take substantial time without software that’s built for construction. For example, some payroll systems like QuickBooks don’t have pay tables, forcing accounting staff to manually look up prevailing wage amounts.

Payroll time tracking software allows contractors to track and store all worker hours. Unlike paper time sheets or even Excel spreadsheets, the information can’t be altered, fudged or lost. Time tracking software can also follow your workers from job to job. So even if your employees work on both government and privately funded jobsites the same week or same day, the information is logged securely and accurately. The data can then be quickly and easily uploaded for use with your payroll software. Good time tracking software will streamline your certified payroll process by providing all the information you need for certified payroll reports.

How ExakTime Can Be Used for Prevailing Wage Projects

ExakTime is a cloud-based time and attendance solution from Arcoro that gives you the power to manage employees’ time records, job costing information, locations and other field data easily and efficiently. ExakTime’s construction-first solution solves both accuracy and reporting needs of prevailing wage jobs by:

  • Tracking job costs
  • Tracking employee location via GPS and geofencing features
  • Setting up multiple cost codes for multiple employees
  • Following employees from location to location
  • Having an established mapping to more than 100 payroll packages

ExakTime also is configurable for alternative pay as well as job and cost codes for prevailing wage work. You can view all your job sites and limit certain codes, like prevailing wage codes, to specific sites. For example, admins can set up multiple groups, with specific worker classifications under each.

  • Group A (Non-Prevailing Wage): Demolition, drywall, finishing, foundation, framing
  • Group B (Prevailing Wage): PW-Laborer, PW-Flaggers, PW-Drywall Installer, PW-Carpenter

Employees who work both types of job can easily switch between cost codes, ensuring accurate pay and classification. Only employees working on prevailing wage sites get the option to clock in under a prevailing wage job classification, ensuring those who work only on non-prevailing job sites can’t clock in under a higher wage.

ExakTime also offers an at-a-glance dashboard that lets managers see where employees clock in and the cost code assigned, start time, hours, overtime, breaks and total time. Security features, like geofence and FaceFront photo ID, reduce or eliminate buddy punching or padding time sheets.

ExakTime helps reduce the risk for prevailing wage noncompliance. It provides an electronic paper trail that includes employee sign off, data accuracy via proof of chain of command and securely stored and easily accessible documentation in case of audit.

Plus, ExakTime works with top construction payroll providers. Our partners include Sage, Spectrum, Vista, Acumatica and more.

Let ExakTime set you up for success when it comes to complying with the DBA, prevailing wage and submitting certified payroll report. Plus, with our easy onboarding, award-winning features and top-notch support, you can be assured you’re getting a solution that works for your company.

Don’t wait. Contact an ExakTime representative today.