Success Stories

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NQ Dry Tropics


NQ Dry Tropics is a not-for-profit company in Australia whose key objective is to assist in the sustainable management of natural resources. NQ Dry Tropic’s focus is to help land managers and community to improve how they utilise land and water resources. The main aim is to reduce soil erosion and pesticide and nutrient run-off into the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon, to preserve biodiversity and to promote sustainable natural resource management. 

Mark Murray, Corporate Services Manager of NQ Dry Tropics, has been with the company for over two years and is responsible for the management of the financial, HR and general business functions of the company. NQ Dry Tropics is a high-functioning team of 43 professionals, often working on over 20 different projects with multiple cost centre allocations. “We are in the not-for-profit sector and we need to be transparent about how we acquit the funds that we’ve got,” Mark explains. “One of the reasons that we wanted something like ezLaborManager was to be able to accurately cost our labour to those activities and mostly to assist us with acquitting those funds to the investor which is generally the Australian or state government.”

NQ Dry Tropics
 "With the number of employees we have,  we could not process our payroll in-house for the price that we are paying today at ADP."
Mark Murray,
Corporate Services Manager

What Payroll Solution Was Used Previously?

NQ Dry Tropics migrated to ADP Payline in May this year and then to our ezLaborManager one month later. Previously, the payroll was done internally using a software package and manual Excel timesheets. The main issue with this previous method was job costing. By the time all the different spreadsheets were completed, collated and uploaded one-by-one, it was taking a day and a half to process the pays. “It was just far too labour intensive,” Mark said. “The ADP solution made the job costing much easier to track and is a much faster process to complete.”

Why the Switch to ADP?

NQ Dry Tropics underwent a rigorous process when evaluating their payroll options with three key assessment criteria: 
1. Ability to cost labour directly to jobs and cost centres 
2. A system that would integrate as seamlessly as possible to the general ledger format used 
3. Good value for money (considering the initial and recurring costs associated with the solution)

When it came to making a final decision Mark explains, “we talked to other similar organisations to ADP, but what it came down to was that ADP was the only group that was able to demonstrate to us the proof of concept that they could actually meet those three criteria.”

Implementation Meets Expectations

The Payline implementation was a straightforward process. “We agreed on timeframes from the outset and everything fitted those timeframes. Things just happened on time and we were kept in the loop,” Mark said. The ezLaborManager implementation process was more challenging as NQ Dry Tropic’s requirements were not standard and required some work on ADP’s part to extend the capabilities of ezLaborManager. “But knowing that this was new and the fact that everyone got into it and did what needed doing meant that it always happened in good time and met my expectations.”

ADP Solution - The Benefits

Cost savings – Mark estimates a saving of approximately $2,800 a year “which is about 20 percent of what we were committing to it. We actually got to the point where we needed an extra resource to keep on top of this. So we had a bookkeeper coming in and she was charging us basically a bit more than the cost to use Payline and ezLaborManager, but we were still doing an awful lot of the work.” Overall, the savings in time and costs has streamlined the payroll process and improved productivity for NQ Dry Tropics. 

Time Savings – “We were expecting to see around 117 hours per year out of payroll and payroll-related tasks – that is our estimated time savings,” Mark says. 

Error reduction – Mark explains that the ADP solution has assisted with error reduction. “The way that we accrue leave is that it accrues to the cost centre when it’s worked and it’s taken out of an overhead cost centre when it’s taken. Using ezLaborManager, we are able to set up default cost centres that removed quite a high error rate in this calculation. You also get improved accuracy around leave.” 

Ease of use – “I think most people find it (Payline) easy to use. It means that we don’t have to manually send out payslips. People can go in and have a look at their own payslips online. With ezLaborManager, being able to see leave reports and the like is really handy as well,” Mark says. 

Useful reporting – Mark explains that the reporting “has actually improved our End of Month processes where we allocate our on-costs and so on to our cost centres. It has definitely improved that. It also improves the accuracy of our job costing which in turn allows us to cost future jobs more accurately.” 

Compliance – Mark commented on how Electronic Payment Services (EPS) – one of Payline’s additional options – is used to assist with legislative compliance. “With the new laws that are in place around directors’ liability, they are now responsible if staff don’t get paid their super and tax etc. We still pay our own tax but the super is actually paid through ADP’s EPS service now. I guess that adds a level of comfort to directors that there is someone other than an internal employee that is making sure that happens.” 

Increased employee satisfaction – Mark says that Payline’s Employee Self-Service (ESS) function has been well received by employees. “They can see what leave they have owing to them and so on. They can jump in at any point in time. I think people find it much easier to plan their leave when they know how much they can apply for. They can look at the calendar as they go. The management of leave from a supervisor’s and staff’s point of view is something that has gone down very well.” “ESS also helps us with keeping our employee details current. That was previously a job where someone would need to proactively contact people once a year or so, to ask ‘have you changed your address?’ and so on. Now people can look after those details themselves.”

ADP Client support – “Everything with Payline is really prompt. We usually start checking the timesheets that have been completed and authorised on Monday afternoon. That takes about an hour and then we pull it all together and it’s really a matter of minutes generally after we submit our initial reports through to being able to process the payment run. So it’s highly efficient,” Mark says.

ADP Provides Great Value for Money

Mark considers the combination of Payline and ezLaborManager great value for money. “With the number of employees we have, we could not process our payroll in-house for the price that we are paying today with ADP.”


“I have actually arranged for an ADP representative to come and talk to my colleagues because I think ADP has a really good product,” Mark says. Mark’s main reasons for recommending Payline and ezLaborManager include, “being able to accurately do your cost centre job costing and labour allocation, it’s very good value for money, and the detail of the reports – you can do a lot with those. We upload them into our accounting system and do a number of our End of Month processes that otherwise would have taken us half a day every month. We are in the not-for-profit sector and we need to be transparent about how we acquit the funds that we’ve got. ezLaborManager allows us to do that with a high economic level of accuracy.”

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