Re: Utter insanity
It's over 20 years ago now, but when I ran a technical business for someone else in Australia we outsourced our payroll. There was a wide range of jobs including scientists, engineers, technicians, sales and clerical support, and management. Many of the staff worked shifts at different rates, and different times. The staff were responsible for filling in their own timesheet (5mins?), the line manager checked it (1 min?) and the timesheet were picked up by an outsourced contractor who charged us $3 per person per week to process them, print the payslips and deliver them, transfer the money to the employees' bank accounts, and do the taxes and superannuation etc.
The average pay for an employee was about $30,000 p.a. so our total costs were <$40,000 for each person. The manager would have been on $45,000 so our manager's cost would be ~$55,000. We were up for a cost of <$40,000/52 x (5/40 x60) or about $1.60 for an average employee per week of their time (Generally as staff knew that they would not get their overtime pay next week if they did not submit their timesheet, they were pretty good at ensuring their timesheet were filled in by Thursday night). The manager's time for each of 20 employees would have cost <$0.50 so - In total ~$5.00 per employee per week.
As this was >20 years ago, allowing for inflation that would be ~$9 today - Most of the calculations would have been done on a 10 user Pick computer, so in real terms the $3 charged by the contractor would probably be less today.
If QLD was able to do what we did; they would be up for, at most, $5 per employee per week for the "computer based" stuff. Anyway 74,000 employees at $5 per week is less than $20 million a year. Using manual data input and obsolete technology, to get to $1 billion we are looking at a project life of 50 years. If we did a discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis and assumed an investment rate of 3% the same $1 billion would generate an additional $3.4 billion over 50 years.
So in conclusion, employ a few more people with spreadsheets.