Zenucom began with a question: “Can we automate, simplify and expedite the payroll process in the new era of Industry Awards?”. The result is Trojan, an integrated payroll/rostering/timesheet system hosted in the cloud designed to simplify the payment process, ensure adherence to Government Award obligations, increase awareness of employee contractual guidelines while also providing businesses with previously unattainable access to staff costs.

Our existing payroll system was redesigned from the ground up to become an Award-centric online application. Multiple features were added including an in-house rostering system, Single Touch Payroll (STP), Awards, Allowances, predictive Salary calculations, flexible timesheet contracts and state-specific rules. Several of these are not possible with other systems.

Increasingly businesses struggle to unravel the ever-changing legislation and requirements in their payroll. Intermingling departments such as the ATO, FairWork and the Australian Retail Association (in the case of the General Retail Award) are often unable to answer or agree on questions regarding complex pay scenarios.

Our first objective in developing the Trojan system was to map all the available legislation pertaining to the General Retail Award, into a set of consistent, non-redundant, non-conflicting algorithms. This has allowed for the automation of all calculations related to pay including absentee holiday shifts, termination pay and special tax rates on leave loading while also providing companies with flexibility where permitted.

Trojan provides a high level of visibility to these complex systems where previously unknown variables are presented on screen in full and in advance of pay.

Trojan is the first program in the industry to attempt this level of automation across its payroll and roster platform. It also is unique from its competitors as it specialises in award-based rosters and payroll, while the competitors focus on one of these two areas.

This level of calculation interaction with the internal data has led to analytical insights which other platforms cannot achieve because of the static nature of their platform.

Trojan is able to make assessments of transient, previously unpredictable data (such as employees on rotating shifts) and determine their yearly salaries with a high level of accuracy.

Trojan is of benefit in a large number of situations:

• Businesses engaged in shift-centric operations, predominately in the Retail and Pastoral Industry with further opportunities to diversify into other Awards.

• Small businesses looking to reduce their payroll administrations costs.

• Large businesses struggling to keep track of rosters and complexity in payroll.

• Individuals in rural situations who both pay staff and bill work based upon shifts.

• Farmers with workers in a variety of job types covered by the Pastoral Award.

Trojan began its development with the General Retail Award and is already well into an expansion into the Pastoral Award. Re-engineering Awards into the system is only possible because of the software’s flexible structure. It means that we are able to continue development into entirely new fields while maintaining and updating existing Awards.

Trojan is built using our proprietary Unibase programming language which runs on a Linux server. Unibase behaves like a programmer, interpreting and making decisions on how to find data and use calculations. It is a form of Artificial Intelligence (Knowledge Representation) software which collects information about an application and stores it securely in one place (metadata). This metadata structure means that the program can use information to determine its own plan to deliver the desired results. Unibase is also a Data Modelling language that allows you to describe tables, their relationship and the calculations within them. It works out which rules can be applied, and when they should be. It also determines the optimal traversal path through the database to deliver query results (reports) in the shortest possible time.

More information on Unibase can be found at the Unibase home page.