CUSTOMER STORY: Focus Eye Centre

Deputy has streamlined and automated how we manage time and attendance. It's accurate, easy to use, saves time and reduces administration headaches.

Cara Cross, HR Manager, Focus Eye Centre


For more than 30 years, Focus Eye Centre (formerly the Sydney Eye Specialist Centre) has been dedicated to the diagnosis and effective treatment of eye diseases.

Equipped with the latest technology, and specialist ophthalmologists who are leaders in their field, Focus provides the highest standard of cataract surgery and laser vision correction.

The business operates a day surgery in Kingsford as well as consulting rooms in both Kingsford and Double Bay. Across these two locations the team at Focus Eye Centre sees as many as 400 patients and performs up to 50 eye operations each week.

To provide this level of care, Focus Eye Centre employs a team of 20 administrative and clinical staff, working alongside four specialist doctors and a visiting eye surgeon.



While Focus Eye Centre prides itself on providing patients with the highest standards of treatment and using the latest technology, the company had not focussed on its backend operations in quite the same way.

When Cara Cross, HR Manager at Focus Eye Centre joined the team, much of the time and attendance, and payroll management work was painstaking, cumbersome and highly manual.

“Our office manager had to create rosters for our full-timers using an Excel spreadsheet to make sure they were rostered for their full 76 hours per fortnight,” reflects Cross. “She would also have to manually allocate the right number of hours for each of the part-timers. If anything changed, such as someone was away sick, it would send this schedule into disarray.”

“She would literally have to carry the roster around with her at all times in case she got a call from a staff member to say they couldn’t come in. She’d then have to make so many calls to work out who was available to provide cover. It was not an easy job.”

At the same time, managing the roster was just half of the effort. At the end of each fortnightly pay period, Cross would receive paper timesheets from all the staff, and then would have to confirm the hours worked before the payroll could be processed. “I also had to keep a hard copy of the timesheets on file,” adds Cross. “It was a nightmare.”

Partner Involvement

Wanting a better way to handle these and other administration headaches, Focus Eye Centre sought help from practice management experts, Surgical Partners.

Immediately seeing a better way for Focus Eye Centre to manage its time and attendance administration, Marcus Wilson, Director of Surgical Partners, introduced the specialist eye practice to Deputy.

“It was a no brainer,” says Wilson. “I simply signed the team up for a one month trial of Deputy.

“It’s my job to help surgeries and specialist practices streamline administrative processes to make them more efficient and cut down the reliance on paper-based systems. For Focus Eye Centre, I knew that once they eyeballed Deputy and saw what it could do for them, they would jump at it. This fully automated platform would allow them to entirely replace their time consuming manual systems. It would also give them valuable data to help make their business more efficient.

“In addition, as I was helping the eye specialists to transition their business to the Xero accounting and payroll system, it made perfect sense for them to run a time and attendance system that integrated with this platform. Deputy of course, integrates with Xero out of the box.”

So, Wilson helped Isabel Weir, Office Manager at Focus Eye Centre, set up Deputy and ran the trial for a month.

To implement the new rostering system amongst the staff, Wilson formulated a step-by-step guide to email to staff, while Weir and Cross were able to handle queries that arose. “Nobody needed training as such,” says Cross, “But Marcus was around to help if someone had trouble downloading the app on their phones, and anyone could raise questions or concerns with us.”

The transition from the manual and labour intensive way of doing things, to the streamlined Deputy platform was complete in just 15 days.

Benefits of Deputy

Backend operations at Focus Eye Centre are now much more efficient. Happily, roster-based spreadsheets and paper timesheets are a thing of the past.

The move to Deputy saves the business considerable man hours in administrative work, minimises human error, cuts down the paper chase, and enhances the productivity of office staff.

But it’s not just about back office staff. The front line team at Focus Eye Centre also benefits from Deputy.

“Everything is neat and tidy,” explains Cross.

“In the past, some employees would forget to fill out their time sheets until just before the pay cycle when they couldn’t remember exactly which hours they had worked. This would then mean spending quite a bit of time trying to verify the actual hours worked. Now, all this hassle has gone.

“Each member of staff simply starts and ends their shift on the Deputy Kiosk which automatically records their time worked which is approved by their manager with a click.

“When someone doesn’t sign in when they are supposed to, Isabel gets an alert so that she can check that they’re okay, and make alternative arrangements to fill their shift if required.

“At all times, we can see at a glance that employees have signed in when they should, and have worked the hours they were rostered to work.”

Favourite feature

Cross adds, “Another beautiful thing about the Deputy platform is that our staff members are now more accountable and empowered. For instance, if someone was late for a couple a days, they can login to Deputy, see their shortfall and arrange with their manager to make up that time on another day before the fortnightly pays are processed. This makes everyone’s life a lot smoother and a lot happier!”

Future plans

While Focus Eye Centre is currently making full use of Deputy’s functionality, Wilson sees additional opportunities on the horizon. “The ability to track payroll expense by business activity is a particularly powerful feature of Deputy. As Day Surgeries and Specialist Practices become more sophisticated in their use of cloud applications for activity based costing, Deputy is ready to deliver at the payroll level. Clients such as Focus Eye Centre are beginning to take advantage.”

The Ultimate All-In-One Employee Management Solution


Create fully costed employee schedules in no time. Notify everyone with just one click and seamlessly export to payroll software.

Read More

Easily capture where and when your people work for greater HR compliance, payroll accuracy, and insight into workforce productivity.

Read More

Give your staff an easy way to stay informed, share important messages and contribute to the workplace conversation via their mobile devices.

Read More

Integrate with leading POS systems to optimisise scheduling. Connect with all leading payroll providers to create a truly connect business.

Read More

Create and assign tasks to your staff. You'll even get notified when they're done.

Read More

With applications for Android, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch it's easy to manage your workforce from any location.

Read More

Win $10,000 by telling people about Deputy!