Time and Attendance system
Tracking time and attendance is critical for all organizations, no matter its size or the methods used to determine employee pay. Interestingly, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a digital tool – paper registers, time clocks, and Excel-based spreadsheets are some of the legacy models of attendance management. The manual processing of employee time and attendance records—especially for larger facilities with hundreds, if not thousands, of employees—is perhaps the leading time and money waster in office administration.
But with technology evolving at lightning speed and companies looking at large, distributed workforces, the tools to record attendance must keep pace. This has given rise to dedicated software for employee time-tracking, ranging from on-premise software to cloud-based tools with advanced analytics and automated schedule configuring.
Time and attendance systems allow employees to clock in and out electronically via time clocks, internet-connected computers, mobile devices and telephones. Some solutions also offer the ability to punch in and out via text messages, social media programs like Twitter, and other communication programs, such as Slack. When an employee clocks in or out, the data instantly transfers to software that can seamlessly import it into your payroll solution.
These systems do more than just track when employees come and go. They also monitor mobile employees via geolocation and geofencing, manage paid time off (PTO), create employee schedules, provide detailed labor reports, and give real-time data on who is working, who is not, who showed up late and who is nearing overtime. As with many business apps these days, modern time and attendance software systems are provided through the cloud as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.
The Benefits of Time and Attendance Systems
- Money Saving: Although these systems do require an initial investment, they provide a quick return and are much cheaper to keep up than your more traditional timekeeping systems. From employees cheating on their punch times to payroll clerks processing time cards with a substantial rate of human error, traditional payroll processing is rife with costs. Switching to an automated time and attendance system eliminates bogus punch times, decreases labor costs, reduces time spent on processing payroll, and eliminates errors. Bottom line—a biometric attendance system saves money by streamlining operations management and enhancing productivity.
- Increased Security: With a biometric device, only people who are physically identified and authenticated will be able to gain access to the area they are trying to enter. The biometric device can also be programmed to restrict access times even if the person is properly physically identified and authenticated. With every variable accounted for, the security of a company’s sensitive locations is enhanced immeasurably.
- Avoid costly payroll errors: Payroll errors can be significant for both employer and employee. Correcting payroll errors is commonly cited as a time-consuming task for HR managers. By utilising the automation that comes with a modern time and attendance system, human errors have less opportunity to slip in so you’ll spend less time identifying and correcting payroll errors. The system integrates seamlessly with payroll systems, so that you’ll have a more accurate picture of your overall costs.
- Eliminates time fraud: While an old-style clocking in card could be filled in and punched by just about anyone, a modern system requires that a specific worker be there to present a thumb or fingerprint, authenticating the record with their unique biometrics. Thus, you can be sure that when the system says that a worker was present, they really were!
- Easier Scheduling and Compliance: Time and attendance software makes scheduling easy and painless by managing multiple shift patterns and overlaps, calculating and flagging overtime, and monitoring absence. Time and attendance software can typically be configured for managers to easily make sure that there is compliance with all federal and local regulations regarding overtime, rest days, minor hours worked, and other constraints.
- Can be accessed remotely: Workforces are becoming ever increasingly mobile. Just because you’re out of the office, that shouldn’t mean that you aren’t able to keep up-to-date with your employees. Mobile alerts in the palm of your hand allow you to oversee the entire organisation, wherever you are in the world. This will allow you to act quickly to correct errors, even if you’re out of the office. And the remote functionality of our software isn’t just restricted to employers. Remote workers can also use a web-based clocking system to clock in remotely.
Time and Attendance FAQs
Q: What types of time clocks are compatible with time and attendance systems?
A: Today’s time clocks collect time in several different ways, including via punch cards, magnetic swipe cards, barcodes, PINs, and biometrics such as fingerprints or facial scans.
Q: Is there a difference between a time and attendance system and a biometric system?
A: Any time and attendance system that works with a biometric timeclock is a biometric system. Because nearly every time and attendance solution that works with physical time clocks offers biometric options, there is very little difference between the two. Biometric time clocks are typically used by businesses concerned about buddy punching.
Q: Do you have to use a timeclock with a time and attendance system?
A: No. Some businesses prefer that employees clock in and out only through a computer, mobile app or telephone. Not using a timeclock can cut down on costs, as they can run anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars each.
Q: Are time and attendance systems only good for businesses with hourly employees?
A: While it might seem like time and attendance systems are only necessary for businesses with hourly workers, businesses with salaried employees can reap a number of benefits from them as well. A system that tracks how long employees work on specific projects can help with labor projections. Additionally, businesses with salaried employees may appreciate the PTO management aspects of the system.
Q: How do time and attendance systems work for remote employees?
A: These systems use GPS technology to monitor remote employees via mobile devices. Some systems use geofencing to limit where employees can clock in and out from, while others use geolocation to record exactly where workers are when they punch in and out. The systems can also use geolocation to track employees throughout the day, not just where they start and end their shifts.
Q: How do time and attendance systems integrate with payroll systems?
A: Time and attendance systems integrate with payroll systems by allowing you to transfer your time and attendance data into your payroll program with the press of a button. This cuts down on errors and streamlines the entire payroll process.