Why Use Time and Attendance Software?
Documentation is key to wage and hour compliance. Simplify time tracking by automatically calculating hours worked as well as vacation time, holidays, sick days and overtime. There was a time, not so long ago, when time sheets were filled in manually. Spreadsheets were the next development, but today, managers can choose among a variety of software options that can solve a variety of problems.
Time and attendance software digitizes the process of tracking when employees start and end shifts. Many systems incorporate mobile apps and remote clock-in options that are especially useful if some or all of your workforce is remote. By centralizing time and attendance data, you can analyze labor metrics, minimizing employee attendance-related payroll errors.
You should look for systems that accommodate changes in labor rates and incentive pay. If you can, allow your employees to try out a platform and give you feedback before you buy it. They'll be more likely to use the system if they have experience with it and can use it easily. Ask vendors to estimate savings generated so you can weigh the costs of software to find the best option.
Different systems offer different solutions. Some popular systems:
- Offer a variety of methods for clocking in and out. These systems can use either time clocks or web devices such as phones and tablets and give employees self-service portals.
- Automate scheduling. These systems can either use the same schedules from one week to the next or accommodate last-minute switches.
- Safeguard against employee time theft. "Buddy punching" and other ways of beating the system cost money. If an employee shaves off five minutes a day, five days a week, that's the equivalent of 2.8 days a year assuming an eight-hour workday, which at a rate of $15 an hour would mean $396 a year. Software that integrates card readers, time entry devices and biometrics manages employees' schedules, reducing your risk of employee time theft.
- Assist HR and accounting teams. Software can limit the amount of overtime you pay, automate accruals for paid time off and benefits, and track and modify employee rates as needed during pay periods.
- Improve communication with employees about their time and attendance to reduce misunderstandings and increase transparency. Make budgeting and job cost calculations simpler and more effective since time and attendance are more predictable. Match staff members' areas of expertise with the departments and shifts that benefit, reducing wasted time and thus improving efficiency.
- Simplify compliance with labor laws and company policies. Various programs can help you comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and other work-related laws as well as company rules.
- Improve your reporting capabilities. Reports can help you make projections, keep an eye on performance and oversee punctuality. Some programs can help generate reports from tracked data.
How do you know what's right for you, not only now but also when you grow? Speak with an experienced payroll/HR professional.
Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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