2019 Guide: Choosing a Time and Attendance System

May 7, 2019 - minute read

Choosing a Time and Attendance SystemThere are many important decisions to make when running a business. One that is often overlooked is how to accurately track employee time and attendance. Time tracking systems are important because they directly impact payroll and, thus, the foundation of a business. Through things like managing overtime pay and preventing retro-checks, this function can ultimately make or break the bank.

With an accurate time and attendance system in place, the the frequency of disagreements between management and staff over the number of hours worked, incidents of time theft., and other costly compliance fees are all reduced or eliminated completely.

What are Time and Attendance Systems?

Time and attendance systems allow employees to clock in and clock out of work electronically. This means that employees are able to use internet-connected devices including mobile devices,  computers, time clocks, or other devices to log their hours. These systems are important because employees are able to clock in and clock out electronically, making them almost impossible to manipulate like a paper time sheet or punch card. A few other benefits of an electronic time and attendance system include:

  • Saving time: data being transferred from the time and attendance system into the payroll software automatically
  • Removing discrepancies: employees are able to clock in and out using electronic software and cloud technology, which lowers the risk of data manipulation 
  • Optimized management: data is logged in real-time without any delay, due to cloud-base software
  • Reliability: data can be tracked across multiple sites and locations

Of course, like other software options, there are several types of electronic time and attendance systems to consider. Regardless of which is best for your business, each is tailored to address your industry-specific struggles. 

The Different Types of Time Clock Systems

There are several types of time clock systems. All of them have their benefits that should be considered appropriately. These include:

The Biometric Time Clock: A biometric time clock is equipped with fingerprint and/or facial recognition systems. These are some of the most accurate time clocks on the market because they prevent time theft. Furthermore, the systems works in tandem with the cloud to store data accurately.

The Mobile Time Clock: The mobile time clock works with GPS systems and cameras to make smartphones and tablets into time clocks. This is an affordable option for managing time and attendance with any workforce. Using geo-fencing and geo-tracking, youare able to ensure that their workers are exactly where they need to be. Plus with facial recognition through the phones camera as well to make sure you know exactly who is clocking in.

The Telephone Time Clock: Employees are able to use telephone time tracking to log their hours. This is a simple way to track employee time. Using any landline, workers are able to call a toll-free line and follow a simple set of prompts to clock in and out.

The Web Time Clock: Online time tracking is easy for employees who use a computer on a daily basis. All that is needed to record hours is an internet connection. The app collects live time and attendance information which is then stored in a management system and accessible at any time. This online time clock is easy to get set up.

Why Managers Need a Time and Attendance System

There are several reasons why managers need to have an accurate time and attendance system. These include:

  • Monitoring employee hours
  • Controlling the costs of labor
  • Making decisions about adding personnel
  • Forecasting the cost of labor

Time and attendance systems are critical for the budget of any business. Accurate data should be used to make these decisions and not simple time cards. This is where an advanced, accurate, and electronic time and attendance system is key.

Understanding the Cost of a Time and Attendance System

There are several factors that will determine the cost of a time and attendance system. These include:

  • Will the solution be cloud-based or on premises?
    Cloud based solutions have smaller costs but recur on a monthly basis. On-premise options have a larger fee upfront but do not have monthly fees.
  • What are the installation costs involved?
    Depending on the type of time and attendance system chosen, there may be integration or installation fees involved.
  • Does the system need to be upgraded?
    On-premise or physical time and attendance systems may require physical upgrades in the future. It’s important to understand how often units may need to be replaced.
  • How many employees will be using the system?
    Most time and attendance systems base fees on the number of employees using a system at a given time.

Think about these factors when budgeting for a time and attendance system.

What to Look for in a Time and Attendance System

Businesses should think about the following factors when trying to make a decision. These include:

  • Does the system offer flexible time-tracking options?
  • Is it mobile-device compatible?
  • Can it track time issues and report information accurately?
  • Can it alert managers about discrepancies and compliance issues with hours and wages?
  • Is it easy to install and use?
  • Does it integrate with existing company software easily?
  • Can it track overtime?
  • Is it self-service for employees?

Thinking about these factors will help making the right decisions regarding a time and attendance system.

Choosing a Time and Attendance System for Your Industry

Various industries may find different time and attendance systems helpful for them based on their particular nature of work. For example:

  • Manufacturing companies tend to have a large number of hourly employees on multiple shifts and require an advanced time and attendance system to handle the data volume
  • Construction companies might have remote locations that would benefit from a cloud-based solution that can track employees going from work site to work site, the hardy time clocks that wouldn't get damaged
  • Business service contractors often have remote locations or mobile workers that are difficult to track using physical timecards, along with tight margins and budgets to manage
  • Staffing agencies have employees across multiple locations with clients needing verification and/or approval of time sheets quickly from an easily accessible portal
  • Federal and local government agencies need accurate time and attendance data to stay within strict budget that still meet FedRAMP certifications to keep up with government technology initiatives
Every industry can benefit from implementing an electronic time and attendance system. 

There are numerous benefits to using an electronic time and attendance system including reduced time spent tracking employee hours, integration of multiple locations, eliminating physical timecards, and reducing time fraud. For this reason, it is critical for companies to choose the right time and attendance system for their needs.

Take a demo to see how EPAY can ease the burdens of time tracking by implementing a modern, electronic, reliable time and attendance system today.

Filed Under: Time Tracking