Time Tracking and Time and Attendance Systems are used by companies of all sizes all over the world to monitor the working hours of their employees for job costing or workforce management. This type of software can be used for a number of different tasks, from reducing federal compliance risk with labor laws to reducing extended lunches or perpetually late employees. By automating the process of using a time clock to check in and out of the office, time and attendance packages offer an array of services to help accurately streamline the process.
There are several types of packages available depending on the size of the employee base and the needs of a company. Specific packages can be purchased for up to a certain number of employees, say up to 100 or 500 employees, and degree of security. Most packages require employees to use ID cards or proximity cards, which only need to be waved near the reader to check in and out of the office.
Basic Time Tracking Systems
Basic time and attendance systems provide routine time tracking and schedule management, and most include setting break times, holidays, and allowable overtime hours. With most systems, it is also possible to track tardiness and patterns of absenteeism, which can be great information to have access to as a manager when the annual review times come around.
Some systems also include basic accounting, auditing and reporting tools, giving managers easy access to employee data and the applications to audit it for accuracy. With the integration into the payroll and accounting systems, a company’s time sheets can be directly converted into spreadsheets stored in the payroll data system, allowing for a seamless transition between departments. Many software providers align with specific payroll software, like QuickBooks or even spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel. This is very beneficial to the company as a whole, as most errors in calculations occur when data is being entered into and transferred to other software systems between departments. By eliminating this manual transition, a company can rest assured that their employees’ information is being safely stored and transported to the proper areas of the company.
Advanced Time Tracking Systems
There are also more advanced packages that have very high security features built into their interface. Some require each employee to use their fingerprint or hand print to clock in. This may seem like an unnecessary security precaution, but it is aimed to help eliminate “buddy punching” or extended lunch breaks and to ensure that the correct person is checking in and out. This type of software is typically used by large corporations who have hundreds or even thousands of employees working during each shift. When these systems are implemented at a large organization, it is common that many time clocks or punch-in stations will need to be installed at various points throughout the office.
A great feature of many of the more advanced time and attendance tracking systems is that they can monitor time spent working on specific projects. If a manager wants to know exactly how employees are utilizing their time while in the office, this would be a perfect feature. For instance, if a marketing manager was working on several projects at one time, he or she could file 5 hours under “New Product Launches”, 7 hours under “Proposal Development”, 3 hours under “Meetings”, and so on, instead of inputting 40 hours total for the week with no description of what those hours were spent doing. This can help the employees and management monitor who attended meetings, how much a person is contributing to a project, or how many different projects are going on at one time.
Types of Time Tracking Software Systems
Web based and SaaS time and attendance software is beneficial for everyone in an organization because it allows employees and managers to access accounts at any time and from any place with connection to the Internet. This can be especially great for large corporations with multiple office locations around the world. With one online based software provider to organize all schedules of employees throughout a corporation, time and attendance can be monitored on a micro or macro scale, allowing managers and executives to notice any trends occurring on a small or large scale. SaaS time and attendance software also usually comes at a low upfront cost because there is no equipment or physical installation needed. It will also save time and labor on the part of a company’s IT team who would normally be in charge of making sure the system is installed properly and is running at its highest operation. Leaving the software online allows a company to save valuable network storage space, time and labor for installation and maintenance, and lower overall costs.
When time and attendance software is not online-based, the package will need to be installed onto all of the employees’ and managers’ computers throughout the network to ensure that everyone has the ability to access the system. These types of systems are widely available and many of the packages include punch clocks or other attendance hardware to install on site at a place of employment. The software will be available only on network computers, so 24/7 access to a time schedule is not always available. However, many of these install-only software packages come as part of a larger HR software system, encompassing other tools like payroll management, applicant tracking and performance assessments. When time and attendance software is available through a larger system such as this, it can be seamlessly integrated with all other departments in the company, leaving little room for error.
A Time Tracking Recap
Overall, time and attendance software can help companies of any size track employees’ working hours and define any trends in extended lunches or frequently requested time off that may have developed over time. With many options available in terms of purchasing, installation and features, there is a time and attendance software system that can meet any company’s needs. Advanced security features are standard on many of the products on the market, while others use standard tools to help manage employee data. They no doubt save time and money by compiling and calculating important information and integrating with other departments like payroll, accounting and human resources, and offer employees the chance to access their personal work history.