Time clocks in the workplace have been used for decades in order to track the physical presence of employees. They simplify the tracking of payroll hours by replacing the written systems that were previously used by employers.
One problem with these time-tracking systems is their lack of reliability for when an employee tries something called “buddy-punching”. This is what it is referred to when an employee is able to punch in on the behalf of another employee.
The Perfect Clocks for a Small Business
A new trend has emerged where small businesses are using fingerprint verification methods for web-based time clocks. These existed before but were mostly for large enterprise due to the cost prohibitive nature of the product.
Now with several improvements in the technology, the price of one of these biometric time clocks has come down significantly. Not only that, but web-based applications have evolved to facilitate simpler use.
Additional to saving money by not paying employees more than they deserve, these businesses are also spending less money managing payroll. The initial investment required to buy a biometric time tracker seems well worth it when put in that perspective.
The advantages of a clock that tracks employees based on fingerprints are:
- No more worrying about employees being dishonest in their time logging
- The costs of managing payroll going down
- Labor costs going down
- Having much more accurate data
- Possibility of integrating with other systems
The big thing to comment on here is that labor costs tend to go down as the over-reporting of hours, whether intentional or not, decreases. For this reason, you will likely receive some pushback from the employees, but the system isn’t ripping them off, it is just being fair for the first time.
You should view any sort of overclocking as a form of theft, however innocent it may be. Implementing a system such as the ones mentioned above makes it a lot easier to prevent these sorts of abnormalities that can add up over time.
There are few disadvantages to these clocks, but they should be mentioned nonetheless:
- The cost can seem like a large investment at around $400 or more
- The relationship with employees tends to deteriorate as there is no longer an environment of trust.
One legitimate worry is that the trust in the relationship with employees will deteriorate so much that the employees will decide to find other ways to rip off their employers. When someone thinks you aren’t trustworthy, you tend to respect them less, and this could easily be the result.
This is true, which is exactly why you need to finesse the introduction of the software with your employees. It is imperative you explain that there are numerous other benefits and this isn’t the result of lack of trust, but of a desire to save costs on payroll tracking.
There are more details about the reasons to get a fingerprint time clock for your small business here.
Fingerprint Apps for Small Businesses
Web-based applications have been developed that can record and analyze employee metrics. The best fingerprint time trackers usually come with an application for managing it, which is exactly why you want to be careful with your initial purchase, but if you want to customize the app you use, there are lots of options available online.
These employee tracking apps usually perform four different functions for small businesses:
1) Collect Data: Using fingerprint input, the device verifies the employee’s identity and begins or ends the work period
2) Upload the Data: No time clock is secure without creating backups of the data, so all the information must be put on the cloud.
3) Manage the Data: It would be wasteful to have all this data and not put it to use. Identify trends and anomalies in the data in order to help you make future decisions.
4) Process Payroll: Pay your employees with minimal hassle by automating this part of the process using the app.
The Future of Employee Tracking
Many will argue that this is too much of an imposition on employees and they should be trusted to be honest in their reporting. The issue with that is there is so much money on the line that it would be foolhardy for employers to miss out on this great opportunity.
There is also a huge benefit available for employees. They no longer have to do everything the same way everyone else does. Now that they don’t require a manager’s oversight to ensure they punched in correctly, there are no reasons for there to be any restrictions on when they work.
If they want to start later or earlier in the day, that doesn’t negatively affect the company and the data is all going to be reported correctly anyways.
The time clocks are extremely useful for a variety of positions, whether it’s drivers, salesmen, or any other functions that don’t usually have direct oversight.
Top Players in the Market
Companies like Mitrefinch have applications that are user-friendly and allow for a wide range of functionality. The ability to create daily reports about tardiness or absences, as well as use the app on Android or iPhone makes it a powerful tool for busy employers.
There are two types of fingerprint verification time clocks available: capacitive and optical. The capacitive readers actually measure the valleys and ridges of your fingerprint rather than comparing the optical impression, and are generally found to be more accurate.
Another amazing benefit that would come from using a web-based app is it becomes easier to job cost. Job costing is the act of estimating the cost for a specific job or task. Often the labor aspect of a job is left as an estimate due to the variable components, but with a fingerprint time clock, it would be exact.
With these fingerprint verification time clocks popularizing in the market, it is important to build an understanding of what they can do and who provides the best web-based apps for them. As previously mentioned, Advance Systems is a great example of a company that provides a lot of extra value with their intuitive web-based app.
The shift to biometric time clocks will feel hard in the beginning because of the change in employment costs and how employees will react to that. But in the long-run, you are going to see a lot of cost-savings and be able to manage your business more easily.
These are some of the best apps for small businesses to use because of the immediate payback that comes as a result. Invest in your company today by purchasing a time clock and you will reap the benefits for years to come.
Time & Attendance Tools for Small Business