Selecting an electronic time clock involves different considerations for different small businesses. Even for those within the same industry, finding a good tracking system should coincide with specific business goals. Some small businesses may want to expand, yet are unsure of future labor needs.
Other companies may suspect buddy punching and other time theft behaviors. It is important to buy a system that eliminates these behaviors without violating employee privacy. Becoming an overnight subject matter expert might not be feasible.
What is possible, however, is for companies to know what they want to achieve. A list of objectives can serve as a matchmaking tool for the many electronic time clock options on the market.
Selection is relatively easy when companies desire a standalone system that uses paper timecards. Since most small businesses want a more efficient way to track time and attendance, electronic products are on the radar.
Networked, biometric and other innovative time clock solutions are not as straightforward as traditional equipment. Selecting suitable time attendance software can be hard without a guide. This article discusses some considerations before purchasing an advanced time clock system.
Determine Deployment Type of Electronic Time Clocks for Small Business
There are fundamental considerations to selecting a time clock. First, a small business must decide which solution serves the company’s purpose for tracking employee attendance. As previously mentioned, standalone time clocks are the most basic version to use with paper timecards.
Some time and attendance providers can integrate solutions by connecting to a computer system. Others operate as a networked time clock to integrate with attendance software. A small business may also opt for a web-based clocking solution.
Still, some time & attendance software can integrate networked time and clock-free solutions. This is useful for the business that has mobile workers. Tracking their time with a physical time clock is impractical, yet a business needs a way to verify hours submitted are hours worked.
Basic Questions to Selecting an Electronic Time Clock Solution
Some basic questions to consider when selecting employee electronic time clock software:
• How many employees will the system track?
• Does the business have problems with buddy punching?
• Does each business location have network connectivity?
• What is the cost in continuing to use old-fashioned attendance systems?
Network solutions are usually the best electronic time clock system for small businesses with 100 or more employees. Tracking employees with manual systems make implementation, enrollment and maintenance more difficult.
Issues with buddy punching and other forms of time theft are resolved with biometric time clocks. Capturing unique the fingerprints of each employee removes the temptation to clock in for a coworker. Small businesses will save on labor costs when employees are working their actual schedules.
A mixed solution of electronic time clocks for small business works when employees clock in from different locations. Network time clocks in the primary location and web-based mobile clocking for remote employees. Integrating both ensures consistent time capture and accurate attendance data.
Automation of Electronic Time Clocks for Employees
Modern timekeeping systems do what manual tracking methods will never accomplish: auto-totaling to eliminate common errors with payroll calculations. The speed of these software systems provide advanced functionality to simplify processes.
Time and attendance systems that operate through the network use communications portals to synchronize data. This is useful when information comes from more than one time clock. Typically, electronic time clocks of this nature has diverse options for businesses such as:
• Barcode badges
• Stripe badges
• Fingerprint biometrics
• Proximity badges
Implementing a system that requires unique input from one employee that another cannot duplicate is ideal. Businesses lose money when an employee receives undeserved pay because a coworker falsifies their time.
An exception to using time tracking with biometrics is to keep employee badges in one area near the time clock. Similar to paper timecards, this process may still keep the buddy punching door open.
Electronic time clocks that work on network systems are ideal for large workforces. This is especially true when some employees work remotely. The best systems offer flexibility to establishing time and attendance rules, add benefit accrual time and other processes.
The goal is to automate payroll and attendance processes. This eliminates costly errors from entering time manually and noncompliance with labor laws.
Other Considerations to Get the Best Time Tracking Outcomes
There are other considerations for small businesses that want a good electronic time clock solution. Integrating access control for timekeeping purposes ensures that employees are not entering certain areas before their scheduled work times.
A good time and attendance system should also give employees access to their information. This includes hours worked, accrued time and the ability to submit electronic time-off requests. Small businesses save time when one person’s day is not constantly interrupted to answer time and attendance questions.