What is timekeeping software?
Timekeeping software helps employers track employee work time. Employees punch in and out for shifts with an integrated hardware clock or an online portal. Timekeeping software automates shift clocking. It can replace paper timecards and generic spreadsheets.
Current timekeeping software products are cloud-based. Most vendors have a no-contract subscription-type business model. Users pay a relatively low PEPM (price per employee per month). Since they don’t have a large upfront cost, it makes them far more affordable and scalable than custom Legacy systems.
What are the advantages of timekeeping software?
Timekeeping software provides multiple benefits to small businesses. The ROI is far greater than the cost.
- Avoid payroll errors by accurately tracking hours
- Reduce time spent managing labor
- Prevent expensive unplanned overtime
- Increase trust between employees and management
- Eliminate buddy punching
- Prevent missed punches
- Improve oversight of mobile and offsite employees
- Speed up timecard approvals
- Keep track of PTO requests
How can I choose timekeeping software?
1. Find The Right Fit
Choose a time and attendance system that can accommodate your current workforce and allow for growth. You will save yourself the hassle of having to switch systems down the line.
2. ROI Is More Important Than Cost
Don’t go for the cheapest—even if you are tempted by a “free download” offer. Free time and attendance systems are bare-bones and have very limited functions. Industry-leading systems with comprehensive features offer the best value.
3. Basic or Advanced Mobile Functions?
Most types of timekeeping software have at least a basic mobile app. If you have several mobile or offsite employees, make sure the mobile app has advanced features. These include schedule adherence and geofencing.
4. Time and Attendance Vendor Support
Even the most robust time and attendance system is sub-par if your vendor doesn’t provide adequate support. Find out what hours their tech support is available. Is it live support or an email ticket system? Evaluate the quality and cost of training. What set-up is included? Will they help train your employees? Talk to current clients to see if the support lives up to the promises of your salesperson.
5. Analytics For Date-Driven Decisions
Workforce analytics are underutilized by many business owners. Consider which employee problems are limiting profitability. Make sure your system tracks these so you can remove barriers to growth. Basic systems measure overtime, absenteeism, and missed punches. More sophisticated systems have real-time productivity dashboards.
6. Pick The Right Time Clock
If you have hourly employees who clock in unsupervised, you are probably losing money to time theft. The best defense against time theft is a biometric time clock. This type of clock uses a biological identifier that employees can’t duplicate. For example, a fingerprint, palm, or iris scan. With a biometric clock, it’s impossible for an employee to buddy clock for a co-worker. Biometric clocks are also ideal for high-security work environments and controlled access.
If you don’t have a problem with buddy punching or time card padding, an online clock-in portal may be ideal. They are affordable and allow offsite employees to clock in on any mobile device.
7. Integrate With Existing Applications
Payroll system integration is a must. If you are considering software that can’t import directly to your payroll, move on. What other applications do you use? When requesting a demo, ask the presenter to show you how the system works with your current applications.
8. Simplify Compliance
If you are subject to Payroll Based Journal or Predictive Scheduling laws, make sure the system has these tools. Calculating PTO can get be tricky for any business. If you offer paid time off, you definitely want a system with PTO tracking. If you have a variety of employee types, employee profiles can help you classify employees, independent contractors, interns, temps, and seasonal workers correctly. If you have over 50 employees, you’ll want Affordable Care Act compliance tools.
9. Employee Self-Management
Employee timekeeping software allows your employees to become active participants in Human Resources. Your employees want to manage their timecards and schedules. Self-service portals accommodate remote punch in/out, accruals, and automated schedule change requests. Your supervisors will enjoy drag-and-drop scheduling and fast shift change approvals. Employee notifications and overtime alerts save time and money. Self-managed HR improves engagement and reduces administrative costs. It makes life easier for every member of your team.
- Mobile Timekeeping: Avoid 5 Geofencing Pitfalls [updated for 2020], Swipeclock
- Successful Return-to-Work Strategies: Symptom Checks [With Timekeeping Software!], Swipeclock
- How to Buy Employee Time Clocks For Small Business in 2021: The All-Encompassing Guide, Swipeclock