Time Tracking Software

Definition

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Time Tracking Software

The term time-tracking software is fairly self explanatory. It refers to methods of tracking the amount of time employees spend on the job. With modern software and the right strategy this software can be calibrated so that it tracks time nearly right down to the second. Time and attendance software is simply a software solution that tracks and logs employee time in a database, either on the employers premises or elsewhere.

How does it work? Time clocks, of one sort or another, are placed at entrances to the workplace or at strategic locations around the workplace. The employee clocks in when he or she reports to work in the morning. However, rather than generating a punch in a cardboard time card, the information is sent to a central database. The information can be used immediately and this makes it most valuable for payroll purposes. When time and attendance software is used, the work record produced is accurate and timely. Analysis of labor costs, labor costs as a percentage of sales, and employee attendance are types of reports that can be generated immediately.

Biometric time keeping systems provide even more sophisticated tools for tracking employee movements and managing employee time. In this type of solution, employees generally swipe a card through a card reader, either a bar code reader or magnetic strip reader usually. In addition, they are required to insert one or two fingers, sometimes a whole hand, into a device that reads the geometry of the finger or hand. The data gathered by the biometric device must match the information from the card reader. These types of solutions, in their most sophisticated form, include cards with radio frequency tracking chips and devices that read the iris of the employees eye. Coupling biometric solutions with identity cards virtually eliminates fraudulent use of ID cards to make it seem like an employee is at work when the employee really is not. A system referred to as buddy punching or, fraudulent use of Ids, costs companies thousands of dollars in undue payroll each year.

If the employer desires, even more functionality can be added to the time and attendance software solution. Some companies add job costing modules that simply get more mileage out of the initial software implementation. Jobs are broken down into codes and the employee, when clocking in or changing tasks, punches in a number that identifies the job he or she will be working on. At the end of the day, the company has a comprehensive record of all hours that the employee worked and how much time was spent on various tasks.

Scheduling modules can also be added to the time and attendance software solution. The employer creates schedules for employees that can be viewed online. Master copies can be printed out and posted, as well.

Using a computerized time clock coupled with time and attendance software has numerous advantages over mechanical and manual options for both employers and employees. These solutions are quick, accurate, and eliminate most timekeeping and data entry errors that can cost a business money. Tasks like time card verification and manual input into a payroll system take far less time when they are automated. Experts say that payroll prearation alone, for a company of 50 hourly employees, takes approximately four hours. That time can be cut to about 30 minutes, when a time and attendance software package does all of the upfront work automatically.

Employers report that time and attendance software solutions quickly pay for themselves by eliminating excess payroll generated by buddy punching and reducing the amount of time and effort typically dedicated to payroll functions.




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