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Time Tracking Software - FMLA

Time and attendance software, over the past few years, has evolved from simple systems that track in and out times and log overtime pay to very sophisticated pieces of software that perform a wide variety of functions. Many of these extended functions are focused around the ability to calculate gross pay and benefit accruals. Some of the development has come about, at least in part, due to larger organizations needs to have efficient mechanisms for tracking benefits mandated by law like family medical leave.

Employers requirements have changed over the years. Most systems that just track the amount of time an employee spends on the job are outdated. There are numerous requirements that have to be met, both as a matter of law, and in order to provide the best possible employee benefits.

Large employers, in particular, have to deal with the requirements of shift differentials and multiple rates of pay required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Shift differentials, for example, are used to entice employees to work less desirable hours by giving them more pay while they are on those shifts. As a result, one employee can have multiple pay rates, given the shifts he or she works during a given time period

Using sophisticated time and attendance tracking software packages, the employer can determine which arbitrary time periods will be used to delineate which shifts, whether those are night time hours of weekend hours. Qualifying conditions, such as a minimum number of hours (or some other criteria) that must be met before a differential is triggered, can be built into the system. Employee pay rates can vary either by adding additional hours to those worked, or by adding a percentage to the base rate at some given point. Shift differentials can be combined with overtime so that shift differentials are paid at a specified overtime rate.

Similarly, overtime policies can be set by the employer and integrated into the software for seamless calculation of benefits. The employer can determine whether overtime is triggered by working over 8 hours in a day, 40 hours in a week, or 80 hours in a pay period, for example. If an employee has worked more than a specified consecutive number of days, that may be the determiner of when overtime begins. And, various states overtime pay regulations can be built in, so that if a company operates in several states, it will never be out of compliance with any of them.

Benefit accruals including family medical leave as specified by the Family Medical Leave Act, can also be automatically calculated. Time can be accrued by month, year, pay period, or any other criteria determined by the employer. By the same token, accruals can be set to accumulate at different rates for different employees, i.e. one who has been with the company for several years versus one who has just started.

Further, the most recent and sophisticated time and attendance software generally has flexible formula capabilities and can be customized to fit the particular businesss needs. Employers can make certain that everyone within their organizations is paid regularly, on time, at the appropriate rates, and with benefits automatically calculated. However, it is up to the purchaser to determine which features are needed and shop to find a software package that meets those needs.




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