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Time Tracking Applications - Buyers Guides

The right time and attendance software can save a company money in many different ways. In fact, automating time and attendance tracking often provides a very quick return on investment. First, performing these functions electronically reduces the amount of time an labor that it previously took to accomplish them. The bookkeeper or business manager no longer has to manually track employee hours using pen and paper.

This type of software solution also reduces money lost in paying wages to employees who are late or not on site, but have had someone else clock in for them. Rigorous, consistent and completely accurate management of employee time and attendance translates to accurate and effective payroll preparation.

A vast majority of companies, however, dont use time and attendance solutions yet, which means that more and more companies will be shifting in that direction in the near future. It is important, when considering a time and attendance software system, that a company acquires a system that is practical and advantageous for its own particular business environment.

Any time and attendance system should include some basic functionality, along with other features that management deems necessary. It should automate time and attendance management, streamline payroll preparation by linking to the payroll system electronically, control labor resources and increase management awareness of them, track wages and hours by cost center, and quickly respond to any changes in pay rates and/or company policies. It is important that the payroll system and the time management system complement one another this this will provide the maximum functionality.

The functions provided in time and attendance software by different vendors are as numerous as the vendors themselves. Company management should analyze and have discissions with the vendor in order to determine a fit for a particular business. For example, management needs to ask questions to ascertain where the vendor is going in the future and whether that direction fits with the companys own future plans. If the solution sets that the vendor plans to expand down the road, dont fit with the companys needs, it doesnt make sense to purchase that particular software. Flexibility and resiliency are other attributes that have to be considered in the potential software purchase. Every product suite has its own strengths and weaknesses. The purchaser needs to determine what those strengths and weaknesses are, and how the vendor handles them.

If cutting costs is the goal, as it is for nearly everyone in todays highly competitive business environment, then time and attendance software can be an excellent place to begin. Budgeting processes, determining annual budgets, management of operational goals, and decision support are all enhanced with the use of time and attendance software. As with any other system, however, it is wise to make certain that it integrates well with the companys other systems. For maximum benefit, such a system has to complement what is happening in the accounting department, the human resources department, and virtually every other department within the company. Properly implemented, however, this is a type of software that can provide immediate and substantial cost reduction, particularly for companies that are not currently using thes systems.

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