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Time Tracking for Non Profits

Time and attendance tracking software solutions have proven beneficial even in situations where cost, return on investment, and bottom line profits are not the issues. Many nonprofit organizations also have a need to track client attendance. For example, some self-sufficiency and work training programs that are designed to assist people who have to make the transition from welfare to work have to track where their funding goes and upon whom it is spent. When programs grow beyond the capabilities of paper and pencil accounting, time and attendance software can provide a solution for them as well as for the corporate world.

In programs of this type, funding is oftentimes provided by municipal, state or federal grant funding. The program is reimbursed based on the number of hours a client spends in it. At the same time, classes and other training scenarios are often relatively unstructured and clients check in and out on their own. Thus, the need for an adequate tracking system becomes readily apparent.

One non profit program installed a time and attendance software solution to monitor classroom attendance at career preparedness and job readiness training. It used computer terminals and bar-coded cards to enable students to access program areas. The system proved to be valuable for both participants and job coaches. The participants, most of whom had never worked, were not aware that being on time was of particular value. They did not realize that a few minutes here and a few minutes there translated into hours of lost training time and that, in an employment situation with hundreds of employees, could literally result in hundreds or thousands of hours of lost time and revenue for the employing company. Participants were able to gain insight into some of the reasons why they may have had difficulty holding jobs in the past and job coaches gained a more comprehensive view of each client to use for evaluative purposes.

Even though nonprofits arent charged with making money, they are often held to very strict standards of accounting for the money they use and serving as many clients as possible with limited budgets. The databases generated by time and attendance software reduces the possibilities for human error, reduces the volume of paperwork, makes it easier to maintain consistent records, and creates billing documents that are certifiable by state or federal regulators. Program overhead is reduced, enabling more dollars to be spent on program functions.

Nonprofit organizations are often dependent on outside sources of funding, whether those e grants or other sources of government or private funding. Because the money they use is not their own, they are sometimes held to standards of accountability that go far beyond the standards of accountability required by an independent business which is responsible only to itself or its shareholders.

In the case of job training programs in particular, most of them depend on the same sources of federal funding. It is conceivable that time and attendance functions could be expanded to include numerous programs in various locations and time zones, all reporting directly to the same database. This would not only ease the organizations reporting requirements, but would ensure that public money is spent as effectively and as frugally as possible.

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