6 Unmistakeable Signs That Your Business Needs a Time and Attendance System

Chances are, you won’t walk into your office one day to find a giant flashing billboard over your desk telling you that your current payroll system is hopelessly outdated and you should consider joining the rest of us here in the 21st century by adopting much more efficient and accurate time and attendance software.

No, the reminders that it’s time for an upgrade to your old system might be a little more subtle. Like the fact that you break out in hives at the sight of the stack of time sheets on your desk. Or, the fact that you woke up in a cold sweat the other night because you couldn’t remember whether you gave Shirley from customer service her shift differential. Or that you give Bill from accounting the stink eye every time you see him because his 9′s look exactly like 4′s (or is it the other way around?) making it a bi-weekly struggle to translate his time card.

Of course, there are more practical signs that your business needs a time and attendance system — ones that have less to do with your sanity and more to do with efficiency and accuracy. Read on.

1. You’re spending too much time on payroll: Like we said before, with traditional systems, employees fill out a time card and hand them into managers who (hopefully) can decipher and approve them and then hand them over to another manager or to the payroll department who can (hopefully) decipher them and enter them into a spreadsheet which then needs to be processed and … you get the picture. It’s arduous and time-consuming and there’s no need for it when software exists that allows employees to enter their time directly into a web-based system that can be accessed immediately by whoever needs to see it. Instead of spending so much time and resources on payroll, invest it in what really matters: Growing and improving your business.

2. Your employees never seem to know how much time off they have: If you work in HR or payroll, chances are you have to take time each week to answer questions from employees about how many vacation days they have left in a year or how much sick time they’ve used. And, if the employee doesn’t like your answer, you might then have to take even more time to review their records and have a discussion with them. New systems give all employees easy and secure access to information about their vacation, sick days, paid time off and hours worked, resulting in fewer disputes. Plus, it allows managers to easily keep track of their workers’ paid leave.

3. You’re not great at math: Hey, we’re not judging you! But we know how complicated all those numbers can get — what with a variety of pay rates, holidays, overtime, shift differentials, etc.. Software can help ensure fewer headaches for you and fewer mistakes on your employee’s paychecks.

4. You suspect employees are stealing time: If you have employees that routinely arrive late, leave early and/or take extended lunch breaks, your company is being robbed of hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars every year. Implementing an automated payroll system can eliminate employees’ ability to manually manipulate time sheets. For businesses with employees punching a clock, biometric readers can also prevent practices like “buddy punching,” where a friend clocks in and out for an employee who’s absent.

5.  You have too much paperwork: It’s the 21st century — so why are you still drowning in piles of timecards? Time and attendance software allows employees to clock in and out, and submit payroll information that can easily be approved by managers without the need for stacks and stacks of papers.

6. You’ve had problems with noncompliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act: The FLSA requires that businesses pay non-exempt workers 1.5 times their regular pay rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek, and state labor laws might have more specific provisions regarding employees’ time. Not complying with these laws can not only result in fines, but also sully your company’s reputation. Time and attendance software can automate the process of paying overtime and create accurate digital payroll records for all employees in compliance with the FLSA.

Learn more about time and attendance software on Business.com.

Photo courtesy of FunnyFace_6 on Flickr

Business.com Editorial Staff

Business.com Editorial Staff

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The Business.com Editorial Staff writes on topics relevant to small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners. Posts cover best practices, top tips, and studies that deliver insights specific to SMBs.

Our team has backgrounds in journalism, English, philosophy, marketing, entrepreneurship and management, providing us the opportunity to share unique viewpoints on all things affecting small and medium-sized businesses.

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