New time and attendance solutions for every size of business, including web- and PC-based systems, remote systems and high-tech time clocks are replacing paper time sheets and mechanical clocks at a rapid clip. These systems also integrate easily with popular payroll software, making them huge time and money savers for almost any business.
You'll want to decide what type of time and attendance system you want. It could be software you install on your own PCs. Or perhaps you want the convenience of a web-based service where you don't need in-house hardware. Other choices include remote systems and more traditional time clocks.
You'll also want to look for systems that fit your business as measured by number of employees. Businesses with less than 20 employees, for example, may want different technology than those with several hundred.
Popular features are another way to narrow your choices. For example, do you want a system that works with swipe cards, numeric keypads, proximity cards or perhaps "biometric" capabilities such as fingerprint recognition? These and others are available. Whatever you select, a time and attendance systems can help you:
- Control employee absenteeism by helping you keep better and more accurate records.
- Reduce employee "time theft" through over-reporting of time spent on the job and "buddy punching" where co-workers clock in for each other.
- Employ the latest time and attendance technology to your benefit, such as magnetic swipe cards, proximity cards, passwords and even fingerprint or other biometric systems to assure accuracy.
- Make payroll easier by automatically integrating time and attendance records with your payroll software or system.
Move to Web-based solutionsGrowth-minded small businesses that want to eliminate the need for any on-site technology are tapping into Web-based time and attendance solutions.
Install or upgrade an on-site systemWith high-tech time and attendance solutions you can easily and accurately collect data on hours worked, track vacation time, sick time and flex time - even break time - and integrate the info with whatever payroll method you use.
Pop it on your desktop PCPC-based systems let you track everything from a desktop computer at your place of business.
Contrast & compare prices, features and shopping tipsHundreds of vendors compete to offer time and attendance products designed specifically for small business.
Resource Nation is a great place to comparison shop for time and attendance systems and software. And here's a great bonus: The site also has super-helpful buyers guides that explain the basics of how these systems work and what to look for in an electronic time clock vendor.
Dedicated solutions just for professional services firmsSome time and attendance systems available online are geared to specific types of businesses.
Timesolv, from Thomson Elite, is a Web-based solution offering professional services (attorneys, CPAs, medical practices, etc.) firms an easy way to handle time-tracking and billing without having to buy software or hire an outside billing service.
Same-day solution onlineNeed something right now! Some online systems can get you up and running today!
TimeDirect is an online timesheet and expense reporting service. You can be up and running on the system in hours.
- Things to look for in a small business time and attendance system:
- Data collection: basic time in/out.
- Time accounting: The ability to apply your own rules on overtime, breaks, etc.
- Cost distribution: Lets you allocate time worked by location, project, job or other categories.
- Scheduling: An easy way to schedule time on and time off by group or individual and record employee requests for vacation, sick and paid time off.
- Payroll integration: The ability to automatically flow your time and attendance system data into QuickBooks or a payroll service.
- Attendance tracking: The ability to keep an attendance calendar for each employee.