Whether you own a big company, or a small business, or if you work as a manager or in a company’s HR department, the responsibility of minimizing costs and helping to grow the business is reliant on your efforts. If you are extravagant, disorganized, or if you lack managerial skills you could end up driving your profits lower, or worse, driving the business into bankruptcy.
The first step in running a successful business is to be accurate, efficient and cost-effective. How can you achieve that? With newer technological software, it’s not difficult.
There is a lot of useful business software available on the market, each of which can solve different managerial problems. One essential software that every business owner and HR department should have is Time Clock Software. As the saying goes, time is money; if you want your business to grow, you won’t want to waste precious time keeping track of your employee’s schedule, or sorting out payroll, when software can handle those tasks with ease.
What Is Time Clock Software?
Before you even start a business, you will undoubtedly be cognizant of the fact that well-utilized time and competent employees are essential in running a successful business. The question is, how can you bring the two factors together? That’s precisely where time clock software comes into play.
Time clock software is vastly different from the manual time clock. This software is cloud-based and comes as software for your PC (generally, compatible with most operating systems) or as an app for mobile devices (Android or iOS). That means, regardless of your location, or the device you are using, you will be able to oversee your staff’s activities.
With time clock software, you’ll be able to monitor and have automatically recorded:
- When your employees start their day and when they close;
- When they go and return from a break and/or meal times; and
- The duration of certain individual tasks that have been assigned.
It is a win-win for both the employer and employee; for the employer, it helps improves prompt recording and sorting out payroll while for the employees, their wages are justified and accurate.
Why Every Business Needs Time Clock Software
The importance of tracking time and attendance of your employees cannot be overemphasized. For instance, how can you perfectly balance payroll according to the actual time your employees work? This software will help avoid confusion. We all understand that once your employees feel justified with their salary, they will put in more effort, but if they feel cheated, at best they may try to find a way to “even the score,” relatively speaking, or at worse, they could file a lawsuit against the company. It is impossible to accurately equate work done with the exact wage if you are using a manual time sheet, but with a good time clock software, especially if you are using software with biometric features, you will get a better estimate.
This software has a lot of advantages. First, it will give you full and accurate details of an employee’s comings and goings during their business day. Second, it will also help you save money by giving you an accurate estimate of their salary; you will know if overtime will be needed before it kicks in. Moreover, with the right time clock software, you will be able to keep track of the actual cost of labor so that calculating payroll for all of your staff would be made easier. Last but not least, with your payroll in order, it will be easier for you to draft a business plan, measure performance or draw up an annual budget.
If your business is managed with time clock software, there will be fewer mistakes and disputes. The software would serve as evidence if there are any disagreements, and you’ll be able to hold the staff accountable.
Benefits of Using a Time Clock Software
Time clock software certainly offers better solutions than the manual options. You’ll enjoy more accuracy, less cost and better public relations. Here is a list of some benefits your business would enjoy when you use time clock software.
Before the advent of time clock and computer software, business owners monitored the hours their employees worked manually, or else they relied on memory. These “methods” were notoriously inaccurate, often resulting in disagreements with staff. Quite often, workers who manually filled out their timesheet ”stole” time by padding the numbers. Honest workers would feel cheated if the employer’s recollection of their hours was in dispute. After the irregularities of using a manual timesheet became too frequent to ignore, many businesses move to the manual time clock, and later, the automated time clock. However, these time clocks were still not accurate enough, and time theft and “buddy punching” remained a major drawback. With the introduction of time clock software, the various loopholes that the manual time clock allowed have since been closed.
Using the time clock software, you’ll achieve near 100% accuracy. Also, there is no way the software can be manipulated since the responsibility of recording hours is automated and relatively error-free.
Help You Get More Organized
Imagine attempting to keep a timesheet for each employee for a whole year. You would have a lot of confusing paperwork to handle, which can lead to a lot of mistakes, possibly very expensive ones. Also, using the manual time clock would still require the use of punch cards, which are an unnecessary expense in the long run, not to mention, one which is harmful to the environment. With time clock software, you would not only enjoy the cost savings benefits but you’ll help the environment.
It Keeps You Up To Date
If you walk into a store without Wi-Fi or a POS machine, you may feel as though management is out of touch. Finding out that an establishment still uses a manual timesheet has a similarly disjointed feeling. Every customer wants the businesses they patronize to be up to date with technology, largely in keeping with how consumers choose to manage their lives. The point is this: don’t be left behind. For more reasons than just the obvious, it would be a smart choice for you to upgrade to time clock software.
Using a manual timesheet might take up to a minute a day for each employee; while this may not seem like much, by the end of the month, you’ll have discovered that a significant amount of time was wasted. At 20 minutes of wasted time a month, per employee, that number could be exponentially higher if you have a lot of employees. Imagine 200 staff members lining up to fill in their timesheet at the beginning and end of each workday. The manual time clock is only slightly better; the queue might move quicker, but that method has its own set of problems. What if an employee forgets his punch card, or punches the wrong card? It becomes difficult to keep accurate records.
The biggest benefactors of the time clock software are those in charge of HR. It would save them the stress of paperwork when calculating payroll; moreover, the entire compilation process would be free from data errors. and with time clock software, you won’t have to worry about the loss of a timesheet or a missing punch card. Essentially, the compilation of payment records would be seamless.
The cost of installing time clock software might seem expensive because the price ranges from as little as $200 to as much as $1,000 for the premium package. But, in the long run, you will be glad you did.
The use of a manual timesheet or manual time clock will end up consuming more of your time, which translates to money. Imagine the amount that would be spent on paper or the employees you’ll have to hire to calculate and compile the payroll since there would be a lot of paperwork involved. If there is a mistake, and there is a high probability of one with manual data entry, you may find you are overpaying wages or else face legal troubles if a dispute arises and your figures are challenged in court.
Let’s say you have a small office comprised of only ten employees. If you still use manual timesheets, you could spend hundreds of dollars annually. From an environmental perspective, the average office in the United States consumes about 300 pounds of paper annually; this is pure waste, and may end up harming the environment if not properly managed.
Potential Legal Issues
You may not realize how severe the shortcomings of the manual timesheet until you get involved in a legal dispute with your employee. Manual timesheet are inherently prone to errors; at a minimum, there is a 40% chance that there will be at least one error by the end of the day. For each mistake, an employee may end up being short paid; if the error continues or compounds, you may end up with a legal dispute. Adding insult to injury, if your account is audited by the IRS and they discover these errors, you could be fined for your easily avoidable mistake.
With the use of only manual timesheets, you can expect to overpay or short pay your workers from wages or overtime. In either case, in the end you may pay dearly, in one way or another. Thanks to more efficient time clock software there would no longer be room for errors. Once there is accuracy, and wages are paid satisfactorily, there will be clarity and no need for legal recourse.
A manual timesheet works like this; an employee inputs their details when they come on duty, and they sign out at the end of the day, clocking in and out for breaks and/or meals, as needed. These few minutes can be time-consuming and time lost for you, as the employer. The manual time clock is not much better since it still takes valuable time to verify the punch cards.
But with time clock software, the whole process is automated, making signing in and out faster and more accurate. A good system will help you keep track of when your employees begin and end their day, and helps avoid double entries. Moreover, the whole calculating process is eliminated since the software handles the task.
Before the introduction of time clock software, the verification or sorting out of the payroll was done in one place; that made it quite a challenge to monitor the timesheet or manual time clock if employee travel was necessary. With the introduction of time clock software, mobility would not be a problem so long as the software is compatible with your device. Most time clock software will allow you to monitor the activities of your employees through text messages, email and/or GPS. If your company requires employees to travel frequently, time clock software becomes the best way to calculate their work hours off-site.
In many companies, some employees are required to have a wide range of locations, either at the office, at home or out in the field. It is nearly impossible to track your employees with a timesheet or manual time clock – all the more reason why time clock software becomes so vital. It’s more efficient, flexible and easy to manage. There are a lot of features and tools that would make tracking your employee’s activities easier. With a mobile phone and a biometric reader, you’ll be able to monitor your employees, even if they are working remotely.
With a timesheet or time card, there is no way of actually getting the right time an employee begins or closes out their workday, thus workers can falsify their time. Worse, with a time card, they can have someone else sign in for them (aka buddy punching). Sometimes, these mistakes are unintentional, especially if workers have to rely on memory to complete the time sheet. Statistically, data has shown that companies in the United States lose close to $40 million annually as a result of timesheet errors. Buddy punching is also common among companies which still make use of a manual time clock. But with a software that has biometric fingerprint features, there is no way that an employee can manipulate the record.
Integration of Company Rules
The time clock software allows for customization; you can set the software’s parameters in line with your company’s or department’s work time and schedule. Once customized, with a notification alert, you’ll know when an employee is late, absent or goes on an unscheduled break.
Running a business has been made easier thanks to newer time clock software. In the long run, despite the initial outlay, a business owner will likely find this software is a cost saver many times over. Moreover, the software comes with a lot of useful tools and features that will help you accurately record your employees’ schedule, track their activities and organize the payroll.