The basic advantage of an automated time-and-attendance system—whether based on time clocks, computer logins, badge readers, or other kinds of equipment—is that it pumps attendance and hours data directly from the collection points into your company’s payroll system.
These automated systems can eliminate the errors that often occur during the process of translating hours data from time sheets or time cards to your company’s payroll system.
Another benefit to automated systems is the convenient access to data they afford supervisors, so they can review and adjust it before each payroll is processed. Supervisors, employees, and the payroll department will each see a benefit in using automated systems:
• Payroll doesn’t have to cut as many corrected paychecks or carry adjustments over to the next payroll period.
• Supervisors have a better chance of getting to the root of any data problem.
• Employees have more confidence their paychecks accurately reflect all the time they worked.
Many employers have found that time and attendance technology can curb what’s known as time abuse. For hourly employees, this includes clocking in before work is available, clocking in for absent or late co-workers, or logging unauthorized overtime hours.
Note: If employees work unauthorized overtime, they must be paid for the time worked. However, employees can be disciplined for not obtaining prior authorization to work the overtime.
For salaried employees who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements, time abuse includes arriving late, leaving early, or taking long lunches. Your company can’t dock salaried, FLSA-exempt employees for such partial-day absences. However, it can boost employee productivity with new technology that tracks their time based, for example, on how and when they use their computers.
Besides increasing overtime compliance and reducing employee time abuse, these systems also can help your company budget and manage employees more effectively. For example, these systems can generate overtime data that show whether overtime costs are manageable, or whether the company would be better off adding more staff instead. Data also can be used to see how much time various departments or employees devote to projects or clients, which in turn can help with budgets and billing.