Timekeeping 101

timekeeping 101

What is Timekeeping?

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Since man started working for money, there had been various methods invented to calculate the cost of work. It's only after the industrial revolution when machines started to take their place in the workforce and that technology and devices were used in timekeeping.

Essentially, timekeeping is the process of tracking the time spent on work from start to finish. Various timekeeping systems were introduced to help with this process including time clocks, time cards, timesheets, and now, specialized software.

Nowadays, most companies use a software-based timekeeping management system since it's more efficient and costs less. Those who don't, like with most on-site construction companies, use time clocks and timekeepers.

Ideal qualities of a timekeeping tool
Not all timekeeping systems are created equal. Others are part or could be integrated with large enterprise resource planning software. There are also a few that are highly specialized and are designed to do only a thing or two.

Here are some of the ideal qualities of a good timekeeping software tool-

  • Biometrics- Aside from the obvious clock in clock out, there should be a way to safeguard the integrity of the hours worked by employees and avoid buddy punching. Time theft of work hours is largely minimized.
  • Absence management- Naturally, there must be a way to keep track and manage the attendance (or the absence thereof) of employees who called out sick or left early. On the other hand, the system should be able to block employees from clocking in if they're scheduled to be out.
  • Intuitive dashboard- Being able to see all the information within a step or two will save you tremendous time. A good tool should enable you to check everything at a glance including scheduling, attendance, alerts, and others.
  • Payroll integration- The most useful time management system for a business to have is one that has both a timekeeping function and payroll integration. The tool should be able to translate the time data into how much a certain employee should be paid.
  • Mobile capability- This is ideal for those with employees who don't work on-premise. To be effective, make sure there is also a GPS tracking system so no ghost attendance would be made.
When choosing a timekeeping software tool, consider the features listed above. If you can't find one with all the features listed above, prioritize the one who has the features you think would help your business better.

The Importance of Timekeeping

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As Benjamin Franklin wrote in his essay, "time is money", the ultimate benefit of timekeeping relates to money, either being able to bring more of it or else, stop its leakage. Good timekeeping heavily contributes to the overall success and longevity of your company.

Accurate accounting and payroll
With a timekeeping system, you would be able to pay your employees according to their work rendered. That's why the best timekeeping tools should automatically turn the data into how much the employee will be paid.

In addition, there will be better transparency as well as traceability. Arguments will be avoided since all the data are available for review. It would also lessen the temptations on employees to lie about their time rendered.

Increased morale
On the other, employees would be able to expect fair compensation for their work since their time worked is recorded. With the right tool, your employees will also be happy since they wouldn't have to think too much about clocking in and clicking out.

It would also help for remote employees. With a remote system, your employees would be able to clock in and clock out wherever they are working from. On your end, you would also be able to keep track of their time even if you can't physically see them.

Better employee evaluation
With a load of information about employees' time in and out habits, you would be able to identify who among your employees are always tardy and who among them are needlessly overworking.

Avoid non-compliance and hefty fines
In most parts of the world, it's illegal to underpay employees, whether you and the employees themselves know about it or not. Aside from paying the associated fines, you will have to pay all the back wages owed.

In addition, having an effective timekeeping system would enable you to pass any IRS audit with flying colors. You would also be able to prepare audit reports for tax obligations. Again, this saves you a lot of legal troubles in the future.

Wrapping it All Up

  • Timekeeping is the process of tracking time spent on work from an employee's time in to his time out.
  • Most companies right now use a software-based timekeeping tool since it's more economical and effective.
  • Other companies that aren't using an advanced form of time tracking are using time clocks and timekeepers.
  • There are different timekeeping software available today. Some are specialized ones while others are part of a larger ecosystem.
  • An ideal timekeeping tool has features related to biometrics, absence management, intuitive dashboard, payroll integration, and mobile capability.
  • Timekeeping is important for your business's success and longevity.
  • Using a timekeeping tool would enable you to pay your employees accurately.
  • Timekeeping increases employee morale as they could fair payment according to the number of hours they rendered for work.
  • You would also be able to improve your employee evaluation using the data gathered by a timekeeping tool.
  • Lastly, having an effective timekeeping system would save you from non-compliance and hefty fines.