The expression "time is money" didn't come from nowhere. As far back as 1748, Benjamin Franklin referred to the importance of managing one's time more efficiently to maximize the money you make versus the time it takes to make it. The same can be said for the importance of accurately tracking how long employees work. That's where automated timekeeping systems become essential.
Timekeeping keeps everyone on track — employers and employees — to ensure that everyone uses their time wisely and productively. Automated timekeeping, in particular, can reduce labor costs and free up time for more important matters. According to Shortlister, one in three timekeeping methods are outdated, and 80% of timesheets have to be corrected. Fortunately, they also found that 88% of the 'best in class' companies automate their time and attendance data collection, so automated timekeeping can eliminate those mistakes.
Here's everything you need to know about timekeeping, and why you need it in your workforce management strategy.
What is Automated Timekeeping?
Automated timekeeping is the process of using automation technology and tools in place of traditional methods of timekeeping that require manually recording hours and wages for every single employee. Prior to this, timekeeping was usually tracked by the employee themselves, risking time-theft and inaccuracies. In other cases, it was tracked by managers who are responsible for several employees at one time, risking accidental time-theft and inaccuracies.
Now, with automation becoming bigger than ever in business, managers are better able to keep track of employee hours. This means more consistency, less room for mistakes, and a better evaluation of where every employee's time is going, and how to optimize their productivity.
3 Reasons to Use Automated Timekeeping Systems
Why is timekeeping important in the workplace? Sure, you can manually track your timekeeping and even do it efficiently in many cases. However, it will cost more money and time than an automated timekeeping system (ATS). Here are three of the many reasons to switch to a more effective timekeeping method.
1. Increase Time Card Accuracy
When you can increase time card accuracy, you can ensure that your timekeeping is accurate to the minute. This is important because your company's profitability depends heavily on hours being logged and reported correctly. Additional benefits include gaining more insight into who's working and who isn't and ensuring you're staying on track and following labor laws. You will also be better able to calculate job and project costs, using that information to organize everyone's schedule down to the minute for the tasks ahead.
2. Streamlined Payroll
Timekeeping integration with your payroll system means no manual re-entering and one piece of software for all of your HR needs. This is significant for your company because manual re-entering for every employee is daunting and time-consuming, especially when it takes managers away from more important responsibilities. Streamlining your payroll brings all of these separate factors together to create one cohesive flow of HR duties, reducing time waste and increasing profitability.
3. Smarter Compliance
Automated timekeeping also ensures you're following labor laws. There are compliance requirements like the need to keep records of time cards for employees that are non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This act was established in 1938 to ensure that companies were paying overtime, minimum wage, and keeping records of these actions for the benefit of their employees. The concept was put into place to regulate labor laws and prevent employee exploitation. If your company fails to provide accurate timekeeping records, you run the risk of being audited and subjected to civil money penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.
What to look for in an Automated Timekeeping System
When looking for the right automated timekeeping software for you and your team, the first thing you'll want to look for is total integration — not just payroll/automated timekeeping but also HR and benefits administration. This makes your job much easier since you can access everything you need to in one location.
Your ATS should also offer a variety of time clocks. This way, your time-tracking experience is aligned with your preferences and needs. Options include:
- Mobile app
- Web clock
- Employee PIN
- Badge card swipe
Optimizing your workforce is a great way to cut hiring costs and bring more efficiency to the workplace. The right time tracking tool could be just what you need to take your company's productivity and performance to the next level.