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Simple in the field... Powerful in the office!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Time and Attendance Part 1

A building contractor, working on a job that would take several months, was being paid weekly. Looking at the check he had just received, he approached the owner of the property.

    "Excuse me, but this check is two hundred and fifty dollars less than we had agreed upon," he said.

     "Yes, I know," said the owner. "Last week I overpaid you by two hundred and fifty dollars and you             never complained."

    "I don't mind an occasional mistake," replied the contractor, "but when it starts to be a habit I feel I have to bring it to your attention."

Mistakes will be made when using traditional methods of collecting time and attendance.   You may not
even know that you are making mistakes.  Did you know that over 70% of employers are not in full compliance with the FLSA?  This fact is compounded by the steady rise in wage and hour lawsuits year over year.   The number one wage and hour  litigation claim is "unpaid work time" which is mostly caused by payroll errors.  

Mistake made yesterday or  mistakes made two months ago will eventually catch up and could be the cause of a lawsuit.   The best thing to do to avoid a lawsuit?   That is easy…  Do not have any mistakes!  

Really? How?

When time cards are filled out in the field, by hand, then gathered and sent to the office, and again entered, by hand,  into the payroll system, mistakes will be made.   The implementation of an automated time and attendance solution could minimize mistakes that in turn could avoid future lawsuits.     

A good time and attendance solution had 4 important features.

1. Simplicity:  Simple equals less room for error.  Minimal steps = less room for error.  Less room for error = fewer mistakes.

2. Authentication:  Do you know who clocked in/out and where?  Using smart phone's, iPads, or laptops allow a GPS time stamp to attach to an employee clock in/out.  Assigning each employee a pin code or using biometrics  immediately lets you know who clocked in/out.    Authenticating who clocked in and where has benefits for both the employer, as well as the employee.  It answers any questions about who was where, resolving any issues before they become conflicts. 

3. Verification:  The fewer times information is touched by human hands, the less mistakes there will be.  However, there comes a time when all of the data collected from employees must be verified, and any discrepancies addressed.  

4. Integration:   Data entry often results in a large number of mistakes.    Integrating your time and attendance system with your accounting system eliminates the need to re-enter information.  Skipping this step pollutes your data by allowing room for error.  Keep your data pure by using a time and attendance system that can push and pull critical information without using data entry. 

This is the first of a 5 part series on choosing a time and attendance system.  In the following 4 blogs I will delve a little deeper into each of the 4 important features noted in this article.  

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