Time and Attendance Tracking in Workforce Management
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Time and attendance recording is the key function in any workforce management
system. The workers work for pay and payrolls are prepared on the basis of time
and attendance records. Accurate time and attendance records not only save
employers from losing money on excess payments but also instil employee
confidence in the payroll system.
Originally, time clocks installed at factory gates recorded in and out times
on paper-based time cards of each employee. These time cards were collected by
the payroll office and transcribed into time sheets. The time sheets were then
summarized and the totals were used to prepare pay sheets. The whole exercise
was a time-consuming and costly exercise. It was also prone to errors at several
With advances in technology, new methods of recording time and attendance
have appeared. These methods eliminate the time spent on preparing payrolls.
They also enable more accurate recording and computations, and produce real-time
reports for managers.
We take a look at the emerging scenario of time and attendance tracking and
Modern Time and Attendance Recording Devices
- Time clocks these days work with computers so that time-consuming manual
transcriptions and computations are eliminated. They might come as standalone
time clocks that can be installed in locations not suitable for computers, and
the data recorded in the clocks can be transferred to computers later. With an
Ethernet connection, even online data transfer is possible.
- The time clocks could work in combination with modern time recording
devices like the following:
- Biometric Finger Print Readers can eliminate the cost of employee
badges, which can get damaged or stolen. They also eliminate the practice of
buddy punching where another employee punches the badge of a buddy.
- RFID Card Readers can read employee cards without the need for swiping.
These cards and readers do not degrade with each use as is the case with
- Barcode Readers that are used in tracking products and invoices can also
be used to track time spent on individual jobs where an employee handles
several jobs or tasks.
- Web Based Timekeeping systems allow employees to punch their times from
their desktops or other convenient points.
- Cell Phone Web Browsers are ideal for employees on the road. They can
access the Internet using WAP and punch in the times they spent on each job
The devices listed above are only a sampling. More refined devices are either
already available or are coming into the market. These devices seek to make time
and attendance recording-related tasks easier, or to overcome problems of
Technology advances have also made it possible to monitor employee time and
attendance remotely in real-time. Managers can review the record of any employee
from anywhere and at any time.
At the employee end, it is now possible to track accrued vacations, sick days
or banked time, without requests to the payroll office.
Time and attendance recording processes have progressed much with advances in
technology. Time clocks that can be connected to computers online or offline;
times can be punched in using biometric and radio frequency id devices;
Web-based systems can enable desktop, and even mobile (for employees on the
road), time recording. These developments have made time and attendance
recording scenario a completely different one these days.
About the Author
Lucy Caudle, Marketing at SMART, writes about the benefits of
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-01-02 20:11:30 in Employee Articles