Time and Attendance:

Top 10 Signs Your Time & Attendance System is Obsolete

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AN ANALYSIS OF WORKFORCE MANANGEMENT SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS

In the past decade time and attendance technology has advanced rapidly, making it difficult for organizations to maximize the benefits time and attendance solutions now provide. As we know all too well, if you can't keep up with the latest technology you may soon find yourself with an obsolete system that increases your costs, and lowers workforce productivity. The following ten signs will help you spot areas where your time and attendance system may be failing your organization.

1. YOU HAVE NO VISIBILITY TO MANAGE YOUR WORKFORCE ACROSS MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

Different buildings should not equal different time and attendance systems. A retail company with seven different locations was utilizing outdated time and attendance software, requiring separate software installation at each location. Without a central database for all of their employees, information management was unable to get accurate company-wide time tracking reports and managing leave requests was an error-prone manual process. The resulting management nightmare hindered decision making, and lowered overall workforce productivity.

If you have multiple locations, or may add new locations in the future, there are time and attendance solutions capable of providing complete and immediate visibility to your workforce. Using one system that works at each of your locations is less cumbersome, generally less expensive and ultimately leads to an improved analysis of your workforce.

2. YOUR EMPLOYEES HAVE TO CONTACT HR TO FIND OUT THE STATUS OF THEIR LEAVE REQUEST AND BENEFIT ACCRUALS

Basic time and attendance software that only manages hours worked will not have the functionality necessary to automate leave requests or track benefit accruals. Providing employees with access to their own benefit accruals information eliminates the calls and questions to HR about earned vacation time. The additional time consuming process of sending, approving and storing leave request forms is also automated by advanced time and attendance systems. In fact, some software is capable of email notification to all appropriate personnel of the leave request, such as the supervisor or HR manager.

3. SOME OF YOUR MORE COMPLEX PAY RULES ARE CALCULATED BY HAND

If you have a time and attendance system in place, the last thing you should be doing is pulling out your calculator to enter in a complicated pay rule. Lower end time and attendance systems have very little flexibility regarding pay rules, which is why their costs can be enticingly low. Time and attendance systems should be able to handle most, if not all, of your complex pay rules.

Ideally, the implementation team of your time and attendance provider will set up your complex pay rules for you in addition to having customizable settings so you can make changes on your own in the future. Once the pay rules are set up in the system, you will have reduced the time it takes to run payroll with the added benefit of increased accuracy and fairness throughout the company.

4. YOUR SYSTEM MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR EMPLOYEES TO RECORD THEIR TIME, LEAVING GAPS AND CAUSING MORE HEADACHES FOR YOUR TEAM

If your employees are failing to record their time with your current time tracking system, you may want to think twice before admonishing them. American TV, a retail store with multiple locations in the Midwest, felt that their time and attendance system may be to blame instead. They were right. With only one or two time clocks at each location, employees were never close enough to a clock to make recording their time simple and efficient. As a result, large amounts of missing punches on their time cards led to an increased workload for HR and eliminated the benefits of accuracy with their time system.

American TV searched for a superior time and attendance system capable of resolving the issue of missing punches and improving accuracy and efficiency. By selecting a system that utilized an XML API, a technology that aids with integration, American TV was able to set up each of their point-of-sale terminals as a time clock that automatically records the time of the employee working at that station. As a result, employees could quickly record their time and attendance tracking accuracy was greatly improved.

5. YOUR TIME AND ATTENDANCE RECORDS ARE NOT BEING STORED CORRECTLY, LEAVING YOU OPEN TO COSTLY LAWSUITS

FLSA class action lawsuits outnumber all other employment lawsuits combined. Employers can face stiff penalties for non-compliance such as liquidated damages, millions of dollars in back pay, attorneys fees and government fines. Some of the most common and costly mistakes include unpaid work, failure to abide by both state and federal regulations, employees classified incorrectly and keeping poor records. In most courts, if the employer has kept poor records and there is a dispute regarding hours worked by the employee, the employee wins. An automated time and attendance system should provide detailed reports and store historical data for all employees for at least three years. Additionally, the time tracking system shows no bias toward employees, which means all of your pay rules are applied fairly across your entire workforce. Some time accounting programs are also capable of aiding with FMLA tracking, which can be difficult and may lead to lawsuits if not handled properly.

6. YOU'RE FORCED TO UPGRADE OR LOSE SUPPORT ON A RECENTLY PURCHASED SYSTEM

This situation is the classic case of a 'trap'. After spending your time and effort selecting the right time and attendance vendor for your needs, one major drawback has slipped into the agreement of which you are not aware. Some time and attendance vendors require that you purchase any future upgrades with the added threat that they will no longer support your system. Unfortunately, there is no end to this trap as upgrades can be issued every few years, and when you purchase a system you may not know that a forced upgrade is around the corner.

Fortunately, not all time and attendance vendors operate in this way. When selecting a new time and attendance vendor, be sure to check that they will support the version you are purchasing and not force you to purchase an upgrade in the future. Some companies will support versions that are even three or four upgrades behind, so if you have the functionality you need you will not be left in the dark on maintenance.

7. YOUR CURRENT SYSTEM IS UNABLE TO GROW WITH YOU

A few of the key factors that will determine whether you have outgrown your time and attendance system are based on customer support and employee size. If you only have a few employees and your HR staff can process payroll manually in an emergency, then having a highly responsive customer support service from your time and attendance vendor is not necessary. However, if manually processing payroll is not feasible, or will not be feasible in the future due to company growth, selecting a time and attendance system with emergency support services is critical.

If it is possible to purchase one system that can handle your current and future needs, you can eliminate the need to search for another time and attendance system due to an increase in employee size. Additionally, some time clocks can be leased to own through your time and attendance vendor providing an incredible savings over time.

8. Your Time And Attendance System Was Built As An Afterthought By Your ERP Or HRIS Provider

In recent years there has been a push by some of the large ERP and HRIS providers to offer an all-in-one package to satisfy all of your HR needs. Unfortunately, their time and attendance piece falls short because it requires an extensive amount of customization that comes with a hefty price tag. Additionally, there is a continual upgrade requirement for many ERP systems that can ensure your time and attendance system never gets off the ground. By the time your system is set up correctly, you may have an outdated version which will require you to restart the implementation process.

Time accounting is much more than an 'extra feature'. Several companies focus solely on time and attendance solutions capable of integrating with over 100 different ERP, payroll and HRIS systems. In fact, it is generally more cost effective and efficient to allow an outside vendor to set up your time and attendance system rather than lose time, money and effort setting up the ERP systems time accounting add-on.

9. YOUR EMPLOYEES NEVER ADOPTED YOUR CURRENT SYSTEM, THAT IS NOW SITTING ON A SHELF COLLECTING DUST

User acceptance is one of the most critical factors in selecting a time and attendance system. Unfortunately, many organizations do not realize this until they have had their first bad experience with a new system without employee buy-in. In an article written by Weston M. Binford titled 'The Psychology of Time Reporting', Binford explains what is necessary for time accounting to work effectively at any organization.

First, time accounting must be wholly integrated into the basic mission of the company and fully supported by top management. If top management is not willing to require time tracking for all employees, the system has little chance of succeeding. In addition to management's support, the accounting system that manages the time must be reliable, meaningful reports must be widely available, and the input system must be easy to use. When I say easy, I mean really, really easy, as well as intuitive and context sensitive.

Trust your instincts and get feedback from other managers when selecting a time and attendance system. If you feel like it may be too confusing or difficult to work with, look for alternatives. Some time and attendance systems focus heavily on user acceptance by providing a simple interface and intuitive system structure.

10. WORKFORCE PRODUCTIVITY IS A CONCERN AND YOU HAVE NOT IMPLEMENTED AN AUTOMATED TIME AND ATTENDANCE SYSTEM

Some organizations have been reluctant to move away from the paper time cards they have been using for decades, but the ease of use of time and attendance systems today may change that thinking. A report conducted by the American Payroll Association found that implementing a time and attendance system will typically yield an 80% reduction in manual effort and a 3% savings in total payroll (labor cost).

An example of the significant return on investment possible can be seen in the sample case of a manufacturing company with 400 hourly employees across four different buildings. The companys previous time accounting process required their employees to fill out paper timesheets each day and complete this paperwork at the end of each pay period. If this company were paying each employee $15 an hour for a full year of work, their total labor cost would be over 12 million dollars. Implementing an automated time and attendance system to streamline their processes would provide this organization with an annual savings of $374,400.00.

CONCLUSION

If one or more of the signs above describe your current time and attendance situation, contact us at 866-438-4553 to speak with a Time and Attendance Specialist. Quantix delivers immediate improvements in workforce productivity through rapid implementation, unsurpassed user acceptance and the ability to comply with a wide range of requirements. Your time and attendance project will succeed with Quantix.