Things to Consider When Selecting a Time Clock System

Things to Consider When Selecting a Time Clock System

December 13, 2021

It wasn't that long ago when most time clocks were physical contraptions that actually punched thick card stock, thereby indicating whether a worker was present for the day. But while some businesses can get away with such a time clock system today, most organizations need -- and would benefit from -- something a little more advanced.

That's where modern time clock systems come into play. From advanced biometric time clock systems to simple employee time clock systems that have extended capabilities with online dashboards and remote timekeeping, there are countless options out there when it comes to tracking your employees and other workers, even if they're not physically in the office with you.

But regardless of the options, the choice is important. The wrong time clock system can cause you to spin your wheels, spending more time managing the time of others when it should be helping you to spend less. And for your employees, the wrong system can sour their experience, causing strife when it should be doing the exact opposite. After all, both employees and employers all want to account for the time spent, and the right time clock system for your small business should help facilitate a smoother process in accounting for that time, not additional hoops that can cause more hiccups and raise more questions than answers.

Indeed, before you start shopping an employee time clock system, you'll need to know what to look for. You don't necessarily have to spend days or weeks doing so, but you will need to have an understanding of your needs and what you can get out of your time clock system from an organizational standpoint. Whether you have five employees or 50 or 500, the right system just makes management of your human resources that much easier, and that can help you extract more value and have a positive effect on your budget and the bottom line.

Why Do You Need a Time Clock System?

If you don't have an existing time clock system at all -- or if you've been tracking everything in a unwieldy spreadsheet -- the right system can help you get a handle on your human resources, and that can help you more effectively put those resources to use.

The main reason why most businesses implement a time clock system is accountability. When reporting is accurate and absent issues in logic and implementation, that makes it much easier to solve questions about hours or days worked -- all of which can be a benefit to workers and management.

A robust time clock system can also help you analyze the data in a more efficient manner, as well as enhancing your ability to make better decisions based on that data with convenient dashboards and reporting systems that minimize the busywork and even automate the most repetitive tasks, such as managing payroll. If you've ever wished for a one-click payroll action, the right time clock system can be a viable solution.

The best employee time clock system can also help you monitor attendance, overtime pay, PTO and sick leave, helping you stay in compliance with state and federal regulations regarding employment, as well as giving access to important HR information and requests to your employees and workers. Before you can identify the right time clock system for your needs, you'll have to identify what your actual needs are. If you need a physical clock that people can use to punch in as they start their shifts and when they take breaks, there is a different set of concerns for tracking the time for remote workers in another city or state. But you may even need both, which would be best served by one comprehensive solution instead of some complicated amalgamation of tools.

Consider the Feature Set

No modern time clock system would be complete without comprehensive reporting that allows you to see at a glance exactly how your human resources are spending their time and how you can attach that value to particular departments or clients. Without such a layer, you won't be able to make that data work for you, giving you actionable insights and helping you to understand where resources are best spent and where you may want to pull back a bit.

Consider the Interface

If our reliance on technology has shown us anything, it's that the interface matters. A time clock system that makes it easy to understand what's going on and that enables you to report on the realities of the day is far better than some kind of kludgy interface that may be more trouble than it's worth. Older time clock systems often fall into this bucket by doing what they do poorly, if at all

But with a comprehensive system that works well in a wall-mounted device in addition to the screens of computers and phones, you'll be making it easier for everyone to check in, no matter where they happen to be. On the management side, you'll also be able to quickly verify and observe from a computer or phone, even if you're halfway around the world.

Consider Data Collection

The amount of data that any given business generates in a day is staggering. However, while large businesses typically have the resources to develop systems and techniques for keeping track of it all, small businesses are often just trying to get through the day. This often means having data that may go unanalyzed, or losing focus of the big picture as the minutia of the day is hashed over.

With a robust time clock system, you'll be able to track all sorts of activities regarding the hours worked, and that can help you develop a better understanding of pay rates, budgets and the value that any given worker is contributing to the bottom line. Better yet, a new time clock system can help you field requests from your workers by making it easier to request and approve time off or to automatically account for tips or gratuities.

Consider the Integrations

For all the reasons you may consider a new time clock system, none is more compelling to most small business owners than automatic payroll. If you've ever desired a one-click payroll button to help you run payroll in a fraction of the time it typically takes, a convenient integration between your time clock and QuickBooks, ADP, Paychex and other payroll providers can help make payroll a cinch rather than a slog.

Even if you use an obscure payroll system, the right time clock system will integrate with payroll systems as well as providing custom exports to work with homegrown systems or interfaces that currently require a manual touch. And once you see the benefit to your payroll calculations and correcting any errors as they occur, you'll find that a new time clock system can actually help you save money by allowing you to do more in less time.

Furthermore, the mobile apps and web-based systems allow you to work with your time clock system from anywhere, enabling you to adjust numbers and run payroll whenever you choose. Your employees will also be able to log in from anywhere, which can help you navigate the challenge of managing remote workers or by giving perks to current in-house workers that may want to work from home one day a week.

Manage It All With a PayClock Employee Time Clock System

With the Lathem PayClock time clock employee time & attendance system you can offload much of the burden of managing workers to a proven system that helps small businesses get a handle on their human resources. Rather than questions about who worked when and whether the data you're looking at is correct, you can monitor it all in real time during the month, as well as minimizing the time you have to spend on various tasks at the end of the month like payroll and scheduling.

Additionally, with our biometric face recognition, fingerprint and proximity badge time clock options, as well as our web portals and free mobile apps, you can set up the right kind of time clock solution to meet your precise needs. We'll even give you a free, 15-day trial to determine if our time clock system is right for you. Get a quote and get started today!


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