If you're still using old-fashioned paper logs and time cards, even the most basic time & attendance software system is going to seem like a radical step forward for your company.
But don't be dazzled by the first solution you see. The best attendance tracking systems offer a broad spectrum of features that are designed to dovetail with your existing software applications and employee procedures.
Before you can begin shopping for an employee attendance solution, you'll first need to do a little soul searching about your company's current processes and the kinds of features you need to create a more streamlined attendance tracking system. Along the way, you will also need to gain an awareness of the available features the technology offers so you can more accurately match the application to your company's requirements.
- Time tracking. Time tracking features comes standard in all time and attendance software solutions. These features record employee login/logout times using unique identifiers that minimize the potential for time fraud.
- Schedule management. Many solutions allow supervisors to create and manage schedules for employees that are based on company rules regarding breaks, holidays and overtime.
- Auto summaries. A first-rate tracking system generates auto summaries of employee time sheets and payroll hours. These summaries streamline the process of supervisory review and approval, and help management identify systemic inefficiencies.
- Data collection options. Depending on how much you want to pay for your system, you will have a wide range of data collection options at your disposal. The most common options for small businesses are identifiers that use magnetic stripes, barcodes or proximity cards. If money is no object, you can also consider biometric or RFID handprint and iris scanning devices.
- Industry-specific modules. These days, many vendors offer modules that have been tailored for specific industries including healthcare, finance, manufacturing and education. These modules are designed to accommodate industry routines and reporting requirements.
- System compatibility. The most important features to look for in a solution are features that demonstrate compatibility with your existing software applications and HR policies. If the system is incapable of flexing to accommodate your business, its usefulness may be limited.