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“In this blog post, Star Company’s Payroll Manager, Carleen van Hoesel gives her top tips on managing employee time tracking.

The payroll process affects employees at all levels in a business. However, the employees that always feel the biggest impact of payroll systems and tools, are employees that are paid on an hourly basis. This is because hourly employees need to track their hours worked in order to get paid correctly. Incorrect time tracking can lead to all kinds of extra admin work and additional follow up with employees.

Time tracking has been one of those areas with many changes – going from punch cards on a time clock, handwritten timesheets, Excel spreadsheets and now cloud-based platforms, all with the aim of improving accuracy. Having been in the payroll profession for well over 20 years, I have worked through many of these technological changes and can say that the vast majority have been improvements over a previous process!  There are many advantages to assessing your current method of collecting hours from your staff to ensure you are using a method that works best for your business.


Three Things to Avoid when Time Tracking:


  1. Make sure it’s not a time consuming or complicated process

It should not take employees a long time to enter/log their time each day and should not take managers a lot of time to analyze those time entries. Either will cause a lack of interest in ensuring time entries are accurate and can reduce the efficiency that can be realized with an easy time tracking.


  1. Avoid a system that allows for “Buddy Punching”

Although management wants to foster trust with employees, there needs to be a process in place to restrict an employee to clock in or out themselves. Gone are the days of grabbing your friend’s time card and punching them in when they are late. Companies today want to reduce or eliminate “time theft” by employees, whether intentional or not.  Many time tracking platforms now have login PINs or photo capture to reduce the chances of this occurring.


  1. Using an outdated time tracking method

Try to find a platform that allows cloud and mobile time tracking to get rid of paper timesheets, Excel spreadsheets, or reporting time via emails. All these methods have their shortcomings that cloud and mobile tracking eliminate: error from manual entries, lost spreadsheets, deleted emails. Using cloud or mobile solutions offer easy access to data for employees and managers. With the cloud based options, such as TSheets by Intuit or Track from Wagepoint, they also integrate directly with Payroll platforms. This integration eliminates errors and saves time by removing the need for manual data entry into the payroll platform. Many payroll platforms are also integrated with accounting platforms, allowing accurate flow of data from timesheets for financial reporting.

Avoiding these pitfalls when time tracking can make everyone in your company happy: employees, managers, payroll and accounting staff.  Everyone wants an end result of accurate payments for employees in the most efficient manner possible.

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