5 things you should look for in a time and attendance system

Whether you’re new to time and attendance systems or need to upgrade your existing one, you need to know what you should look for in a good time and attendance system.

Research has shown that UK small businesses are losing out by spending considerable time dealing with routine admin tasks which could be automated. With the UK topping over 5.7 million SMEs in 2017, astute businesses need to up their game to stay profitable.

Many businesses, large and small, are investing in an automated system which makes easier work of managing the workforce.  The prevalence of flexible working, shift-work and part-time hours means that keeping track of employee hours is made even more difficult. For busy managers and supervisors seeking to save time and money, an automated system is a popular solution – it clocks-in staff, calculates the payroll and provides reports.

But how do you go about choosing the best time and attendance system?

 Here’s our guide to the five things you should look for in a time and attendance system:

  • What clocking-in options are on offer? – there are now a variety of ways that employees can clock-in and out of work. From RFID swipe cards and fobs, to web, phone and smartphone clocking systems. More advanced systems offer biometric facial and fingerprint terminals which can be simply installed and are amongst the most efficient options, especially if ‘buddy-clocking’ is a concern. Find a time and attendance system which offers the most suitable and flexible method/s for your needs.
  • Will it help me process the payroll? – look for time and attendance systems which offer you the functionality to speed up processing the payroll as well as increasing accuracy. Good automated systems can gather and process clocking-in data for payroll and easily export it to a range of payroll software e.g. Sage, Paychex and QuickBooks. Look for a system which will keep track of employee expenses and which offers other options such setting multiple pay periods or a choice of rounding options.
  • Is it cloud-based? – a cloud-based time and attendance system means that your business won’t have to buy and install software, or worry about maintenance or updates. The provider will take care of all this for you. Being ‘in the cloud’ means you can simply sign-up and log in to have 24/7, anytime and anywhere access. Having a cloud-based system frees staff to work ‘on the go’, from remote locations and from most internet-enabled devices.
  • What type of contract will you have? – look for a time and attendance system which allows you to scale the system up or down in line with how your business grows or contracts. This will apply especially to sectors which typically employee seasonal workers. Flexible pay-as-you-go services are the way to go.
  • Can employees use the system for absence requests? – managers and supervisors can save a lot of time if staff can make their holiday and other absence requests directly online. Line managers can then view and approve the requests online too. Once on the system, it is easy to keep track of holiday and other absences which are included on employee timecards. Staff can be authorised to view their timecards, or be sent them by email.

The uAttend cloud-based time and attendance system provides all the features you need – from a range of clocking in options, to exporting data to payroll, all in one cost-effective pay-as-you-go monthly subscription.