As a small business, you may find you or your HR staff spend an excessive amount of time working on payroll and attendance records. One answer to the problem is to use time and labor software, which automates time and attendance tracking, thus reducing payroll errors and saving time and money.
Using time and labor software, you ensure that nothing is entered into the system manually. The system makes it easy for your employees to clock in and out and allows for supervisory controls and adjustments if necessary. This also improves compliance and makes it easier for you to keep scheduling flexible and appropriate. Knowing how to use it correctly is also important. This is where partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), who can provide the software and the expertise to use it effectively can come in handy.
Manage Cost and Budgets
Time and attendance software is more accurate than manual timekeeping, which allows you to know exactly when your employees are "on the clock." This will enable you to predict the cost of hourly employees better.
When an employee's time is being billed to multiple departments, projects, or clients, time and attendance software generates a report of how much of their time is being used on each project. This can then be used to support billing to clients or to monitor the actual cost of a project. Labor costs become much more predictable and manageable. And, of course, you get the benefits of the high return on investment of partnering with a PEO, an average of 27%.
Compliance with Complex Regulatory Requirements
Time and attendance software records overtime, and it can be set up to automatically use the requirements for your state or the states in which your employees are located. This is particularly useful if you have remote workers in multiple states; as your remote workers are governed by the laws of the state they live in, they may have different overtime laws or laws regarding paid leave.
By eliminating human error, the software makes it a lot easier to comply with regulations and reduce the risk of getting into trouble. As regulations become even more complex and the remote workforce is normalized, it will become even harder to handle all of them manually.
For many workers, flexible scheduling is now a key benefit. For example, if both parents have flexible schedules, one parent can start work late to get the kids to school, while the other leaves early to deal with after school. This means they no longer have to pay for expensive childcare.
For other employers, it's about getting themselves and their family to medical appointments, their pets to the vet, etc. Flexible scheduling can also improve productivity by allowing workers to work when they have the most energy. Keeping track of hours worked and finding overlaps in which to schedule meetings can be a major downside. Time and labor software can help with both of these issues.
You can also schedule according to business needs by analyzing your scheduling patterns and identifying when coverage is most needed. Finally, you can track employee time-off requests to ensure their departments are covered during their absence.
Avoid Understaffing and Unnecessary Overtime
Time and attendance software can help you avoid both understaffing and overstaffing. It can flag when an employee is about to go into overtime with enough time to switch them out and avoid the higher bill. You can bring on extra people as needed and develop a work schedule that works for you, your employees, and your customers.
With manual timekeeping, it is often easy for employees to consistently come in late or leave early. Time and attendance software can help you flag these instances so you can talk to the employee concerned. It can flag, for example, if they are always late on a specific day, which can then be investigated.
Time and attendance software also prevents the phenomenon of buddy swiping, where an employee covers for another employee who is late by signing them in. You can look at employee attendance over an extended period and see whether there are patterns that can indicate an issue. In some cases, this is not a disciplinary issue, but rather one which should be addressed by adjusting scheduling or talking about expectations.
Get Better Reports
With time and attendance software, managers and employees gain access to self-service portals. Employees can enter their own time, or they can be checked in automatically. Managers can quickly check who is scheduled to come in when and see instantly if they need to find somebody to cover a shift.
The software also generates reports which can be used to plan shift schedules for the future. This is all particularly useful if you have a complicated shift pattern or need 24-hour coverage (such as for customer service).
Partnering with a PEO will get you access to their proven time and attendance software, which they already know how to use and deploy. To find out more about partnering with a PEO and how we can help you, check out our blog or download our "Hi-Tech & Hi-Touch" ebook for more information.