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Punch cards, folded up pieces of paper, written timesheets and emails with best-guessed numbers were once the common ways of tracking employee time. For some of you, it may still be! The reality is these methods had their time, and with efficient time and attendance software now here to do the job, we think that their time is done.
I was once an accounting assistant. Working for a small landscaping company with 40 hourly employees, I spent a good part of my weeks digging through plastic grocery bags left on my desk to separate crumpled submitted paper timesheets from dirt-covered credit card receipts to reconcile for month-end. Missing hours, illegible timesheets with ink washed out by the rain and timely manual calculations to total hours for payroll were all realities that I had faced — and I know for a fact that I am not the only one.
Knowing what time and attendance software exist today, I’d do anything to go back and see what a difference it could have made in my experience. But that’s the true beauty of it all — I now get to share this solution with you while you take your process to the next level with implementing a time and attendance software like Time by Wagepoint (formerly Timesheet Mobile).
Here are five questions to ask yourself when comparing to find the best time and attendance software alternative for you.
1. What information is a MUST-HAVE for when it comes to tracking time for my employees?
Every small business has its own set of unique needs, and yours isn’t an exception! Take a moment to think about what information you’re looking to gather and track using software. Here are a few examples, along with how Time by Wagepoint can help.
When tracking your employees’ time, is it important for you to know what time they started and what time they ended, or are you simply looking for a total number of hours worked that day?
With Time by Wagepoint, employees can track time using a punch-clock style entry where time in and time out are recorded, or a time-card style entry where they can enter the total number of hours they worked each day.
Is it important to you to know where your employee is while they are working?
GPS and location tracking is a common feature available with many time and attendance software. Some track the location of the employee only at the time of their recorded punch in or out, while others offer continuous tracking while the employee is clocked into work. Some software even have the ability to set up GEO fences around project or job locations, allowing for reminders to punch in/out or even to be alerted when someone has left the job site while still on the clock!
Time by Wagepoint offers the ability to turn location enforcement on or off. While On, you can access features such as recorded locations of punches and GEO fences, as well as employee reminders to punch in/out and admin alerts for times where punches have been missed while entering or leaving a GEO fence.
Job and task information (aka job costing)
Is it important to know if your employee’s hours are being logged to a specific job or project, as well as the task that they are completing? If yes, you’ll need a software that allows employees to select the job they’re working and the task they’re completing at the time of their punch. Not only will this record your employees’ hours for payroll, but it’ll also allow you to accurately total labour hours for job costing purposes at the end of your project.
Time by Wagepoint prompts employees to select the job/project they’re working, as well as a secondary level of task or service that they’re completing (i.e. their department or role), at the time of their punch. If your employees are only working at one location and the task isn’t important to you, there’s no need to make either of these fields required. (We can keep it simple, too!)
2. How do I want my employees to track their time?
Are your employees working from multiple different locations, sitting at their desk with a computer for the day or are they all in one single location for every shift? It’s important that the software you choose has a method to track time that suits the work your employees are doing.
Mobile apps are great for companies with employees that are on-the-go, that have worksites that change regularly or that may not have access to a computer while working. Most people have their phones in their back pockets at all times these days, why not make use of something they are already familiar with!
Web browser time entries
Web browser time entries are best for employees that start and end their days on their computer. Logging into a website to punch in/out for the day or using a time-card style entry where you can log hours per project as your day goes on are both options you may be looking at for your employees that spend the bulk of their days at their desk.
The Kiosk option is perfect for companies with employees that start and end their days at the same location and are looking to use one single shared device for all employees to log their time. On a tablet or a computer, employees can punch in when they are working and punch out when they’re done. Most Kiosks serve as a central location for time entries on a self-purchased device that has access to the internet (and, in Time by Wagepoint’s case, a camera for facial recognition or biometric punches).
Psst! Time by Wagepoint offers all three of the above options to track time! Choose the one that best suits your company’s needs or use a combination.
3. What other features are important to me?
We’re big fans of simplifying processes for small businesses here at Wagepoint and know that having everything all together in one place not only saves you costs but also time (there’s a common theme here)!
Keep in mind that some time and attendance software (like Time by Wagepoint) also offer additional features like:
- Integrations with your existing payroll and/or accounting software
- Paid time off (PTO) tracking
Think about which features are important to you, and see whether they’re available with the software you’re considering.
4. How much am I willing to spend on time and attendance software?
Price is always a big deciding factor (especially on a small business budget). We think that price is important, but even more so that the price you’re paying is worth the value of what you’re receiving. Implementing a time and attendance software will not only save you on potential missed time or calculation errors, but will also save you in labour hours put into preparing payroll, and ultimately win back your valuable time for things that are more important.
Keep an eye out for additional savings with offerings like a free trial or current promotions, as well as a billing style that allows for flexibility and growth (such as month-to-month plans).
Make sure that the cost fits within your budget, but be sure that the budget accounts for the savings that implementing a software will bring you!
5. Where do I go if I need support?
Help, please! Implementing a new software can be intimidating, so quality support is important!
Ask about the type of support that the company offers. Is there a Help button on their website? Do they have a database with information that you can access after hours? When admins and employees reach out for support, can they both speak with a real human? Support is a top priority at Wagepoint, and that is no different for Time. Make support a top priority for you, too!
When you need help, the Time by Wagepoint team is ready whether through the Help chat, over the phone or in making sure we have resources in our knowledge base for you to access.
Take back your valuable time.
Time is valuable. Treasure it and make it yours! Trade in your grocery bag of timesheets once and for all and start the process by asking yourself these questions. Have some more? That’s what we’re here for! I would love nothing more than to be a part of your process of taking back your time.