“Payroll used to be a necessary evil, something you had to get done. Now companies are leveraging the information,” notes Insperity TimeStar sales director Carlos Gonzalez. “It’s not just about capturing the ins and outs of blue collar workers,” he adds.
For example, law firms and health care companies can use a log in system to indicate which client should be billed for each segment of time. Such data can help when an architectural firm bids projects or when any business projects labor costs.
Time sheets should be seen as the “front end” of the payroll process, Gonzalez says. “And when you start with quality information you eliminate the ‘garbage in, garbage out’ scenario.”
By eliminating employee time estimation and mathematical errors, businesses can decrease payroll costs. Automation can also provide managers with up-to-the-minute information about overtime potential. The fringe functionality of time and attendance software is the immediate access to labors data by all managers, even those in a different location.
“Managers can curtail the overtime before it happens. Because employees are very wise about ways of working the system,” offers Gonzalez.
Time and attendance software can alert managers when employees fail to show up, are late or fail to take government-mandated breaks. More sophisticated systems track mobile employees via GPS to monitor time spent at each job site.
“And to be sure they’re working and not sitting at Starbucks,” quips Gonzalez.
For many businesses, labor cost is one of the largest non-fixed expenses. Paying employees for time not worked can be the difference between profit and loss.
Thorough tracking of employee time isn’t just a good principle of business. It’s the law.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employers retain certain records for each covered, nonexempt worker. Though there isn’t a specific form required the records must include accurate information about employee hours worked and the wages earned.
The evolution of time tracking methods – from the old-fashioned punch card system to the newest GPS-enabled systems – is an advantage to every business owner. Decreased payroll and an increase in information about the management of your labor is a benefit that allows your company to save money and function more effectively.