Time & Attendance

Timekeeping is a vital element of effective payroll practices that is commonly mismanaged by employers, leading to potential liability. Employers who do not maintain complete and accurate records of the hours worked by their employees are unlikely to pay their employees correclty, and can face great difficulty in defending themselves against claims filed by their employees.

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In order to minimize your risk of liability employers should implement these simple timekeeping practices:

  • Document employee’s starting and stopping times for each day they work. Non-exempt employees should record the times at which they begin work, begin any meal period(s), end their meal period(s), and conclude work for the day.

Here is why you should record meal times. Many states are very specific in how you are to treat employees as it relates to meals and breaks. If you don’t have the employee record that they took these breaks you expose yourself to liability in this area and by not recording this information you will have no way to defend yourself.

  • Insist that employees record their own time daily- In order to prevent employees from arguing that a manager has recorded their hours of work incorrectly, employers should insist that employees record their own hours of work each day. Documenting time daily will ensure accuracy. Sometimes an employee will attempt to fill out their time card at the end of the pay period but generally are unable to remember the precise times at which they began and ended work each day.

Time is Money

If you’re worried about time wasted, here are some tips to boost your revenue.

  • Accountability: The discipline of recording time also make one use it more effectively – it makes them think about what they are doing. By analyzing how your employees are using their time, you can provide training and address procrastination issues and teach time-management skills.
  • Accuracy: You can keep track of time manually (By using Time Sheets) if necessary, then enter it into an automated system at a later time and monitor your progress against daily budgets.
  • Automation: Consider using a fully integrated, automated system for timekeeping, using timecards, handprints, etc. Time keeping software may also help you to prepare accurate timesheets. The benefits of automation include:
  • Flexibility, systems can be tailored to meet the needs of your business.
  • Efficiency – easy-to-use functions that reduce or eliminate manual errors.
If you are feeling fancy, you can download apps on your smartphone or tablet to record your time and sync back via Wi-Fi or 4G to your PC or work system. Whatever method you choose, remember timekeeping is a critical step in the payroll process that is often neglected by employers. By following the basic policies outlined above, employers can minimize their risk of liability while increasing their bottom line.