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Time and Attendance Software: What Should You Expect? A Guide to Attendance Management System (Revised 2021)

Disha Suresh
November 14, 2016

Tracking time and attendance is a crucial part of any business.

It helps HR managers make work plans for productivity, gain insights on absence, and calculate the accurate amount of salary to be paid to each worker.

However, considering the sheer number of functions that the HR department performs, they can make mistakes if they use spreadsheets or just pen and paper.

This is where time and attendance software comes in.

Such software is designed to keep track of employee schedules in your organization. Such systems generate accurate attendance records, absence tracking, manage overtime, and more.

Another important function of this software is in payroll processing. It is vital to calculate employee hours, absences, and overtime to calculate their wages.

This type of software is common in a majority of businesses of any size.

time and attendance management system by sumHR
Attendance Management System

What is a Time and Attendance Management Software?

A Time and Attendance Management System or software offers attendance and timekeeping solutions in accordance with company requirements.

There are a large variety of tools and capabilities offered in such HR systems. While one software handles project tracking, another one can exclusively track attendance,

A timekeeping system without attendance management only gives insights into hours taken by employees to finish their tasks.

Their settings differ from those of a time and attendance module, which offers error-free real-time reports and attendance logs.

This can also be achieved with a cloud-based attendance management system that provides a complete overview of every employees' working hours through the week/month, daily work duration, punctuality, and some additional features such as payroll & biometric integration.

Why should you opt for an Attendance Management System?

Now that we understand how time and attendance management systems work let us look at why your company should opt for one.

1. Increased Productivity

Even if employees are salaried, time and attendance solutions can help managers propel the organization towards optimal productivity levels.

Now, the human resources department doesn't need time cards and clock-ins to calculate payroll. Instead, they can use their time for making better strategies for their workforce.

2. Reduction of Errors

Human error is expected when you are working manually. The time and attendance software virtually eliminate the possibility of errors. It also ensures greater accuracy in employee compensation and labour tracking.

3. Automatic Documentation

If there's any problem with an employee's attendance, automatic time, and attendance tracking help a lot. The software helps in reporting whenever an employee is clocking in and out/

Working hours are conveniently tracked daily, so it is easy to compile reports showing absenteeism patterns. These reports are vital when dismissing problematic employees or in coaching employees that are habitually late.

4. Workforce Management

A simple time tracking service has the ability to create new projects and assign time-clocks to those projects. Employees can check their goals and

Setting shift patterns in this efficient attendance management software can help in employee scheduling, and in ensuring that they are not overworked. This is a brilliant feature to add to your business as employee engagement is a very important factor to account for.

Features of a Time and Online Attendance Management Software

Now that we understand the benefits of time and attendance software, we will try to understand the standard tools and systems that organizations implement.

Features of attendance management system or attendance management software

1) Biometric Attendance System

Most companies these days are opting for biometric attendance systems. With registers or card reader systems, there's always a chance of buddy punching.

While this was acceptable in college to a certain level, it's definitely unacceptable at work where employers are investing in you.

A fingerprint attendance solution can completely eliminate the chances of fraud that may be committed by any employee.

Biometric time and attendance software can be easily integrated with attendance software to get real-time data. This is also extremely cost-effective as there's no need for splurging on anything other than the actual machine.

A fingerprint biometrics tool erases the need for other variables such as punch cards or lists of attendance.

With a biometric attendance system, even if an employee leaves the organization, all you need to do is delete their data. Adding a new employee is just as easy; simply register their fingerprint immediately without any hassle

biometric time and attendance system
Biometric Integration with attendance management system

2) Break-Time Tracking Software

Some time tracking software also has a unique feature for break duration policies.

What this means is that with a break-time tracking policy in place, employees can clock-in and clock-out multiple times throughout the day. The first punch-in of the day is the official clock-in time at work.

The last time an employee clocks-out is the official clock-out time. This has to be one of the best time tracking software features.

3) Web Login System

A timekeeping system also offers a web login system as a backup. This is really beneficial for remote employees or people working from another location due to a meeting.

You can now clock-in simply by a click of a button, on a mobile device or a laptop.

Apart from travelling on-the-job, this employee time tracking software feature can also be useful in case an employee is working a night shift from a different location or is in a different time-zone.

Since this is accessible via the website, there's no time period as to when the employee can clock-in as long as it does not break company policies.

Cloud Based Attendance Management System

4) Attendance Monitoring

The most basic feature of any HR software offering time and attendance software is an employee attendance monitoring system.

It's a monstrous task to keep track of when every employee walks into the office. And more so when you need to allot different time slots and schedules to remote teams and on-premise employees.

You can easily design different attendance policies for every team with one click. Everything you would need in an attendance tracker is right in front of you.

View your employees' clock-in and clock-out timings or accept/reject/revoke leaves, all on one dashboard. You get access to all past records of the employee's attendance as well.

In addition to this, employees also benefit from the missed clock-in alerts and absence management features.

Employee time tracking with an integrated attendance tracker is a better option than simple time management software as it offers features like time tracking and working hour management as well as attendance monitoring.

5) Payroll Integration

An attendance solution is almost always integrated with payroll. Payroll calculations always need insight into hours worked by employees.

So, when attendance software automatically transfers data to payroll software, it greatly benefits the HR department and makes salary payment easier.

The two software can work in harmony in order to produce accurate payslips that are backed by well-documented attendance data.

This way, no employee can complain about incorrect payment, or about errors in their attendance records. You can ensure their satisfaction through error-free calculations benefits and deductions.

Additionally here are some benefits of payroll software for your business.

With that being said, here are the must have features in an ideal attendance management software.

While the above-mentioned integrations are beneficial to any company, attendance software could benefit from a few small additions.

Here are a few features that are very convenient for workers and employers alike.

1. Cloud-based attendance management software

A cloud-based system ensures that employees have multiple options of clocking-in from any device, be it mobile devices or laptops. It also means that the attendance dashboard can be opened on a browser and does not require users to download an app.

This mobile integration and browser integration also helps workers clock-in from anywhere, which is a godsend for remote workers.

This feature also removes any compliance challenges as the attendance platforms are accessible by everyone in the company

2. Employee self-service portal

Employees can do more on their own with a self-service portal.

They can log-in at their desk, enter their attendance and exit the same way.

In addition to this, they can send leave requests, calculation errors and read through company policies without having to contact the HR department and wait for the data to reach them.

3. Digital Calendars

HR tools need to keep up with current technology. This means that they must have the capabilities to integrate with other commonly-used tools.

One very beneficial feature for attendance software is compliance with digital calendars such as Outlook and Google Calendars.

This calendar integration allows remote teams to function closely with one another and makes it easier for HR managers to check the attendance of employees in a single click.

In conclusion, time and attendance software are very important tools that assist HR operations. While employers are spoilt for choice while choosing a system for themselves, they might not know how to choose the perfect fit for their organization.

If you would like to implement the best features and integrations to your HRMS, then sumHR is here for you! sumHR is a cloud-based HRMS that automates HR processes and streamlines operations.

Still confused take a 7 day Free trial of sumHR's attendance management system or any other suite for that matter, just book a free demo with sumHR

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Why tracking your employees' time and attendance is important?

Employees are the most valuable asset in all types of organizations. The overall company performance depends largely on the productive working hours put in by its workers. Organizations need to monitor time and attendance activity as employers need to understand how their workers are making use of their eight or nine-hour shift.

Employers can determine who are following rules and regulations and who are not. They can receive insights into their productivity and efficiency and the effort put in by a worker on an average workday.

This process will determine the sincerity of the worker and whether they are a good fit for the organization.

What Features Should a Timekeeping Management System Have?

While all the above-mentioned features come together to make a well-functioning system, here are the core features that such a management system must-have.

  • A web-based attendance system that collects, stores, and organizes employee data
  • A cloud-based platform for remote workers to clock-in from anywhere
  • Integration with payroll and other HRMS suits for smooth flow of data
  • Company policy allotment and reports of a break-in policies
  • Leave management system

What are the benefits of Time and Attendance Software?

  • Detailed employee attendance records
  • Insights into shift patterns and productivity hours of workers
  • No errors in attendance and absence records
  • Reduction of manual errors and attendance metrics used in calculating payroll
  • Simple workforce management
  • Improved productivity levels and better employee performance

If you have any questions drop it in the comments below, we will be sure to answer it. Book your demo now.

Written by
Disha Suresh
Disha is a content writer at sumHR with over a year of experience in creating website content and copy, long-form articles and user-oriented blogs.
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