Millions of companies have realized a properly configured timekeeping solution can help them manage costs, increase productivity and reduce the risk of wage and hour lawsuits.

If you’re still using handwritten time sheets — or worse, no formal time tracking at all — the cost savings and increased productivity you will experience from a modern timekeeping system can be impressive. Unfortunately, when trying to select a time and attendance tracking solution you may quickly find yourself overwhelmed with the variety of choices available today.

Here’s an approach we’ve found works well. Start by determining which basic type of system is suitable for your work environment and available resources. Then, within that category, zero in on the specific solution that will meet your needs.

So, let’s get started! Generally speaking, time and attendance solutions can be broken down into three broad categories:

Traditional Time Clocks

Pros:

Acroprint Model 125 time clock

  • Easy to use — just insert your time card and punch. Most employees will find it quick and easy to clock in and out.

  • Appropriate for virtually any environment. For instance, heavy-duty mechanical clocks, such as the Acroprint Model 125 and Model 150, can withstand harsh conditions that are not suitable for more sensitive electronics.

Cons:

  • Require the ongoing expense of purchasing of time cards and supplies. For businesses trying to go “green,” one-time-use paper time cards can present an issue. However, Acroprint’s Green Guard timecards, which are made with 30% post-consumer recycled content, offer a more environmentally-friendly alternative.

  • In most cases, employee time has to be manually calculated and keyed to your payroll system. Some clocks, such as the Acroprint ES1000, will automatically total employee time worked, saving time and increasing accuracy.

Software-based Systems

Pros:

Acroprint timeQplus V3 Software

  • Many systems, such as Acroprint’s timeQplus V3, allow supervisors to conveniently review, edit and approve timesheets electronically. Most will automatically total time worked and export to your payroll software or service provider. This increases accuracy and saves time and money on payroll processing. These savings alone usually pay for the system in a matter of months.

  • Most offer a variety of built-in management reports to help you better control labor costs and prevent unnecessary overtime.

Cons:

  • Require you to install on a computer. Depending on the system, you may require help from your IT department to get the software properly set up.

  • You may incur additional costs if you need outside technical support or want to upgrade your software.

Hosted (Web-based) Systems

Pros:

Acroprint AcroTime Web-Based Time and Attendance

  • No software to install. All you need is Internet access and a web browser. With services such as AcroTime web-based time tracking, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. May be a good choice for businesses with limited IT resources and/or a mobile or remote workforce.

  • Most allow you to pay-as-you-go only for the system capacity you need. Easily accommodate seasonal workforce fluctuations.

Cons:

  • Ongoing monthly fees. However, many services such as AcroTime include software upgrades and technical support at no additional cost. With traditional installed software, you will often find yourself paying extra for these items.

Which choice is right for you?

Whether you choose a traditional time clock, installed software or a hosted solution will depend on the needs of your business and your workforce, your available resources and your preferences.

The important thing is to choose the solution that’s right for you, to configure it properly and to make sure your employees use it regularly.

If you have any questions or would like more information about any of Acroprint’s line of timekeeping products, email us or call us at 800-334-7190 or 919-872-5800. We’d love to hear from you!

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