You may have seen the TV commercials: an astronaut in a space station that’s breaking apart. He’s got his arms wrapped around an old amplifier, too big to fit in the escape pod. His companion suggests he let it go. “But I’ve had it since high school,” he wails, clinging even tighter to the amplifier. Or the lady on a skydiving lesson, falling through the sky, clutching to her chest her old sewing machine that she hasn’t used since her “sewing phase.” The instructor suggests she get rid of it so he can reach the ripcord to open their parachute. But still she hesitates.

Many of us have a tendency to hold on to things, sometimes longer than we should. We cling to things for security, when in reality they may be holding us back or even causing us harm. The astronaut couldn’t get into the escape pod until he relinquished his old amplifier. The skydiving team would have had an unpleasant landing if she didn’t give up the sewing machine. Letting go and moving on is sometimes to our benefit.

In the context of time and attendance, some years ago I remember reading a study that found companies tend to hold on to their time tracking solution on average for something like seven years. With the pace of technological change these days, seven years can seem almost like a lifetime. How long have you been using your current time tracking solution?

It’s human nature — most of us follow the path of least resistance. So often we limp along with the status quo, instead of looking for alternatives that might work better for us. Here’s the big question: how do you know when it’s time to upgrade — or replace entirely — your old time tracking system? Here are a few clues:

It wastes your time

Do you see groups of employees gathered around the time clock waiting to punch in or punch out at shift change times? Wouldn’t it be better for them to be at their workstations instead of standing in line at the clock? If you’re otherwise happy with your time tracking solution, it may be time to consider expanding the capacity of your current system by adding more clocks.

If your current solution doesn’t meet your needs in other ways, you could benefit from replacing it entirely, and moving to a faster, more robust solution.

An outdated system doesn’t just affect the employees who are clocking in and out. If you’re appalled when you think about how much time it takes to process your employee time records and run your payroll, it might be time to consider a system upgrade.

If you (or your staff) are spending many hours a week adding up time cards, auditing timesheets, or keying data into your payroll software, a new automated time tracking system could save you a lot of time, hassles and money.

It’s cumbersome to use

Do your employees drag their feet and complain constantly about using your time tracking system? Do you find yourself dreading payroll processing days? Do you have to refer to your user guide or handwritten notes every time you need to do anything with the system because it’s so complicated to accomplish even the most seemingly-simple tasks?

Most likely, the problem isn’t you or your employees. The problem is a timekeeping system that doesn’t fit your needs.

A good time and attendance system is intuitive, quick, and easy to use. A good time and attendance vendor will work with you to identify what features and functionality you need, and recommend a solution that will work for you and your people.

It allows too many errors

The more manual processing and data entry you have to do, the more chances there are of clerical or keypunch errors creeping in. Errors cost you time and money to correct. Even worse, depending on the type and frequency of mistakes, they can lead to lower employee morale and even legal woes.

Modern automated time tracking systems will automatically total your employees’ work time and produce export files you can easily import into your payroll system with no manual keying necessary. If you have an integrated system like AcroTime®, it’s even easier — there’s no export or import needed. Everything is processed all in one system, with one sign on, using one employee database.

Even if you need or prefer to use a standard punch clock, totalizing models such as the Acroprint ES1000 can help eliminate some sources of clerical errors. The Acroprint BioTouch® could be an attractive alternative as well. It offers biometric authentication to eliminate buddy punching and totals employee work time without needing a PC connection or installing software.

The main thing to remember: you have options if you want to reduce your payroll error rate.

It no longer supports your business processes

This is probably the biggest — and best — reason to consider updating your system.

Do you have to maintain convoluted or paper-intensive manual processes simply to accommodate the limitations in your current timekeeping system? Do you find yourself, your supervisors, or your employees devising end-runs around the system just to get things done? Are there things you wish you could do — or perks you wish you could offer your workers (such as the ability to telecommute) — but you can’t figure out how to make them work with your existing system?

If your time tracking system hasn’t kept up with your changing business, it’s time to change your time tracking system!

[bctt tweet=”If your time tracking system hasn’t kept up with your changing biz, it’s time to change your system!”]

There’s no point in letting an outdated time and attendance solution drag down your business performance, not when there are so many excellent options available. And it won’t cost a fortune — for instance, our timeQplus® software starts at less than $200. You can get a complete bundle including software and our top-of-the-line FaceVerify terminal for less than $700. AcroTime is even better, with a convenient pay-as-you-go monthly subscription, so you pay only for the capacity you use each month.

The point is: a modern system that meets your needs and supports your business doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, when you take into account the time savings, more accurate time tracking, and reduction in paycheck errors, a modern time tracking system will usually save you far more than the cost of the system. Many times, the payback period is only a few months. (And who doesn’t want to reduce unnecessary business expenses?)

Check out our savings calculator and see for yourself how much a new system could save your organization. Then give us a call or visit our online store to select the perfect time and attendance system to carry your business forward.

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