Time And Attendance Recorders

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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Time and attendance recorders are usually managed by a simple software system. They collect data related to employee work hours, which is then entered into a database. The employee information in the database is reviewed each week by management. After the data is verified, management is able to approve each employee to payroll, and payments can then be processed and distributed. Information gathered by time and attendance recorders can also be easily accessed by management when drafting special reports, or when reviewing any employee's benefits and history.

Employees can usually provide their own hours to time and attendance recorders, making the entire system easy to manage. This is done using special unique identification cards, which are given to every employee, and which contain magnetic strips encoded with their personal information. Employees can swipe the cards through a digital reader on a time clock as they check in to work each day, just like they would with older punch card systems. The cards are also swiped at break times, and when checking out for the day. Time and attendance recorders transmit the information to the main database, where it is then automatically tallied for every pay period.

Time and Attendance Systems Prevent Fraud

While older time management systems were vulnerable to fraud and error, these types of attendance systems minimize such concerns by automating the entire process. In the past, employees may have simply used time sheets to record their work hours. In addition to simple dishonesty, these sheets were also a danger, as employees tended to round off their hours, causing them to get paid for small increments of "stolen time." Although the stolen time may seem minimal, if everyone at a large company was getting paid for a few extra minutes a day, the losses could be significant.

In addition to time-theft, another problem that sometimes arises is "buddy-punching." Buddy-punching occurs when an employee covers for a late friend by using the friend's card to punch them in before they actually arrive. In other instances, an employee might use a friend's card to punch them out at the end of a day, when they might have left early. In order to combat buddy-punching, some time and attendance devices are now equipped with advanced biometric reading devices. These systems require additional, unique input, such as a thumbprint, in order to accept and process an employee's information. Although these devices are highly effective, they are most likely only necessary in extreme situations, or with exceptionally large organizations.

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