Time Recorders

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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Whether you're a small company or a multinational corporation, time clocks can be invaluable tools for insuring efficient business management. The primary function of time clocks is to track work hours on a daily basis, providing a reliable, consistent work record. This saves you time and money by automating the task of maintaining these records. As new time clocks are developed, they are also able to serve an increasing number of secondary duties as well.

In the past, time clocks were often nothing more than sheets of paper and a pencil. Modern equivalents can be enhanced clocks, digital devices, and computer software. As technology evolves, time tracking devices are being developed with increased capabilities. As a result, time recorders and related devices can not only help to reduce some of the hassles associated with running a business, but might also be able to increase profits by eliminating wasteful practices.

In addition to creating and maintaining a database of work records for a business, time clocks can often fulfill other functions that can insure the integrity of your management system. Time recorders can help you manage employee benefits, which can help to eliminate any discrepancies that might arise otherwise. They can also be configured to provide instant access to a wealth of important information, minimizing many potential hassles.

Many organizations are turning to efficiency initiatives as a way to reduce costs and maximize managerial effectiveness. A common target of these initiatives is excessive paperwork and mismanaged data. Time clocks can alleviate many related concerns by automating and regulating duties that might have formerly been handled in an inefficient manner.

Companies that still rely on simple time-sheet methods for managing their work hours, payrolls, and benefits, may find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the administrative problems related to these duties with the time and energy it takes to fulfill them. In addition to mismanaged time and effort, time sheets also leave more room for error than automated systems. When human-error causes miscalculations in time recording, the effort and hours necessary to remedy the situation can have a significantly adverse effect on profits. Accurate timekeeping systems alleviate these concerns by providing a business with a reliable, easily manageable system for maintaining records.

Time clocks can also eliminate some of the other problems associated with simple time-sheet methods of time tracking. Time-theft has been a serious concern for many businesses in the past. Time-theft occurs when an employee over-reports the amount of hours spent on the job. The practice of time-theft is not always as deceitful as it sounds, and can occur when an employee using a time sheet simply rounds off his work time to the next hour. Although this might only mean a few minutes of "stolen time," it can rapidly become a significant expense to a large organization. If hundreds of employees are stealing a few minutes of pay each week, whether intentionally or not, profits can soon be affected. A few extra minutes of work each day can amount to an entire extra week a year. If this amount is multiplied by the total number of employees, the loss can be staggering. Time clocks prevent time-theft by creating an exact digital record of work hours.

Varieties of Time Recorders

With such a diverse variety of time recorders and time tracking systems on the market, a business will need to be familiar with how each particular type can address their needs. Time recorders and tracking systems are generally considered necessary for any company with at least 20 employees. However, with time recorders becoming more affordable, even smaller businesses can now experience their benefits. Businesses with under a hundred employees will usually require only a simple time tracking system, using a basic time clock as a time recorder. Time clocks can track hours using anything from a basic punch card system, to a more modern digital equivalent using magnetic swipe cards and an electronic reader. The traditional punch card system records hours directly onto time cards, which can are the collected and tallied on a weekly basis. Electronic time recorders enable employees to swipe a small identification card through h clock, which then records their hours either locally, or transmits them to a larger database.

Larger companies will usually require a more intricate and multi-purpose system than can be provided by a simple employee time clock. The advanced time management systems favored by large organizations can usually carry out several functions. In addition to tracking when employees log in and out of work on a daily basis, these systems can be used to effectively regulate the entire workforce. Complex issues, such as scheduling concerns, vacation time, and sick days can all be addressed by these systems, automatically indicating management options to help the workforce meet the businesses needs on a daily basis.

The specific ways in which time recorders can address a company's needs depends on the size, goals, and functions of the company itself. Time recorders and time tracking systems now range from simple punch-card clocks, to digital attendance recorders, to complex software systems. All of these devices and systems can be useful for efficient business management. A review of their various functions, capabilities, and limitations can let you determine which type of time clocks are right for you.

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