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Time & Attendance

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Of all the important points of personnel management, time and attendance play a major role. Whether a company employs a paid employee or volunteer, it is essential that the company keeps quality and accurate records of time and attendance on each and every person involved in the company. However, tracking an employee's time and attendance is certainly tedious, time consuming, and complex.

Collecting accurate information on the time and attendance spent by employees on a particular job can be a real time challenge for any size of company. In general, every company records an employee's time spent at office or the actual hours spent on the specified task before the employee sets out. While some companies only take into account the log in and log out time, some keep a track on each task completed on the job by an employee.

Through a number of software programs, time and attendance of employees are usually tracked in-house. Some of the leading companies who provide the software include, Time Trex Employee Management, Kronos, and Wasp Bar Code Technologies.

How it Works

To track the time and attendance in large organizations, many devices have been used. These electronic tracking devices have lessened the burden of manually recording the work hours or attendance on paper or punch cards. Still, there are few companies that use manual recorders to track the time and attendance and are still successful.

Initial time clocks for offices and corporations were developed by IBM, located in Endicott, New York. These clocks manually recorded data on paper cards. Now, time clocks are electronic and the time is registered in hours and minutes or military time. Technology defined clock are easy to operate and report the accurate time. These clocks are sold in retail office supply stores nationwide. Besides these electronic clocks, other common devices for recording employee time and attendance are time punch clocks. All you have to do is simply insert the electronic card or a sheet of paper and the clock punches the exact time you came in.

An alternative mode of recording or tracking time is the electronic badge reader. With the electronic swipe card, an employee quickly swipes it into the time clock. The employee would use the card at the beginning and end of his/her shift and at the beginning and end of breaks, just as the employee would do with a paper punched timesheet.

The main difference between the paper punch card readers and the electronic swipe cards is in the way the time is stored. Paper punch cards are often slipped into a file placed near the time clock, whereas the electronic badge swipe equipment must be downloaded to a computer.

With the specialized software, time and tracking is simple. This will allow a company to accurately record and sort the data obtained by an electronic time clock. This software is in line with payroll or bookkeeping software to ensure accurate and streamline monitoring of time and attendance. It also usually offers the benefit of compliance with laws and regulations.


The benefit of using electronic or manual time tracking systems at workplaces allow accurate tracking of employee's payroll and reduced costs associated with errors. These time and attendance tracking devices help to track billable and non-billable hours of an employee.


Price of time and attendance tracking devices or software depends on the system chosen by the corporation. Small companies can use the simplest time and attendance tracking systems, while large corporations may require advanced software and hardware at a higher cost. A good tracking system should offer both the company and the employee accurate record of time and attendance management.


Time and attendance should be recorded anytime an employee is on the job. It should begin with the employee's first day.

Last Updated: December 19, 2011
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