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Making the Business Case for Time and Attendance Software

Making the Business Case for Time and Attendance Software
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Prove to upper management how time and attendance software can help your business combat the very real problem of absenteeism.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockIT professionals looking to make the push to adopt time and attendance software have ample data — and plenty of concrete benefits — on their side. But the first point to make to your senior leadership team is that you're not just evaluating the software for pure convenience and ease of reporting. Rather, absenteeism is a real, and costly, problem for most businesses across the U.S.

In fact, three percent of an organization's workforce is absent every day — costing employers more than 20 percent of their total payroll budgets. And it's not just payroll that's the issue; absenteeism halts productivity, enables miscommunication and weakens morale. One way to tackle the absenteeism challenge: time and attendance software.

"I honestly can't think of any cons to time and attendance software," said Christie Connaghan, a senior human resources representative in San Diego, California. "It's definitely worth the investment."

MORE: Best Time and Attendance Software

The benefits of tracking time and attendance

The benefits of time and attendance are relatable to all sides of the business, making it easier, perhaps, to gain leadership buy-in than other types of software. From cutting out time consuming, manual processes, to a record of proof of an employee's attendance, to impressive cost savings — the benefits here tend to speak for themselves. Here's an overview of the most popular ones.

  • Save money. The data is on your side. Businesses save money by reducing inaccurate time reporting, time abuse (overpayment) and prevention of "ghost employees," fictitious workers on the payroll. These savings are nothing to joke about — it could lead to a few thousand dollars a year, per employee.
  • Legal compliance. Errors will catch up with your business in the form of fees, back overtime payment and even via violation of federal guidelines, resulting in hefty fines. Time and attendance software helps you avoid this issue by ensuring attendance records match planned schedules and adhere to company policies.
  • Reduce manual headache. We're in an age of automation — why should payroll be any different? "Time and attendance software drastically reduces the time it takes to process payroll. An automated system will track employees' hours and attendance and automatically import the data into the payroll system, providing an audit trail. Businesses can go from spending hours processing payroll to just a few minutes if they use software," Connaghan said.
  • One version of truth. Airtight records are a good thing. One version of truth minimizes errors, keeps everyone on the same page and improves your overall accuracy. Plus, users can generate reports on hours worked, and absences, in just a few clicks.
  • Increased employee satisfaction. Believe it or not, time and attendance software has been shown to improve employee satisfaction levels.  According to Connaghan, "Employees feel empowered when they have access to their own information. It also guarantees timely and accurate pay."

How do you choose a time and attendance software?

Sure, the benefits are compelling — but how do you decide on a time and attendance software provider when so many vendors offer similar tools?

"Any good software will address all these key benefits," Connaghan said. "But one thing you do need to consider is if you want the software offered via desktop, or if you prefer a web-based application. Additionally, think about if you want to host the platform internally or want a cloud-based service."

Other things to keep in mind: Evaluate what employee clocking options are available. And, check how many people would be required to use the program to ensure you're in line with licensing. And don't assume you'll always be upgraded to the latest version of the software; find out how often your provider releases new versions and if your upgrades will be free or an added cost.

Finally, customer support is always crucial for any new type of software. Do you have to enter a ticket and wait a few days for assistance? Or, can you go online, or call, to receive instant help? These factors go a long way into making your day-to-day operations easier or a lot more challenging.

Cut risk — and headache

"I would communicate to management by focusing on all of the benefits of using an automated system. I would specifically point out the significant cost savings and how it will mitigate any risks associated with pay and will protect the company," Connaghan said.

"I would also focus on what's in it for the management team, like reducing their administrative time, and reducing questions asked from employees."

Editor's Note: In the market for a Time and Attendance Software package? Fill out the form below to be contacted with more information.