How do you track employee hours? Through emails to supervisors? Keeping track via the white board in the break room? Maintaining an Excel spreadsheet? These are all reasonable ways to monitor employee time, but are they the most efficient and reliable? Is your current method capable of showing where you’re overpaying for unnecessary labor, verifying employee hours to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of, and minimizing your risk for staying compliant?
With new Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations in effect, accurately tracking employees’ hours is more important than ever. Employers must analyze employee hours to determine full- or part-time equivalency for each employee. This ultimately determines what provisions of the law apply as a small or large employer. Therefore, employers need to ensure they are correctly tracking employee time in order to stay compliant. Below are a few checkpoints to make sure your system is not missing the mark:
Controlling Labor Costs
Too often an employer focuses on the cost of the service without seeing the full picture of savings involved. If you’re looking solely at price, there are many low cost ways to record employee time as mentioned earlier. But what employers don’t realize is there are affordable options to have employees punch in and out, whether by the web or a physical time clock. In turn, these systems can make a major difference of how well an employer controls their cost of labor. Time systems can provide insight to better manage your entire workforce. Monitoring and reducing long breaks, late arrivals, early departures and unnecessary overtime in itself could offset the cost of implementing a timekeeping system.
How many supervisors, HR Directors, or small business owners block off hours to “do payroll”? Today’s technology now offers web-based time systems integrated with payroll systems that streamline the entire payroll process. Employees enter their time directly into the system where the supervisors have access to review and edit as needed, reporting features simplify the approval process, and the export/import functionality reduces data entry. Today’s options not only streamline the process, but increase accuracy by eliminating the possibility for keying errors.
In addition, more “mobile-friendly” options are on the market today. Mobile applications are improving the way we manage mobile employees. Punching onsite for construction, landscaping, home health, and other industries can provide accurate work time and location. One of the main concerns with mobile punching is the employee will punch while they’re still at home, taking a long lunch or not otherwise on the job. But some systems offer GPS tracking associated with the application, so the location of the punch is recorded and visible to supervisors and administrators.
Minimize Compliance Risk
Utilizing a timekeeping system allows you to monitor and enforce policies across your organization. As previously mentioned, it is important to stay compliant with the ACA regulations. By tracking employee’s time and pulling the appropriate reports, determining eligibility is easy. But time and labor systems also help with other compliance aspects, these include: abiding by payroll rules (FMLA, union, overtime, etc.), reducing fraudulent practices (i.e. “buddy punching”), and storing data records in case of audit or claim.
There are many solutions to choose from when you search the web for “time clock software”, “time and attendance”, or “time management software”, but you need to choose one that’s right for your business. Talk with a member of the MPAY Network or download our brochure to learn more about MPAY’s time and labor management solution, Clockentry.