An IT Director’s Playbook on Technology: The Evolution of Time and Attendance

Before mechanical time and attendance systems were developed, employers were required to monitor their employees’ attendance manually. This process involved numerous steps, including scheduling, payroll processing and paid time off accruals. Conducting each of the steps manually can create a plethora of issues, many of which still occur to this day.

From payroll clerical errors to time theft issues (otherwise known as buddy punching), processing time and attendance in such a manner hinders productivity.

The dip in productivity is further exacerbated by the fact that it doesn’t create a singular issue, but multiple ones that occur throughout the entire process.

Just to give you an idea of what that looks like from an HR perspective, consider the many responsibilities involved in conducting this process. Here’s a list of a few major steps:

  1. Chasing down the company’s employees to get their timesheet updates
  2. Interpreting the information
  3. Manually recording data entries, and…
  4. Finally, adding eaching and every one of them into your payroll system

Tracking time and attendance in such a manner is a daunting task. It’s not only a time-consuming and stressful task, but is also inefficient from a cost standpoint. The amount of time and work your HR employee or manager has to take in order to track down and manually process the information increases the likelihood that they make errors that cost the company money.

Since automation occurred, it has revolutionized the entire concept of how time and attendance is managed. Here’s a brief timeline of the evolution of the process:

  • 1888 – First time clock was invented by Willard Le Grand Bundy
  • 1979 – The first punch-card system, which was linked to a Z80 microprocessor, was developed and introduced to the public
  • 1990s – First commercial time clock software was implemented commercially
  • 2000 – The first browser-based SaaS time and software solution was created
  • 2008 – Time and attendance solutions became cloud-based

If you’re still using pen and paper timesheets or a manual clocking system to track timecards, the time has come for your company to embrace technology.

Automated time and attendance solutions can eliminate time theft, reduce clerical errors, empower employees, and increase the efficiency of workforce management. Ultimately, the result of these benefits is that companies make more money.

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