Do you know Timeclock Apps can save you money? Online applications are saving business owners big bucks by keeping track of everything from bookkeeping, time tracking, to customer leads. Online apps eliminate mistakes, save time, and keep stringent records, which keeps business owners organized and aware.
Remember how organized you became when you started online banking? You no longer had to sift through a stack of papers, calculate them against your bank balance, and write checks. Your payments show up on a single screen, are totaled, and subtracted from your bank balance. You never overpay or miss a payment. You never incur late charges. Even with a five-dollar monthly fee, you still save money.
Applications like these are invaluable within the workplace in keeping your payroll budget down. For example, adding a time tracking application to your arsenal of online apps will keep your employees honest and efficient, effectively reducing your monthly payroll.
The Online Timeclock
Having your employees scratch down their hours on paper or enter them into an excel spread sheet at the end of the week will test the limits of your payroll budget. Memories are fallible as is the manual entry of data, but mistakes can be virtually eliminated with online timekeeping. An online time tracking application allows your employees to click a button to clock in and out while automatically adding up the total of hours. Vacation and sick hours are automatically tracked as well, freeing up even more valuable time.
The virtues of switching to an online application go beyond convenience and elimination of mistakes. Some employees simply aren’t trust worthy. This is a common problem many business owners face. Unfortunately, the solution is not so simple as replacing your untrustworthy employee. Instead, we need some way to thwart their efforts.
Clocking in for each other or vouching for each other can be an issue with a physical punch clock if the boss is out of the office. If one employee comes in late but the other was there to “attest” to her presence while you were away, you would probably never know. Online timekeeping solves this problem by adding a biometric verification to each clock punch.
The most common trick your employees will play on you is what is commonly referred to as time padding. This is usually easy to get away with since you are most likely too busy to notice exactly when your employees come and go. If Julie, for example, pencils in an extra ten minutes on Monday morning’s timecard because she came in late and then rounds an extra 10 minutes on Wednesday because she wanted to beat traffic, you probably wouldn’t notice.
By the end of the pay period, after all of your employees have added a minute here and a minute there, you are losing big bucks. It is crucial that your employees clock in and out instead of scribble in their hours.
How much Are You Losing?
Let’s say you have an employee that makes $10/hour. One week that employee pencils in an extra ten minutes on Monday morning’s timecard because she came in late and then rounds an extra 10 minutes on Wednesday because she wanted to beat traffic; she just cost you your morning latte. No big deal, right? We buy people coffee all the time.
But the story rarely ends here. Not only will this employee continue to pad her timecard but so will the rest of your workforce. If you have five employees averaging $10/hour adding just three minutes each day on the way in and three minutes on the way out, you are paying each of them for an extra half hour per week. That’s just over two hours per month. For all five of your employees you are spending an extra $100/month or $1200/year.
Getting Out of the Office
Everyone knows industry connections are an important factor in establishing your business. Online timekeeping frees you up so that you can get out of the office and meet some colleagues. You can trust that your employees are reporting their hours accurately. If you need more assurance, you can access your records from anywhere in the world. Setting up a further project tracking feature would give you an even keener eye into daily duties.
The Reality of Litigation
Occasionally, disgruntled employees accuse employers of violating employment laws. Often times, employers don’t even know that they are not in compliance. If, for example, you pay your hourly employees for 40 hours but they routinely work five or ten minutes late, or they’re too busy to take their full lunch, they can make a case against you. Unfortunately, employee’s hours are not always well documented. You probably wouldn’t notice it, but your employee will. Keeping good records can help get you out of trouble if you ever have to show up in court.
Comparison of Online Time Tracking Apps
Free apps: There are dozens of free applications that offer a simple timer for recording time in real-time. Many of these apps are functional, though limited in their uses and levels of customization. I have personally used Slimtimer to track how long I worked on a few different duties in a given day. It is straightforward and very easy to use, albeit simple.
Mid to small size business: Many of the time tracking services available today are specifically designed for the small business owner, employing between 2 to 100 people. Timesheets offers employee time tracking and project time tracking as a bundle at a very affordable price. This system is thoroughly customizable, unlike the free apps, but it is flexible enough to cater to even the simplest needs.
Large size business: There are a couple of time tracking software companies that are designed with the enterprise in mind. Replicon is a great product, but for a small business with just a few employees, it is pricey.
Guest author Joel Slatis has been building web sites for more than a decade as an independent web developer and search engine optimization expert. His website timesheets.com, a web based time tracking service, was founded in 2004. Today, Joel’s company tracks employee time for over 500 companies in more than 10 countries. Image credits novecentino and houseofsims. You can also write articles and share your favorite apps.