Is Workforce “Time Accounting’ Really Important?


Is Workforce “Time Accounting’ Really Important?

What is the big deal about “time accounting,” aka “time and attendance” or “timekeeping”? Isn’t that a thing of the past – a “pre-digital age” business practice? After all, with today’s “geo-stamping,” virtual offices and global workforce, why worry about such triviality?
Let’s look at what a seemingly innocent five minutes a day equates to, in either the eyes of the employer or the eyes of the employee. This chart illustrates how an hourly rate and number of employees add up to dollars either paid out for no work; or in the case of the employee who, for instance, works into a lunch hour or after hours without proper time accounting loses in wages.

Hourly         5         10         25
Rate                  Employees         Employees
$7.15         $1,519.38         $3,038.75         $7,596.88
$7.50         $1,593.75         $3,187.50         $7,968.75
$8.00         $1,700.00         $3,400.00         $8,500.00
$8.50         $1,806.25         $3,612.50         $9,031.25
$9.00         $1,912.50         $3,825.00         $9,562.50
$9.50         $2,018.75         $4,037.50         $10,093.75
$10.00          $2,125.00         $4,250.00         $10,625.00
$10.50          $2,231.25         $4,462.50         $11,156.25
$11.00          $2,337.50         $4,675.00         $11,687.50
$11.50          $2,443.75         $4,887.50         $12,218.75

Proper workforce management is more than just timekeeping, that is, adding up the hours between when an employee starts and ends his or her workday. It involves forecasting schedules to avoid overtime, managing schedules to minimize employee fatigue, and budgeting by department to improve the company’s bottom line, to name just a few factors.
“American workers are wasting more than twice the time [that] Human Resource managers expect.” – Dan Malachowski, on

The U.S. Department of Labor states that any timekeeping method is acceptable for recordkeeping. Why invest in a “system,” or even a time clock? Aren’t handwritten timesheets OK? More than 40 years ago, an independent study by Robert Half staffing services agencies identified five factors in showing why handwriting, or manual timekeeping, was fraught with inaccuracies.
The first factor was simply unavoidable; we humans do make mistakes once in awhile, no matter how seasoned we may be. Even if a time clock were used (a step up from handwritten timesheets), its methods can have “gotcha’s,” such as overpaying employees for time worked.
Who reports to payroll when they’ve been overpaid versus when they’ve been underpaid? I think we all know the answer to that!

Timekeeping and an accurate payroll process
The total solution to manage all dynamics and issues associated with timekeeping, and an accurate payroll process, is a workforce
management system.
At the heart of this system is the software, in which your unique pay rules and policies are configured by a professional value-added reseller (such as Evens Time). The software might “reside” on your server (“self-hosted”) or an individual computer, or “in the cloud,”, meaning it resides at another site (usually the manufacturer’s), and you access it through the Internet.
If you have used an online email service, you have used “cloud services” – you don’t have the software installed in your home or business, but with proper online credentials, you use or “rent” the software application for a monthly fee. Your data are stored in a safe facility remotely, but you own your data.

Buying a workforce management system
Outright purchase of a workforce management system will be more costly initially, but unless you need more employee capacity or software user licenses, the ongoing costs will be only maintenance agreements on your hardware and/or software (usually these are optional).
When operating systems change, you will need to move forward with them for a small fee (as opposed to a cloud-based system, where that is done in the background).
There is no hard and fast rule on whether you should get a self-hosted system or a cloud system. Do you outsource your IT services, or is your IT staff stretched thin? Would you like to expense your new workforce management system as an operational expense? Or is cash flow tight or unpredictable, or does your workforce count vary significantly?
These are all factors that lend themselves to a cloud-based system, since after the initial startup costs, you pay per active employee per month.
A needs analysis of your workforce management as to where it is and where you’d like it to be is essential.
Remember: Number of employees is not the crucial factor. Complexity of pay rules and company culture are the most important factors!

Sherry Evens, a Member of Women In Parking, is President of Indianapolis-based Evens Time, a city, state and nationally certified Women’s Business Enterprise. Evens leads this family-owned company of four generations that is “proud to serve the business community with its Time and Labor Management Solutions, as well as Parking and Access Control Consultants, Providers and On-Going Support Teams.”
Contact her at

Article contributed by:
Sherry Evens
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