If you’re wondering if your current time and attendance system is outdated, chances are you may be right. Many small businesses continue to rely on insecure, antiquated methods for tracking and reconciling time cards that depend largely on the honor system and require significant manual effort. In fact, 25% of U.S. businesses are still using paper time cards or spreadsheets for time and attendance.

But outdated time tracking systems end up creating more problems than they solve — and they can be a pain equally for the employees that have to use them and the small business owners and managers that have to track the data and make accurate calculations. Improving the accuracy and efficiency of time tracking can make a measurable difference in productivity and cost controls, which is why switching to automated, paperless time tracking software is so urgent today. 

Here are six signs that help you know if you’re overdue for a time tracking system upgrade.

1. You’re chasing employees down for their time cards

Outdated employee time tracking technology accounts for over 50 million lost hours of productivity by making it far too easy for employees to forget to punch in or punch out, record breaks and paid time off (PTO) inaccurately, and overlook errors. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably also having to run around reminding employees to update and submit their time cards, which takes time out of your day that could be better spent on other work. And when you finally do gather all the time cards, there could still be missing or wrong information you have to spend additional time to resolve. 

2. You’re stuck with tedious tasks

Frequent, repetitive, time-consuming tasks are a drag for anyone who has to do them, especially if there’s other pressing work that has to get done. As many as 90% of workers are burdened with repetitive tasks that could be automated. A time tracking system that doesn’t streamline common tasks and workflows — like capturing time entries and calculating overtime and shift differentials — does nothing but slow you down, making you far less productive and more likely to burn out. It can also put you at greater risk for making errors, which can impact compliance. 

3. You have no way to track true labor costs

Manual time and attendance systems make it exponentially harder to understand and track true labor costs because there’s no single, digital system of record to refer to. Businesses need to understand their labor costs to make better decisions about employee pay and benefits but especially to estimate projects, price products, and bill clients correctly. If there are gaps or uncertainties in labor information, you can’t make exact calculations and have to resort to guessing — which could mean losing money. 

4. You can’t accurately track PTO accrual 

PTO is an important employee benefit — and a competitive recruiting strategy. It’s important that you track PTO accrual accurately so employees aren’t short-changed on the time off they’re due, but also so PTO hours are capped properly for each employee per your company’s rules and any unused time is paid out or carried over. Without a reliable system of tracking PTO, you open the door to a variety of personnel, management, and compliance problems that can have a larger impact on your workforce over time. 

5. You have trouble handling leave cases

When you don’t know who’s taking medical, family, disability, or other leave and when vs. who’s just absent a lot, you can’t support employees appropriately when they return to work or discipline the ones who might be breaking the rules. Outdated attendance and time tracking software that doesn’t have built-in absence management capabilities give you much less control and visibility into your workforce, affecting your ability to enforce leave policies and mitigate absenteeism.  

6. You lack visibility into schedules

Many outdated time tracking systems don’t make it easy to schedule employees based on their preferences or history. It’s also difficult to make on-the-fly schedule adjustments. And without reliable scheduling data, you can’t forecast overtime, compare projected vs. actual worked hours, and gain an understanding of labor costs, as discussed above — all of which hamper your ability to make important budget and labor decisions. 

Empower your business with an effective time tracking system

Today’s competitive business landscape demands greater efficiency — and that includes a time and attendance system upgrade. With PrimePay’s time tracking solution, you can easily collect and track time and attendance with an automated system that follows the rules you define and streamlines frequent tasks. Employees are empowered to access, review, approve, or reject their own time cards so you don’t have to. Built-in accruals, absence management, and scheduling gives you greater control and visibility into your workforce and helps you stay compliant. And you get the rich data and reporting capabilities you need to understand labor costs and make better business decisions. 

Ready to take the drudgery and complexity out of time and attendance tracking?

PrimePay can partner with you to offer support throughout the entire employee lifecycle and help you streamline business operations. Click here to learn more about our offerings. 

Interested in learning more about our time solution? Contact us at (833) 968-6288 to connect with one of our experts today.

Are you an organization with 150 or more employees?

Enhance your employee experience, simplify enrollment, and relieve administrative burdens on the HR team with enterprise-class solutions that improve efficiency, compliance, and marketplace competitiveness. Click here to learn about our enterprise solution.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on SyncHR's blog and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Please read our disclaimer here.