What is Time Tracking?

Time tracking is a key process through which organizations monitor the working hours of hourly employees and ensure accurate compensation. This type of tracking is a subcategory of time and attendance, which includes time off, billable hours, and scheduling, among other elements.

Time Tracking Process

Traditionally, these functions were managed manually, but now many organizations use software designed specifically for this purpose. Time entry is the daily practice of recording employees’ starting and finishing times as well as any breaks not included in the employee’s contract. These times are called timestamps and may be documented on a physical timecard or an electronic spreadsheet or software. Often, time entry is referred to as “clocking in and out” or “punching in and out,” which refers to “punching” the button on a physical time clock that stamps the time on a paper timecard.

Modern software-based systems use a unique identifier to clock employees in and out, while time-tracking functions built into point-of-sale systems often use an employee’s first log in and end-of-day logout. In both electronic and manual systems, these times of day are called timestamps, and they are kept in a timesheet.