3 Things They Will Tell You Are Important for Time and Attendance That Aren’t

When looking to move to an electronic time and attendance solution for your business there are going to be a lot of systems to look at.  Be cautious – many will try to bend you to their idea of what you need without looking at what you do or what data you need.  This would be like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.  Some options are more expensive than others.  They will use the term “Need” in their pitch.  There are things that you “need,” but you should be the one to determine your needs as well as any other options you want. Here are 3 things they will tell you are important for time and attendance that aren’t.

Here is a list of some things that they may say are important and are “needs” that you should take with a grain of salt.


This has been on the market for years with marginal success. The sell is that this will eliminate buddy punches, and that is true.  But it will also slow down the punching in and out process.  Biometrics have been found to be somewhat unreliable due to environmental conditions and the ever-changing landscape of our fingerprint.  There are things that you must consider if you plan to go with biometric clocks.

  1. Environmental conditions – Harsh environments can create problems with biometric devices due to dirty conditions. Fingerprints can be impossible to read in this type of environment.
  2. Fingerprint changes – Nicks, cuts, and abrasions often occur in tough environments. When they do, fingerprints change and a base scan has to be re-entered into the system. There have even been cases where some people don’t have a finger print to scan or it is impossible to read.
  3. Skin conditions – Some biometric devices have issues scanning oily or dry skin.

One other thing to consider with biometric clocks is the expense.  Good biometric clocks utilize expensive software and sensors.

Try this as an alternative – have a supervisor at the clocking station when people come in. Watch the employees clock in and out.  That is a far less expensive alternative to good biometrics.  If that isn’t possible install a camera and point it at the clock.  These systems can be less expensive and this will curtail the buddy punching.


Business computing has been moving to the cloud for years, and the necessity of on-premise solutions is no longer an issue. If the solution is designed to protect your data and not store critical private data, a cloud-based system is perfectly normal. The benefit of cloud-based systems is a matter of economics.  The purchase of software and the hardware to run the software is only a part of the expense.  You must also have someone to maintain the software and hardware. Then you have the issue of the system becoming obsolete.  With cloud-based systems or SaaS (Software as a Service) systems, it is the responsibility of the provider to maintain the server and software.

Specific payroll software

Many accounting or payroll software systems today provide a method of importing time ticket entries. There are some that will recommend or exclusively require a specific time and attendance solution. These providers know that they have you over a barrel.  In many cases, there is an option to import time ticket entries but they don’t publicize that feature.  Even if there is a customization that is needed from their software provider to be able to import from other systems that could be of more value in the long term because of the price of these software specific time and attendance solutions. (We solve this issue in On-Time web by allowing you to create customized data maps to export data for easy integration with most payroll software.)

Due to the advancement of technology and the ability to automate tasks that were once labor-intensive along with the competitive nature of the world of technology, the cost of many things has come down significantly in price.  A wise consumer will always research price, but it is still important to look for applications that have a strong track record of dependability and support.  This industry is very competitive, and often there are hidden fees or expenses that are not discussed up front.  Long-term contracts, lengthy lists of add-ons that should be included, and expensive hardware are just a few things to look for.

On-Time Web is one of the most reasonably priced solutions on the market. All training and phone/web support are included in their low monthly plan.  Try it for free for 14-days and see for yourself.

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