What is a Time and Attendance Tracking System
A time and attendance tracking system allows companies to record attendance and working hours of employees in order to pay their wages. Specific tasks can be tracked on a time basis in order to cost jobs accurately. This is referred to as job costing. A time and attendance tracking system is also invaluable for meeting compliance with labor regulations regarding proof of attendance and breaks given.
In general, a time clock, also known as a clock card machine or punch clock, is used to gather hours worked by an employee either electronically or mechanical. With regards to the latter, a heavy paper card, called a timesheet, is inserted into a slot on the time clock. The machine then prints day and time information on the card that allows a timekeeper to have an official record of the hours an employee worked in order to translate worked hours into pay. In most cases today, the traditional time clock no longer meets the needs of companies, as it has been displaced by efficiencies gained through well-designed time and attendance tracking systems. More specifically, improved efficiencies have been gained through the development of automated systems that use magnetic stripe cards, badges, biometric time clocks or touch screens in place of paper cards. Employees simply touch or swipe a device for identification and the tracking of their hours worked as they enter or leave their work environment or move from job to job within their work day. This information is automatically transferred to the time and attendance tracking system for the generation of employee timesheets which are used to calculate employees’ wages. Some systems still require an operator to physically transfer time data from clocking point to a computer.
In today’s technological world, it is imperative that an attendance tracking system allows companies to collect and organize their employee time data simply, accurately and timely in order to optimize their proficiency in management of their companies’ resources. More specifically, an attendance tracking system must improve efficiency two-fold by automating tracking of in/out time and preparing attendance reports. Those companies with large numbers of employees need to install several clocking points in order to speed up tracking activity in dispersed locations.
The automated time and attendance tracking system allows busy companies to streamline and simplify timekeeping and time collecting – collecting, managing and processing time in order to effectively manage their time and attendance needs and requirement. This frees up valuable time so that companies can meet their client expectations better, optimize operations and engage others in their business.
Manual time and attendance tracking systems still exist today that rely on the review of times stamped on paper cards from machines such as the Bundy Clock.
A jeweler in Auburn, New York, Willard Bundy, invented the first time clock in November 20, 1888. The Bundy Manufacturing Company was organized a year later and began mass production of time clocks. Bundy Manufacturing consolidated with two other time equipment businesses forming the International Time Recording Company (ITR) that merged in 1911 with two other companies forming the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR), which would later be renamed to IBM. Then in 1958, IBM’s Time Equipment Division was sold to the Simplex Time Recorder Company.
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