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When is it time to look for a new time and attendance solution?
Checklist //02-03-2023

When is it time to look for a new time and attendance solution?

by Julie Lock, Commercial Director

Even from an HR team's perspective, defining the need for a different time and attendance system can sometimes be quite tricky on paper. The requirements for upgrading HR and Payroll solutions can be more fairly self-evident but it is all too common for time and attendance solution upgrades to be seen as nice-to-haves. You may already have time and attendance software in place, but how do you know it’s the right one for your business?

The fact is that time does actually cost money and beyond that, inefficient time-tracking solutions have a way of creating continuous roadblocks which can go a long way toward derailing productivity. Having the right time and attendance solution in place can offer the effective oversight you need to give you the peace of mind you deserve to move away from needless HR admin headaches and focus on what matters most to your business and your people.

We believe that the need for a new time and attendance solution is deceptively simple, which is why we’ve put together this quick checklist that highlights some of the key signs that you cannot afford to ignore when it comes to assessing whether your current time and attendance system isn’t up to scratch and that it’s time to look for a new time and attendance solution:

Can’t get the right people in the right place at the right time

The role of a shift running manager can be extremely hectic; they have to ensure they have the right people in place to cover all hours of the working day. Shift managers need visibility of their people: of their hours worked, of sickness absences, and of leave requests booked. They need to know which qualifications or training they need to account for when a given employee is away from the business, they need the advanced knowledge and the agility to be able to adapt to any disruptions to the schedule.

Ultimately, the ability to cover unexpected absences or remain agile to various staffing complexities should be a number one priority for any time and attendance solution. If your current solution can’t get the right people in the right place at the right time, the bare minimum your system should offer, then this should be a significant push for you to start your journey in sourcing a new time and attendance solution.

Shift patterning issues

A lack of visibility of your schedules and the roadblocks that can occur with outdated solutions can often mean core tasks such as ensuring shifts are properly staffed can become an insurmountable challenge, especially with last-minute absences.

If your time and attendance solution is lagging behind in terms of complexity, these headaches are often compounded to the point where the challenges they bring about can impact the wider business as a whole, with gaps in shifts leading to runovers in schedules and hemorrhaging money.

Are you finding your organisation constantly short-handed during key business hours? Are you lacking the agility in your processes to make swift and necessary changes to your schedules? If the answer is yes, it’s more than likely your current time and attendance software is holding you back.

Can’t track employee time accurately

In the wake of the wider shift to remote or hybrid models, a key demand of organisations is greater visibility of the hours worked by their people. Older solutions often find themselves lagging behind with these requirements, especially when your workforce is mixed between on-site and remote, leaving businesses lacking in that vital bridging element between remote and office-based staff.

Even the smallest incidences of time theft or inaccurate time tracking can snowball over time into significant financial losses for any organisation. Furthermore, the inability to view the output of your people can sometimes compound trust issues, which could potentially erode a business’ confidence in hybrid working models.

Are you finding headaches and friction are often occurring as a result of this lack of visibility? If so, take some time to consider how transforming your time and attendance processes can provide you with the continuity you need.

Payroll inaccuracies 

The link between an organisation’s time and attendance processes and payroll function is often overlooked but the two are fundamentally dependent on each other. The accuracy of the data being fed through to payroll teams from their time and attendance tracking will determine the speed and effectiveness of the next payroll cycle. Errors in tracking hours worked will inevitably lead to inaccuracies in wages paid or delays in running your payroll, which is especially unacceptable during times of external stress.

When information such as employee hours worked is inaccurate or needlessly siloed away and inaccessible, this can present major issues for organisations, particularly when it comes to their ability to react swiftly to errors and make real-time decisions. Are you encountering hurdles in accessing your data or even in paying your people correctly? If so, it’s worth considering a new solution that integrates better with your current or any prospective payroll software

Lack of integration

Organisations that are currently using separate, non-integrated systems for tracking worked hours and for payroll processing will likely be suffering inefficiencies, manual data errors, and lost time that could be solved with an integrated system. Look for a supplier who has a track record of sending data seamlessly and securely between its payroll and time and attendance offerings.

Unable to support financial wellbeing

Older solutions rarely offer the agility and scope for organisations to drive discussions around financial wellbeing nor help create policies and procedures which puts this first. Today’s time and attendance solutions form a core pillar of financial wellbeing as they support organisations in embedding flexible working policies- helping their people find a working schedule that suits their needs and does away with the travel costs associated with daily commutes. With flexible working now becoming the dominant factor in where prospective employees decide to work, being able to offer this way of working through modern time and attendance technology is essential to attracting the top talent your business needs.

Buddy clocking, time theft, and timesheet fraud

Buddy punching is often a direct result of employees manipulating known flaws within the systems they use to help employees or themselves clock hours they haven’t actually worked, costing the business in precious wages and productivity information. Manual processes such as time sheets and peripherals like keycards and fobs make it all too easy for time theft to flourish. A new time and attendance solution could help you banish lost hours and money that are stolen through time theft and fraud. Are you even able to identify whether your business suffers from this fraud? If not, this is a key sign that your business needs a new way of tracking time and attendance.

Burdened by unplanned absences 

A good absence management strategy is vital when it comes to insulating yourself from unexpected disruption and ensuring business continuity and success, no matter the circumstances. Unchecked absences can cause an unacceptable domino effect on your business, which in turn can compound existing challenges and stresses

An effective time and attendance solution should afford organisations the agility and flexibility they need to account for even the most unexpected incidences of absence and ensure that they are able to source adequate cover. If getting by with your current time and attendance system means spiraling absence costs and an inability to react quickly to mitigate these threats being felt by your business, you should begin making changes to how you handle your time and attendance processes.

Admin headaches and manual processes 

The scope of HR in the modern working world has expanded significantly. In today’s organisations, HR professionals are far more than task robots, dealing with day-to-day administration. HR teams are finding themselves increasingly tasked with taking a proactive approach in delivering insights on employee engagement and wellbeing as well as keeping a weather eye on staff retention and any gaps in talent.

As with any aspect of your business, reliance on manual processes increases your risk of human error muddying your information and decision-making process. Manual input also represents a significant time sink which leaves your HR and operations teams with precious few hours in the week to focus on more meaningful tasks. If your HR or operations teams are spending hours plugging data gaps or trying to find complicated workarounds to processes that should just work, then you are missing out on the opportunity to leverage their talents in more influential ways.

Job costing inaccuracies

Being able to pull accurate and up-to-date information on employee attendance across various sites and projects is absolutely critical in helping businesses keep a handle on not only ongoing costs but also resource allocation. Your time and attendance solution should be empowering you with the ability to stay on top of costing demands in real-time, so you are more efficiently responsive to challenges as and when they rear their head.

What’s next?

We hope you’ve found this brief checklist a helpful guide to some of the key considerations you should keep in mind when considering whether it may be time to look for a new time-tracking solution. If any of these pains feel familiar and if you think you are one of many organisations who are languishing unnecessarily with outdated or unsuitable solutions, if you find yourself battling increasing headaches with inaccurate data, security lapses, accessibility roadblocks, or if you simply just want to do better- why not check out our guide on how to choose a time tracking solution?

Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to someone about the challenges you’re facing, get in touch with one of our friendly time and attendance solution experts.


Checklist Blog Time & Attendance Staff Rostering Time and Attendance
Julie Lock

Julie Lock


Commercial Director

With over 25 years, Julie’s expertise has seen her working with some of the largest global software suppliers in the HR and Payroll industry leading innovation research and development and sales to help support employee development, engagement and business growth. Julie analyses technology, the economy, the human revolution and the future of work, and the impact this will have on employers. She also regularly speaks at business conferences and continues to be featured in thought leadership articles in various media.

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