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Time Clock Guide

Why use a time clock?

Time clocks are used by many businesses and organizations to help keep track of time. Time clocks guarantee, thanks to built-in security features, that the time stamped on a card or other document is correct. These devices are easy to set up, transport and use.

Time clocks are ideal for use with employee time attendance. Unfortunately we cannot always rely on our employees to be honest. The ?honor system? and hand written time cards can be easily manipulated and employers can be cheated out of thousands of dollars. It is also legally wise to use a time clock, as you can prove what hours have and have not been worked.

Time clocks can be placed on a countertop or mounted to a wall. Many time clocks even add the time worked, making payroll calculations easier. TimeStation PC software allows your employees to clock in through the computer. The time is automatically added up and it is easy for employees to clock in and out.

Some newer time systems also have the ability to use a magnetic stripe, like you see on a credit card. Many employers will put this magnetic strip directly onto a photo ID card, that can be used to clock in and out. This data is stored in the device and can provide you with exact details on time worked. Some of these devices can be interfaced with a computer or printer.

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Things to consider before purchasing a time clock.

How many employees do you have?
You will want to be sure and take into consideration how many employees you have and how many you will have in the future. Some time clocks are designed for low volume, and some PC time software can only handle up to a certain amount of users. Choosing the correct time clock the first time will save you a lot of time and money.

How much time do you want to spend?
Many of our time clocks have the ability to add time up as employees clock in. Digital time clocks and time clock software makes this even easier by allowing employees to clock in and out using their ID rather than cards. Lower end time clocks do not add up the time. If you are concerned about the amount of time it will take to figure out the payroll, you may want to choose a machine that will assist you in this.

What kind of security do you need?
All time clocks have a degree of security built into them. Manual punch card time clocks have one level of security, by requiring a key to change the setup. This prevents inaccurate manipulation of time worked. If you want another level of security, you may want to consider digital time clocks. Because digital time clocks are paperless, employees are unable to manipulate a time card.

Where should you put the time clock?
Be sure to put your time clock in a location where it is easy to access. Come 5:00 p.m., you may have a mad rush to the time clock. You don?t want anybody blocking hallways or rooms.

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What are the different types of time clocks?

Punch Card Time Clock
Punch card time clocks are the most common type of time clock out on the market. They typically use a card that is slid or inserted into a slot. Once the card enters the machine, a switch is triggered that brings a print head down on the card, printing the date and time.

These time clocks are ideal for small to mid-size companies. They are easy to set up and use. Some punch card time clocks are also capable of keeping a running total of time worked. This is especially nice when figuring out payroll. They usually include a key that opens a compartment giving access to the setup. These clocks cannot be changed without the key.

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Digital Electronic Time Clock
Digital electronic time clocks are the newest style of time clock available on the market. These time clocks are slowly replacing the traditional punch-style time clock. Digital time clocks store clock in and out times electronically, in the machine.

Some have a touch pad device that allows you to punch in a code and clock in or out. Others have a swipe device that allows you to use a magnetic stripe, like what you have on a credit card, to swipe in and out. This magnetic strip is often incorporated into a photo ID card.

Digital clocks keep a running total of time worked and helps calculate hours worked for payroll. Some digital time clocks can be interfaced with a computer or a printer for larger organizations. Security features built into digital time clocks prevent any kid of manipulation or abuse of time worked.

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Time Stamps
Time stamps can be used for employee time attendance, but are typically used to stamp the date, time or both onto a document. These documents can be records, contracts. Many times these stamps are used to track paperwork. Modifications can be made to some of these stamps that will allow them to also print words such as ?received?.

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Time Station Software
Time station software allows employees to sign in and out of work through a computer. Some software can only be used on one computer, but some can be networked and accessed from any computer in the office. One of the biggest advantages of time attendance software is the ability to export time clock info. to payroll software such as ADP, PayChex, Peachtree, Quick Books Pro and more.

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