Time and labor (also called time and attendance) involves tracking employees' start and end times, early departures, late arrivals, breaks taken and absenteeism. Payroll involves, among other things, making sure employees are paid correctly based on their time-labor records.
The two functions are entwined, which made it difficult for employers who had to rely on standalone systems for each one. Fortunately, software developers have figured out ways to unite these systems.
By integrating time-labor with payroll, employers can now increase efficiency, save time and money, and make things less stressful for their employees and payroll staff. Let's take a closer look at these benefits.
An integrated system captures and stores employees' time-labor data electronically, thereby eliminating the need for paper timesheets and physical storage space.
Reduces timecard fraud
According to the American Payroll Association, over 75 percent of U.S. employers lose money because of buddy punching — which refers to the fraudulent practice of co-workers punching in and out for each other. This is a serious issue, which can be addressed by integrating a biometric time-labor system with your payroll software. (A biometric system positively identifies a specific individual.)
Minimizes timekeeping and payroll errors
With an integrated system, the chance of errors drops significantly, since the payroll staff does not have to manually calculate timesheets or enter timekeeping data into the payroll system by hand.
The integrated system improves accuracy by digitally collecting time-labor data in real time and automatically transferring the information to the payroll system, which then does the calculations based on the entered data and any subsequent edits. The system not only calculates employees' time but also ensures that the time is appropriately rounded up and down.
Lowers headcount and frees up time
An integrated solution can reduce the size of staff needed for certain activities, such as timekeeping and payroll data entry. Also, supervisors can spend more time on mission-critical tasks and less time policing attendance.
Improves regulatory compliance
One of the biggest payoffs of merging time-labor with payroll is that the system helps keep you in compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws. Because accuracy is improved, there are fewer wage and hour complaints by employees and fewer penalties from the government.
An integrated solution offers more dynamic reporting options than a standalone system. Since the data is centralized, your payroll staff does not have to log in to different systems to generate reports. With just one login, they can create reports on work hours, break times, absences, regular wages, overtime and more.
These are some of the reasons to integrate time and labor processes with the payroll system.