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Improving Small Business With Time and Attendance Systems

  time1 A smart small business owner might increase revenue growth by investing in new customer acquisition methods and improving customer service, but end up wondering why they're doing so much more work without earning extra money. Successful small business owners understand that they need to improve their processes, not just how often they’re used. An AffinityLive report found that failing to track time and attendance costs the average professional services business over £70,000 every year, simply due to lost revenue. [Tweet "Failing to track time and attendance costs the average professional services business over £70,000 every year!"] Too many businesses have rushed to employ new technologies quite literally without helping people to count the cost. The best business advantages are gained by removing the major bottlenecks and roadblocks, not by streamlining things that are already accelerated. Manual time and attendance tracking is an extremely time-consuming task. For this reason it's often delayed, with the excuse that "more important" work needs to be done; the result is records relayed days later, rushed and inaccurate. An automated time and attendance system saves stress for both employees and owners of a small business.

Related Article: An Outdated Time and Attendance System Can Cost Your Business

Other advantages include: 1) Supervisors spend an industry estimate of seven minutes per employee, per time card, per pay period, so as the business grows the system is swamped. Companies can cut this to a quarter with automated time management systems. This doesn't just save time, it frees up supervisory staff to improve other aspects of the business management. 2) The Aberdeen Group has found significant advantages in efficiency and accuracy with automated workforce management systems. 36% of companies surveyed reported reductions in clerical errors, 39% enjoyed a reduction in time spent on workforce management, and 31% found they were spending less on labour costs overall. 3) The Aberdeen Group also found that over three-quarters of its "Best-In-Class" companies automate time and attendance management. Even with organisations like the University of Oxford and the U.S. Army employing these systems, research found that last year 40% of U.S. businesses still calculated payroll by hand, and GoDaddy found that almost half didn't even use an accountant. iStock_000053501316 4) An AffinityLive report found that over a quarter of those surveyed rarely or never report time spent on meetings, and over half make similar omissions of time tracked reading and answering emails. In the modern business environment this is an enormous error, leading to serious disparities between the time tracked and the time worked. 5) This may be why so many employees are more likely to steal from their employer than their customers. A Kessler International survey reports that up to 69% of hourly employees overestimate their hours, sabotaging efficient management by taking breaks while signed in or helping friends fool the tracking system. 6) It's not just time that is taken, but office supplies as well. Kessler International also found that over half of the employees surveyed admitted to stealing office supplies for personal use. This bill can be reduced by eliminating unnecessary printing and manual entry documents, such as manual time-keeping. Automated time and attendance tracking removes this drain on the stationary budget, as well as leaving employees less annoyed, and less likely to try to compensate themselves out of your business budget. 7) Not tracking time spent in emails and meetings can also cost the employer if they don't stay on the right side of the law. Fair-wage practice lawsuits are an expanding industry all by themselves, with winning hundreds of millions of dollars being recovered from inaccurate businesses. Automated data tracking can help avoid such problems instead of saving them up for a big future bill.
Implementing Time and Attendance Software
8) Automated time and attendance tracking helps everyone at every level of the business not just by streamlining administrative processes, but by letting employees easily see their own hours and progress on a day to day basis. Easy access to records of their own achievements can help improve employee engagement (studies have found that 72% employees with access to automated time and attendance systems rate themselves as highly engaged, compared to 64% without). 9) The whole point of attendance and time tracking is accurate data to make employee and expansion decisions. However, loosely-applied time tracking produces inaccurate data. Most timesheets filled out a few times a week, aka "when they get round to it," are only "somewhat accurate". Daily timesheets and better can improve that to "very" accurate. Many small businesses are focused on growing instead of improving. Becoming bigger without fixing internal inefficiencies is an invitation to disaster, piling ever-greater loads on a flawed mechanism until the system breaks down. Improving efficiencies and eliminating unnecessary tasks can improve revenue while reducing the required labour, creating a happier, more successful business; one much better equipped to grow where others buckle. Improving your time and attendance systems could improve every level of your business. Not only do your reduce administrative headaches, you improve employee engagement, eliminate wasted time at every level, and improve the data needed to make major business decisions. What are your company's biggest time and attendance challenges?