By Adam Carmichael
While thousands of dental offices are still using paper timecards and punch machines to track employee hours, quality time clock software is readily available. Not using it means that you’re missing out on substantial time and money savings for your practice.
In this article I’ll discuss five reasons for switching from paper timecards to software-based employee time tracking—save time, save money, simplify paid time off (PTO) tracking, stay compliant with labor laws, and worry less about payroll.
Let's face it, paper timecards take a lot of time to manage. Depending on how many hourly employees you have, collecting and totaling timecards while calculating overtime by hand can take hours every pay period, and that’s assuming you can read them. Have you ever been reviewing timecards only to find that you can’t even read half of them? Following up with each employee to decipher the person’s handwriting is a real waste of your time. That time can be spent on growing your business instead of getting lost in the details of payroll.
Time clock software can drastically reduce the administrative burden of preparing payroll by automatically totaling and reporting employee hours. Employees punch in and out on computers or mobile devices, which allows you to total payroll hours with the click of a button, whenever you want.
Here are a few of the ways that time clock software can start saving your practice money.
Increases accuracy—Incorrect totaling and other clerical errors can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. Some estimates suggest that timecard totaling errors can cost 1%-8% of your annual gross payroll. Time clock software accurately totals your timecards automatically—no more errors and no more calculator. Modern time clock software also provides payroll integration with top payroll providers to further eliminate human error during the payroll process.
Controls overtime—A common problem with a paper timecard system is accidental or unwanted employee overtime. When employees punch in early, take a short lunch, or punch out late, small amounts of overtime can add up quickly. Robust time clock software will enforce time clock rules that allow you to control when the time clock can be used, which eliminates unnecessary overtime and saves you money.
Eliminates errors—Handwritten timecards or manually entering hours into a spreadsheet leaves plenty of room for human error. Time clock software can eliminate human error by tracking work hours without bias and ensures proper breaks and lunches are recorded.
Simplify time off tracking Most companies using manual time clock systems maintain binders and spreadsheets to track PTO. Instead of sorting through binders to find PTO data and accrual information, time clock software provides all of that important information at the click of a button for both employers and employees. Employees no longer need to ask the boss, “How much vacation do I have left?” because they can check their own PTO balances.
Stay compliant with state and federal labor laws
With steadily increasing state-mandated labor laws, employers are more responsible than ever to accurately keep track of overtime hours and meal and rest breaks. Failing to do this can result in costly legal fees, back pay, and penalties. Time clock software can help simplify the process of staying compliant by providing the features and tools needed to enforce company policy.
One of the key ways to maintain compliance involves timecard recordkeeping. Just as you store patient records, it’s critical to maintain accurate employee records. In the US, all payroll data, including timecard records, must be saved by employers for up to two years. This can quickly turn into a hassle with hundreds of paper timecards. Time tracking software automatically calculates employee totals in real time and makes historical records available at the click of a button, instead of having to store old timecards in a filing cabinet.
Find peace of mind
Between caring for your patients and growing your practice, there’s plenty of things that can keep you up at night. Worrying about payroll errors should not be one of them. With time clock software handling employee hours, you can sleep better knowing that employees are being paid correctly and you’re saving valuable time.
The right time clock software can save your practice time and money, help you stay compliant with labor laws, and put your mind at ease knowing that you are paying employees accurately. It’s time to stop collecting paper timecards and start tracking employee time more efficiently with time clock software.