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How the Right Time Clock Unites Payroll and HR

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No issue unites payroll and HR more tightly than the need to pay employees accurately. Running an accurate payroll is the payroll department's primary job. One of HR’s main missions is to ensure the company provides its workers with a fair, positive work environment that encourages loyalty and productivity. The entry point where both departments will achieve these goals or not is the time clock.

Both HR and payroll have a vested interest in what sort of time clock the company uses to collect workers’ time and attendance data. The right time clock will

  • Improve data quality and the scope of data collected, reducing the amount of manual workarounds and oversight required.

  • Provide mechanisms where employees can get answers to the most common payroll and HR questions for themselves, freeing payroll and HR staff to focus on higher value tasks.

When workers know they can rely on a timely, accurate payroll every pay period and get their HR and payroll questions answered quickly, they’re happy, engaged workers; as are both payroll and HR staff.

how the right time clock can improve time and attendance reporting


The right time clock collects the right kind of data

It’s wrong to assume that every time clock can collect the full scope of data payroll needs to run a fully automated payroll.  Even if the time and attendance system and payroll system have the necessary functionality, they still need the data. Only the time clock can collect data and automatically send it to the systems that process it into payroll.

For example, many companies have workers who have complex time allocation requirements that impact payroll calculation. They might

  • divide their work time across different departments, which need to be billed separately

  • earn different pay rates for when performing different tasks or switching departments

  • work across multiple geographically areas, each have their own tax schemes for which the right payroll deductions must be made

The best time clock can collect this type of varied data at the time workers clock in and out it doesn’t need to be manually managed and entered into the payroll system. (Check out this case study about how one Accu-time customer addressed many of these issues with its installation of ATS time clocks.)

In other cases, HR and payroll may want to collect other kinds of data to improve services to workers and improve the company’s compliance record-keeping, such as

  • having hospitality workers enter their tips earned when clocking out at the end of each shift; this helps the workers manage the complex area of tax compliance and provides the company the full scope of earnings data so revisions needn’t be made each quarter (finance will like this as well, not just HR and payroll!)

  • collecting attestations that the worker didn’t witness any workplace injuries occurring during the shift, when they clock out; this type of real-time data collection regarding potential workplace injuries helps HR respond within legally mandated timeframes in case there has been an accident or compile accurate compliance records that an injury hasn’t occurred

Without accurate and complete data, payroll staff have to collect and enter it manually, and both HR and payroll staff have to deal with the fall out when mistakes inevitably occur due to manual data management. Nobody in either department is happy about that.

The right time clock improves employee services while it saves HR and payroll staff time

One of the hottest HR trends in enhancing employee recruitment and engagement efforts is the idea of providing an awesome employee experience. According to Deloitte Insights, utilizing employee self-service technology is a key component of providing the kind of employee experience that retains high quality employees.

To this end, some time clocks have the capability to function as an employee self-service (ESS) kiosk. Time clocks with a wide, color touchscreen interface and that can deliver a broad array of data empower workers to submit vacation requests, check upcoming schedules, request copies of payroll stubs, among other benefits.

Using a time clock as an ESS kiosk packs a double-whammy of goodness. Employees like being able to self-serve, and they no longer take up HR or payroll staff time by asking common questions, which makes payroll and HR more productive.

Coming together to select the right time clock

It’s logical that payroll and HR should unite to present a common front insisting on the kind of time clock that provides them – and the company – these benefits. You can learn about ATS’s full range of time clocks here.


how the right time clock can improve time and attendance reporting




Biometric Usage: Growing concerns over the privacy and security of biometrics are driving government regulations surrounding the definition of personal data and how to protect it. These regulations vary from country to country, state-to-state, and in some cases city by city. Most often the governing regulations are dictated based on the location where the information is being collected. It is important to understand the local regulations in the geographic areas in which you operate. If you are uncertain regarding your regulatory obligations, we encourage you to consult with your legal counsel.